Building a ModelWorks 5700 Pannier Tank Engine in 5" Gauge
The internet came to my rescue when trying to find a local Coal Merchant; Day Brothers in Colney Heath (www.daybros.co.uk). They are very friendly and helpful especially when you turn up one lunch time not knowing what you want! Paraffin was not so easy to find at first, then I realised that the most common use today is for Green House heaters. My local Garden Nursery stocks Paraffin in 4 litre containers, and can even be found in my favourite B&Q. Tap water is most definitely not recommended, especially when you live in darkest Hertfordshire, where the water is very hard. Rain water is recommended, and whilst a good supply can be found at the running track of the St Albans club, I want a supply of my own for other usage etc. The only place I can put a water butt is to the rear of my garden shed, therefore after another trip to the Nursery for a water butt and B&Q for guttering, a reliable water supply has been secured.
Before fully getting into kit 12, I realised that the locomotive was with the fitting of the safety valve from kit 12 and with all other holes being already suitably blocked off in a condition to run on air via the boiler. I made up an adapter, which allowed an air supply to pressurise the boiler via the locomotives pressure gauge connecting elbow.
To my amazement it worked and the wheels went round! The only problem that came to light at this stage was that the both cylinder/piston rod seals were leaking. Whilst this is one of the hardest jobs to remedy on an inside cylinder 5 gauge locomotive, I was pleased to find the problem now and not once fully assembled and in steam.
The easiest way to get at the seals and re-pack them is to turn the Locomotive upside down. Fortunately earlier in the build I made a jig for use in such circumstances. I will have to alter the jig once the cab and dummy brake pipes etc are fitted.
To get a fair chance of accessing the seals the lower slide bars have to be removed and small fingers ordered! As can be seen from the picture above there is very little room to swing a spanner, basically you need a lot of patience but the job can be done. All was put back together and run on air to confirm a successful fix. At least I now have gained experience/confidence and know that this job can be done again in the future, although I will make special tools to make the job easier. Turning the locomotive over when fully assembled might be a little harder however?
Kit 12 is very large and has the largest quantity of parts of any kit and that's without counting rivets. The lubricator was relatively easy to assemble and appears to work well. The auxiliary items include the hand rails, lamp, brackets, tool boxes, foot steps, tank filler lids, and rivets for the cab etc None of the auxiliary parts gave any real problems except for the tedium of fitting all the dummy rivets to the cab.
One oddity was the length of the wheel guard irons; these were too long and physically limited the travel of the locomotives suspension. The guard irons were suitably shortened and a more prototypical profile to the ends applied.
Another area changed for prototypical reasons is the fitting of the dummy couplings and brake pipes. The Modelworks arrangement leaves these hanging in free air, whilst on the prototype these are secured the buffer beam when not in use.
I fashioned hooks for the couplings out of brass rod which are secured to the buffer via the bottom right-hand bolt of the right-hand buffer. The brake pipe is secured by the use of a piece of 3mm studding screwed and glued into the buffer beam, with the pipe coupling supplied by ModelWorks, modified to screw onto the studding.
Note in the above picture the steam heating pipe. This is a detail not supplied by ModelWorks and one that I intend in the future to add. This will include the fitting of dummy pipe for the brake and steam pipes that run under the left and right running boards.
Fitting the pipe work is a little like Marmite, you either love it or hate it, and I hate both! None of the pipes are pre formed, and whilst the written descriptions in the instructions are very good, it would be easier if dimensional drawings are provided. On many occasions I had to anneal the pipes and re-bend them. Due to the complexity of some of the pipe runs, it would have been easier had some of the pipe work been fitted during the assembly of earlier kits, a good example being the pipe from the cross head pump to the clack valve on the boiler which has to avoid the crank shaft and then run down the side firebox/ash pan inside the frames.
