Atlantic's works: 3D printed J21 interlude concluded?

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Atlantic 3279
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Re: Atlantic's works: J21 continues

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

Probably so, now that you've reminded me and now that I've found a sufficiently early photograph that shows evidence of a rear rail on one of these small, early tenders. I've only just fully realised the importance of figs 230 & 232 in RCTS Pt 5 which have been staring me in the face for weeks - even if they do show tenders behind J25s they are the right sort of tenders and are rare views!
Thinking about that unique NER upper lamp iron that Mick mentioned, was it perhaps made so sturdy in recognition or anticipation of the likelihood that the fireman would use it as a climbing aid when gaining access to the tank filler?
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Re: Atlantic's works: J21 continues

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

Helpful observations having been provided, I thought I had better do the correct things to the back of the J21s tender. I began by fitting the short horizontal handrail, and in the process of marking out the position for that I realized that I had placed my rudimentary top lamp iron slightly off-centre, so I've done something about that too. As well as re-positioning it, I've attempted with the aid of a little piece of plasticard superglued within the angles formed by my usual bent staple, to produce something more akin to the special NER pattern.
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It was time the loco had whistles too, and something more than just the outer trumpet to represent its safety valves. I produced the whistles by cutting short pieces of 1.5mm O/D brass tube, previously drilled 0.7+mm bore, fixing lengths of 0.7mm wire through the tubes (projecting well at both ends), then "turning" the ends of the brass tube pieces to a nice rounded profile in a hand-held chuck using miniature files and a small sharpening stone. I then cut a slot around the circumference of the tube with a razor saw, reduced the overall diameter of the tube a little by more turning against a file, cropped and tidied up the top projection of the central wire, and pronounced the job "done". The whistles are over-scale I'm sure, but they'll have to do.
As the safety valve trumpet was hollow, I couldn't merely stick a representation of a tail onto its top. Since there was space to attempt a representation of the valve tops, I had a go. Two short pieces of 1/16th inch O/D brass tube in this case represent the valves themselves, the "lever" across the valve tops and the (missing) central spring is suggested by a squared-off inverted U-shaped piece of 0.7mm wire fixed into the tops of the tubes, and the "tail" of thin square brass bar is soldered onto the bridging U wire.
I've also cut to shape, but not fixed, the best impression I can form so far of the possible external appearance of the cab roof ventilator. I don't know exactly what it should look like, and I wonder if it really matters much...
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Re: Atlantic's works: J21 continues

Post by NZRedBaron »

With all this work you're putting in, ever thought about collaborating with Paul to make a detail pack for his J21?
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Atlantic 3279
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Re: Atlantic's works: J21 continues

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

I think too few of the parts I've made are suitable for reproduction in resin to make it possible for me to create a "comprehensive" detailing pack by convenient and familiar methods. Almost all of what is needed is probably available from other sources anyway. It was purely my choice to make rather than try to buy parts.

As the whistles, the details added to the safety valve trumpet, and the tender filler are not yet firmly fixed to the model and may be of use in my later projects, I might conceivably make moulds for those, allowing copies of the fiddly little bits to be cast, with wire inserts for strength where appropriate. Of course, you can't polish and lacquer resin whistles and safety valves, so their "value" to some users is rather limited.

Anyway, my original intention regarding the J21 was that the printed body would provide me with an almost instant loco. I've obviously deviated greatly from that intention, and I now feel a pressing urge to get back to the many other projects that were waiting impatiently on my list before the J21 opportunity appeared.
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Re: Atlantic's works: 3D printed J21 interlude concluded?

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

Following on from that, barring coupling hooks, paint and transfers I'm very strongly tempted to call the detailing work on the J21 "finished" now. Before I borrow any bits off it to make moulds for minor parts that may be of further use, I've taken some more pictures. It has double hose connections both ends, as suits its vacuum and Westinghouse fitted status, although further study just today of the poor photograph of 289 at New Holland now suggests to me that there's a steam heat connection almost below the front drawhook too. Any third hose will have to be imagined on the model, or the season regarded as summer with steam hoses removed. Keen to avoid more delays to other projects I'm not really sure that I want to interfere with one other point, although I may be daft enough to have a go: if you study the side view of the loco there's a bit of an upturn to the rear corners of the running plate. Other than by making cuts under the edges of the sturdy lower cab sides, near their rear edges, and inserting thin material into those cuts, I doubt if anything will succeed in pushing down the corners of the running plate and keeping them down. There may be a minor example of the same sort of thing at the front corners of the running plate and the rear of the tender soleplate too, but how much will actually get noticed when the loco is painted, weathered and in use? Also, where does one draw the line when trying to simply make things look realistic?
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Re: Atlantic's works: 3D printed J21 interlude concluded?

