Thursday, 23 January 2014

The AndIan 5000 Gallon Turret Tender - A Work in Progress

Santa Claus very kindly left one the new AndIan 5000 Gallon Turret Tender kits for me under the Christmas tree this year. Well actually, the wife grabbed it when it arrived in early December and it didn't reappear until Christmas Day.

This is a very detailed  but, at the same time, a very delicate kit. It requires a level of soldering skill that probably exceeds mine to construct the model exactly as per the instructions. However, to date and, fingers crossed, I have only made a few small errors that compromised the etching detail. Once painted, hopefully, these will only be apparent if someone starts to count rivets on the chassis. However, I confess to resorting to superglue to fix some of the smaller less critical detail items.

It is a work in progress and there is still a long way to go but the major elements of the tender have been completed. The instructions have been helpful and I generally followed the sequence. However, I have left some external items to be installed when everything else is completed. A CD with prototype and construction sequence photos is included in the kit and these have been very useful during the construction.

There have been a few challenges during the construction to date. Despite the warnings in the instruction, I stuffed up the construction of the ladder. I was able to fabricate a replacement using the kit's side runners and a Uneek ladder. I also struggled with the fitting of some bronze castings.

The kit allows for the fitting of a speaker and sound decoder. I don't intend to utilise this capability but will fit pickups to all of the tender wheels and upgrade the pickups on the 50 class.

I also plan to strip back the 50 class and repaint it in conjunction with the tender. The locomotive will be renumbered as one that operated in the upper Hunter in the last years of steam. (note this paragraph has been edited to remove the inaccuracy highlighted in Phil Collin's comment below.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Woodland Scenics Track and Wheel Cleaning Tools Update

About a year ago, I wrote a post detailing my initial impressions on the Woodland Scenics tools that I had purchased around December 2012. (

This piece provides a short update 12 months down the track so to speak.

The track cleaner has been used extensively and is an effective tool for track maintenance. The rubberised pads (the only ones that I used) have worn, but that is to be expected and they are not to the point of needing replacement.

My earlier post was more circumspect about the wheel cleaning tool and it languished, almost unused, over the past 12 months. On the few occasions when I did try to operate it, the tool usually failed to activate the locomotive long enough to complete any significant wheel cleaning action. However, a recent comment on the original post by Bill Roach
provided a suggestion that prompted me to have another try.

Bill had sprayed the white cleaning treads on the tool with CRC 2-26. Having finally been able to locate a can of this fabled product, I was able to do the same. In addition, I also sought to address the tightness and lack of movement in the centre plate (the black middle section with the two brass contact strips running longitudinally) that had previously inhibited the cleaning process. To achieve this, I pushed the white cleaning treads outward slightly until the centre plate moved freely. Previously, I had suspected that this would reduce the contact between the wheel and the cleaning tread but this does not appear to be the case. 

The results are shown on the two photo below.

And a bit closer...

I don't know if it was the CRC 2-26 or the adjustment to the cleaning treads or a combination of the two but the wheel cleaner certainly operated more effectively, and at least now, I don't feel the purchase 12 months ago was wasted.

PS. The darker area on the first photo is due to the mug photographer forgetting where the light was.