Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Eureka 50 Class - a few more tweaks

About 12 months ago when I wrote my first post on the Eureka 50 class
I noted that the front pony wheels derailed on a few occasions. At the time, I thought the derailment was due to a track problem but the derailments have continued at various locations and I note that James McInerney reported a similar problem in his review in the June issue of AMRM.

James removed the spring which applies a downward pressure on the wheels, relying instead on the weight of the wheel assembly to prevent derailment. I also removed the spring but also opted to add a little extra weight to the wheels. I superglued two pieces of lead flashing onto the pony truck. The piece folded on the top was beaten thin to allow room for lateral movement.

With the loss of my front coupling adaptor, I also gave up and fitted an automatic coupler to the front of 5069. I chose not to use coupler supplied but rather opted for a KD. Not prototypical, I know but it makes the movement of the four wheel hoppers to the Philip's Creek coal mine so much easier and allows locomotive to be used for other shunting tasks as required. I used a coupler that I had on hand and fitted it as outlined in Peter Jarvis' article in the August 2016 AMRM. This was a very simple job and the biggest challenge was drilling the appropriate hole in the coupler.

The final challenge is one that I haven't not been able to resolve, specifically, the clicking noise in the drive mechanism. For my locomotive, the sound only occurs when travelling in reverse. A comment from Jim on my earlier post identified that the sound came from the second pair of driving wheels when counted from the front. From my investigations, Jim's observations are correct.  I noticed that, unlike the other three driving wheel sets, the second pair allows some vertical movement as if the holes through the chassis was too large or a pair of bushes was missing. I have also noticed that the noise only occurs when travelling in reverse. The noise may be a consequence of the loose wheel set being realigned and slipping on the driving gear as connecting rods move through their arc.

However, all of this speculation does help resolve it and frankly, I can't see a solution beyond a significant dismantling of the drive assembly, something that is well beyond my skill set particularly without any drawings or schematics. Maybe instead, I should invest in a sound decoder that will mask the non prototypical noise with traditional steam locomotive sounds.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

A Few More Buildings

Staying on the theme of buildings for one more post, I though I would put up a few photos of two buildings that I have completed over the past few months. These will be located on the as yet unnamed township that lies at the end of the newly constructed branchline. Both are commercial kits with a few extras added.

The service station is a Structorama kit purchased a few years ago. It is an all styrene kit and it was simple to construct. With the exception of the sign at the front of the service station, the other extra details are a mix of Kerroby Models (fuel bowsers and 44 gallon drums) and other items from the spares box. The sign was scratch built based on photos found on the internet. I didn't realise how much photographic information there is available on 1960s service stations until I started searching.

Each bowser is still missing a golden fleece statuette on top but I'm not sure what I can use for that role, possibly N scale sheep.

Some interior detail has been included but it has been lost unless I add some internal lighting at a later time.

The second model is a Hawksmoor fibro branchline signal box. Branchline Modeller Number 3 has two good photos of the prototype on pages 41 and 43.

The model was cast in polyurethane, a material I find a bit more difficult to use than styrene. The major elements fitted together without difficulty but I put the smaller components such as the hand railing aside and replaced them with styrene.

When I get around to naming the branchline terminus, I will add the appropriate name plate.

For these two models, I have attempted to denote individual sheets of CGI by drawing thin pencil lines at the appropriate spacing on the roof and metal walls. I have never been 100 percent satisfied applying individual sheets of commercial GCI  and it was quite a tedious process. It seems to work reasonably well although, perhaps, the lines could be a bit less pronounced with some additional weathering washes.