Flying Scotsman Issues 31, 33 and 34 – Cab Backhead and Controls

As mentioned in the previous post, Hachette cocked up the original backhead supplied with issue 16. As promised, the replacement cast part arrived with issue 30, and new instructions for fitting it out were in issues 31, 33 and 34.

It feels as though I spent as long in this section has I have for the entire rest of the build so far. That’s not really true, but I did take my time in researching how to build it and how best to proceed.

I couldn’t find a single image online of the Flying Scotsman cab take in or around 1928. Not a single one! I even bought the DVD of the 1929 film The Flying Scotsman (Amazon affiliate link) which featured the engine in the exact era I’m modelling, and even though there are a few scenes set in the cab, you don’t really get a good look at it. So I decided to just proceed as instructed by Hachette, and trust that what they suggest is accurate.

That said, one change I made was to use copper wire for the various pipes, instead of using the supplied brass and painting it. The wire came from Pinnacle Model Supplies who were exhibiting at a model show I went to at Cosford this past weekend, and I’m very happy I choose to use it.

The diameters of the wire I bought were 0.4mm, 0.7mm and 1.0mm. They come supplied as a roll of copper, which isn’t ideal for using for something like this. Fortunately, the 0.4mm and 0.7mm wires can easily be straightened by grabbing both ends of a length of it with pilers and pulling. The 1.0mm wire is too thick (or I’m too wimpy) for that to work well, so you’ll notice the right-most wire on the backhead isn’t perfectly straight. I’ll try and fix that up. The wires are all attached to the backhead and fittings using superglue.

Here is the not-quite finished result :

It's not perfect, but pretty impressive I think!
It’s not perfect, but pretty impressive I think!

There are a couple of parts still to fit from a future issue, and I am going to print the gauges for the various dials. I’m going to also try and improve the appearance of the sight glasses (the things painted white), as they would actually be toughened glass with a gauge stuck to the rear. I’m not quite sure how to do that, I’m thinking about cutting the sight glasses out and replacing it with some clear plastic, with either a printed gauge on the rear, or just the rear painted white.

Some of the paint may need a bit of touching up, but I’ll probably wait until towards the end of the overall build to worry about that. I also need to remove the cat hair that is on the fire door!

The various valves and fittings attached to the backhead are white metal, whilst the handwheels are photoetched brass. I painted both in Vallego’s Green Gold paint from their Liquid Gold range, which was actually a very close match to the brass etches.

I bought a set of the Liquid Gold paints last year, and this is the first time I’ve used them. The pigment (well, the actual metal flakes) in the Green Gold paint had all settled and clumped together at the bottom of the bottle. I bought some marine-quality stainless steel ball bearings, also from Pinnacle, for use as a paint agitator. Putting one of those in the bottle, and using a toothpick to start mixing the paint worked pretty well. Oddly, it seems only the gold paints in the series have this problem, the copper and silver paints mixed much more easily.

Here is the backhead sitting in what I have of the cab so far. I’ve fitted some rivets and a handrail since I last posted about the cab, details of that are coming up once I’ve finished adding those and tidied the cab up.

Note the handrail and rivets on the left side of the cab.
Note the handrail and rivets on the left side of the cab.

Flying Scotsman Issues 16, 21, 29 and 30 – Throw Them Away

Hachette originally provided a plastic, injection moulded backhead with issue 16. Unfortunately, the backhead was of an incorrect type for the Flying Scotsman in 1928. The one they included was for an A3, which would have been correct post-war, once the Flying Scotsman had been rebuilt, but not for the 1928 model they are aiming for.

The insert in issue 16 says a replacement part made of metal would be included with issue 30, to fit any parts to the plastic backhead, and subsequent issues will include the instructions on how to fit them to the replacement backhead. The result of this is that I can make these four issues as “done” and just store the parts for those later issues.

Flying Scotsman – Tender Wheels

The spacers added to the tender chassis pretty much ensure that the tender chassis is assembled straight and true, but I thought I would pull out the eight tender wheels from their packs and fitted them to the tender chassis to make sure everything looks OK.

I’m going to chemically blacken the wheels to help to combat rusting, I’ll cover that in a future post once I’ve bought the stuff for it. For now, enjoy the wheels naked!

♫ The wheels on the tender go round and round, round and round, round and round ♫
♫ The wheels on the tender go round and round, round and round, round and round ♫

Flying Scotsman Issues 12-14 – Making a Start on the Tender

These three issues make a start on the tender, and the parts consist of the main chassis, three chassis spacers, a couple of tank supports and a set of axle bushes.

Surprisingly, the bushes were a very loose fit in the holes in the chassis so some care was required to ensure they were a square fit.

The eight bushes are actually two sets of four, with each set having a slightly different diameter hole. The bushes with the larger holes are intended for the centre axles, and I guess that is to improve the running of the tender, both in terms of contact with the rails (if you were using the tender wheels for pickups) and to avoid the tender rocking about as it runs over track which is naturally going to be slightly uneven.

Anyway, here is the tender chassis as it now stands.

