Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Making clock hands for steam engine noses

Helping clock handsIf there is an area of disappointment with the P Class kit, it's the face. A set of moulded clock hand on the smokebox door don't do the model any favours at all.

You've probably guessed that I'm not much of a perfectionist if you've been reading for a while. I'd rather finish a project than have it stall forever waiting for perfection. I'm too impatient to be a great model maker and this loco is being built faster than most as I just want to finish something quickly.

I can't let the cast lump stay though. Normally I'd shell out 4 quid for some smokebox door adornment from Eileen's Emporium. It's not much of an other on it's own though and I won't see them at a show for a few weeks so I'll bodge something nearly as good up myself.

Finescale modelers will tell you different but for most of us, clock hands (Look, I know it's not the right term but it's what everyone calls them) made of the three bits of 0.45mm brass wire will look fine. I know they should taper to a ball at the top of each hand but in 4mm scale this is a tiny matter and if you are looking closely enough at a model to spot this then I'm telling you to get your greasy gricer nose off my train set.

Construction is eased by holding two of the three bits of wire in a set of "Helping hands". One of those tools we all have but rarely find a use for. A dash of solder and flux completes the job. Then the wire is cut roughly to length and glued in a hole drilled where the cast lump was. Finally trimming happens on the loco.

Result - a much nice face. Both on the little engine and on mine as I grin with the pleasure of saving some money.

Clock Hands


neil whitehead said...

You stick a photo of your visage on the front as per Mr Nevard!

Phil Parker said...

I don't think so. Besides, I'm a J69 apparently.