Category Archives: Locomotives
An interesting article in this month’s (May) Model Railroad Hobbyist online magazine on keeping wheels and track clean.
Go to Page 9, “Publisher’s Musings”.
Some time ago, there was a thread on the MRH Forums on this same discussion, and I purchased a graphite stick and have been using it occasionally on the short section of track between Chilcott’s Creek and Kankool. I have yet to actually “clean” the track with a track rubber or similar since the initial application of graphite, and locos run perfectly on it every time, most often with months between runs.
It’s been a while between posts.
Work on the layout has been sporadic at best. My order of Auscision Models 442 class locomotives arrived in late February and one entered the weathering shop almost straight away.
Once again, Auscision have excelled themselves with this model. They are a superb runner with excellent detail and equipped with the latest Loksound V5 decoder.
Weathering involved my usual techniques of a black oil wash and Pan Pastels, although this time, the body was nearly exclusively done with the wash, with the pastels used only for highlighting.
I also completed weathering of 4821, which was the dreaded “stuff up” late last year where I mistakenly washed the body in metho prior to weathering. It has turned out pretty good.
A little thing that always bugs me is how the rectangular shape of the coupler pocket protrudes un-prototypically through the pilots on the Auscision Models 45 and 48 class locomotives. It is most likely the same on their other models as well.
All my locomotives have buffers, so the coupler pocket is nearly hidden, but on models without buffers, I would think it sticks out like the proverbial!! I also replace the Kadee type coupler with Sergent couplers, and being that bit smaller, they tend to make the coupler pocket more visible, even on buffered locomotives.
When I was weathering my 45’s, I trimmed the coupler pocket back to the shape of the curved castings top and bottom by eye, but soon realised I needed some sort of jig to make the job easier. I have now fashioned a tool to hold the coupler pocket to allow shaping to the correct profile. The pocket is secured in place and using a razor saw to remove most of the plastic, a sharp scalpel blade is then used to trim it back to the brass profile.
The pocket is then flipped over and the process is repeated. The front edges are touched up with red and silver paint and refitted back into the locomotive.
I recently made a start on weathering 4821 since I made the dreaded metho stuff up.
I started with an all over black wash and have started to apply some pastels, starting with black on the roof. I think it will turn out OK.
A few days ago, I learnt a valuable lesson in this hobby. If in doubt, ask the vast knowledge base out there before doing something stupid.
I was prepping another Auscision Models 48 class locomotive for weathering and had decided I would wash the body/footplate in readiness for a dose of Dullcote. For some reason, I had it in my head that methylated spirits would be OK, so I proceeded to apply it with a soft brush, washing it over the body. To my shock, as it dried, it left a white haze everywhere. It had reacted to the paint.
After posting a photo of the results, I was given a few tips to try to resurrect the disaster. The tip that proved successful was to use general purpose thinners applied to the surface sparingly with a microbrush or cotton tip. I think this method essentially has removed some of the paintwork which has in turn removed the haze. As you can see in the photos, there is still some white in areas that were difficult to access, and the paint surface is no longer pristine, but I’m hoping an application of Dullcote and the subsequent weathering will hide this.
Similar method used as for the 45’s, but more black wash used on the body this time to highlight the details and to get into all the nooks and crannies.
Photos aren’t the best – taken on my phone.
The Auscision Models 48 class.
Straight out of the box, the model is superb. Auscision have once again lifted the bar. I chose to disassemble a non sound unit.
Removing the body is not an easy task. The couplers and body mounting screws are removed easily enough, but then it gets tricky. The hoods/cab sub-assembly is attached to the running boards by six ‘clips/lugs’ that have been moulded along the bottom edge of the hoods. This whole assembly then fits onto the chassis with the lugs going into recesses in the main chassis girders. I was a bit disappointed in the way these lugs are designed, as the main chassis girders are quite prominent below the running boards, and these lugs consequently are also very prominent.
