Tuesday, 23 October 2012

More on the CCH - Two Down, 14 to Go

In an earlier post, I wrote about the start of construction of a fleet of CCH/LCH coal wagons. At the time, I was just about ready to start painting, but two very helpful comments provided extra information allowing me to add some more detail before going to that final step.

The first comment was from Linton (Stonequarry Creek, http://stonequarrycreek.blogspot.com.au/ ) who told me about brake shoes being sold by Ina Lindsay models. I followed up on his information and purchased a set. They are easy to fit, and have worked well. Initially, I used styrene rod to fix each shoe to the body but then decided that brass wire was easier.

The second comment from Alex, (the Mudgee Line, http://mudgeeline.blogspot.com.au/) gave me a link to photos that he had taken of CCH 20031 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/railmod/8005913637/). These proved invaluable particularly for the detail of the opening device for the hopper. I fashioned some brass wire and thin strip to replicate this arrangement.

Many thanks to both gentlemen for their input. It was greatly appreciated.

I purchased two more kits from Joe while at the Liverpool exhibition and also 'lashed out' to buy some brass buffers. For the second pair, I added a little less weight than for the first two. It will be interesting to see if there is any difference in their performance over points.

The production line
I will also be experimenting more with the weathering. Photos that I have seen from the late 1960s indicate that the CCH/LCH fleet had seen better days, and so the weathering should be able to reflect the variety of age and conditions.

So right now, the fleet consists of two completed wagons and two under construction. I’ll progressively purchase and construct kits over the next year or so to build up the fleet. There’s no great hurry and I'm sure other projects will intervene at times.

In service and awaiting pickup

Monday, 1 October 2012

Power to the 36

I, like many of us, seem to have several projects in progress at any one time. One of those currently underway is introduction into service of the Austrains 36 Class that I purchased at Thornleigh in June. I had read enough reports and articles to know what I was purchasing, so an upgrade of the pickups was always anticipated. And yes, additional pickups are needed, because the locomotive did stall on just about every point that it crossed.

Marcus Ammann has a useful article on this topic on his website (http://members.optusnet.com.au/nswmn1/ExtraPickUps.htm).However, not being to good with a soldering iron, I opted for a more simplistic solution and decided to try a phosphor bronze etched pick-up set from Hollywood Foundry. They were reasonably easy to install although the weight and decoder on the other side of the tender chassis did restrict the size of the holes that I could make through the base. Hopefully, there will be enough room to allow movement as the bogie rotates. The wires were simply feed through these holes and soldered to the red and black wires on the other side of the plug on the tender.

With a few test runs to date, the results have been very impressive and, hopefully, stalling is now a thing of the past for this locomotive.

As you can see from the second photo, the pickups are just visible at the rear of the tender but in most situations, there will be a wagons or carriages to obscure them.

The other problem that seems to be associated with the Austrains 36 is its pulling power and the locomotive does feel light compared to others that I own. However, to date, it seems to be able to move a reasonable number of wagons on the level so I will probably  "let sleeping dogs lie" for the present. However, it will probably  need additional weight when the layout is extended to the second level.

So now to the weathering and back to the CCHs!