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LTM 51 in HO

First assembly and running

By the end of January 2021 I had both power units ready to roll and the boiler cradle fitted with pivots so this was a good opportunity to assemble the loco for the first time. If any major problems might arise they'd better show up now before detailing and painting makes handling difficult.

Assembly is pretty easy but a bit counter intuitive. FIRST bolt the super structure of the power units to the boiler cradle and THEN move the framesets into position to join to the superstructure. This is the easiest way. It is much harder to assemble the power units first and then try to get that pivot bolt in place. It works but it is fiddly.

The boiler cradle catches on the engine compartment. I have to think of something to prevent taht to protect the paint

I connected both units electrically and put it on a test track

Although it runs well on this clip it sometimes stalled. Not often, just every now and then. If quickly found that this was solved by adding weight. So the engine is now simply too light to maintain sufficient track contact. So that is the all clear to detailing and painting.

Small change

The trail assembly revealed a thing that had already occurred to me: the boiler cradle's running board bumped into the engine compartments on the power unit. So in the future careless handling will cause damage to the paintwork. I thought care while handling might just be enough but no matter how careful I worked during the trial assembly I still found the parts meeting each on several occasions. So I designed a simple stopper plate.

To help determine the location of the stopper plate I made a dummy front end of the boiler cradle's end complete with pivot.

I turned the dummy on the pivot hole in the power unit and scribed a line in the extremities. I then scribed the line were to solder the stopper plate a little ahead of the extremities and soldered the stopper plate in place.

The stopper plate is simply filed from a piece of rail.

And now the turning of the power unit stops well clear of the boiler cradle's running board.