The kit as supplied comes with a couple of sheets of etchings, a bag of whitemetal castings and a bag of brass castings. The castings appear nicely done, free from flash etc but I haven’t got to the stage of using any of them yet.
The start didn’t go to well as I struggled to fold up the first etching. As supplied in the kit the two side frames and two central cross members are all one etching. Now the instructions say to fold up the side frames first and then “fold the two crossmember vertical flanges down 90 degrees.” The main etches are using 19 thou brass so the instructions recommend that you use an “Olfa” cutter and square file along the half etched grooves to make a deep V to get a clean fold. Well I did this and once the side frames are folded up it is quite awkward to fold up the cross member flanges as this is a much longer fold and the side frames stops you getting a secure clamp on the cross member. Anyway the result was I twisted the the cross member such that it snapped away from the side frame. The fold wasn’t brilliant either so I ended up separating the sideframes from the cross members so I could get all the folds completed to my satisfaction.
If I had to do another set of bogies then I would definitely fold the cross member flanges first and then fold down the side frames. I can’t guarantee that will work but I think it stands a better chance of sucess.
So I cut out the end beams and A frames braces (although there seems to be some duplication as there are some whitemetal A frame castings in the kit as well.:confused:). Again with 19 thou brass the A frame needed a little stroking with a rawhide mallet to get a smooth 90 deg fold.
I then used glass plate surface to hold everything flat and a couple of lengths of 1/4″ square brass bar to hold the horn guides square whilst everything was soldered up. That went together quite nicely, everything so far seems to be quite nicely square and flat.
Next on the instructions were the brake hangers, these fold up as a little U shaped unit to solder to the back of the frames, makes it simple to get the positioning right.
Well it would do if I were build to finescale standards, however in Scale7 this would put the brake shoes over the flanges of the wheels.
So the hangers were all separated out, I left the little side tab on and filed it down to move the hangers out enough for Scale7 before soldering up.
The next step is fitting a stretcher beam, which is slightly angled, in the middle of the A-frame to mount the centre brake operating lever. More castings for “axle arresters” leaves a lot of cleaning up to do.
This was followed by cutting and folding numerous brake safety straps. There was little to go on in terms of locating the straps, so I started on the outer ones at the side of the A frame. I then used a steel rule between them to locate the middle straps which are the angled ones.
This was then followed by folding up and attaching the outer steps. The steps fold up to this without any soldering so a small dab is required to hold them in position.
A start has been made on the brakes, I’m just working through them one set at a time. As supplied the triangular brake frames have etched pivot (the set on the lefthand side). I thought this was going to be a nightmare to file circular to fit the brake blocks. Also with moving the brakes out for Scale7 then they were a bit on the short side as well. The set on the right shows my modified version, the etched bits for the brake blocks have been replaced with a bit of 0.7mm brass wire. I filed a small half flat on the end of the wire to sit on the etching a bit better. The wires are a bit long here but will be shortened when fitting the brake blocks. Note also the brake blocks are flush on one side so you need to take care to fit them the correct way round. The bogie shows one set of brakes fitted.
One final note for building the bogies, the brake hangers need to be filed back. As supplied there is a distinct shoulder of the hanger which causes problems in adjusting the position of the brake block. The photo below shows the hanger as supplied on the left hand side and the modified hanger on the right.
The brakes were all finished off and then the attention turned to the equalising beams, they are floating and sprung units so plenty of castings to clean up, although to be fair the castings were nice and clean with very little flash to clean up. So these were all the bits.
I’ve left the springs out for the minute. The next part of the instructions talks about fitting the axle boxes and keeper plates across the bottom of the horn guides, but this means fitting the wheels as well. However I really hate painting stuff with the wheels fitted, there is all the hassle of masking them up and they often get in the way of getting paint on the under frame. So my preference is to get the paint on before fitting the wheels wherever possible.
So instead of fitting the axle boxes I looked at fitting the lateral central bolster and springs. In the kit these are built-up from half a dozen white metal castings. So this raised the next “problem”, the whitemetal casting is too wide!
The whitemetal bolster is supposed to sit inside the side frames so they will need trimming down a little! Fitting the whitemetal castings to the bogies wasn’t that difficult once I’d sliced 1/32″ off either side of the bolster with a junior hacksaw.
One difficulty was getting the springs to sit properly in the brass castings on the frame and the compensation beam. These had to be attacked with a small dental burr to clean up the flash in the seatings, the other thing I did was to grind the ends of the springs flat.
As supplied the springs are simply cut at the ends, it made a huge difference by grinding the ends to a taper. The spring on the left is the original as supplied, that on the right after I’ve tapered the ends, as illustrated it’s a lot easier to get it sitting square on the seating.So I’ve just used a wire loop as a temporary keeper plate to hold the axle boxes in. The springing is quite stiff but with the weight of the etched Siphon body it will probably be fine.
Once the tie-bars were made up the bogies were cleaned ready for painting. The wheels were painted to represent varnished wood, I use the Lifecolor acrylics wood base coat followed by the warm wood top coat. Once dry I use some Tamyia transparent orange, used on model cars for painting orange indicators, to represent the aged varnished look. I then cleaned up the bogies prior to applying a coat of Precision Paints 2 pack etched primer, this was then followed by a couple of coats of cellulose black.
The bogies were then assembled, before painting I tinned the bottom of the axle box guides so that I could solder on the tie-bars and axle box keepers by applying a little heat on the rear of the axle box guides. The springs are very stiff so I used a small toolmakers clamp to compress them whilst soldering on the keepers. A little touch up of black paint was required where I scratched it when assembling them. So the bogies are now complete and attention turns back to finishing off the main body work.