Monday, September 26, 2011
Making loco wheel balance weights
Not being happy with the supplied C15 locomotive balance weights, I decided to have a go at making them myself. This being a 7mm scale model, I didn't think the result would be too fiddly to handle, in fact I reckoned I might make a reasonable job of it.
My material of choice was thin black plasticard and the plan was to use the old set of compasses with two points to scribe the curves. I've found in the past that if you scribe them back and forth, the plasticard can be snapped along the lines without any further cutting.
The outer line was easy - measuring the outside diameter of the spoked section gave me this. The inner curve is larger but by an amount I couldn't work out. If anyone knows the match for this, please enlighten me but with a method suitable for someone who only scrapped an "O" level in the subject.
In the end I used good, old fashioned trial and error. After a few goes I got something that was about the same depth as the etched weight and carved the moon-shaped out of the plastic. These were then stuck in place using superglue.
The glue seemed to affect the plastic a little, probably because I used quite a lot to build up the depth. A little green filler and some smoothing down soon sorted this though.
Once problem I did have was working out how far around the wheel the weights should be fitted. The photos appear to show the centre matching the crank-pin sometimes and other being slightly offset. I went with the former but if someone can prove me wrong then I might be up for modifying them.