Sunday, May 17, 2015

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Since the weekend I visited Rainford when I messed up the pickups on the Hudson-Hunslet there hasn't been much time for doing any modelling. Today though I set myself the challenge of fixing the pickups once and for all.

My hunch was that the 0.112mm phosphor bronze wire I had was perfect as it was springy enough while having a tiny surface area so as not to introduce lots of extra friction. What I realised this morning was that as the wire came as a coil it naturally curves in one direction and so is springier when fitted one way as compared with the other. Last time I think I had it curving away from the wheels as that was the most natural direction given where the pickups are mounted. This time I've fitted it so that it is always wanting to curl towards the wheel instead. Fingers crossed this seems to work really well as even though it moves about a bit as the wheels turn it naturally springs back and continues to press on the treads. With such a light but continuous contact I've found that the slow running has also improved considerably.

So having finally solved that problem I think I'm now happy with all the current prototype parts; the chassis is easy to put together, the etches fit the body print and nicely reproduce the makers name on the front, and it moves as it can collect power! So the next step will be packaging things up as a kit and working out how much interest their is so I can figure out the size of the first batch.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Setting the Bar

As I mentioned in the previous post the newest prototype of my Hudson-Hunslet diesel locomotive wasn't behaving very well and so spent most of it's time at Rainford last weekend in the Narrow Planet display case. This meant though that I didn't need to leave the first prototype on display in the same place. Instead I put it on display in the 009 Society display case which meant it was entered into the modelling competition. Unfortunately I had to leave before the results were announced, although after the judging had taken place. It turns out that people really do like it!

I actually found out earlier in the week that it was awarded runner up in its class (Internal Combustion Locomotives) but it was nice to have the confirmation arrive in the post today. Given that this is only the third locomotive I've finished, in any scale, and the first one I've designed myself I'm really impressed that people seem to like it so much. It does mean that I've set the bar rather high though for any future models I build or design. I'm hoping it wasn't just beginners luck and that I'll be able to hone my skills and maybe one day produce an even better model for the competition.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Snug as a Bug

So having received the updated etches I started to build up the second Hudson-Hunslet body. This time I had a deadline as I wanted to take them to the 009 Society AGM held at Rainford last weekend. Unfortunately with pressures of both work and family that didn't actually leave me very much time for modelling. By Friday night though I had a second assembled and painted prototype. Unfortunately when fitting the body to the chassis I managed to mess up the pickups (I actually drew blood by stabbing myself with the end of the pickup wire). I did my best to quickly sort them out and packed both locos nicely in a box for the Saturday.

Unfortunately the damage to the pickups was worse than I had thought and while it did run briefly on James' Creech Bottom layout (thanks James) it didn't behave well enough to earn itself a place on the layout for long and it spent the rest of the day in and out of the Narrow Planet display case as a steady stream of people came and admired it. Many of them also gave lots of useful advice regarding the pickups so I've a few more ideas to try. If you were one of the people I chatted with thanks for taking the time to talk to me. It was a really great day and by far the friendliest model railway show I've ever been to.

I did get the chance to wonder and take a few photos (although somehow I managed not to buy anything) so hopefully there will be another blog post at some point.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Etch v2

The updated etches for the Hudson-Hunslet arrived in the post this morning (thanks Steve) and at first glance they look perfect.

After the problems with the nameplates disintegrating on the first batch I'd gone for half etched plates which you can see bottom left. Steve thought it was worth a second go with a slight adjustment. Basically the idea was to combine the grill and nameplate and to tweak the lettering slightly to give more surrounding metal to help keep things together. You can just see this attempt top right of the full etch but it's obviously clearer on the closeup shot.

As you can see we tried a couple of approaches for a single part, but the top right is just perfect; it's etched through and still keeps the grill forward of the nameplate. In other words, SUCCESS!

The other problem with the first etch was that the folded part didn't fit properly as I'd drawn it wrong. A quick check and that problem seems to have been solved as well, so I can now start building up a second body.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Better Pickups

So as I mentioned in the previous post I'd been having a few issues with the pickups on the Hudson-Hunslet. The main problem was that the material I was using to make the pickups was too thick which means it generated too much friction when pressed against the treads of the wheels. I did experiment with fitting it so that it brushed the backs of the wheels and while this was much better it was unbelievably difficult to setup.

I've now changed the material I'm using to 0.112mm phosphor bronze wire and this is both easy to fit and springy enough to give a good connection without producing excessive amounts of friction. You can see in the photo that the pickups now push gently against the tops of the wheels and this seems to work really well as the following video should demonstrate.

As I said in the previous post this isn't the final body for this loco as I'll need to check the revised etched parts so there will be more posts with another body at some point soonish.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dirty But Well Maintained

I've finally got around to painting up the body of the Hudson-Hunslet; I ran out of the crimson paint half way through hence the pause. While the etched parts didn't fit perfectly they fit well enough to give a good idea of how the final model will look. So here we are.

I went for a dirty but well maintained look, which I think I've pulled off reasonably well. I'm having a few issues with the pickups (replacement parts on order) so I won't subject you to a video this time. The artwork for the etches has been updated and sent off so hopefully I'll be able to build up another body shortly. Any suggestions for how I should paint that one? I've already had one vote for this colour scheme, although I notice that loco is quite the same model as this one.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

White or Black Underwear?

In the comments to yesterdays post, Paul mentioned that he uses a white undercoat when painting figures to avoid overly darkening the topcoat of paint. As I had a few spare figures laying around I thought I'd paint one in exactly the same way as yesterday but with a white undercoat.

On the left is the figure from yesterday while the one on the right started with a white undercoat. I think the difference is most obvious on the faces of the figures with the white undercoat giving a lighter skin tone. One thing I did find was that I had to use more paint for the topcoat as the white showed through a lot more than the black did, and any spots I missed were very obvious.

At the end of the day I don't think there is much to choose between the two approaches but I think I'll probably stick with the black undercoat as I found it ever so slightly easier.