I hate having to pack away my modelling stuff when people come to stay as I never end up getting the space back quickly. This time it's been over a month since I last had anything to report, and in fact I've still not cleared my workbench. Mostly this is because work has been hectic, but we've also been trying to tidy the house a bit so keeping stuff on my desk has given us more room to work. Anyway, this morning I managed to grab a little time and space to do some more work on turning the model of Skarloey into less of a cartoon character.
As well as the face, the main problem with the model, as it comes, is that the cylinders are seriously over sized compared with the loco on which Skarloey is based. Also, probably as it's marketed as a toy, the crossheads are seriously chunky looking. Fortunately all these problems can be solved with Narrow Planet's new detailing kit. This kit is truly a joint effort containing parts from four different people, which improve the look of different aspects of the model. I won't necessarily be using all the bits in the kit but I've now fitted the new cylinders, slidebars, connecting rods, coupling rods, and crossheads.
It's once you get the original cylinders off the model when it becomes obvious just how big they are, or how small the replacements are in comparison. The new cylinders just slide onto the chassis, but the slidebar brackets and crossheads need soldering together before they can be fitted. Fortunately the etch design makes this really easy as you just align the outer frames using some cocktail sticks and then let solder wick between the layers. One thing you have to be careful with is that originally the brackets for the slidebars were plastic so it's important to make sure the metal replacements don't cause a short; hence why I've painted them and nothing else.
Fitting all the parts is very straight forward and the model is soon back running again. I made slightly more work for myself as in stripping the model right down (something you don't need to do if you are just fitting the detailing kit), I managed to have almost all the motor wires come loose -- the original soldering to the small board was shockingly bad. Anyway now I have the new cylinders and slidebar brackets in place I can start to build the rest of the bodywork back up.