Another piece of pipe work that I had a real issue with was the one of only two pipes fitted in kit 11. The pipe from the inside of the right hand water tank to the boiler top feed is very difficult to bend; you have to avoid interference with the boiler whilst getting the correct shape and angle to line up with the clack valve. When fitting the top feed cover from kit 12, it was found that the feed pipe was fouling the cover and stopping it being fitted centrally. Off came the right hand water tank and attempts made to reshape the pipe. After many attempts and despite annealing the pipe it eventually cracked! However this proved to be a blessing in disguise because in reality the feed pipe is too long as supplied. I cut out a 5mm section of the pipe at the crack and soldered it back together using a home made brass collar. The feed pipe does not look pretty but is now the correct length and the cover fits nicely.
The pipe work was completed on Sunday 20 th March 2005 at 13:05 in the afternoon!
Effectively she was now in a condition to steam, despite the lack of a cab and the fitting of many of the auxiliary fittings. To apply a little pressure on myself, I contacted Debbie at ModelWorks and set a date to take her back to the factory for her first steaming. The date agreed was the 5 th April which gave me two weeks to complete the cab and other fittings, not forgetting I still had to build a carrying box.
Two weeks sounds a long time, however as discussed in kit 11 I had decided to build the cab to allow it to be removed as a single item, which requires it to be soldered together, then you have all the rivets to glue on and not forgetting the painting. There are a lot of man hours in the cab!
The cab was fitted to the locomotive with the bunker rear and front window plate tack soldered into place.
On removal of the cab the bunker and window plate were fully soldered. This results in an easily removed assembly that is extremely strong. It also allows for the rounding off of the plate work on the corners of the bunker plate; not totally to scale but it does improve the appearance greatly. The gluing of the dummy rivets and lamp irons etc takes some time before the cab is ready to be painted.
Painting now becomes a very big job; not only kit 12 items but also the water tanks and now finished cab from kit11. It takes a long time to achieve a reasonable finish:
Note that it often takes longer to paint items than assemble them! ModelWorks claim that this model can be constructed in approximately 180 hours; whilst I have not counted the hours I have put in so far, I suspect the total man hours including painting and finishing must be closer to 400 hours.
One of the finishing touches to kit 12 is the fitting of the British Rail late logo's supplied by Phoenix Paints.
Apart from a few finishing touches and the completion of the cab roof, she is now ready to be steamed!
ModelWorks offer to assist you with your first steaming. For people such as me, this service is most welcome.
My thanks a member of the St Albans MES for supplying moral support for the visit to ModelWorks on the 5 th April (this was most welcome). The testing is carried out on a rolling road setup outside the rear of the factory. This will in the future be more comfortable in inclement weather due to the building of a fully covered steaming bay.
Now for the good bit She (9659) got steam up and the wheels went round. The really good bit is that whilst we did have a few issues, the team at ModelWorks took control and after a trip back indoors to the workshop the loose left hand piston had been sorted! A second steaming of the day found that the front end was not as good as could be and the second exhaust broke (see kit 8). A replacement exhaust was soon fitted along with a modified blast nozzle. The hole in the nozzle was reduced as a direct result of experience gained. A petticoat for the chimney was also fitted; this I believe is now a standard on existing models but not when this model was first produced.
Whilst she steamed well, the pressure dropped off quite quickly, this was because there was a lot of steam leaking from the automatic drain cocks. These I fitted facing (logically I thought) forward. Ian suggested that they work better facing backwards, which allows gravity to assist the balls to seat better. To be fair when I re-read the instructions they do tell you to screw them in until they are in a horizontal position. I have subsequently positioned the drain cocks facing the rear of the locomotive and added to each a U shape pipe to allow the steam and oil etc to emerge from the front of the locomotive rather than contaminate the front axe and inside motion. This has a knock on bonus! It is recommended that after steaming that you oil the cylinders/pistons; this being achieved by pumping in steam oil from an oil can via the drain cocks. The copper pipes now make it very easy with the use of a flexible rubber pipe (car fuel line is ideal) and a small jubilee clip to achieve this.
I can only commend the support, technical competence and energy put in by Debbie and Ian during the day, my thanks to both of you.
A real steaming and a run around the club track will have to wait for the boiler certificate.
Read the Build Story by Kit: