Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How I created posters and 'enamel' signs for the station buildings

To add character and authenticity to the station buildings (see How I assembled station buildings from TM Models resin kits and How I converted a cheap children's toy into a station building), I decided I needed to add enamel signs and railway-related posters.

A search of the internet unearthed several images of enamel advertising signs and railway posters from the period being modelled (early 1930s). These were copied and pasted into a word document where they were reduced in size to something more appropriate for 16mm scale.
They were printed on photo paper, cut out and glued on to the building. They were then given a light spray of clear varnish from an aerosol to help seal them.

Specific railway related notices were created in MS Word based on examples printed in Branchline to Southwold (Mitchell & Smith, 1984, Middleton Press) with amendments to focus the content more on the locality of my railway:
These were then scanned and saved as images which were then inserted into a Word document where they were reduced in size to make them more appropriate. The beauty of working with images is that they can readily be resized or re-proportioned without unduly distorting the layout.

In Word, for example, I can right-click on an image which has been inserted into a document and from the pop-up menu, select .....'Size'

The next pop-up then enables me to specify the exact size of that image, to match the dimensions of the notice board or section of wall where the poster will be placed on the model.

 The sheets were laser printed, the individual posters cut out and glued into place.
As above, the notices were given a couple of coats of varnish from an aerosol to protect them from the elements.

I leave most of my buildings out in the garden throughout the year and after a couple of seasons I find that the posters deteriorate. Sometimes, slugs and snails take a fancy to them and eat them, or they simply rot away - much as would happen with posters in real life. If doesn't take too long to print-out a fresh set, cut them out and glue them in place.

Update 19/5/14

I found that as the station building at Bickerton is taken inside during the winter, the posters on this building last considerably longer. I have decided to over-winter all my buildings inside as even those which are made from resin castings and plastic, suffer from the ravages of the weather.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Progress Report 46

Around a week of almost unbroken sunshine has provided a real opportunity and incentive to get busy in the garden. Focused input on the railway has resulted in the completion of a few maintenance jobs, a couple of construction projects and more than a few running sessions.


Replacing a rotten timber support post

 After boasting in one of my postings that I have never had a problem with my approach to embedding timber support posts in concrete, one of my posts rotted through completely over the winter. This particular post was one which I had recycled from a former fence and so was not in the prime of life when I deployed it, but I would have expected it to last more than seven years.

Rather than trying some sort of temporary remedial action, I decided to remove the concrete foundation in its entirety and replace the post with something more substantial. The concrete base came out of the ground a lot more easily than I expected with some gentle leverage from a garden fork.

A section of well treated 4" square fence post was cut to length and a stiff 3:1 mix of sand and cement was mixed (with some hard-core from the old concrete base) and the post was fixed into place.

A new piece of fence rail was cut to length, covered in roofing felt and the original piece of rail re-instated. The whole process took no more than a couple of hours.

Improving the rail-joints on the moveable bridges

Ever since the tracks were fist laid, I have relied on the positioning of the bridges alone to align the tracks between the moveable bridges and the rest of the system. Over the years, I've had to wedge the tracks with various pieces of wood, lolly sticks and roofing felt to try and keep the track aligned - with varying levels of success. Having replaced the wobbly support for the end of the long swing-bridge, I decided it was about time I sorted-out the rail-joints.

A couple of pieces of brass tube, a bent galvanised nail and a soldering-iron solved the problem once and (hopefully) for all (see How I improved the rail joints on the swing bridges).

Easing the gradient

Over time, some of the breeze blocks which form the foundation for the railway have sunk. I could have laid them on a bed of concrete but decided that simply laying them in a trench would give me flexibility if ever I wanted to remove the railway or re-route it. This has meant that in a few places, the blocks have 'settled' leading to some unplanned undulations in the trackbed. After making an onboard video of an ore train travelling the line I realised there was one particular dip along the back straight which I hadn't previously spotted. Although this has not caused any problem for the locos, I decided to try and iron out this anomaly.

