Thursday, November 23, 2006

It's raining lead

Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker.
Everyone says that you have to put as much weight as possible into model railway locomotives. Many magazine descriptions say, “I filled the boiler with lead” as though a model that is heavier than your car is a good idea.

Some weight is important and etched brass locomotives definitely need a bit of help. The mineral engine doesn’t offer much scope for lead though – the boiler is pretty much full of motor, gearbox & flywheel.

Fortunately the bulges in the saddle tank are hollow and have holes obviously intended to give access for weight addition. Just the job for some of that “liquid lead” I bought a long while ago and have hardly used I thought.

Pouring it in was out of the question but a small plastic spoon, the sort you get with ice creams in tubs, shovelled it in and some superglue poured on top should have solidified it.

I needed more glue as it turned out. Running in was interrupted by stopping to pull squashed lead balls out of the gearbox. I think I dismantled the model half a dozen times before giving in and pouring more glue into the hole. Even now the odd ball escapes but I’m hoping all the loose ones will soon fall out. I want the ratio of brass to superglue to stay about the same as it is now and not tip in favour of the adhesive.

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