Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Quarry Hunslet: Water in, Smoke Out

Only a short update today as there are lots of other things which need achieving this week as well as railway modelling. While the next step, according to the instructions, is to assemble the motion I decided to carry on with the body instead; for a good reason which I'll come back to later.

While the majority of the body above the footplate (ignoring the cab sides) is a single whitemetal casting, there are quite a few detail parts to fit. Today I've concentrated on the water filler cap and the chimney. As with the other parts I've used so far neither of these required much in the way of cleaning before being added, but I did decided to do some work on the chimney. The chimney is a solid cast piece, and while the profile looks good, the very flat top doesn't. This is easy to fix though by simply drilling down into the top. I started with a 1mm drill and then widened out the pilot hole to 1.5mm, down to a depth of about 4mm. This is plenty deep enough to give the impression of a hollow chimney, while making sure the cast piece retains it's strength.

As you can see both castings fit onto the top of a rounded surface, and gluing them into the correct position can be quite frustrating. The water filler cap had a peg on the bottom so I drilled a small dimple into which it could sit and that should be enough to keep it in place. With the chimney I felt that not only was it going to be difficult to position, but that it would be very susceptible to being knocked off. To both help position it, and give it a little extra strength, I drilled matching holes into both the chimney and the top of the smoke box and joined the parts together with some 0.417mm brass wire. There is still some work to do as the joins between both parts could do with filling, but it really is beginning to look the part now.

So with the update out of the way, I'm going to ask for some advice. The main reason I didn't start on the motion today is because I'm unsure how I'm going to paint it. I'm quite happy to leave the coupling rods unpainted, as in reality they are often left unpainted (I might tone down the shine with a bit of weathering powders but other than that...), but the problem is the cranks. On nearly every photo of every Quarry Hunslet they are painted red to match the buffer beams. This sounds like a good idea as they should look good spinning around. The problem then, is at what stage should I paint them? I could paint them before assembly, but the chances are some of the paint would rub off. If I wait until the model is assembled then getting to them, past the coupling rods, will be difficult.

In general the consensus seems to be to fully assemble any model, and then completely dismantle the motion in order to paint the parts. While this might sound reasonable, looking at the instructions for this kit, at the very least the cranks are going to be glued to the axles, and the coupling rods glued to the front cranks, making it impossible to fully dismantle for painting. So any thoughts/suggestions on the best way to proceed?


  1. Nice to see that you've drilled out the chimney - not many do which is odd as it does make a difference especially as we tend to view our models from above. I like the mounting method as well.

    On mine I've decided to carefully paint the cranks after the motion is assembled. Painting them before assembly but after quartering makes much more sense though...

    1. It's amazing the difference drilling out the chimney makes to the look of the part even before it was attached to the rest of the locomotive.

      I'm thinking that painting the cranks after quartering but before securing the coupling rod is probably the best route; hopefully that will cut down the amount of handling, while ensuring I don't gum them up before fitting them. Now I just have to pick the right colour red paint; I seem to currently only have Model Color scarlet to hand, which might be a little bright, although it looks pretty close to the photos I'm looking at.

  2. This has all the makings of being your best yet.

  3. Vicarious model making. It's about as near as I'll get! I'm enjoying it though.