Using my tried and tested method of ramming wet cement beneath the rails which had been raised to the correct height, I got this particular dip sorted-out. On this occasion, I sprinkled some gravel on to the wet cement to try and give it the appearance of ballast - not very successfully!

I need to do some re-ballasting at some point in the future and so this is now on the list for scenic enhancement.
The Down pick-up goods approaching Beeston Castle passing over the re-ballasted track

Re-fixing some sandstone cladding

In a couple of places, the sandstone cladding has become detached from the breeze-block walling to which it was initially fixed. In one case, I did the cementing in sub-zero temperatures on Boxing Day in 2008 (see Peckforton Station Comes to Life ) and, despite covering the cement with a few layers of fabric it was clearly insufficient to prevent the frost destroying the bond.

The other problem was caused by the opposite extreme of weather. I did the cladding during a heatwave and I remember mixing too much cement which started drying out as I was using it. Rather than mixing a fresh batch I just added more water. In both cases, I should have known better and waited for better weather conditions. Ah, the precise science of hindsight!

This time, I waited for near perfect cloudy conditions and mixed a strong 3:1 mix of sand and cement to which I added a generous glug of PVA bonding agent. Hopefully, this time I will have done the job properly!

Replacing the wheel sets on Loco No. 1 - Peckforton

After a prolonged operating session, which involved a break for lunch, I was putting the stock away when I became aware of a whirring noise from the back of the engine shed. Lifting up the shed, I found the Peckett 0-4-0 loco, Peckforton wedged up against the rear wall on full power. She must have been there for a good two or three hours. Somehow, while selecting one of the other locos with the handset, I must have accidentally selected this loco and left it on full power. Needless to say, she had stripped the gears on both axles.

 Fortunately, I happened to have a spare wheel set which I had taken from a chassis in which the main retaining plate had split. The repair took no more than about ten minutes, but I have learned a salutary lesson. I am going to put an isolation switch on each of the shed roads so in future I will be unable to accidentally select a loco which is on-shed.

Construction projects

Jessie diesel

As part of my move towards converting to radio controlled battery power, I acquired a partially completed kit for an IP Engineering 'Jessie' diesel loco (see How I constructed an IP Engineering 'Jessie'). The construction process was fairly straightforward, despite some fiddly bits and I reached the stage where all the wiring was completed and I had installed ten NiMH AA cells. All that was needed was a paint job when I ran into major problem.
IP Engineering 'Jessie' on test

While testing the motor controller on a different channel on the workbench, the loco ran away, fell off the bench and became wedged in a drawer on full power. By the time I had rescued it and flicked the off switch, the motor had stripped the gears on both the worm and the worm wheel. Two stripped gear-sets in the space of a week! Because the gearbox is glued together with epoxy and then embodied in the chassis, I had to completely disassemble the chassis before I could release the motor and gearbox assembly. Fortunately I was able to pry the gearbox away from the motor and inspect the damage. Both gears will need replacing, but I am a little concerned about the long-term durability of the plastic gears which are provided with the gearbox.

I am presently investigating finding some way of replacing these gears with brass alternatives which I am hoping will be stronger. The difficulty is the lack of space available for mounting the gears. If I can find brass gears of roughly the same dimensions then the problem will be solved.

More on this in the next Progress Report.

Wenhaston 0-6-2T

 While I am awaiting the delivery of some brass gears to repair Jessie's gearbox, I have started work on converting an LGB Zillertalbahn U-Class loco into a representation of the Southwold Railway's Manning Wardle No. 4 loco, Wenhaston.
 So far, I have only got as far as stripping the Zillertal loco down to its chassis and taking measurements ready for the construction of Wenhaston's bodywork.

I have found some appropriately sized plastic tubing for the boiler and smoke box and have started accumulating fittings such as the chimney and smokebox door. This will be my first battery powered loco using an LGB chassis and I will blog the construction process once I've completed it.

New viaduct

After improving the rail-joints on the swing-bridge, I next tackled the joints on the viaduct. The viaduct was constructed to disguise the plank bridge which spanned the entrance to the patio. My attempts to clad the plywood substructure with scribed plaster proved highly unsuccessful. Not only was my scribing very poor, after a while the plaster started falling off. I had been threatening to replace the viaduct for at least the past four years and this seemed to be as good a time as any.

 This time, to keep the whole structure as lightweight as possible, I decided to develop the technique for representing stonework which I had trialled on one of the mine buildings - ie using suitably distressed balsa-wood 'stones' (See How I made the mine buildings - pending)

Although it is a fairly time-consuming job, I am already feeling very pleased with the results. I am hoping that, provided I protect the balsa from the elements with various layers of wood preservative, paint and varnish, the end-product will look the part, be lightweight and also sufficiently durable.

Running sessions

The prolonged good weather enabled me to work my way through a complete day's timetable twice (which actually took the equivalent of three days). Although I follow a fairly fixed timetable, the randomised generation of freight traffic means that no one operating session is the same as another.
The first Up Passenger arrives at Beeston Castle with flat truck carrying milk churns for the dairy

Something which happened on one of the sessions had not happened before. The Down pick-up goods train ran from Beeston Market with eight wagons which needed to be dropped off at intermediate stations but there was nothing intended for Bickerton, the other end of the line. However, two wagons needed to be picked up from Bickerton for make their way Up the line to Beeston Market. This required the running of the loco plus brake van light from Bulkeley to Bickerton. It is likely, that without the freight traffic generation program, I would not have thought of this movement which added something different to that particular operating session.
The Down pick-up goods running light between Bulkeley and Bickerton (see text)

 Another movement which has not occurred before was that two wagons on the Down train, the tanker for the Copper Mine, and the crane wagon for Peckforton, were also required to immediately travel back Up the line. At first, I quietly cursed my programming for not foreseeing that this could occur and I started considering ways in which I could change the algorithm to prevent this from happening again. But on reflection, it occurred to me that this operation could happen in reality, particularly with these two types of wagon. A tank wagon could easily be unloaded in under an hour and be available to run back up the line empty. Similarly, if the crane wagon was required to offload or load something from another wagon, this could easily be done then and there, releasing the wagon to return to base.
The Up pick-up goods crossing the River Gowy between Peckforton and Beeston Castle

So for now, I am more than happy that the program occasionally throws up a freight movement which I might not otherwise have considered.
The Down pick-up goods awaiting the all clear on the approach to Beeston Castle

To avoid undue disruption to the passengers taking the Afternoon Mixed, I have now taken to running the train on the 'wrong' road at some of the stations. This means that I can leave the coaches on one loop while shunting the wagons in and out of the siding on the other loop. I am not sure if this would have been prototypical practice, but it seems to me to be the most obvious way of causing minimal disruption to the paying public.
The late afternoon mixed departing Beeston Market Station with Hunslet 0-4-0T No. 3 Bickerton

For me, sorting out the logistical problems of shunting are some of the greatest pleasures I derive from the hobby. I am finding that the Hunslet, No. 3, Bickerton, is my preferred loco for the Pickup Goods and also for the Afternoon Mixed. It is the only loco which so far has been equipped with a power buffer and as a consequence it never (perhaps that's tempting fate) stumbles over dead frogs or uneven pieces of track - which makes shunting at slow speed an absolute delight. I am only hoping that I will be able to get such fine control from my radio controlled battery powered locos.
The last full ore train of the day departs the Copper Mine with the workman's coach marshalled next to the loco


Believe me, there is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about with trains. Simply messing, messing--about--with--trains.
 (with apologies to Kenneth Grahame)

Early morning sunlight dapples the scene as the morning Up passengers detrain at Beeston Market
The mid-morning Up passenger taking the bank out of Bickerton Station
A full ore train approaching Beeston Castle with Fowler diesel mechanical No. 7 - Tollemache
The first train of empties for the day arrives at the Copper Mine with the workmen's coach

The mid-morning Up Passenger about to depart Bickerton Station hauled by 0-4-2T Barclay No.2 Beeston

Sunday, June 09, 2013

How I improved the rail joints on the swing bridges

To bridge the gaps required to give access to the patio and the sheds I installed a couple of swinging bridges. Initially these were simply planks with a hinge at one end (see How I bridged the gaps),

........ but over time I improved the appearance of the planks with a girder swing bridge, based on the girder swing bridge at Southwold (See How I constructed a swing bridge from uPVC trim) and a simple viaduct (see How I constructed the viaduct - pending).

