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General Category => Modellers At Work => Topic started by: Dave Fischer on September 27, 2015, 11:08:18 PM



Title: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on September 27, 2015, 11:08:18 PM
This is a project that keeps moving ahead despite my misgivings about its complexity-- I'm hoping that life will be long enough to see it finished! The word "loco" keeps coming to mind. Scale is 1/20 and it is mostly plastic and all scratch-- wheels, coupler(s), nuts and bolts, the works. Engine and tender will come to about 30" when finished. Lead truck, pilot and cylinders are done with the exception of a few details, and the smokebox and headlight are almost there-- I'm actually projecting about ten years to get it all done, but finishing one piece at a time seems to be keeping it interesting! By the way, the bent boiler tubes that make up the pilot might be the most difficult pieces I have tackled for a model. More to come!  DF


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on September 27, 2015, 11:11:22 PM
Here is the pilot.


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on September 27, 2015, 11:14:21 PM
AND a rear view of the cylinders. I guess I'll eventually figure out maximizing the number of photos I can post! 


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: finescalerr on September 28, 2015, 01:15:52 AM
One of my favorite steam locos. You seem to be doing it justice. -- Russ


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: darrylhuffman on September 28, 2015, 01:55:25 AM
Unbelievable.

I am awestruck.

Can't wait to see the progress photos and hope I live long enough to see it completed.

#18 is one of my favorite engines as well.

Interesting page about it here:

http://carsoncolorado.com/history-of-18/


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on September 28, 2015, 02:43:25 AM
Darryl-- The Carson Colorado website is what makes this project even remotely possible! I had actually started research in 1992 after seeing #18 in Independence and taking many pictures... not enough, however, to show everything that needed to be seen. With the restoration came photos of detail after detail that was hidden or unclear, and watching it all get put back together is the rarest of opportunities for any modeler! The restoration is of the highest quality and my hat is off to the crew in Independence-- the engine is supposed to be running next year.

Thanks, Russ, I'll try not to disappoint! And everyone else... don't miss that website-- there are photos on a gallery page as well as high-res stuff on each page of the restoration progress reports.


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: lab-dad on September 28, 2015, 05:46:24 AM
Everything worth while takes time!
Looking forward to seeing this evolve.
Great job so far!
-Marty


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Bill Gill on September 28, 2015, 06:57:41 AM
Oh my goodness!


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Hydrostat on September 28, 2015, 08:16:33 AM
(http://www.finescalerr.com/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2618.0;attach=12298)

Dave,

phew, that looks so damn realistic. I especially like the coarse texture on the buffer beam beside the ball shaped immersion (for pushing beams?). Looks like old welding seams. And you're really sure you made this from plastic? Another nice detail is the missing rivet at one of the pilot's boiler tubes.

Volker


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Allan G on September 28, 2015, 02:29:15 PM
Dave; looks incredible! No rush to build something as special as this. Keep us posted.....Allan


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Ray Dunakin on September 28, 2015, 09:22:28 PM
Astounding! Looking at the photos, it's really hard to believe it's only 1/20th scale. It all looks much, much larger.

BTW, how did you do the lettering on the wheels?


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Chuck Doan on September 28, 2015, 10:15:13 PM
Just beautiful Dave! At his rate, you will finish before I finish mine.


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on September 29, 2015, 02:11:04 AM
Well thanks, all, for the encouragement! Now let me pass on some information...

When this engine was N.C.O. #11 it had a wooden pilot, and the one you see here was cobbled together in the SP shops when the engine was rebuilt. The pilot beam looks like it had lived a couple of lives before as there are holes drilled in many odd places and those weld scars on the front. The plan was to rivet the boiler tubes to the beam, but four of them conflicted with the bolts for the frame and they were simply welded at the top-- looks a bit messy, but couldn't be more interesting! The texture on the model beam is Squadron green filler putty thinned with liquid styrene cement and stippled into the surface of the styrene beam with a stiff brush. Many of the rough parts looked very green before they were painted.

The lettering on the wheels involved several steps-- I traced the type from a good, flat side-view photo of the wheel, inked it and cleaned it up. This is where my old-school graphic design experience has come through! The art went to a photoengraver (another near-extinct profession) who etched a zinc plate with the letters cut .015" into the surface. Heated plastic sprue was pressed into the depressed letters one-at-a-time and the resulting raised version carefully shaved off and glued to the styrene wheel. This became the master for a mold, and four wheels were cast in epoxy. I'll get a diagram together that shows the whole process-- it's not as bad as it sounds, and the crossed eyes go back in a few days...

