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4.2 Detailing the boiler cradle assembly

Instructions [230] to [286], page 22-24 of the rewritten instruction manual

Again DJH make a claim to the title of King of Confusion when it comes to detailing the boiler cradle. Man, what a diagram. It looks more like a map of a thunderstorm than anything else. Well, how do you eat an elephant? In slices!! (Better not eat an elephant at all, as they are getting rare these days).

So we'll work our way through it piece by piece. We'll start at [230] on page 22. I did not always follow the order of the manual. Many parts can be applied more or less individually so the order in which you work is not always important. And when it is, DJH usually forget to mention it!



What DJH always forget to mention as that you have to drill many parts to accommodate pipes in a later stage. Moreover DJH have described adding the detail parts and adding the piping in two separate stages. So plan ahead before adding detail parts and ask yourself: which pipes of which diameter will I have to join to this detail part later. Drill the detail parts accordingly in advance. Once the detail part is in place it is usually impossible to drill it. I will try to mention it as much as possible.


Remove the window beadings ever so carefully from their etches. They are very thin and distort easily. Note that the front window beadings, on the photo the two in the middle of the top row, are on a separate etch. I did little to remove the cusps from the beadings as the material is simply too delicate. removing the cusps with would have been an option as I later sanded the numbers on the cab side (see: Finishing jobs)

The manual recommends glueing, but I saw no reason why I could not solder it.

I cannot emphasize enough that only a little bit of solder will do the job. The same remark applies even more to glue. Too much glue is even nastier to clean away. Inexperienced builders tend towards glue and it is completely beyond me why. Glueing is infinitely more difficult.

I placed the door and let the solder flow from the side while holding the soldering iron on the door itself, "sweating" it into place.

The order of the manual [230] > [233] is correct for glueing.

If you solder, do the door [233] before the side window beading [230] , otherwise the beading will come afloat again.


Aaaaah, nice.

[238] Aha, the steam turret, world famous from the previous page! As noted there, control bars are usually thinner than steam pipes, so I chose to work with 0.3mm wire instead of the more customary 0.45mm.


First the wires are trial fitted though the spectacle plate. While doing so I also tried to determine a convenient way to work:

  • first mount the turret and then insert the wires
  • or first mount the wires in the turret and then mount the assembly

I chose the latter so I soldered five wires into the turret after drilling press fit holes. Big issue in this is getting all five wires to sit absolutely parallel. Any aberration from that will be obtrusively visible.

Note that I removed the original mounting lug of the turret, you can still see it two photos back. It was visibly off centre and mounting it on the boiler as supplied would force me to drill a hole off centre in the boiler with a decent share of guesstimisation. Imagine drilling it wrong in the boiler, oh boy, I would be in for real trouble. So I snipped off the lug, filed it flat drilled a hole dead centre and solder 0.8mm brass wire in place. Without fuss I could now drill a corresponding hole on top of the boiler, again dead centre.

Note that also drilled the 1.0 mm holes in the outer ends to take up the pipes to the fresh steam pipes from the turret valves.

I left the new brass lugs long enough to fit in the boiler and still have the wires above the spectacle plate. This way I could mark out where the spectacle plate met the brass wire. I snipped them off just a bit oversize. Better too long than too short is my motto. I needed several trials before the turret would fit in the boiler and the spectacle plate at the same time
But then a tender kiss of the soldering iron (imagine that) was enough to fix it in place.
Well? Nice or what?


Here I missed out on an issue in the manual. DJH want you to mount the pump plate first and then offer up the smokebox door. In hindsight, I'm completely puzzled why that is. It is better to mount the smokebox door first and then attach the pump plate.

The smokebox door did not fit in easily. I had to chamfer the inside guiding ring liberally. This was all the more so because the door had to make a twisting move to slide behind the already attached pump plate. This issue can be largely avoided by mounting the pump plate after the smokebox door.

[[243]  Adding the saddle front plates (22) was also very much impeded by the already present pump plate


It is not uncommon for any modelling project to have a few moments when disaster strikes. Good working practises and common sense may help to prevent this, but as a Dutch saying goes: an accident waits in a small corner.