 Despite these cosmetic enhancements, I had never paid any attention to the rail-joints between the fixed and swinging lengths of track. Before each running session I would spend ten to fifteen minutes fiddling about with wooden wedges, pieces of lolly stick and chunks of tarpaulin lining-up and securing the rail joints. From time to time during running sessions these would become displaced and various items of rolling stock would become derailed or occasionally crash to the ground. For about a year I had noticed that the wooden post supporting the hinged end of the swing-bridge had rotted through and was no longer providing reliable support and at the start of this season the brass hinges on both bridges finally fell apart - why they put a steel rod through brass hinges never really made much sense to me! Although I could still run stock over the bridges, the amount of tweaking and fettling required and the number of derailments at the rail joints spurred me into action.
The replacement of the hinges was a relatively easy job, but the replacement of the post at the end of the swing bridge was a more involved process (See Progress Report 46 - pending). While I was waiting for the concrete to set I pondered how I might improve the joints between the rails at each end of the bridges. This posting describes the solution I deployed.

The first job was to provide some sort of catch for the swinging end of each bridge. Previously, I had relied solely on end of the bridge slotting into a chiselled groove and the weight of the bridge. Over the years, this system has become loosened by wear and in the case of the long swing bridge, the plank has warped slightly. To more precisely locate and lock the end of the bridge, brass door-bolts were attached to the end of the bridge and a hole was drilled into the facing blockwork to ensure firm and correct alignment.

Once the ends of the bridges had been sorted-out, I turned my attention to the more precise alignment of the rails themselves. Drawing upon several years' accumulated reading of model railway magazines I decided a similar sort of sliding bolt arrangement could be used for each rail - to ensure very precise alignment (I know from experience that a misalignment of even a millimetre or two is enough to deflect some flanges).

My rail-alignment-bolts comprise three components - two pieces of brass tubing and a bent galvanised nail. I would have used brass rod for the bolt but I didn't have any of the right size in stock and my local model shop was closed - so I improvised.

The bass tubes were tinned with solder, using my trusty 75watt soldering iron .....

... as were the ends of each rail.

I then sweated the tubing on to the rail. As the rail is a large conductor of heat I applied the iron firstly to the rail until the solder melted and then quickly replaced the iron with the tubing and applied the heat to the tube, running a fillet of solder between the two for good measure.

Once the two tubes had been successfully soldered into place, it was a simple matter of sliding the bolt into the tubes for pinpoint alignment.

You'll notice that I have also rounded the ends of each rail to help avoid the jolt if the looseness of the bolts causes the rails to slip a fraction of a millimetre out of true. To test the system, I ran my most fastidious rolling stock over the joints at breakneck speed - without mishap (so far).

This simple arrangement takes care of the need for the ends of the rails to be firmly fixed in place. I had tried that previously and in time, no matter which method I tried, the rails somehow became unfixed or the bridge itself moved out of line and so the tracks needed to be re-positioned. I am hoping that this method will prove more reliable

Once I have tested the system a few times I will re-ballast the track to improve its appearance and, to some extent, disguise the unprototypical hardware.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

How I constructed an IP Engineering Jessie diesel

For the last year or so it has been my intention to explore the potential of battery power for my locos. The greatest incentive for this is the time taken to clean the track and to maintain electrical continuity around the railway. All joints between lengths of track have been bonded with soldered links (see How I bonded the rails) and over the years I have found that I have also needed to bond the rails in all my turnouts (see How I repaired LGB pointwork). Keeping the track clean and electrically bonded is a regular chore and, having seen the smooth running of others' battery powered locos, which do not stutter when they encounter the plastic frogs on pointwork or grind to a halt when a soldered bond between lengths of rail has deteriorated, has made this approach to control seem increasingly attractive.