Post by manna »

G'Day Gents

Lovely work on the J21. :D

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Re: Atlantic's works: 3D printed J21 interlude concluded?

Post by Hatfield Shed »

Atlantic 3279 wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 3:57 pm ... how much will actually get noticed when the loco is painted, weathered and in use? Also, where does one draw the line when trying to simply make things look realistic?...
There's Iain Rice' suggestion of consistency as a guide: once it fits in with the accuracy and detail level of the layout and stock, enough, because it won't call attention to itself. Painted, weathered and trotting past with a train what ​I would notice above all else is a neat little J21,

Thanks for the demonstration, I have never yet tried a resin loco body and this is encouraging.
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Re: Atlantic's works: 3D printed J21 interlude concluded?

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

Thanks. I have just spotted one other omission, even compared to the indistinct photograph of 289: smokebox door knob! Easily added.
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Re: Atlantic's works: 3D printed J21 interlude concluded?

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

The shape and size of the head on the slimmest kind of Italian-made brass pin / nail / rivet that I was able to buy some time ago from a model boat builder's supplier looked just right for a cheap and easy smokebox door knob.
Just after fitting that, another annoying omission struck me as I looked again at some pictures in Hoole's book that I had seen many times before. I had wondered, when I made the control rod for the sanding gear on the left side of the loco, what controlled sanding on the right side, but I left the question un-resolved. I evidently did not search hard enough for the answer, since I could now see that there was a shorter control rod on the right side, but only above the leading splasher.
That made me wonder how the mechanisms were connected, but only on very careful "informed" further study of images of the left sides of locos could I see that there was a link descending from the long rod, just behind the smokebox, which I've now added...
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A similar, but more visible vertical link that I could see to the short rod on the other side then seemed to make sense, on the assumption that both links were in fact levers on opposite ends of a cross-shaft behind the base of the smokebox. I think that shaft can in fact be discerned in a half-plan view that forms part of a drawing in Hoole's book. I know I've only put a bend at the rear of the rod on this side of the model, as opposed to a joint, but it is better than nothing.
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Re: Atlantic's works: 3D printed J21 interlude concluded?

Post by NZRedBaron »

Would you happen to have a list of the bits and pieces you cobbled together to finish it off? I was thinking to see about getting some bits from Comet, for when mine does arrive.
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Re: Atlantic's works: 3D printed J21 interlude concluded?

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

Apart from buffers and brake pipes, bits that I suspect might be commercially available, if of a suitable style, would include:

Wheel and handle fastening for smokebox door (but some had twin handles)
Boiler side-feed pipes and clack valves
Safety valve trumpet (and Ramsbottom valves within?)
Tall and short whistles
Tender handbrake column
Tender tool boxes?
Tender water filler?
Etched coal rails???
Wire, 0.45 and 0.75mm
Handrail knobs, short and medium.
You can buy etched lamp irons (as Mick has shown) but staples of spare bits of metal strip off an etch are easier to handle.

If you want specific NE pattern parts then London Road Models (who offer kits for similar locos) or Dave Bradwell, or Arthur Kimber (North Eastern Kits) might be worth trying. I suspect you'd struggle for suitable coal rails from any source as they are likely to be etched as part of a complete tender kit.
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Re: Atlantic's works: 3D printed J21 interlude concluded?

