7mm:1ft - 0 Gauge Railway Modelling.

By Raymond Walley
Finney 7, Richard Lambert, The Malt House, Mortimer Hill, CLEOBURY MORTIMER, DY14 8QQ.
Tel: 01299 271918.  E-mail:  contact@finney7.co.uk  Web:  http://www.finney7.co.uk/index.htm
I rate this kit as: 0-0-0

Why a Broad gauge Rover?

Because it attracted me as an interesting build and even though it will have a motor, gearbox and working inside valve gear, it will sit in a glass case along with a Broad Gauge Postal Van as I have nowhere to run such beasts.  So the real answer I suppose is because it was there and will no doubt prove to be an interesting challenge; the last Finney kit I built was certainly a challenge, see the 32xx Class build.

 

The Great Western's iconic Rover class was designed to replace the Iron Dukes, Russell has little to say in detail but provides some good pictures, more information is available in the RCTS volumes on the broad gauge engines (Locomotives of the GWR, parts 2 and 12).  However, it is clear that the designers of this kit have done their homework and considerable research.  The kit covers just six of the possible twenty four engines originally built due to the significant differences between batches and there being a works drawing available for the batch.  I decided to build Emperor as it was in the 1880s with the smaller 2700 Gallon tender.

 

So what is in the box? (The box of course is useless as a storage medium for the finished engine, it should have a proper wooden box for travelling, unfortunately the makers of such boxes no longer produce them so I shall have to investigate elsewhere.)

 

The first thing one sees is an A4 booklet that consists almost entirely of A3 folded pages like this:

Instructionn manual

 

All the diagrams are to 7mm to the foot so checking part for fit is relatively easy.  There are many pictures of the build and a CD accompanies it with a wealth of pictures of the build and the prototype.  The manual is excellently printed, though the page numbering goes amiss at times, it shews much of what is required but careful study is necessary to work out precisely what goes where.  All the etches and castings are clearly identified.  My only quibble is the binding of the manual, the type with a spring loaded spine, is not up to the holding the weight of paper.  Perhaps a four ring binder would have been better however, since most of the time I will be working with individual sheets it is not a problem.

 

The etches are of superb quality, many of them quite thick, ranging from 0.4mm to 0.7mm in brass and nickle silver.  Here are a couple of examples:

Etches.

 

They are crisp, clean and clearly made from CAD masters, some care needs to be taken when cutting parts out, the tabs are usually full thickness and in confined spaces.  I used a Stanley knife on a cutting mat.

 

To this I will need to add a set Slater's wheels, an ABC motor/gearbox, a set of Severn Mill plates, a set of PFS plunger pickups, crew, coal and a set of Laurie Griffin fire irons and lamps. All up that is about a grand's worth plus the cost of a the painter.  Not cheap but worth it in my view for the pleasure of building something that has been well designed but will never-the-less challenge me for some months to come.

 

The manual starts with the locomotive but I opted to begin with the Tender.  I find it a good way to get inside the designer's head before starting on the much more complex locomotive.

 

THE TENDER

One thing I discovered early on was a missing page containing one of the etch maps, a call to Richard Lambert and the missing pdf page arrived in my E-mail in box.  I have an A3 printer so could easily reproduce the page in the same format as the manual.  Good service.

 

The chassis is compensated, take time over studying the drawings and it goes together with relative ease, not everything is described or explained but using the drawing and the excellently numbered parts works well.  Like the last Finney kit I built, once completed the wheels will be trapped forever so I am considering how to get round that and make them removable.  The chassis is a fold up affair 1.4mm thickness (doubled overs bearing hornguides), with no brass bearings for the axles, which run in ready etched slots; personally I dislike this way of doing things but the thickness of nickle silver should give it more that enough running life.

 

One needs to read the whole manual fully a couple of times before starting and then ensure that future processes can be undertaken easily.  For instance, later when constructing the sandwich frames, it is important that all the holes for the addition things like springs are opened out before final assembly of the frames.

 

Chassis 1

Here is the basic chassis bent up, checked for square and soldered in the joints and bend lines awaiting the compensation beams being fitted.  The pictures of this in the manual appear to be of brass but this is substantial nickle silver.  There a lot of rivets in this model, over 500 alone in the tender top and mostly very closely spaced!  However, the dimples for them are tiny, the perfect size for my Leakey rivet press so one simply needs a good light, a steady hand and patience to achieve nice straight lines of rivets. 

Chassis two

The compensation works by soldering the beams to two pieces of tube of equal length and these run on a thick brass wire beam that is held in place with the bases of the outriggers so little chance of soldering anything up solid.  A neat piece of design and all the parts fit perfectly, provided one cleans up all the cusps to give nice square edges.  I have taken the trouble to do that for all exposed edges as well so that their true thickness is apparent.