However, not wishing to burn my boats and put all my eggs in one basket, I have decided to make the transition gently from one form of power to the other. My locos have to work hard pulling their trains up the 1:40 gradients and, until I am certain that battery powered locos will be equally up to the job, I want to experiment with battery power while retaining DCC track-power as the principal method of control.
Update (March 2015) I have now abandoned track power and control in favour of battery powered radio control (see Getting started with battery power). I now have ten locos which are battery powered with two awaiting conversion from track to battery power (see How I converted a loco from track to battery power). My anxieties about the pulling power of battery locos were unfounded. In fact, removing the friction of skates and pick-ups and increasing friction between wheels and rails as they no longer need to be polished, has resulted in a considerable improvement in pulling-power (see Manning Wardle load test - Barclay Load Test - Peckett Test run)

A fortunate purchase through a well known auction website resulted in a partially completed kit for a Jessie diesel locomotive from IP Engineering. The kit is no longer available but the kit arrived with two detailing packs and two motors and gearboxes.

Careful scrutiny of the gearbox revealed that the previous owner had experienced some difficulty in its construction - the worm wheel had been stripped and the worm itself was split.

This accounted for the second gearbox and maybe also the previous owner's willingness to part with the kit. It also suggested that the construction of the gearbox should be approached with caution. The two brass bushes needed to be threaded on the axle before being epoxied on to the gearbox housing. Clearly, any stray glue could easily gum up the works. Similarly, the collar for the motor needed to be epoxied into the housing - even more opportunity for stray glue!

By applying the glue with a cocktail stick I was able to keep the glue more or less under control and then left the assembly overnight to fully harden-off. Though it was with some anxiety that I connected the battery to the motor the following morning to find out whether or not I had been successful.Fortunately, all was well and so I was able to continue with the build.

I next turned my attention to the chassis, which had been partially constructed. The brass bushes had been epoxied into place and one of the side frames had been attached to the cross-members by self tapping screws.

The bushes needed to be repositioned in the other sideframe as they were slightly skewed. With a little persuasion they were removed and re-inserted.

The wheels were threaded on to the axles, ..........

....... the motor positioned between the frames and the second sideframe was then screwed into place.

At this point, I decided to test the chassis, and so the battery pack was connected temporarily to the motor and the chassis given a a few laps of the main circuit on the railway.

The chassis ran fairly smoothly though I needed to adjust the back to back measurements a couple of times when the wheels dropped between the tracks. Buoyed by this success, I then decided to add the fly-cranks, which I felt could be quite tricky. The grub-screws were inserted into the brass fittings .......

...... and then the brass bearings were inserted into the coupling rods.

Inevitably, they were a tight fit and I found that by bevelling the top of the hole in the rods, with some very light filing of its upper edge, helped give the bearing a start on the axle.

 To keep the bearings square during insertion, they were then squeezed in a vice.

 The fly-cranks were then attached to the ends of the axles and the coupling rods attached using the circlips which were provided.

 Quartering the fly-cranks on the other side was initially done by eye and then tweaked by running the chassis on the track until it ran more smoothly. The grub screws were then tightened and the chassis given a few more test-runs (and further fine-tuning).

 The chassis was now set aside and my attention was turned to the construction of the body. My first job was to add the detailing to the bonnet. I started by gluing mesh to the radiator. To ensure the mesh was cut to the right size and shape, a card template was marked (by rubbing over the aperture with a grubby finger) and cut out.

Two pieces of mesh were then cut from the sheet provided .........

......... and glued in place with epoxy.

Next, the various appendages were added to the bonnet, starting with the exhaust pipe and silencer unit which was bolted underneath after a 3mm hole had been drilled in the bonnet.

Then the other trimmings were added, mostly glued into place with epoxy. Apart from a photo of a completed loco, there were no specific instructions as to where the items should be fixed into place. On the right side went an access door and a vent - while some sort of air intake was fixed atop.

 On the other side went a louvred vent and another access door ..........

....... and the bezel was fitted around the headlight.

