Another component to require a bit of detailing before all the bodywork is all assembled is the firebox. The instructions recommend drilling all the holes for the washout plugs, mud hole cover clamps, safety valves and top steam manifold. All lots of nice brass castings. You don’t need all the washout plugs in the photo, 9 are required and there are 14 supplied so there are a few spares unless I’ve missed something!
There are also a couple of nickel-silver strips to solder on the side to increase the depth. The instructions say they are optional but may reduce the light gap between the tanks and the firebox.
After drilling all the holes the castings are fitted now whilst it was still easy to get to the inside of the firebox. I prefer to solder where possible, so all the parts were tinned and then a dab of low melt solder on the inside secured all the fittings. The washout plugs have a small shoulder on them but this was gently filed down to get them flush fitting.
Around the safety valves there is a thin etched plate with a bit of rivet detail. I was unsure how to fix this to the white metal firebox, I was reluctant to glue it so I decided to solder it. I tinned the back of the etching then with a very judicious touch with the iron in the middle of the etching it stuck so I quit whilst I was ahead!
Finally whilst looking at the overhead shots for the tank detail I decided that the boiler band clamp across the top of the firebox was too obvious to miss. This detail is not on the casting so I filed out the bit in the middle of the boiler band and filed up a couple of angled pieces in nickel silver to match up to the boiler band. I then low melt soldered them to the firebox and filed them to blend in. I then added a little bit of 0.4mm wire to give the impression of the bolt, so one more component now ready for assembly.