Sunday 26 October 2008

Narrow Minded / Broad Minded

The most glaring fault on the Farish 45 'Peak' are the overwide bogies, presumably to allow sufficient wheel sideplay to negotiate 9" N gauge radius trainset curves. It's not a difficult job to narrow them down and improve the front end appearance.

In the picture below one side frame has carefully been sawn off with and X-Acto razor saw and tidied up with a Flex-I-File abrasive stick. The saw cut and subsequent tidying up removes about 0.75 mm of material, so the overall width reduction will be in the order of 1.5mm. However prior to doing this I drilled through each end of the frames, into the end cross members with a 0.3mm drill in a pin-chuck. This requires a steady hand and the drill keeping vertical and square, but can be done.

In the next picture the side frames have been glued back on using 5-minute 2-part epoxy applied sparingly. The previously drilled holes are used to peg and align the reassembly with 0.3mm N/S wire pins. These pins are cut off flush once the epoxy has set. The front sandboxes are seperate mouldings and can be prised off to access the front alignments pins.

This next shot shows the phosphur bronze pick-ups after darkening with Birchwood-Casey Gun Blue. The P/B had to be cleaned with a scratch brush and degreased with meths before the gun blue would 'take'

This final shot shows the wheelsets as turned down by Gordon Solloway and then darkened with Gun Blue. Many years ago I picked up a tip from Stephen Harris regarding wheel Back-to-Back dimensions in 2FS. The Association standard is 8.51mm. However more reliable running seems to result if a broader BtoB of 8.60mm is utilised. Side to side 'hunting' is reduced and the wheel flanges are less likely to want to ride up wing and checkrails, point blades etc. My homemade BtoB gauge is shown in the picture, a simple 30 minute excercise with lathe and milling machine. I made a small batch several years ago and gave them away to friends.

With the Farish wheels turned down and BtoB'd at 8.60mm, there is loads of side to side 'slop' when installed back in the bogie inner frames. With new style 'fat' Chinese Farish gears they cannot moves out of mesh ( a problem with old 'skinny' British Farish gears) but it can make railing the loco dificult if the wheelsets are not centred within the bogie. My solution is to superglue 30 thou black plasticard spacers over each axle position, and these are visible in the picture. These limit sideplay very nicely.

I'm presently working out how to add DG couplings! The 45 does not have NEM coupling pockets like the latest Farish offerings, which are so easy to convert to DG's.

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