Building a ModelWorks 5700 Pannier Tank Engine in 5" Gauge

Kit 8:
Fitting the Super Heater, Exhaust assembly, Fire Grate and Ash Pan
Because lining up assemblies can be difficult at worse and fiddly at best, Kit 8 requires approaching with some thought.

I had at this point I had not fitted the (now painted) Smoke Box Door from Kit 6, and had removed the dartbar, to make access inside the Smoke Box easier; this is highly recommended!

The Super Heater is a pre-assembled item which includes the steam pipe to the Cylinder assembly. The connection with the Boiler is via a Banjo bolt. A steam pipe has to be connected between the Banjo bolt and a brass elbow at the Dome.

Kit 8 - Assembled + the Dome Cover from Kit 9

With the Boiler removed from the frames I test fitted the Super Heater and Dome steam pipe/elbow. It is most important to ensure that the elbow is exactly central in the Dome. Unfortunately mine wasn’t! It appeared that the steam pipe was 3mm too long i.e. the elbow when fully screwed onto the pipe was 3mm off centre towards the rear of the Boiler. The logical fix would be to lengthen the thread length on the steam pipe and shorten the pipe. However, due to a lack of information on the drawings it is not easy to identify the thread used, plus the fact I did not have a die anyway meant finding another solution. The depth of thread in the elbow is quite generous; therefore I shortened the elbow by 3mm. The connection between the elbow and steam pipe is sealed with Foliac, which helps to compensate for the reduced thread length.

I now removed the Super Heater and fitted the Boiler back into the frames and Smoke Box. Again I wanted to test fit the Super Hater before fitting gaskets etc. Taking care at this stage is most important because there is little opportunity for adjustment. I found that the Banjo bolt would not screw into the Boiler, because when the Super Heater assembly was circa 0.5mm too high making it circa 1mm too high when fitting the steam pipe to Cylinder assembly gasket. The solution is simple but does require care; I filed 1mm off the brass steam pipe connector. Alignment was now perfect.

ModelWorks suggest (quite correctly), that you use grease or Vaseline to secure the steam pipe gasket to the Cylinder assembly during fitting of the Super Heater, I used “Red Hermetite”. Red Hermetite has two distinct advantages, the first is that the Gasket is help more securely than using grease and it adds to the sealing qualities of the gasket, which is most important when like me you have just hand filed 1mm off the steam pipe connector! I therefore hope that I have a good steam tight joint (time will tell).

I now loosely fitted from Kit 9, the steam regulator and Dome Cover for two reasons. Firstly to hold the elbow at the correct angle because of the Foliac sealant, and to check (again) that the elbow was correctly positioned centrally in the dome.

After a pause for breathe! The next to be fitted was the Exhaust assembly. This was relatively easy until when tightening up the assembly one of the exhausts snapped. On examination this was not due to me over tightening, but due to a machining error in the pipe. The hole drilled for the exhaust steam, was too deep, and went below the threaded upper part of the exhaust. This results in the side walls becoming very thin and liable to easily shearing.

Being a Saturday and not being able to contact ModelWorks, I carried out a repair to the broken exhaust by using soft solder. The result looks and feels very strong. I contacted ModelWorks (Debbie) the following Monday and had a replacement on my return home from work Wednesday evening, a very good service.

All that now remained was the assembly and fitting of the Grate and Ash Pan. Apart from a little fettling of the holes in the Frames to align the Frames, Boiler, Ash Pan and Grate, I had little difficulty.


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