Thursday, 13 August 2009

A little bit of therapy

As you'll have seen from my last post I've been off work with 'suspected' swine flu - not the best of of situations really. The midwife panicing and saying I sshouldn't be anywhere near Suzi! But no chance of testing to see if I was 'contagious' either; so I spent a fair bit of time at my parents' house during the week. Anyway, all seems fine now; I'm something like what passes for 'normal' and Suzi and 'Squidge' (as our unborn child has been nicknamed) are doing fine with no symptoms of anything I may, or may not, have had!

As it was a case of just trying to build a bit of strength up, having spent much of the week asleep, a couple of afternoon workshop sessions were spent on this little project. It's destined for Botanic Gardens and this breed of loco was a feature of Hull's railways for many years with both the North Eastern Railway and the Hull & Barnsley Railway using 0-6-2t's. On the NER they were used extensively on trip workings across the city so BG will require, ultimately, a selection of them.

This one is a Class U and was the last of loco of this arrangement which the NER built; it featured smaller wheels than eariler types and was more suited to freight. The class became N10 under LNER ownership and lasted into the sixties with British Railways. The model is bing built using a Connoisseur Models' kit - it's a direct reduction of their 0 guage kit so some of the parts are quite small. An extra fret is included with some scale specific parts for building in 00 and EM. Sadly Connoisseur Models no longer supply kits in the smaller scale which is a real shame as they are excellent and were incredibly good value. This kit, complete aside from usual wheels, gears and motor, was only £42. Added to the fact that Jim McGeown's kits go together beautifully it represents amazing value. The only downside is that you must roll the boiler yourself but his instructions take you through that and it really isn't that bad!

It only took a couple of afternoons to get to this stage; it’s built mostly as it comes aside from changing and swapping some the frame spacers to allow clearance for the hornblocks. The advantage of it being a scaled down seven mil’ kit is that you get beautifully fine details for items such as the reversing lever (below). I’m replacing the supplied backhead with a slightly modified one from Alexander models which just looks better to my eye.

I find the best way to assemble etched kits, in this scale anyway, is to use a nice powerful soldering - sometimes soldering is seen as a black art but with the right iron it's really not that bad! My chosen iron is an Antex 660TCS soldering station which has a temperature controlled iron and I use this for everything! The iron supplied as standard is a 50 watt type. Many people use the Antex 25w iron which is a decent general purpose iron but thanks most electics being in the 660TCS's transformer you end up with a very light weight iron with real power behind it! After using this many normal irons just seem big and clumsy.

Kits like this one are a delight to work with; everything fitted without the need to modify anything. Whilst I don't think we should have eveything handed to us on a plate it is is good to have kits which are properly thought out.

And finally, just to show that we had some nice weather in East Yorkshire over the last few days, the neighbour's cat sunning himself in my Mum and Dad's garden!

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