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H0e forest railways with H0 branch line


Martijn Meerts

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Martijn Meerts

So, attempt number 2 at painting the frame...

 

Cleaning the parts went pretty easy, most of the paint / primer could just be scraped off, and only a few parts needed a little thinner and / or airbrush cleaner. Once cleaned up, I used a glass fiber pen to roughen the surface, gave the parts a bath in the ultrasonic cleaner (with a little more cleaning fluid mixed into the water), and then cleaned them in running water. Dried the worst of the water off, and left them overnight to completely dry. At this point, the parts actually looked rather interesting, and with some clear coat, it would actually make a pretty interesting model like this 🙂

 

After drying for a day, I give the parts a quick checkup, and then mounted them to some bamboo skewers. All the parts had holes in them for screws to mount them, so I used those to stick them on the skewers, that way I didn't have to worry about any residue from Blu-tack, or masking tape not being strong enough to hold the parts. Of course, it also allowed me to spray the whole part in 1 go. I cut the skewers off, and used my other skewers with alligator clips to hold the bamboo skewers. The ones with the alligator clips fit snugly into a cardboard stand I have.

 

Of course, me being me (and thus very forgetful), I forgot to clean the parts with the styrene cement before applying the metal prep. However, since I only touched the parts using gloves / paper towels after the ultrasonic bath, I'm pretty sure they were clean enough. Applying the metal prep went well, although I had shaken the bottle which caused a lot of small bubbles to form in the bottle, and on the parts. With some careful brushing, I managed to remove most of them. The metal prep dries rather fast, and for the amount of parts I did, I had to clean the brush a couple of times. Once dry, I applied some Vallejo Model Air sky grey with a couple of drops of thinner. Airbrush pressure set to about 20 PSI, airbrush limiter set fairly tight, so only very little paint was applied.

 

I left that to dry for a day, and noticed I had missed a couple of bits, and some of the areas where bubbles had formed were pretty visible. I sanded them down carefully with a 1000 grid sanding stick. Paint definitely stuck to the parts well, and no big chunks came off. Of course, since I painted on a very thin coat, the metal did start showing through after sanding. Rather than priming it again, I decided to just paint it the actual colour, considering the primer was just regular paint as well. For the actual colour I mixed 5 parts Vallejo Model Colour black, with 1 part Vallejo Model Colour white. This should gave me the so-called 'JNR Black', which is actually a dark grey (Munsell N1.5). I applied 2 coats, and after some initial inspection, it looked quite smooth. Holding it in the light definitely shows it's not black, and comparing it to some Kato / Tomix / MicroAce steamers, there's actually a really big difference. Not sure the ratio was off, or if models of steam locomotives are all wrong colour wise. Having a quick look at some pictures of a Kiso Forest Baldwin, or some IMON pre-painted steamers makes me think I'm actually quite close to the correct colour.

 

Probably going to do a little more research on the colour, and I'll post some pictures once the light is better and the parts have fully dried and cured overnight. If the colour is correct, I'll give the parts a satin clear coat or 2, and then let it cure until next weekend before assembling it.

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Martijn Meerts

Yeah, it's a ton of work, but it's really good to see things are working out better. And of course, all the techniques will be usable for all the other models as well.

 

I'll post some pictures of the parts tomorrow, see what people here think of the colour. There are multiple ways of looking at it of course. Maybe it's the correct colour from a prototype standpoint, but if it looks wrong on the model, it'll just be annoying. On the other hand, if you have a base colour that's a shade or 2 too light, adding washes / weathering would give it the correct colour, rather than make everything too dark.

 

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Important thing is to get a process that works well for you in things like this! Once that’s Sussed out it gets a lot easier in the long run and you are not constantly frustrated with results but pleased with them!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

And some pictures...

 

large.H0j-Hokutan-number-2-10-frame-parts-painted-again.jpg

Overview of the parts after the 2nd attempt at painting them.

 

large.H0j-Hokutan-number-2-11-cylinders-in-sunlight.jpg

The cylinders in direct sunlight, it's very obvious these aren't anywhere near black in this kind of light.

