More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Have any questions or tips and advice on how to build those bits that don't come ready made.
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Lysander
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More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Postby Lysander » Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:50 am

I've been distracted again. However, a break from ethnically-cleansing the world of unmodified Triang Clerestories and straightening out old white-metal coach kits will not be entirely regretted.

For ages [and ages] I have been searching for a K's Siphon F at an affordable price. The body on these old monsters is actually not that bad but the chassis is dire and whilst the correct pattern bogies are fitted, they are flimsy and incomplete. But they can be made to work.

The F represents the first of the family of bogie Siphons, too.

Recently I won an eBay auction for some and for £22 acquired two old F's and a much better kit-built G. The F's were horrors to be truthful, but repairable, and no-body else makes them in this form [plastic] either. I decided to restore one and have a decent bogie F but the other I felt could be chopped up into something else just as interesting.

A quick skim through 'GW Siphons' [Slinn & Clarke - essential reading for this category of 'brown' vehicle] provided photos and measurements for what I was looking for: the 4-wheel Siphon C, the first of the real Siphon tribe. Of course, huge compromises would follow, but a good likeness was more than possible.

This is what I started with:

Image

A pile of poo really. Most of the bits were present however and the glue which held the body together, whilst applied with a plasterer's trowel, was removable. The chassis to be used will come from a broken Ratio coach kit. Some modifying will be required [yippee!]. The sides to be cut and shut were in reasonable condition, but why would the previous owner have numbered each, differently, twice ?

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Finally, after cleaning up and doing a trial cut with the trusty razor saw, the new side [halves butted together only and not dressed either] below the old, to illustrate the significant reduction in length.

Image

To be continued........

Tony
Last edited by Lysander on Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......

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Lysander
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........]

Postby Lysander » Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:39 pm

Projects like this are always a bit hit-and-miss because they have to be adapted constantly as you go along. I knew that the chassis would need both repair and lengthening: absolutely no problem there. The body parts had to be cleaned up and glued together before anything else happened however to see whether it would fit the chassis in the first place. And, of course, it didn't.

So.........

The body was too narrow to slip over the chassis. Not much too narrow, but sufficiently so for it to splay the joints. First step was to remove some plastic from the lower inner sides of the body. Then, remove plastic from the sides of the floor of the chassis. Constant trial fits showed how much needed to be taken away. I used coarse sand paper initially and then dressed the ragged edges with an emery board. We got there.

Next, it was obvious that the body sat far too high on the chassis and its buffers risked over-riding was followed. This was dealt with in two stages by cutting away [with some plastic shears] all of the solebar mouldings from the lower body sides, and then cleaning up with an emery board. The part removed is the long run painted black in the earlier photos.

This latter operation was a bit nail-biting: I didn't want to damage more than the solebars nor did I want to break the joints in the sides. Happily all went to plan. Photos below show progress. The body is a loose fit on the chassis at present and the joints will be cleaned up in due course.

Image

Image

Tony
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GWR_fan
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........]

Postby GWR_fan » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:52 pm

Tony,
Did the GW number both the body and the chassis/underframe? If so, the modeller was representing possibly a body change onto a replacement chassis.

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Lysander
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Postby Lysander » Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:31 pm

I think that it was just idiosyncratic modelling Tim. You'll notice the incorrect 'GW' and a simultaneous shirt button on the one I'm chopping up. The other Siphon is marked up incorrectly also.

Tony
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:42 am

I always wondered what the 'American' bogies looked like that were fitted to some siphons.

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Lysander
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Postby Lysander » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:06 am

It's a shame that no-one makes them in white-metal Tim. All of those cottage industries seem to have pretty much dried up.

Now, as a footnote to the above pictures, dimensionally this conversion is less of a compromise than I initially thought would have been inevitable.

The wheelbase scales out at 18' 9", 3" shorter than the prototype. That's less than 1mm and not worth worrying about.
The length scales at 28' 9", just 3" longer than the original.
The width is exactly 8', which is what it should be.
The body height at the end scales at 7' 9" whereas it should be 7' 10.5".

Interestingly, these vehicles, which were constructed between 1906 and 1910, had a long life with quite a few soldiering on until 1956 / 1957 and the final two running in service until 1958. They could easily be justified on a post-nationalisation layout.

Tony
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:50 am

Tony,
with such minor scale intolerances like that we could have another silk purse.

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Lysander
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Postby Lysander » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:05 am

Quick update.