 

Chassis 3 undersite

 

Here you can see the underside.  Wheels are kept in place by wire stays that slide into slots etched into the fold-over bearings, you can see one set of hornguides has a wire in it.  I think that these will be exactly inline with the tensioning rods between the axle boxes in the sandwich frames, in which case I shall simply use a length of blackened wire across all three axles so I can remove them, at least for Warren to be able to paint them properly.  They should be virtually invisible once completed.  All I need to do now is find a way to make the vacuum pipe that runs just off centre removable and the wheels sets can be extracted.  Spacing washers are provided for the wheels; I used them on the outer axles to restrict their lateral movement but left the centre axles with plenty of lateral movement, probably too much. 

brake shoesBrake shoe 2The brake shoes being made up by making a jig on my steel place (the manual suggests in a piece of wood but for the RSU that would not work).  They are accurate etches and make up into substantial brake shoes.  One needs to be careful to orient all parts properly as all four parts are completely different and have to go together with right faces shewing.  Not difficult, it just needs some care, here is one just needing a little cleaning up.

 

brake tubesThe brake gear can be made to be removable easily by drilling out the holes for 0.8mm spigots in the frame to 1.2mm and soldering short lengths of tube to take the 0.8mm upper bearing spigots that will need to be fitted to each shoe.

Brake rigging startHere I have made a start on the rigging, which is quite complex, I found it a little confusing since it is not clear to me where one uses 0.8mm and 0.6mm.  Some of the etched holes in the brake rods do not match those in the shoes.  I decided to use 0.8mm at top and bottom.  I left off here to continue with the chassis and frames so that I have some way to ensure I got all the many parts to fit together without fouling anything.

 

In the meantime I continued with frames starting with the inner set, which have many fold up parts, it is necessary to make sure that they are all at 90º because later, their orientation will determine the accurate mounting of other parts, such as the lost wax cast tops for the spring dampers.  Other parts for the dampers are pewter castings what fit between the frames.  Excellent quality castings whose dimples fit easily in the provided holes to anchor them place.  Here the overlay for the buffer plank has been fitted along with the centre lamp bracket, which is useful for helping orient the part, such is the accuracy of the drawings.

 

More chassis parts

It is beginning to look like a tender chassis now, the dampers have been fitted; the brass parts need care as they have to be oriented correctly but the pewter parts are simply super glued in for now to stop them falling out before the outer frame is soldered up.  If the bonds break then due to heat it will not matter as they will be trapped between the frames.  You can also see where I have used a single rod to affix the wheels in place.  The gedge hook is from the set of CPL couplings supplied in the kit, soldered in solid as is my usual method.

chassis 4

The brass outriggers between the wheels were too long to allow the unit to inside the frames and had to be filed down by about a half a millimetre or so on each side.

 

I had been considering for a while how to mount the vacuum pipe so that the wheels could be removed, it turned out to be simple in the end.  I threaded the end of the 1.6mm rod 'pipe' 10BA sufficiently long to accommodate two nuts.  The first was screwed on and the 'pipe' then offered up to the chassis to set it horizontal.  The nut was then soldered in place, the 'pipe' shortened and then fitted in its mounting brackets.  The second nut holds it secure and vertical and the whole gubbins is invisible once the tender is assembled.

 

Cross shaft 2Here the cross shaft has been fabricated ready for fitting but first I wanted to make some more changes.  The brake rods fit over small studs where the long thin rod is now but simply as a clip on.  I wanted to make this more secure and so tapped the holes in the ends of the brake rods 14BA and holes in the brackets were reamed out for 14BA clearance so that the rods can be secured thus with a screw, which can be left in the outer leg.  I have yet to source some proper length screws for the job.

 

In the meantime progress continues on the frames. Frames 1

 

 

 

 

Here they are completed including fitting the buffers.  They are designed to be fitted as integral springs  with a soldered stopper.  I do not like leaving buffer heads on for the painter to have to have to get around so experimented with threading one of the buffer shanks 12BA.  This proved very difficult as it is hard to hold the work and the shank is slightly over size for 12BA.  However, it makes no difference because there is not enough length on them to clear the double buffer beam plates, add a new keeper plate to cover the large hole in the rear and still leave room to thread a nut.  So regretfully I had to go with the designer on this one.

Frames 2

The tensioning rods between the axle boxes are fitted into a clever little bracket that, when the rivet head are punched out and it is folded up, fits into the dimples for the rivets at the bottom of the hornguides.  The tensioning rod is then soldered in place so that its ends are out of site.  Elegant, simple and strong so that the rods are not constantly coming adrift.  The steps are located in similar fashion but require some care and clamps while soldering.

Frames 3Here is a mock up of the frames fitted to the chassis and the footplate rested on top.  everything aligns up perfectly and the holes for the screws to go through the fixing nuts on the footplate are also spot on.

 

The next job is cleaning up the spring castings and drilling out the tops to take the supports 0.7mm rods.  A job that took most of an afternoon and I'll put up pictures of when next I can photograph the parts.

TO BE CONTINUED