By using a small screwdriver blade inserted behind the lugs, and after much poking and prodding around, the body was finally released. I will fashion some pieces of brass strip that can be inserted behind the clips, all at once, to hopefully make body removal easier on the next one.
Once removed, the lugs were the first things to go, being snipped off with a Zuron cutter. The left over lugs were then cleaned up, along with the inside of the hood mouldings. The running board sub-assembly was then glued to the hoods/cab sub-assembly using MEK. I also found that some of the clear tape inside the hoods that was holding the lighting wiring in place, was enough to prevent the body from slipping on and off easily. The tape was trimmed away from the hood sides and just left attached to the underside of the hood roof.
The sideframes were very easy to remove. They are of a similar design to those on the 45 class. Using some styrene strip, small pieces were cut to size to fill the gaps in the main girders. These were superglued in place. Small pieces of styrene rod were also fixed in place to continue the piping across.
Initially, when test fitting the body back onto the chassis, I thought there was something fouling behind the pilots. I found that the plastic girder mouldings were protruding ever so slightly past the ends of the diecast part. These were filed back.
As mentioned above, this unit was a non-sound version, so a Loksound Select decoder was fitted and a new speaker enclosure fabricated from styrene to suit two sugar cube speakers.
The next task will be to mask the cab windows and dullcote the body in preparation for weathering. The chassis and sideframes will be given a coat of Krylon Camo brown, again in preparation for weathering.
Latest motive power to arrive are the Auscision Models 48 class locomotives.
I have had 11 of these on pre-order since 2015. They are a superb model. Only issue so far is that I was sent one incorrect number to what I had ordered, but a quick phone call later, and the incorrect one has been returned by post today with the correct one to hopefully arrive late next week.
I plan to pull at least one apart in readiness for weathering, with the rest going into the cupboard.
Recently, I decided to have a go at weathering a couple of my Auscision Models 45 class locomotives.
This all came about some time ago after I had opened up one of the models to determine what was going to be required to change the wheelsets to RP25/88.
A problem I found was that the half axles are shouldered, and would not have been easy to replace the wheelsets without drilling out bearings. After a number of weeks just sitting on the workbench, and pondering the NMRA Fine:HO standards, I decided to leave the factory fitted RP25/110 wheelsets in place, as these will operate on the new standards. Also, locomotive wheels are virtually hidden behind their sideframes, so the tyre tread width is not very noticeable.
So, having decided to keep the 110 wheels, and before putting the loco back together, I thought it was an ideal time to do some weathering.
The 45 class model comes apart relatively easily. The couplers are removed, then the four screw retaining the one piece body which reveals the chassis and motor.
The sideframes are amazing pieces of engineering, resulting in a highly detailed copy of the prototype. They also are very easily removed from the bogies.
The bogie keeper plate also unclips easily exposing the drivetrain. The wheelsets were re-gauged to the new back-to-back measurement using a new gauge obtained from DCC Concepts.
The weathering process involves using artists’ acrylic crayons ground into a fine powder then sealed with isopropyl alcohol after each application. The crayons are the Conte brand and were sourced from Art Scene. The technique was shown to me by good friend and fellow weathering artist Aaron Denning.
The photo below shows a locomotive separated into its main components, ready to start the weathering process.
The chassis is then masked off to protect the electricals and motor. The chassis and bogie sideframes are then painted with Krylon camouflage flat black and the body is sprayed with a matt clear coat. I have used Tamiya flat clear.
The sideframes and chassis are then treated with various colours of the powdered crayons, working from photographs to get the desired result.
Again working from photographs, the body is treated in a similar manner. An all over dusting is done to tone down the factory colour, then black is applied to the roof. In the pictures below, 4507 has retained the crew and had the windows opened, as it will be a lead unit. 4531 has had the crew removed and windows left closed as it will be a trailing unit in a consist. To do this, the cab needs to be removed and with a bit of delicate poking, pulling and pushing, slides right off the body. This was actually done prior to hitting with the matt finish so the cab interior gets done.
The following shots show the two completed models.
The last picture shows the inspiration for 4531.
That’s two out of eight done!