 

large.H0j-Hokutan-number-2-12-cylinders-neutral-light.jpg

The same cylinders in a more neutral light, definitely looks much better, I can't really make up my mind whether it needs to be darker or not. 

 

 

Looking at the Kiso Forest Baldwin loco at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiso_Forest_Railway#/media/File:Kisoshinrin_Baldwin.jpg shows it being nowhere near black either. The sunlight in this case seems to be coming pretty much from the top judging by the shadows.

 

Also, looking at this pre-built / pre-painted SL9600 from IMON https://www.imon.co.jp/MODELS/GOODS361.MBR/SL9600, it's also nowhere near black.

 

So, I'm thinking I'm actually pretty close colour wise, and some weathering and washes to darken it a little bit in some areas should give me good results. Also, the Vallejo Model Colour paint is very flat, so adding a satin coat might also help with how the colour is perceived. Flat colours to tend to look somewhat lighter, and a locomotive never looks completely flat either.

 

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Martijn Meerts

Decided to just go ahead and clear coat the parts. Doing some more research and checking pictures of both models and prototype, I'm certain I'm actually pretty close with the colour.

 

I bought some clear coat from the same company that I bought the metal prep stuff from, figured I might as well try it. I did watch some videos first, and the stuff seemed to go on pretty well. Of course, in practice it's quite a bit different. Since I didn't want to soak the parts like they do in the video, I decided to do a thinner coat by limited the flow of the varnish. This didn't work out too well since the varnish is actually pretty thick. Tried some different settings, but in the end ended up doing pretty much the same as the video. It looks pretty awful when still wet, but once dry it seems to be okay. It does soften the tiniest details a little bit, but looking at pictures of pre-built / pre-painted IMON locomotives showed they have the same 'issue'.

 

I'll leave the clear coat to cure for several days before assembling the frame again. The parts actually already feel completely dry to the touch, unlike my first attempt, where the paint never really seemed to have cured completely. There are a few bits where the metal shows through, this is around the holes I used to attach the parts to the skewers. It's not a big deal, since these are all screw holes and should not be visible once assembled. If they are, I can always do a little touch up work.

 

Quite happy how it turned out. It's definitely not perfect, but not bad for a 2nd attempt.

 

All in all, it's probably not necessary to clear coat all the parts separately before assembling, then again, theoretically it wouldn't have been necessary to paint all the parts before assembling either 🙂

 

Anyway, some pictures:

 

large.H0j-Hokutan-number-2-13-parts-satin-clear-coat-neutral-light.jpg

All the parts for the frame (minus motor) laid out. This is in neutral light, and the JNR black actually looks black enough if you compare it to the black plastic gears.

 

large.H0j-Hokutan-number-2-14-parts-satin-clear-coat-sunlight.jpg

Same parts, but now in sunlight. There's actually a very visible texture on the parts in this light. With the naked eye it's difficult to see. I'm pretty sure the texture is mostly the satin clear coat, which the video warned about. They did say if you don't add enough clear coat for the parts to remain wet for several minutes, you'd end up with a rough texture as a result. I'm not too worried about it since this is just the frame, but for the shell I'll need to be a bit more careful.

 

large.H0j-Hokutan-number-2-15-cylinder-satin-clear-coat-closeup.jpg

Close up of the cylinder detail. The clear coat has softened the bolts (?) a little bit,, and again, there's a very clear texture on this part.

 

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Martijn Meerts

So, the frame parts have been curing for about a week now, according to the info on the varnish I used, it should be at around 70% cured, 100% takes at least 2 weeks. I'm probably going to not assemble the frame until next weekend, even though it's really tempting to assemble it right away 🙂

 

In the meantime, I've been working on the shell a little bit. I've got most parts soldered by now. I added the inner walls of the water tanks, and soldered those in place, making sure to close off the entire seam. I also soldered the boiler and the front wall of the cab to close off the seam left there. Finally, I soldered on the last couple of bigger white metal detail parts. I'm getting better at it, since it's not taking me half a day to solder one part. Solder still has issues sticking to the white metal, and it does require quite a bit of patience.

