Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Fowler chassis

Fowler Shunter Chassis

As soon as I awoke the Fowler locomotive from its slumbers, the model was plonked on some track and fed a dose of 12volts. To my surprise, it sprang into life and trundled around pretty smoothly.

Removing the body, this chassis is a bit different from the norm. For a start, those brass frames are super-hefty milled brass. None of your wafer-thin etchings here. The rods are also milled. Presumably both processes were carried out with terrific accuracy judging by the quality of the running. All I had to do was screw the frame together square and all would be OK.

Another departure from the norm are the sprung plunger pick-ups, something that would have been in the kit and I'd have no choice over. Big holes in the frames would have resulted from me leaving these out. As it happens, I think sprung plungers are a good thing. When they work, they should work well and seems like a much better engineering solution to the job than my normal bent bits of phosphor bronze wire.

Powering the beast is a chunky Mashima can motor driving a set of gear (can't work out the ratio and don't care much) in a robust gearbox. Why the wiring includes a chocolate block is a mystery to me but I suppose there was a reason at the time.

All of this could be for naught if the jackshaft drive didn't work, and they are notoriously difficult to set up, but even this is behaving itself. Whitemetal cranks on the end of a long axle appear to be the order of the day. I'll take a closer look at this some time as I hate making these things yet this one works. Perhaps I can nick some ideas for future models.

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