Friday, February 25, 2011

165DS Buffers

BuffersWith my spares box unable to produce anything that looked sufficiently like a 165DS buffer, I had only two options; go and find something better, or modify what I had to hand.

Finding better buffers means, in my opinion, going to a show and looking at trade stands. Teh Interweb is all very well and good for big items, but the thousands of little castings available never get photographed properly so you end up ordering several packets in the hope of getting what you want. I'm building an industrial, not a GWR standard beast so my needs are hardly mainstream !

Being a bit of a bodger, and having some basic brass buffers that looked nearly there, I decided to see what I could do to modify them. The problems were that the heads weren't big enough and the bases should have a square plate.

My material of choice was "shim brass", basically very thin brass sheet. It's cropped up in railway modelling since the earliest days of the hobby and I've always seen it's use as the mark of a quality model maker. Old magazines tell of the greatest craftsmen knocking up stunning models from brass shim. Which is why I bought some and then never found a use for it.

However, with heads on the buffers already, anything I added to get the extra face size needed to be thin. It also had to be round and so I searched for a punch rather than try to cut perfect circles. After a lot of digging in the toolbox I found a multi-headed leather punch. Sadly it wouldn't go through the metal, worse, none of the punches was big enough.

On the desk beside the computer was a normal office hole punch. In desperation I tried it and was rewarded with nice round holes in the brass sheet. Inside the punch were bent disks. Flattening these out I reckoned they looked about right for the buffer heads I required. Typical - spend two hours looking for the right tool and the thing you need is right beside you...

The buffer heads and new faces were tinned and then soldered together. The edges were tweaked to produce a convex face with some pliers and then it was finished with files and emery paper. The results looked OK.

The bases were easier. More brass cut to a rectangular shape with scissors and drilled to accept the spike at the back of the buffer. I didn't try to represent the bolt heads although I wonder about some plastic cubes superglued in place to do this. Maybe later.

So - in the end a simple and reasonably quick modification. Money saved, spares box depleted a little and best of all the model moves forward.

1 comment:

CF said...

You know what? It's called real modelling.