 

The final parts are some detail bits on the bottom of the loco, which are easily soldered in place, some tiny white metal parts which I'll glue in place, and then some hand rails and hoses and pipes and such, which I'll probably also glue in place. Not sure if I'll use epoxy, or some of the CA glue by the same company that did the metal prep stuff, which seems to be pretty strong glue. CA is a lot easier to use of course.

 

 

In the meantime, I've also have a look at my Kiso Forest Baldwin. I worked on this quite a bit before getting the tools and materials from IMON. I had epoxied some of the white metal parts onto the boiler, but the boilers wasn't soldered in place yet. Soldering it would cause issue with the epoxy, as well as the white metal parts potentially melting. Spend some time removing the glued parts using some acetone and heat. I did end up de-forming the boiler quite a bit, but was able to fix that. There are definitely some parts that could've been done better, but considering my limited skills and tools at the time, I'm reasonably okay with it. Initially, the idea was to add a speaker to the loco, but I've abandoned the idea of sound on the layout, so instead I'll be adding a power pack. Adding the power pack should mean I can remove the 2nd motor, which is very much visible in the cab.

 

The kit is actually further along than I remembered, so shouldn't be too long to finish it. I'm wondering if I should just leave the frame assembled and paint the thing as a whole instead of the separate parts. It's unlikely the final model will need to be disassembled often, if at all. Especially considering these things are going to be running at low speeds and short distances, wear and tear should be fairly limited.

 

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Martijn Meerts

Soldered on a couple of smaller bits, went pretty well, and started doing some general cleaning up solder and whatnot. There's still a few detail left to add, and I need to figure out how to go about replacing some missing 0.4mm brass rod. I seem to either have misplaced it, or World Kougei added 1 of the wrong diameter rod, or the instructions aren't correct. Unfortunately, having some experience with World Kougei by now, all 3 of these have about an equal change of being the case 😄

 

Some images:

 

large.H0j-Hokutan-number-2-17-body-front.jpg

View from the front, still missing are the 2 antenna looking things at the front, which interestingly enough according to the prototype should've been on the water tanks. The 2 detail pieces on top and at the front of the water should've been at the front of the train. Personally, I prefer how World Kougei's version looks, so it's all good. Also still missing some hand rails and other various plumbing, as well as the whistles.

 

 

large.H0j-Hokutan-number-2-18-body-rear.jpg

View from the rear, nothing to spectacular here. Obviously the framing around the opening is missing, as are the grab bars. All these are stainless steel, so they'll be glued on. And of course, the number plate (rectangular outline) and the logo plate (circular outline) are also missing. For the number I can just go with the included number 2, for the logo I'm looking into something custom, although I don't know any place where I can get something this small made without costing as much as the loco itself. 

 

 

large.H0j-Hokutan-number-2-19-body-front-top.jpg

Another view from the front, this time showing the detail on the top a bit more. Again, the 'damage' to the roof and the small dents here and there are intentional to give it a well used look. This picture also show the seams between boiler and front wall of the cab, as well as the inner and outer water tank. I've closed these off as much as possible, and gave them some initial cleaning.

 

I don't actually have any couplers for this thing, World Kougei just specified which IMON couplers are compatible. Not sure yet if I want to use those (I'll likely order some either way, need to order some other stuff as well), or see if I can add some sort of DCC controlled coupler for shunting purposes. Getting close to something that looks like a locomotive though, and quite looking forward to getting my first H0j locomotive up and running.

 

 

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Looking great martijn!

 

fyi, you can also use those dental bits I sent you as micro files for getting into corners for solder. Just stick them into a pin vise. You can use a wire brush in the roto tool to clean them (I do this with solder on larger files). They get into corners I can’t get into with my little jewelers files or do with with a blade.

