Sign my

NS 7000 class

Detailing the superstructure

May 17 and 19, 2006

I had painted the model before but I didn't like it. I made novice errors and had learned from them. Though it had cost me quite some to get time where I was I decided once more to start all over again. I have learned that starting over again is better than continuing and not being completely satisfied.

I used the opportunity to swap the white metal head lights and safety valve for the same in cast brass from the Philotrain brand. The difference in detail is staggering.


Right the safety valve as supplied, left the Philotrain replacement

Adding the detail parts


Tail light mounted.


I made a novice error here. I wanted to stuff as much detail in the loco as I could. So I mounted both tail lights and all three headlamps at each side, which is very illogical. Crews are "lazy" by nature and hauling the relatively heavy lamps is not a joke. So in practise there would be no more lamps than strictly necessary, that is two headlamps on the side running forward and only tail lamps if the loco was running light engine.

But what's done is done, I only realised this simple truth after finishing the loco so I am stuck to it.

On the other hand, this photo clealry demonstrates that the loco's did serve with both tail and headlamps. No 7009 stabled uit Uithoorn 22 February 1950
©CC BY 4.0, Dutch Railways, D.C. Gerdessen. Catalgue number 166294, Het Utrechts Archief

Bending a tube

Tube bending proved to be challenge. As simple as it looks it is quite an art to guess how much to bend to let the tube come where and how you want it. This particular tube follows the boiler contour and it is no simple job to get it to exactly do that: follow the contour.
On the other side of the boiler more practise was possible for the big bender. The air pump and its tubes needed to be installed.
The top tube runs from the pump to the cab. But I made it end in the side of the firebox so I could secure it in a hole with a bit of CA. No-one is going to see it as this will be hidden behind the water tanks.

The valve on the lower tube was drilled with a 0,5 mm drill and two brass wires were soldered in (top).

Then it was placed and the wire to the pump cut to length.

This tube also ended in the side of the firebox.

A sandpipe was installed

The bell as supplied did not appeal to me very much. It did not shine like the real bells did, proudly polished by the crews.
I filed the casting rims flush and then sanded the bell with consecutively 400, 800 and 1200 grit emery.

Then it was polished with a polishing spindle dabbed with some polishing paste.

Some advice:

  1. don't let the bell snag in the cotton and
  2. don't let go of the bell.

In both cases the bell will gain air superiority.





After polishing, taking only about a minute or so, the bell receives an after treatment with a silver polish cloth and the bell shines.




Spot the difference (left)

The dome, the whistle and the safety valve got the same treatment.

How to polish these parts is also described in an article in Dutch.
English readers may want to read the English translation

I electrolytically copper clad the chimney crown (left).

This was a laborious process. I will not recommend it. The copper layer is very thin and although is looked the part initially, after twelve years the copper colour has all but vanished because of diffusion with the white metal below it. Today I would used other options:

  • cut off the white metal flare and turn a new one from brass or altenatively
  • airbushing with Alclad II metal paints as demonstrated on the right hand photo (from my NBDS 118 project).

Buffers and coupler were installed at the front buffer beam.

Mishaps do happen. This coupling broke off. I repaired it with my pin-and-hole technique as elaborated in my NS7851 repair. No visible damage left.

Drilling is usually done with the drill stand. It is a bit time consuming but breakage of drills goes down dramatically and holes are far more accurate.
Three headlamps, the left one is the top lamp, the others the bottom lamps. Mounting them was a puzzle. As I was gluing I did not trust the bond to be strong enough. So I used pin-and-hole system again
I drilled a hole in the back of (bottom) lamp and soldered a pin in place. Then I drilled a corresponding hole in the back of the loco and slid the lamp in place and secured it with a bit of CA

The top lamp got a similar treatment with the pin pointing down. Here the challenge was not to drill through the flared topside of the coal bunker. A test which I failed as you can clearly see. The protruding pin was filed flush and the rims of the hole were filled with Milliput.

I later removed the tail lamp irons and used simple s-bent brass wire to position the tail lamps.

Again the rear is fully equipped with all available lamps.

Finally the steps were soldered and then glued to the cylinders