Chuck-- Last one across the line takes the prize. Ready? GO!


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: 1-32 on September 30, 2015, 03:48:31 AM
i really like the paint finish-tar and oil most realistic.
kind regards kim


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Bill Gill on September 30, 2015, 04:54:11 AM
Dave, The fact that the very first images of your build show components complete, painted and weathered create an irrepressible indelible mental impression that they are truly real. Even if you subsequently post in-progress photos of bright white styrene, pockmarked with Squadron Green, my brain will always see steel, assuming perhaps it is covered with white and green paint, but steel.  Magnificent!


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: JohnTolcher on September 30, 2015, 06:58:50 PM
Brilliant!!


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: michael mott on October 05, 2015, 11:38:26 AM
Quote
I'm actually projecting about ten years to get it all done,

Dave thanks for letting us know,  Beautiful work and encouraging to know that time is basically irrelevant when enjoying building models.

Michael


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Barney on October 05, 2015, 03:13:24 PM
Lovely stuff - looks heavy lived in and realistic
Barney


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on January 26, 2016, 02:24:35 PM
Hey, all! Yes, progress is still being made on this one. Here are a couple of photos so you can see what it's looking like-- still some details to add before moving on to the rest of the frame and the drivers, and nothing is really weathered as yet (other than what can be accomplished with just paint). The headlight has a reflector turned from aluminum and polished, then encased in a styrene shell. The dogs around the smokebox door were to be cast until I found that there were actually three different designs used on the original (the bottom one turned for at least the last three years that the engine ran) so I built them up individually.

If anyone is interested, I put photos of my other three models on a website: http://davidfischermodelbuilder.com  (http://davidfischermodelbuilder.com)
Hope it works!   DF


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Chuck Doan on January 26, 2016, 02:55:22 PM
Excellent! So glad to see more progress. Some needed inspiration for me David.


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Bill Gill on January 26, 2016, 04:28:34 PM
This continues to be terrific to watch. Fantastic modeling.


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: darrylhuffman on January 26, 2016, 07:13:30 PM
My jaw can't drop any lower.

Wonderful model building.


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: 1-32 on January 26, 2016, 11:02:17 PM
like


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: finescalerr on January 27, 2016, 02:23:19 AM
I'd never seen the tank in your linked pages. Nice. Looks as though the loco may turn out as well or better. Satisfactory. -- Russ


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: TRAINS1941 on January 27, 2016, 10:21:24 AM
Beautiful work.

Jerry


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Ray Dunakin on January 27, 2016, 01:44:25 PM
Beautiful work. I think it's interesting that you seem to be working from front to back on this loco.


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on January 28, 2016, 11:36:30 AM
Just when things are beginning to bog down, such encouraging responses pump up the old enthusiasm... Thanks!

Chuck: I'm surprised how many welds there are on this engine (the real one), and most look like they were squeezed from a toothpaste tube...

Russ: The Sturmgeschutz was finished 23 years ago-- I'm hoping I've improved just a bit over that time. Actually, when I look at it, I mainly see what could have been done better, so it's good to hear that most went well! There's a lesson here for all of us...

Ray: Since this IS a portrait, I need to get the face right first. One benefit of working this way is that if I can't bring myself to finish it, I just need to build the front wall of the engine house and drop it all into a picture frame.   


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Ray Dunakin on January 28, 2016, 02:11:23 PM
BTW, looking over the photos again, I have to say how impressed I am by the textures on the loco. Everything has a very realistic, 1:1 old-metal-and-paint look to it.



Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: michael mott on March 27, 2016, 11:31:06 AM
David, thanks for the links to the other models, this loco is going to be more than jaw dropping.

I must say that model of the model bench in the link brought me right back to 1957 at my own kitchen table as a kid growing up in London sitting on a Saturday afternoon after going down to Woolworths and spending my 1/6d pocket money on the latest Airfix  1/72 airplane and rushing home to glue it together right out of the box with tube glue, no paint just the transfers that came with the model.

Your model suspended reality for me for a half hour.

Michael


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on March 28, 2016, 10:39:28 PM
Michael-- Thanks for the appreciation! I've been collecting pre-1960 kits for almost 30 years, and lifting the hyper-dramatic cover from a box of bright yellow, red or metallic blue parts still creates the same excitement as it did when I was six. Of course, the smell of new plastic has been replaced by the mildew of the old box, but it is wonderful thinking back on those first stirrings of model-making passion. The Stearman biplane on the desk model is the first model I ever owned (though it was built by my mother...) and my own first build was the old Revell B-25 in 1955. Seemed there were a lot of pieces left over... By the way, Airfix came to Tucson late in 1959, and the bagged kits in Series One cost exactly what I got as a weekly allowance, so I built more than a few of those! (Have a few in the collection now, as well.)