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

I've been using the dental bits in my mini Dremel at low speed, and that works quite well. With the solder pellets, there's not much solder left to clean. On the pictures it looks like there's quite a lot of solder around the seams, especially between the boiler and front cab wall, but it's actually flowed out really well into a very thing layer, so once it's had it's coats of primer/paint/varnish, it's unlikely you'll see anything. Definitely going to clean it up a bit more before adding all the finicky details.

 

I also need to look into some interior detail, the water tanks should extend into the cab, so I need to create 2 parts for that. Should be fairly easy with some styrene really. And then some detail around the boiler and some indication of controls. I was going to 3D print those, but the interior of this loco is so basic, I should be able to scratch build it using some styrene, metal rods and a bit of putty. It also needs to just be an indication considering the view into the cab is very limited.

 

Going to add wooden floor and ceiling (ceiling is optional, hardly visible), and possibly a ceiling light. Seems the prototype of the train never had any head or tail lights, so I'll skip those. Not sure if the prototype had any sort of coal storage, but if it did, it's not very obvious and probably wouldn't be noticeable in the model even if I added one.

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Martijn Meerts

The saga of the Hokutan #2 frame continues...

 

Since the clear coat on the frame has had 2 weeks of curing, I figured I'd assemble it. Of course, even though the paint layers aren't very thick, some bits and pieces wouldn't go together quite like they should. With a little cleaning up and filing, I managed to get most of it to go back together like it should. Needless to say, next time I'm painting an assembled frame 🙂

 

Glued in the wheel inserts, making sure they're quartered. I had to partially guess this considering it's almost impossible to see. However, there's quite a bit of play in the drive rods, so a few degrees of was fine. In the end, it ended up pretty good actually, don't think I'm off by more than maybe 2 or 3 degrees. Decided to add the drive rod system, which is incredibly finicky. I came across 2 issues though...

 

The pin holding the rods in place in the center wheel is fairly thin, and in tends to pop out of the little hole. I believe I can fix this by carefully filling the hole in the wheel with some putty, and then drill a new hole.

 

Worse though, is that the pin for the center wheel has a fairly complex construction with a rod and a mounting bracket attached to it. Obviously there's a left and a right version it, but my kit contained 2 left version. There's no way to disassemble it as far as I could see, so I can't fix it myself. It's an old kit already, and long sold out. I bought mine sometime in 2014, so no idea if it's possible to get spare parts for it. I'm also pretty sure I bought it from Loco1hobby, which is of course no longer in business. Might have to give RG-Rokko a try, which in itself is dangerous, because there's various bits and pieces I want that they can get for me 😄

 

I also worked on the shell a bit more, just a few bit of pipes and such to add, and it should be done. However, if there's no parts to be had, it might end up a (rather expensive) out of commission loco on a siding ...

 

 

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Some pictures of the painted and assembled frame (minus motor) and a quick test with the body on. 

 

large.H0j-Hokutan-number-2-20-assembled-frame.jpg

The frame with all the drive rods and everything installed. The pin in the center wheel is a bit too loose, but that's fixable. The eccentric crank and rod in this picture is a pre-made assembly, which is the part that's missing for the other side of the loco. Overall it's pretty smooth, still haven't added any grease yet.

 

 

large.H0j-Hokutan-number-2-21-frame-and-body-test.jpg

Quickly testing the body on the frame. Focus is a bit off on the picture, but should give a bit of an idea anyway. Also, most details are added to the body here, just some small things left such as pipes for the sand dome etc. I also need to make a 3d model for the interior and get it 3d printed (I said before I can scratch build it from styrene, but since my last post I bought a resin 3d printer, found one that was on sale for a good price ;) ). I found a picture of a coal bunker in a similar train which was interesting. Basically it looks like the water tanks are extended into the cab, but the water tank part in the cab is actually a coal bunker. Judging by the photos of the replica of this loco, that's not prototypical, but I do like the idea, so I'm going to go with that.

 

As for the missing part, I contacted RG-Rokko about it. I had some other questions to ask, so decided to check with them for the part as well. They contacted World Kougei, but the part is no longer available. However, World Kougei did say that if I can send them the part that's not correct, they can make me a correct one (either new, or modify the existing one), so I'm going to send in the part to RG-Rokko, and they'll forward it to World Kougei. I have to say, great service from both, and definitely wasn't expecting World Kougei to offer to actually create a part for such an old kit.

