Monday, May 16, 2011

Boiler bands, braces and loving the RSU

Boiler top detail

Boiler bands on model locomotives - a good or a bad thing ?

In real life they are impossibly thing and many prefer to represent them with sticky tape or even a good coat of paint. Kitmakers like to give you some etched strip though, even if it is nearly as thick as the prototype.

The C15 kit has bands and half etched grooves to fix them in to. Normally I struggle to fit them neatly but that's because I'm too lazy to get out the Resistance Soldering Unit (RSU). When I do, remembering to tin the back of the bands, fitting is a breeze. Slosh the flux around and spot the metal in place with the probes. The heat is localised so I don't have to heat the entire boiler up just to get the solder running on the back of the strip. So tidy is this methods that I was able to fix that band shown lifting in the photo but not spotted by me until I looked at the picture without having to spend more time burnishing excess solder way, just wiping a bit of flux off the top.

The braces work in the same way. For some reason the didn't fit the boiler properly, being well clear at the top at first. I looped them in half with a piercing saw, filed a bit out of the middle and then soldered them in place, again with the RSU. A bit of fettling and you can't see the join.

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