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

The Halfords rattle-can of red primer has now been deployed, and the results seem satisfactory for a first coat of primer. One or two things requiring further attention have been revealed of course, but nothing disastrous. Some fittings had been removed for separate attention before the primer was applied.
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Also before the paint, I had actually persuaded myself to have a go at carefully splitting the rear corner of the running plate from the cab side with the slimmest razor saw blade, and trying a slip of thin plastic packing in the cut, to see if I could straighten the slight up-curve in the running plate. That actually worked quite well, so I did both sides, fixing the packing in place and sealing the saw cut with superglue.
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As to the surface finish of the print, a little striation still shows through the primer in places despite my initial use of scraper and abrasives to prepare the surface. There's a bit of herringbone effect on the boiler, and some residual transverse striation of the running plate and splasher tops, as you'll see if you click on the image below to see the larger version. I'll give those areas further light abrasion and another coat of primer to see what happens, rather than expect top-coat alone to permanently bury the evidence.
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The cab roof, which I could get at quite easily at the beginning to smooth down, appears free of any unwanted texture between the strips that I added. The paint has revealed the nice printed features of the cab interior too. They may not be absolutely complete, but I doubt I'll want to add much, if anything. Erm, I'm afraid that strange wire across the back of the boxes seemed to be a necessary addition to stop the cab sides bulging outwards slightly at waist level. I doubt it will show up much when the model is in use.
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Final tweaking of the features of the tender front including adding short strips to the tops of the tool boxes to suggest catches, marginally trimming down the top board in the coal gate, and cutting a shovelling hole (blanked off behind) into which I can glue in a few small pieces of coal once painting is finished. I thought my add-on pieces at the ends of the tool boxes had joined the original ends perfectly, but it seems I need to fill a couple of narrow gaps...
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The tender sides also look smooth, with a hint of horizontal striation on the rear. I am not however saying that the tender sides are perfectly flat - they look fine in matt finish, which is what I'll want on a working loco but they might be a problem if a gloss finish were wanted, as I could see undulations while the paint was wet and shiny.
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I've tinkered further with the underframe too, rounding the axlebox faces slightly and adding the suggestion of two bolt heads apiece, using dots of PVA.
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Re: Atlantic's works: 3D printed J21 interlude concluded?

Post by S.A.C. Martin »

An excellent interlude. Lovely model.
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Re: Atlantic's works: 3D printed J21 interlude concluded?

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

Thanks Simon.

Now...given the depth of knowledge of some who use this site, I was surprised and relieved when nobody jumped down my throat following my choice of parallel cased buffers for the tender of the 1930s period J21, those being the older NE style but probably the more robust type to have on a model with their thick spindles (hollow on the real ones I gather).
Having super-glued them in place, I wasn't sure that I would get them off again, even I tried, without damage to the buffer beam or to even more of the model, but the more 1930s prototype photographs I looked at the more convinced I became that the later NE taper-cased buffers with slim spindles were far more typical, and that group standard replacements were rather more common than I originally imagined. It would be far easier to mask off the buffer beam as I wanted, before eventually spraying black paint, if the buffers were removed, so I decided to try. Remembering that acetone or cellulose thinners softens super-glue, I tested some of the latter for safety by soaking a piece of scrap print from the original bunker shape in a little pot of thinners for more than an hour. Finding that the printed material simply became flexible rather than sticky, cracked, blistered or dissolving completely, I concluded that it was safe enough to dip the buffer beam in thinners for a few seconds and then try to ease out the otherwise very firmly attached buffers.
I'm now delaying the final choice of buffers in case new information turns up.
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On another tack, having some time ago lost one half of the only mould I ever made for anything as small as a loco whistle (originally for my attempts at a J6 and K2), I've now restored my ability to produce resin whistles on a wire armature by creating a new mould for both the short and the tall type I cobbled up for the J21, adding a slightly enhanced version of the columns, spring and tail of the Ramsbottom safety valve to the same mould.
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I mentioned recently that even the improved tender print has some slight undulations in its side sheets that can become apparent if it has a shiny finish and is angled to catch the light. Well it isn't as easy to photograph the irregular reflections from the undulations as it is to see them with the human eye when the model is deliberately moved about to reveal the effect, but it should be possible to see some oblique bright and dark bands in this image of the tender wearing satin black:
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Finally for the moment, arising from the recent cab colours topic on this forum, I masked off the upper part of the cab interior before I sprayed the loco black, preserving the red primer as either the final colour or the base coat for some other red or brown shade.
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Re: Atlantic's works: 3D printed J21 interlude concluded?

Post by Paul_sterling »

Beautiful work Graeme, really nicely done!

Paul.
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