The front of the tender to the left, the hole at the centre front is for the drawbar that attaches it to the engine.
The front of the tender to the left, the hole at the centre front is for the drawbar that attaches it to the engine.
I've got a bit of cleaning up to do with the soldering.
I’ve got a bit of cleaning up to do with the soldering.

Flying Scotsman Issues 7 and 8 – Detailing the Rear Chassis

Issues 7 and 8 of the Hachette partwork adds detail to the rear chassis that was formed in issue 6.

They add a another set of steps, some rivet strips to portray how the steps are attached to the chassis, the tender drawbar and most noticeably, axle boxes. The rear chassis is then attached to the main chassis.

Since the last post, I have decided to not add any kind of suspension or compensation, so have soldered the axle bushes into their holes in the main chassis. Although some of the methods seemed fairly straightforward, I have three other O gauge locos to build, and doing so here would end up with me procrastinating with this build and never getting to the others.

As with the previous issues, these parts went together with no problem, the only slight difficulty was that the axleboxes required a fair bit of filing to remove some feed channels, which had to be done very gently to avoid breaking the two spring hangers.

The rear chassis attached to the main chassis
The rear chassis attached to the main chassis

Introducing the Hachette Flying Scotsman – Issues 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 17

A few weeks ago, I picked up a complete set of 125 issues of Hachette’s The Flying Scotsman off eBay.  This is a partwork released several years ago allowing readers to produce an O gauge Flying Scotsman as it was in 1928.  It’s based on DJH’s O gauge A3 kit, the Flying Scotsman was still an A1 in 1928 so there are some differences.

It’s a little risky buying such items unseen, not only could parts have gone missing or been damaged after being delivered, it’s not unheard of magazines being delivered with missing or incorrect parts.  Either way, you have to be prepared for some disappointment, and hope that anything that is missing is easily sourced or scratch-built.

In this case, being based on DJH’s kit, I thought it would be a relatively standard build, and that even if I couldn’t get hold of individual issues of the magazine to replace my missing parts, I might be able to get them from DJH directly, or from other suppliers who sell A1 or A3 kits.

As it turns out, I got lucky.  There was only one missing part, from issue 88.  Granted, that part was the entire tender body, but it was supplied as injection-moulded plastic and I have a 3D printer, so should be simple to fabricate.

Part 355 - The missing part.
Part 355 – The missing part.

I’ve since made a start on the kit, and this post serves as a introduction to where I’ve got up to with it so far.

The instructions suggest the builder use superglue to assemble the brass parts, but since I am likely to want to run the locomotive on a layout at some point, and superglue can be quite brittle, I decided to solder instead.

I’ve not encountered any issues with the build so far, although I know from reading several build logs on some forums, that there are a couple of things to watch out for as the build progresses. But for now, I’m very happy with it!

Issue 17 – The boiler

As you can see, the boiler is supplied as inject-moulded plastic, whereas I imagine the DJH kit would come with a cast boiler. The moulding is impressive – there’s no flash, and the moulded rivets on the side of the firebox and boiler bands are very crisp. There were two faint moulding lines on the sides of the boiler, but 5 minutes with some wet and dry paper quickly removed those. There are a few ejector pin marks, but it seems that they are all hidden due to their location.

Despite the moulded rivets on the firebox, Hachette made a curious decision to leave a series of holes running along the top of the boiler, and asks the builder to use a length of 0.5mm brass wire to emulate rivets by cutting it into a million pieces, gluing the wire in the holes, then filing them down.

That sounds like it would produce poor results at best – especially given my modelling skills! – so instead I ordered some miniature rivets from Prime Miniatures. I used the 0.5mm rivets, which have a head of 0.8mm.

Note the brass rivets along to the top edge of the boiler.
Note the brass rivets along to the top edge of the boiler.

Issues 1 and 9 – The cab

In the pictures below, you’ll notice a bunch of holes in the cab sides. A number of these, the ones directly above, below and in front of the cab windows are for rivets. I expect Hachette’s solution to this will be similar to the boiler above, and will ask the builder to glue a short length of brass wire in there to emulate the rivets. I’ll use the same rivets I used for the boiler.

This is made up from issues 1 and 9.
The wood grain effect is pretty special.
The side window frames are a little thick, but a future issue asks you to file them down slightly.
The side window frames are a little thick, but a future issue asks you to file them down slightly.

Issues 3, 4 and 5 – The main chassis

I’ve not yet decided whether to try “springy beam suspension”, so I’ve not soldered these parts together yet in case I want to disassemble them to facilitate that.

The parts slot together very well, as well as having a couple of spacers made from brass tubing. This helps the chassis align well and feel very solid, even without any soldering.

The chassis sides are shown without the axle bushes.
The chassis sides are shown without the axle bushes.

Issues 6 – The rear chassis

This issue required the builder to emboss some half-etched rivets on the body of the rear chassis. I did a particularly poor job of this using a hammer and an old broach. I ended up distorting the sides slightly doing it. I’ve since bought an embossing tool which should help with this the next time I need to do it.

Complete with poorly embossed rivets.
Complete with poorly embossed rivets.