 

Obviously it's going to take a while, but the train can run without the parts, it'll just look a bit strange 🙂

 

 

 

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Martijn Meerts

I figured, since I need to make quite a lot of details parts to get the detail I want, not just for the trains, but also details around the track, and things like small fishplates and tieplates and reinforcements around the turnouts etc, I'd just get a 3d printer.

 

I managed to get a Nova3D Elfin for 300 euro on a sale, it can be had about 40 euro cheaper ordering from China, but I decided to order from a shop in the Netherlands in this case. Got delivered the next day, and so far only did the built-in test print which came out great. For custom stuff I need to do a quick introduction to a modelling software (probably Blender) to get the hang of the UI, and then I should be able to start prototyping some stuff. It's also not as much of a mess as I feared, but I definitely need to get some additional tools for cleaning, and some cleaning liquid specifically for cleaning resin 😄

 

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Started working on my World Kougei WaFu22000 kit. The frame of it is pretty much complete, apart from the wheels and axle bearings. The kit does include the axle bearings, I just haven't added them. World Kougei doesn't supply wheels with quite a lot of their kits, and instead tells you which IMON wheels to use. Same goed with couplers. I've ordered the wheels and couplers from RG-Rokko, so those should be coming my way at some point in the hopefully no-too-distant future.

 

As for the axle bearings, I've made a 3D model of the white metal bearings that come with the kit.I'm going to try and 3D print some axle bearings, and then see if I can add some of the brass power pickup cups that PEHO makes. I have some N-scale ones, so I might need to get some TT or H0 scale ones as well. This would allow me to add some lighting to the crew cabin and possible light up the tail lights. The idea is to also make an interior for the car, even though it won't generally be visible during regular running.

 

Speaking of running, since I only have a general idea of how the H0 layout should look, and since I have no idea what the minimum radius of the SL9600 will be, I can't really start building anything yet. So I'm thinking of doing an Inglenook or Timesaver puzzle diorama, or possibly a combination of the 2 where 1 of the puzzles uses H0j, and the other H0e. This will also serve as a photo plank of sorts, as well as for experimenting with laying the track, driving the turnouts, and general scenery ideas. I could just do a simple photo plank as well (and I might do one of those either way), but being able to run something would be nice as well.

 

 

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I did a little research on Inglenooks and Timesavers, and came across something called the 'Gum Stump and Snowshoe'. This is a concept for a micro layout with 2 levels, with a switchback going up and down the 2nd level. Looking at it, I thought it might be a nice idea to combine this with the Inglenook and Timesaver puzzles.

 

The bottom level would be an Inglenook using H0j. There would also be a small section of either dual gauge, or H0j and H0e right next to eachother. The H0e line would be the one going up to the 2nd level, where the Timesaver is located. 

 

I have some space on top of my desk, currently being using by a not-quite-completed 1/24 scale brass C62-2. I'm thinking that space could also be good for a micro layout, with the C62 moving either to a shelf in the train room, or possibly, once finished, in the living room. The available size is about 150 x 27 cm, so it's going to be a bit of a tight fit, but since the track will be hand laid, including the turnouts, there's plenty flexibility. I'm going to experiment a little bit with it, could be a fun little layout 🙂

 

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Martijn Meerts

Well, various things going on...

 

I've added some detail to the Hokutan #2 loco. I only have some sanding pipes left to add according to the manual, but I might add some extra bits. For example, looking at the pictures of the prototype there's some pipes going from the cylinders to the main body of the loco, so I'm likely going to add those as well. I don't have enough brass rod to add the sanding pipes, either because I misplaced it, or World Kougei didn't add enough, but either way, I have various brass rods on order. Including some really thin rod for the piping from the cylinder to the body.