A few small tasks left before final priming and painting:

- add brass wire truss rods
- extend sole bars by about 2mm at each end
- apply a little filler to the roof corners

In due course I'll glue onto the inside floor three 1p pieces to provide much-needed ballast. Vacuum pipes, etc., will follow.

To fit the roof the original was first cut to size and offered up. The sides of the Siphon then had thin square-section plastic strip glued to their top lengths to meet the lower edge of the roof on each side. These were chamfered carefully to produce a triangular section. This is just about visible in the photo below the roof line. The roof was then glued on with Plastic Magic, starting from the centre of each side. Once glued all around, the corners were reinforced with Evo-Stik. It's all pretty solid now, but will require just a little filler to seal one or two small gaps at the corners on one side [a consequence of the mis-moulding of the roof - all K's Siphon F's seem to suffer from this]. This repair will not be completely invisible because it will add a little thickness here and there, careful painting will disguise it however, and I can live with that [given the nature of the donor parts].

Lettering will be a final challenge - I've to source some small yellow GW letters.

Photo shows a very rough looking affair, which is to be expected at this stage.

Image

Tony
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Lysander
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Postby Lysander » Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:00 pm

Progress has been a little slow I'm afraid, life got in the way rather. However there's not a great deal more to do.

The chassis, sourced as 'part-built' and 'good' from eBay [with some other Ratio parts - £2.50, so who's moaning ?] took rather longer to repair than a new build would have taken to make. A lot of glue required scraping and sanding away and a fair bit of remedial work was given to strengthening the weaker parts. It looks really scruffy in the first two photo but a flash of primer has worked wonders and, with everything fitting nicely, it now awaits a spray of matt black.

The van body will be lettered soon before it is matt varnished, but why oh why did I paint the buffer shanks black ? They'll need to be over-painted brown. I'm undecided about the colour for the roof: white, white and brown, grey, black ? All are prototypical. I'll sleep on it.

Image

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As ever, Her Majesty's Treasury has provided the ballast. I'm also aware that there should be square holes adjacent to the door handles. I probably won't bother though......

Oh, those blobs of Blutak are there to keep the bearings paint-free [but you knew that didn't you ?].

Runs very smoothly.

Tony
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Lysander
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Postby Lysander » Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:36 pm

A slight hiatus alas. This build is temporarily on hold pending arrival of a lettering sheet to complete it. Once lettered, couplings will be added, the body glued to the chassis and the whole given a flash of matt varnish to seal. Then put into revenue.

So far.....

Image

Image

Such an easy build and yet you never seem to see one running.

Tony
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skyblue
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Postby skyblue » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:10 pm

This looks superb. I have only one item of brown GWR stock - a Lima Siphon G but I often wish I could get hold of kits for more. There are various kits in the Parkside Dundas range but they are quite long wheelbase items so I am worried about them on my tight curves. How well does this one run?

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Lysander
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Postby Lysander » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:23 pm

This Siphon has a 75.6mm wheelbase Skyblue and it runs very freely through curves. It should cope with first radius but I have not tried it, having none. That said, it could have easily been made with more side-play by sinking the bearings deeper into the axle boxes. If you can run a Ratio coach chassis on your layout, you easily can run this.

Tony
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skyblue
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Postby skyblue » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:31 pm

I have yet to run a 4 wheeled Ratio coach on my layout - but I think most of my problems come from the couplings, which are exacerbated by having a long wheelbase. I would like to do more projects like this, but I am quite wary of bidding on ebay and so I miss out on some of the most interesting potential projects. Also, living away from home for 8 weeks at a time is rather inconvenient for ordering things. I suppose I really just need to pluck up the courage and bid! It's strange, I see something on ebay that I would consider buying in a shop (if at a reasonable price) - but I just discount it because I've never successfully bid on something before.

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Lysander
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Postby Lysander » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:39 pm

A very quick update. Nearly finished, just awaiting a further coat of varnish and some couplings. I'll also fit a tail lamp as it will run at the rear of the rake. Lettering was problematic: no-one produces letters of exactly the correct size so I have had to improvise. Hence 'Tare' will remain incomplete. I can live with it.

Image

Tony
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GWR_fan
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Re: More 4-wheel mayhem..........

Postby GWR_fan » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:21 pm

Tony,
excellent result. I am not a fan of longer four wheel coaches and vans but you have put forward a very strong case for their existence with your recent bashes. I may be pushed over the edge and consider some (it was the Horby four wheel coach that really turned me off them in the start). A bogie coach or van is more tolerant of track conditions.

Have you repainted the van as the last photograhs seem to be the more acceptable GWR brown tone, while the earlier photographs without decals applied look a more plum colour?


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