 The LED which is provided for the headlight was soldered to its resistor and heatshrink insulation applied over the leads.

Two in-line sockets were then soldered on to the leads and the LED epoxied into place at the rear of the radiator.

Round-headed screws and nuts are provided to fix the cab rood to the sides, but I felt these looked somewhat overscale and unprototypical. Ideally, I would have used countersunk screws but I was concerned that the thinness of the metal, together with the size of the holes would have led to a flimsy joint. I therefore decided to use pop-rivets.

 Detailing was added to the front of the cab ........

..... and the access hatch was fixed to the roof using the double-sided sticky pad provided.

 and the spectacle plates were fitted .......

..... as were the handrails.

The footplate was tackled next. Captive nuts were epoxied in place to hold the screws which will hold the bonnet in place.

And then the footplate was bolted to the chassis, and the cab and bonnet temporarily fitted in place.

At this point, the wiring was soldered together. I had decided I would not use the manual speed controller which is provided with the kit as I wanted the loco to be radio controlled. I had already acquired a Mac5 controller from Brian Jones and so using the two DPDT switches which were provided with the kit, I wired up the motor, battery holders, controller, receiver and charging socket.

The components were then fixed temporarily in place for some field testing.

It soon became apparent that 9 volts was going to be insufficient to power the loco when pulling a load and so another battery holder was wired into the circuit to provide 12 volts.

As can be seen from this short video, 12 volts seemed adequate to power the loco with a train of tippler wagons up the 1:40 gradient on my railway. The weight of the metal body appeared to be sufficient for traction though as the test was with alkaline batteries there would be more weight when  the bonnet was added and another couple of NiMH batteries were wired into the circuit.

Within a few days of creating this posting, the gears on the new gearbox stripped while test running the loco. My first thought was to see if I could find a suitable set of gears, the same size, preferably in metal, which would act as a direct replacement. I sent off for a 20:1 worm wheel and gear from Cambrian Models but found the dimensions are not comparable. I then decided to make my own gear housing for these gears from a U-shaped piece of 1.5mm thick brass shim.

This was folded up and the axle inserted together with the worm wheel and some nuts and washers to act as spacers. The assembly was then screwed on to the end of the motor ....

.... together with a bracket for attaching the motor and gearbox to the chassis.

Unfortunately, my engineering skills were insufficient to ensure the worm and gear wheel meshed accurately. While the loco would happily travel in reverse, the gears lost their mesh when travelling forwards if even the slightest load was placed on it. After an appeal for suggestions on the G Scale Central forum, one of the community volunteered to make me another gearbox housing. I duly sent him the bits but he decided to use a 00 scale gear set which he had to hand.

His gearbox is considerably more robust than mine, though he was uncertain as to how long the 00 gears would last.

The gearbox assembly was soon installed into the chassis, with washers and brass tubing acting as spacers above the gearbox to ensure it was at the appropriate height.

 Update 1/4/14 - This gearbox lasted about a year before the gears became worn and so a more radical solution to the problem was found. I replaced the entire mechanism with a USAt 0-4-0 motor block which slotted inside the IP chassis. This loco is now extremely reliable. (see How I improved my IP Jessie mechanism) . Here's a video of her with her new motor block.
 Over this extended course of construction, I had discovered a new source of radio control equipment developed by an aero-modeller who was branching out into other areas of radio control.

The Deltang Tx22 system enables up to twelve locos to be controlled from one transmitter using the 2.4gHz waveband. This means it is quite reliable and also, because the combined receiver/controllers were originally developed for use in 00 scale locos, they are quite small. It also means they have an upper limit on the current load they can handle and while the system worked well with my other battery locos (eg see How I constructed an 0-6-2T based on the Southwold Railway loco No.4), it sometimes struggled to cope with the demands of the slightly stiff gearbox on this loco. However, following some discussion with the developer of the Deltang system, he adapted one of his receivers (the Rx102) to work with the Tx22 transmitter which enabled me to use the Brian Jones Mac Five controller, which can handle higher current loads. This receiver has now been further improved and is available on the Deltang website for others to use in their models.

Update 24/3/15 - Deltang have now developed a combined receiver/controller which can handle higher loads (up to 3 amps) - the Rx65b

To increase the capacity inside the loco for holding the batteries and r/c gear, a simple control panel was constructed from off-cuts of plasticard and a few bits and pieces from the bits box.

 This was then carefully positioned and superglued on to the footplate.

 Next, attention was turned to mounting the LGB hook and loop couplings which I use on my railway. I would prefer to use something more realistic but as I am very keen on freight handling and shunting operations, I need something reliable and relatively easy to use. After determining the coupling-height, I removed the buffer beams from each end of the loco and made a couple of cuts for a slot sufficiently wide to accommodate a coupling and sufficiently deep to provide a bracket for mounting the coupling at the correct height when folded back.

 After mounting the couplings with some self-tapping screws, the buffer beams were re-attached to the chassis (this time the correct way round) and given a coat of Plasticote signal red.

 The two body parts were then given a coat of Halfords grey primer followed by two coats of Humbrol Brunswick Green from one of their rattle cans.

The loco was then reassembled for more test-running (you may have realised I am a little impatient at times! - as you can see, the masking tape is still attached to the radiator grille).

The control panel was given a coat of brown acrylics, with details picked out in white and brass-colour. The motion was painted red to match the buffer-beams.

 The inside of the cab was painted cream and the handrails and spectacle plates picked-out in Plasticote brass paint.

The cab roof was painted with black acrylics......

..... and then came the interesting part - weathering. At first, I did some light weathering suggesting there were nooks and crannies which might have missed the cleaner's oily rag.

But I then decided to add a few rust spots.

Eventually, the whole loco was 'rusted' and a wash of mucky brown-black daubed over to dull down the paint and brasswork. A whitemetal porter figure was pressed into service as a driver.

As indicated earlier, nuts are epoxied on to the chassis to attach the body. With my various dis- and re-assembling I kept finding these easily became detached. I therefore tried some epoxy putty to fix the nuts inside the bonnet and the bolts inside the cab. So far they seem more secure but eventually I may try soldering them all in place. Epoxy resin doesn't seem to be as strong as it was when I were a lad!

Not having bolts of a suitable length I cut them shorted using a technique taught to me by my dad many many years ago (see How I shorten bolts). The nuts holding the cab in place were then slipped over the bolts ....

.... and tightened-up.

Up until now, I had avoided adding the sandboxes for the rear wheels as I was uncertain as to where I would be fitting the charge socket. I realised, of course, that the best position for the sand boxes was precisely where I'd put the charge socket, but decided with a small modification it could act as a moveable cover. A wedge was removed from the top with a saw and a file......

...... and it was then attached just below the socket ......

.... but left sufficiently loose to allow it to swivel aside.

After priming, it was then painted black as were the footboards which were attached beside it.

After a little more cosmetic touches here and there to add to the general air of utilitarian neglect, she was at last ready to enter service.

There are still a few more touches I now feel I would like to add.

For example, I'd like to install a fan and a representation of the radiator behind the grille....

...... and of course she will need to have a name, nameplates and a number to properly enter service.

And at the moment, the chassis and running gear looks a little too pristine.

But overall. although the build turned out to be more problematic than I had envisaged, she's now ready to assume her duties at the copper mine.

Update (22/8/13)

 Her chassis is now weathered with weathering powders and a fan has been added behind the radiator grille. The fan is from a computer and runs off 12v but when connected it spins so fast you can't see it. The blades of the fan have been painted silver to make them more visible behind the grille.

The driver has now been moved so he is half hanging out of the cab. He looked a bit unsteady where he was positioned before but now looks more workmanlike.

I will no doubt add more details as time moves on but I have now thought of a name for her.

Instead of "Jessie", the name under which she was marketed, she will become "Wynford", named after the Baron Tollemache's first wife (he was the benefactor of the railway! - see A short history of the railway). Nameplates have been ordered and there will be an official naming ceremony.

Update: How I added a sound card to the diesel

Update: Improving the mechanism for the diesel loco