 

Also for the Hokutan #2, I've sent the part of the drive rods system that was wrong over to RG Rokko, and they'll pass it on to World Kougei to get a new / correct one made. Probably going to take a while to get that, but I've had the kit for at least 5 years, so what's another few weeks / months 😉

 

Worked some more on the WaFu22000 as well. The frame is done, and started working on the body. Of course, I sort of messed up again and did things out of order. Although, 'out of order' is relative, since there's no order specified. Either way, it's an easy fix, so no big issues there. Also started looking at some interior for it. I found some pictures of interiors of similar cars, so I might use those as reference. That is, if I'm going to add interior of course.

 

Did some more 3D printing experiments, still learning where to place supports and the minimum thickness of them. As well as figuring out curing times for the various resins, and which program to use to add supports etc. I did another test run of the cinder blocks, but the supports were too weak so they didn't print at all. I also updated my fish plates which didn't print the first time. The 2nd time they did, but they're just too thin to really do anything with. I have some alternate ideas to try. For the WaFu22000, I adjusted the axle bearings somewhat and they came out fine, so I can test those. And for the Hokutan #2 I did a first print of some interior detail, basically just crude mockups to test size and placement of the coal bunkers, and the base plate for the front of the boiler / loco controls.

 

Lastly, I've looked into the idea of the small shunting puzzle layout. I do have some useable plywood for it, but the wood for the frame I thought I had is all twisted, and not really usable. So the option is to get some new wood, or split the layout in 2 shorter sections since I do have quite a bit shorter beams for the frame. I'm leaning towards splitting it for ease of storage and possible travel. The overall idea has also changed somewhat. The lower level will be all H0j, including the ramp going up. On the upper section will then be a dual gauge bit where the H0e trains can be offloaded, and H0j trains can be loaded. Lower level will have an Inglenook, either a 5-3-3 or a 3-2-2. I'm not too worried about difficulty as it won't be for extensive puzzling, and a 3-2-2 might fit the overal layout better. The upper level will likely be a custom puzzle instead of a timesaver. I found an interesting one on YouTube that fits the idea of the layout quite well. I also need to finish up my Kiso Forest Baldwin so I can do some minimum radius testing with that 🙂 

 

I have to say though, the more I'm working with the H0 project, the more I'm tempted to switch to H0 completely. On the other hand, every time I go up to the train room and see the yard and helix, I feel it's a shame to not continue with the N-scale layout (not to mention my collection of N-scale trains of course 😄 )

 

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Noooooo martijn, don’t go to the dark side!   😜

 

ifnyou sell off your n scale collection you will flood the market and ours will be worthless!

 

jeff

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On 5/27/2020 at 12:44 AM, cteno4 said:

Noooooo martijn, don’t go to the dark side!   😜

 

ifnyou sell off your n scale collection you will flood the market and ours will be worthless!

 

jeff

 

If you do actually sell off your n scale collection Martijn, do give us like 80% discount 😄

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Martijn Meerts

80% discount is a bit much 🙂 Most trains have only had a few minutes of test running, if even that. I don't like selling trains though, so there's that.

 

 

Not much to update with regards of the project. Slowly working on the WaFu22000 body. It's going together quite well, the experience I've built up on other kits is really starting to show. I also bought some heat resistant silicone finger tip protection thingies. They're great, because they allow me to hold small parts in place while soldering without burning my fingers. They're resistant up to like 260 degrees. Building the body is going to take a while, there's a LOT of detail bits and pieces to be soldered / glued on. It's also starting to get warm here, so being up on the attic / train room is starting to get somewhat uncomfortable.

 

I was also going through the IMON SL9600 instructions, and finally figured out how to determine the order to build things in. The manual lists the main parts of the loco, which I believed was also the general build order. Each bag of parts is also numbered, which I believed to just be to make it easier to find them, but as it turns out, the numbers on the bags are actually also the order to build the kit in. Most bags have only the parts for a single step, others have parts for multiple steps. When I initially started building the kit, I started with the main frame, power pickup and wheels. The frame is indeed bag number 1, but the wheels are bag number 9, and the power pick up is bag number 7. Luckily, none of the parts I added were soldered, so I took everything apart again. I'll likely start the actual building of it sometime soon though.

