Monday, January 26, 2009

Cab roof

Assembled roof
Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker.
Re-scaling etched railway kits opens up many possibilities. With a few button pushes on a photocopier or CAD package models can be made available in different scales with only a small investment in castings by a manufacturer. Obscure scales rely on this for trade support - many 7mm kits have been shrunk to 3mm which allows those of us in the smaller scale to enjoy a wide variety of locomotives that we otherwise wouldn't have a chance at as we simply wouldn't generate enough sales to justify creating the kit in the first place.

Sadly, just because you can produce something, doesn't mean it is buildable. The parts always scale, the concepts are less reliable.

On the dock tank the cab roof is in 3 sections. According to the instructions you attach the sides and clip the centre part in as required. This way the cab interior is accessible for painting - A Good Thing. In 10 and even 7mm scales I can see this working. 4mm modellers struggle. It's another case of a prototype that doesn't make life easy for a model maker. The roof doesn't have the normal lines and instead is more like a continuous curve. Result; the tops of the sides have to bend in smoothly yet there is little metal to grab hold of to form the curve.

I fiddled with this and eventually gave up. The sides came off the loco and I turned the entire roof and sides into a single part. This was then bent up over screwdriver handles (the bend occurs just above the top of the cab doors gap) with the gentler top bend made with fingers.

All of this means the soldering had to be done from the outside. Lots of flux and tiny amounts of solder were employed to keep cleaning up to a minimum. At this point things were looking good.

Raked roofThen I sat back and looked along the loco. Now I appreciate that I'm not completely intimate with every single member of this class of locomotive but I'm pretty confident that none ever visited a custom car shop and had a sporty rake applied to the roof for aerodynamic or style purposes. Certainly the one I'm building didn't. It appears that the cab back is taller than the front by just under 1mm.


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