When picking up valve 41 I saw the handwheel was not straight on the body of the valve. So I bent it. Or tried to as it broke off without warning. Sh**!

Having had much more to repair on my NS7851 I had developed Garrattfan's Brass Wire Repair Method.

Time to call this method to help!


Drill out a hole in the handwheel ...

The hand wheel is temporarily soldered to a scrap of brass sheet to prevent it from escaping to the country.

... solder (240C) a wire, the new stem, in place ...

...remove the broken stem completely from the valve body...

... and drill out a corresponding hole in the valve body ...

... and solder (180C) the handwheel into place. Finally the valve can be mounted on the boiler with 80C solder.
The pump air filter (46) looked a bit plump as supplied (upper left photo). I carefully scraped away  much of the material of the support, creating a much lighter appearance.

Some parts are really, really tiny!!

This is the smokebox door light (47) mounted per [253]

With all these details the boiler is gradually taking shape. It takes a lot of time and patience. Just enjoy the sheer fun of working with such nicely cast parts, always seeking ways to improve things. This is what modelling is about!
In a very late stage I decided that the seams around the pump plate and the smokebox door were too large. Luckily I could still work on it. I applied Milliput, let it set and scraped and sanded it. I hope I did well. Applying a base coat will be the merciless judge of the job!

[258]-[261]Adding the rear footplate and the mechanical stoker.

In the cab a cover for the stoker is added

[262]-[264] Flattening the top of the ash pan

The ash pan is soldered in place.

It is beginning to look like something.

Photos like this seem to contribute little or nothing to help building the loco. But do never forget that you do this for fun, something I'll be trying to convey time and again. So take your time to sit back, relax and enjoy the work you have done.

[270]-[271] Mounting the exhaust pipes (53, 60)

The front exhaust pipe interferes with the front unit, so I shortened it and drilled a new hole in the footplate. Not quite correct, but which wise guy can tell that the angle of the front exhaust pipe is not quite correct, or what?

Producing the steps.

[272]-[280] Sort them out carefully by the letter markings, from top to bottom c, b, a and z, y, x

What a job!!

Don't it make my head go nuts

The steps in place with a good view on the lettering.

The manual is not really very clear on this subject, so I hope this photo helps to do the job.

[286] Adding the steam genny.

A little help from Blu Tack was needed to keep the genny in place.

The tab mentioned in [286] is a little to the left on the photo, still in the unfolded state.

Predill the two valves from the top with 0.4mm holes.

Meanwhile I added [281]-[286]

  • the steam delivery pipe
  • the conduits and junction boxes
  • and the steam generator

on the right hand side. [286] mentions folding down a tab. It can be seen on this photo just left of the genny, with three dimples on it. On the photo it has not been folded OUTWARD yet

[287]-[291] I continued detailing the left hand side of the boiler cradle.

Do not forget to drill the steam delivery pipe before fitting.

While test fitting the rear and front steam delivery pipes together I stumbled into an odd problem: they did not fit! Together they could not span the entire distance between the holes in the frame plate where they were supposed to fit in.


After some consideration I decided that the easiest way to go was to fit an extension to the front end pipe.

I took a piece of brass of the correct thickness, spanned it in my Proxxon, revved it up and cut away the head until it was 1.0 mm thick
Like this
I drilled the front steam delivery pipe dead centre and fitted the extension and soldered it.
I drilled the connector of the rear delivery pipe with the outer dimensions of the front delivery pipe, and marked the extension for the right depth of that hole. I cut it somewhat oversize.
I soldered the rear pipe in place...

... and fiddled with the length of the front pipe, remember I cut it somewhat oversize, until a snug fit was achieved. I only soldered the front pipe where it enters the frame plate (left). There was no need to solder at the joint with the extension as there was a sufficiently snug fit. A little drop of CA prevented any further movement.

The result of [291]

This is where I left of in April 2012. Next job was reconstructing and reorganising this site. Probably you don't remember the old one anymore but after so many years it had gone a bit hard to maintain and lacked many modern features like a decent menu structure. Then my son married and I reconstructed my hobby room.

It was April 2013, after having missed a complete modelling season before I took up the AD60 again


Go to Detailing Boiler Cradle (2)