Friday, November 25, 2011

A foreigner teaches me a bit about compensated chassis

Western loco

"A Great Western loco on your layout ?" I hear you cry, "How could such a thing happen ?"

Well, I'll admit that something Great Wobbly turning up on one of my train sets is unusual. It's not that there is anything wrong with GWR stuff, it's just that all the other companies were better and GW fans are a but too fundamentalist for my liking.

Anyway, at Warley (yes, I'll stop mentioning it now) Peter Stratford was manning the 3MM Society stand behind our layout. On it he was merrily building rolling stock, assisted by his young daughter. At 12 she shows many a grown-up how to assemble a Parkside kit. Among his collection was this 94xx Pannier Tank and coach which he was keen to see visit our bit of Scotland.

Late on Saturday, when I hoped no-one was watching, we gave it a go. And it worked. The loco ran happily around the layout. Peter was pleased as he doesn't have anywhere to try it at the moment so the fact it could handle our sharpest curve was good news.

As someone who struggles with flexi-chassis construction, I was interested to note a few differences from my own methods. First, he doesn't use hornblocks for the wobbly axles, just bearings that have been opened out top and bottom. Movement is minimal, nothing more than a couple of mm, my models have twice this which makes fitting pickups awkward but I can't see a disadvantage with making use of the full treavel of the 4mm scale hornblocks - or is there ? Also the engine, being whitemetal, is very heavy. Twice my engines weight at least.

Some lessons to be learned there perhaps. Not enough to convince me to got GW though !


Going Loco said...

Phil, do you mean the top hat bearings are opened out or that the top hat bearings float in the sideframes or are there no top hat bearings?

Phil Parker said...

In this case I mean the top hat bearings are opened out to be lozenge shaped but only slightly. I have read ideas for ignoring them altogether though as the bearing surface is the compensation beam so they are supurflous.