Okay, guys, we know what you are doing NOW... Where did YOU get your start?


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: michael mott on March 29, 2016, 12:18:24 PM
Quote
By the way, Airfix came to Tucson late in 1959, and the bagged kits in Series One cost exactly what I got as a weekly allowance,

Dave I meant to say Bag as well, it was in the days when everything was behind the counter.  I think the first one I did was the DH4 and the Lysander and the Supermarine Racer stand out in my mind as well.

Michael


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on April 05, 2016, 01:16:16 AM
Here is a shot of the frame as it comes together. No paint until some other pieces get built and stuck on, so it's a good time to see what's underneath. The snazzy two-tone sides are a result of a brown sheet and a white one totaling EXACTLY .150" thick (3 scale inches) when laminated together, as styrene sheet never seems to be the thickness it is supposed to be. The vertical black pieces are the glides for the driver bearing boxes, one of which appears to the right, and the U-shaped pieces connect the boxes to the leaf springs that don't exist just yet. The frame sides are textured with liquid cement pushed around with an old brush to break up the surface and they look a bit dirty as a result. Note that the cross-members were bolted to the sides and then welded in place-- very solid construction!

I've included the second photo to show my experimental elevated work space, based on a similar set-up I saw in an optometrist's lab many years ago. The 11"x 9" glass top is raised 4" above the tool bins below, which keeps the by-products of creation from pushing into the work space and keeps the tools organized and easy to locate, but very close and visible. So far it is working great!


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on April 05, 2016, 01:20:01 AM
OOPS! Well, that seems to be the second photo... imagine THIS one first!


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: lab-dad on April 05, 2016, 05:33:56 AM
Looking good!
I wonder why styrene is not "exactly" what they say?
Must be like everything else; "thats close enough..."

I like the elevated work surface. May have to try that.
Seems like we always end up with a 12" square of working space anyway.
Making the bottom open (at the front) would allow one to have even more crap out just under the surface!

-Marty


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Ray Dunakin on April 05, 2016, 07:32:08 AM
Nice work!


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on April 05, 2016, 09:05:36 AM
Marty-- I'm glad styrene is NOT always exact as it comes... I find that I use a particularly thick or thin piece all the time when matching a scale thickness or laminating layers to a specific height. In fact, the bin on the left of my raised work table is reserved for useful pieces of plastic or wire so they can be found again!

You have hit the nail on the head about the ACTUAL amount of work space we use-- a square foot was my standard as well. As I got deeper into the smaller parts I was making, I realized that a little 2"x 3" piece of glass I was assembling pieces on was my WHOLE work area. Everything else was a churning sea of big and little tools, scrap plastic and static-charged shavings. Then I remembered that optometrist's lab...


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: finescalerr on April 05, 2016, 12:19:20 PM
I'm glad to see you back at work on that model. -- Russ


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Chuck Doan on April 05, 2016, 10:17:50 PM
Me too!

Nice idea for the work space. I often have to resist a violent, clearing sweep of my arm when things get too crowded. 


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on May 29, 2016, 01:19:27 AM
Well, this may seem a very small step, but I have been sweating the construction of suitable valve handles for YEARS, and am very happy with this solution. Where most have a solid outer rim and are cast in epoxy from built-up styrene masters, one sits prominently on top of the steam dome like the Crown Jewel and was built from styrene with a cut-away rim to match the distinctive shape and style of the original. The process was long and involved, but I can lay out the details if anyone is feeling crazy enough to want to give it a try... More when I get my eyes uncrossed!   DF


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Bill Gill on May 29, 2016, 05:19:47 AM
That's magnificent! Since I model in HO it would also be impossible, but, put me down for one who'd like to learn how you did it!


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: finescalerr on May 29, 2016, 12:26:52 PM
It must have taken a few days to create that beauty. -- Russ


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Hydrostat on May 29, 2016, 12:35:40 PM
Phew, I love that. Please tell us how you did it. It would be interesting to see some bigger/higher resoluted pics of it.

Cheers,
Volker


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Design-HSB on May 29, 2016, 12:50:33 PM
I also think it looks so well made, I also would like to know how it was produced.


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Chuck Doan on May 29, 2016, 07:38:43 PM
Yes, tell us more! That is a very intricate shape. Congratulations!


