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Orientation and small work

April 14, 2006

My work on the NS 7000 was hampered, so I decided to pick up the work on the BR98.

By now I have learned that new projects start slow. At first I got frustrated about that: you have a brand new kit in your hands and you want to get on the road, get first tangible results. Forget about it. Take your time. First RTFM!! (for those who don't know this slang: Read The F........g Manual). Study all documentation carefully, which in this case was only sparingly. Four drawings of the assembly process and one for the motor installation and electrical wiring. And a sheet with number indicating the assembly order. Next to no text. Very minimal indeed.

Why all this studying? Don't you just start at figure #1? Yes and no. Usually the factory assembly instructions are correct and very helpful but rarely take into account that you want to airbrush the model. So at the very start of the project you have to plan ahead how you are going to put together the main components and still be able to airbrush your model easily.

During this process I stumbled over a real setback. Buying second hand kits of this age comes at a risk: spare parts are usually done for. In my case this turns out bad: the eccentric cranks, rather crucial parts of the Walschaert valve gear, fail. I'm figuring out a way to make them myself

The arrow indicates the failing eccentric crank hidden behind some piping
The crank is # 26 in the scheme

One way of figuring out how to solve a problem is doing something easy. Thsi gives you time to think things over.

So I started working on
- deburring the metal parts
- taking out the plastic parts from their sprues
- taking off the flash and deburring of the plastic parts of the kit

On this photo you see the footplate of the loco in my vise

When working on the various parts a little accident happened. I incidentally dropped the cylinder block. The valve protection broke off
The left side shows how it originally looked.
Repairing wasn't very difficult. First I drilled a hole. For the first time I seriously used my new X-Y table, which allows very precise positioning of your work piece.
After drilling I inserted a piece of brass wire. I cut it approximately to length and filed the rest. Done!
Next I tried to fit in the stack. The stack is a key element in the assembly of the locomotive. It holds together the frame and footplate with the boiler and drivers cab. It fits through the smokebox and is attached to the footplate with a thread. This thread in the footplate was too small however and I exerted too much force on the stack, breaking it off at the top end of the thread. That was the third setback this day and I must admit I lost my temper at this point.

After and hour of cooling down and once again figuring out a way to solve this new problem I thought it best to drill out the threaded piece of the stack that is stuck in the footplate. Once again my new X-Y table proved its value.

I will glue a nut to the footplate, make a new thread on the remaining part of the stack and I hope I have just enough clearance in the smokebox to make this new and raised attachment.

Since I missed the parts to continue on the stack problem I went on deburring with the drivers cab.
Some special attention was devoted the back side where I needed to file away some rims around the windows so that the coal bunker would sit snug to the cab
 This is the idea
And quite some time was spent on the frame to remove all burrs and casting marks.