 

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Martijn Meerts

The past few days I've been going through the SL9600 kit instructions and parts. I've checked all the parts and compared them with the instructions. 

 

I did come across a couple of issues, it seems 1 part in the instructions has the wrong part number. It lists part 18-8 twice, but 1 of them in supposed to be 18-18. That one was pretty easy to figure out with help of the parts list. However, there are also 2 parts on the parts list which I can't find in the instructions at all. It's likely that's because there are multiple versions of the SL9600 kit, each with a large number of common parts, but also some kit-specific ones. So it could be the 2 parts I can't find are for a different version of the kit.

 

All in all though, everything seems to be included. Some of the really small and fragile parts are bent a little bit, so I have to carefully bend those back. In most cases it's the white metal parts.

 

I guess I don't really have any reasons anymore now to not get started on building the thing 😄

 

 

(Also, I once again started an attempt at keeping a blog on the various projects. Used a downloaded template this time instead of a complicated custom theme, so updating the software is easier. Writing good posts is a lot more difficult than it seems. Link to the blog is in my signature, not much on it yet, but I do hope to keep updating it semi-regularly)

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On 4/3/2020 at 6:09 AM, Martijn Meerts said:

I did that on purpose considering I'm going for a look of pretty heavy use and abuse of the rolling stock. I'll leave the boiler pretty much intact though, steam locomotive with a damaged boiler is probably not very safe 😄


No, Martijn, not very safe at all. 😉

 

But what you see on a complete loco is only thin sheet metal cladding that is applied over the lagging or insulating material to keep it in place and protect it from the weather. The so-called boiler bands are simply lengths of sheet metal strap that clamp the sections of cladding in place. Even on a well maintained loco there are dings, dents and ripples visible. So you shouldn't have any concerns about having a few visible imperfections on your boiler. Same with the steam dome, what you're seeing is sheet metal covering the actual dome. They also get knocked about when removed during maintenance. Sandboxes or domes are usually castings or fabricated from heavy gauge steel plate, so they tend not to get damaged.

 

Another sign of an engine that's had a hard life are patches riveted or welded over the bottom of the water tanks and bunker where they join with the footplate. 

 

But all that aside, I've had a chance to catch up with all your recent posts, and I'd like to compliment you on the nice work you're doing. I've no doubt that with the experience you've gained building the Hokutan loco, your 9600 will turn out very well.

 

All the best,

 

Mark

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Martijn Meerts

Thanks for the info Mark 🙂 That picture looks scary, the amount of pressure built up is kinda scary when you think about it.

 

Not done all that much again, it's been getting warm here, so the train room is starting to get uncomfortable to be in. Later this weeks it's going 30+, so probably won't be doing anything this weekend either. After the weekend I might move some materials / kits / tools downstairs to a room where it's a bit cooler though.

 

I did receive my order from RG-Rokko, including some brass rod to finish some of the details on the Hokutan, so I'll try to get that done at least. Still have to adjust the cab details as well after my first test print of those. The small coal bunkers just need some small adjustments, the boiler still needs all the detail. I only printed a basic plate to try and get the size right, so that needs looking into a bit more.

 

The package also included wheels and couplers for the WaFu22000. I've had a quick look at the axle bearings I printed, and they seem to work. I've tried adding small brass cups for power pickup, still need to do some more checking there, but it seems to work. The body has also seen some progress. I've added the window frames and built 1 of the doors. Still quite a bit of work left on that.

 

Finally, with the package I also got several plastic IMON H0j WaMu50000 and ToRa6000 kits. Detail wise these are nowhere near the WaFu22000 for example, but considering they cost 1400-1600 yen, I'm not complaining. It does look to me like they're originally kits for 16.5mm gauge, with some adjustments to make them 12mm. The underfloor detail, springs, axle bearings etc. have had no modifications though, so next to the WaFu22000, they'll look quite out of place most likely. I'll have to see if I can fix that, either by modifying the  detail bits, or 3d printing some new ones.

 

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