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Ray Dunakin on May 29, 2016, 08:04:00 PM
Stunning! I too would be interested in how you made it.


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Sami on May 30, 2016, 10:35:13 AM
It's very nice and the work is impressive !


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Barney on May 30, 2016, 02:46:39 PM
Not sure about crossed eyes it makes my eyes water - lovely stuff + stunning
Barney


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on May 31, 2016, 12:07:16 AM
Thanks AGAIN, one and all! I'll get some how-to drawings together as soon as I get some work out of the way. I do have a higher resolution photo of the open-rim wheel, but it showed me where I needed to do some clean-up work... I'll do another soon! Both of these handles are 0.2" in diameter (5mm) so showing them a whole lot bigger reveals way more than will ever be seen in real life. More to come!   DF 


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on July 03, 2016, 01:16:19 PM
Ah, back again! I tried to get some better shots of the valve handle, but I seem to be at the edge of my camera's capabilities and even shooting in sunlight was no better. The fact that it is painted black doesn't help much, either. Anyway, I have put together some drawings of the construction process which should frighten the sane modeler away, but realize that this was only ONE very visible valve handle and worth the effort...    DF


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on July 03, 2016, 01:27:10 PM
Well, it never fails... putting together the drawing of the process inspired what might be a shortcut (not much of one) which I DID try successfully. The picture of the second piece looks EXACTLY like the first one, but it needs a bit of fuzz clean-up so I'll just post the drawings right now.    DF


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Bill Gill on July 03, 2016, 02:08:37 PM
As crazy as that seems, the results prove it was worth it!


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Chuck Doan on July 03, 2016, 07:10:22 PM
Not crazy at all!


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: finescalerr on July 04, 2016, 01:11:36 AM
I agree. If you do something, do it right. -- Russ


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on July 04, 2016, 01:42:50 AM
I might add-- if you do something, be ready to do it over! Getting it right, to me, is more important than just getting it done.   DF


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Design-HSB on July 04, 2016, 04:56:28 AM
Nobody is crazy here, I think we all just keep pleasure to do things the other for completely impossible. Thanks for the directions.


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Chuck Doan on July 04, 2016, 08:35:49 PM
And thanks for the nice documentation!


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Ray Dunakin on July 04, 2016, 11:53:22 PM
Not so much crazy as brilliant!   :)



Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Hydrostat on July 06, 2016, 12:30:55 AM
Dave,

thank you very much for your very precise explanation and the effort you put into both - explanation and especially execution :o. That's some fine result. Much appreciated!

Volker


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Royce on September 02, 2016, 08:26:18 PM
Hi Dave.  You do beautiful work.  But the work you do can only come from fastidious measurement/photos of the prototype.  I too have been to Independence a number of times.  They sometimes ask me if I know "the other guy" that's building a model of #18.  Now I know who it is . . . you !  We might be able to fill in gaps in each others source material (photos, measured sketches, etc) so if you need anything let me know.

My next "need" is to finish the digital models of the drivers so I can have masters made in brass.  Pacific Locomotive works is doing them.  When I get them done I'll have a rolling chassis, as per prototype.

I look forward to seeing your progress.

royce


Title: Re: SP Narrow Gauge #18
Post by: Dave Fischer on September 04, 2016, 11:04:51 PM
Royce-- I'll be watching for progress photos of your #18 as well! What a beautiful little engine... What scale are you working in?

As to my research, I have used only the photos published on the Carson and Colorado website, augmented by about a dozen photos I took when passing through Independence in 1992 (on my way to the IPMS Nationals in Seattle). I have not actually measured the real thing, but over many years have devised a method of proportioning details from photographs if a few critical dimensions are known. I am leaning heavily on three good books, a single photo out of a fourth, and bits of information from odd sources. In one of the books, there was a reproduction of the Baldwin erection drawings of #9 that showed the dimensions of the frame (same as #18) when it was built for the N.C.O. in 1909. Another fantastic source has been eBay and other auction sites, of all places, where I found good close-up photos of marker lights, Pyle National headlights, and chime whistles that were up for bid.

I, too, am now working on the drivers-- I am almost done with the built-up styrene masters that will make the molds for epoxy castings. As I mentioned in earlier posts, there will be no contracted, 3D printed, commercial, kit, or found parts used anywhere... much more fun to make them myself!

Progress may be slowed for a while as I just found the the IPMS Nationals will be in Phoenix (two hours away) in 2018 and I will be working on a model that can be finished in that short (!) time. Several more years to get the #18 ready!

I'd be glad to share information, insights, and observations. Let me know if you come hit any roadblocks!  DF