I am pleased to report the final completion of Jumbo 57375 as she is now known.
All the major work is now complete. Coupling links and loco-tender coupling await but she is otherwise complete at last.
It’s been a long, hard road but here we are at the end. Perseverance has borne the sweet fruit of victory.
Who would have thought such a basic model would have thrown such obstacles and offered so much resistance?
It has certainly been a model that has taught me a great deal that can be put to good use in future projects.
As in other aspects of my life, finishing the project now as we reach the end of the year draws the line under a phase that has lasted four or five years where things have occasionally lacked direction and proceeded in a stop-start manner. That can be extrapolated beyond the workbench to a major degree also but the Jumbo has brought that cycle to a close in a satisfactory manner.
I’m rather pleased with her appearance and in 2015 you will have the opportunity to see her in operation on Culreoch, bullying various wagons around!
Right now though, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy looking at my first EM gauge locomotive. Although back in the day, this model was started in OO for the notion I had of an east Central Belt project by the name of Inchkennet, here she is ready for a career in ‘south west Scotland’.
I know somebody who can’t wait to see her there!
Work with the Jumbo had been at a kind of impasse of late as I tried to figure out why the rods wouldn’t behave correctly when power was applied. I tested first the rods (as four coupled units) then as this still showed the problem I decided to pay attention to the bearings with their massive slop. I decided to replace them but then became unhappy with the frames themselves. When I offered them up to the jig again there was still a lot of slop in the bearings and I decided to unsolder them and try to reset them on the jig. Just out of curiosity I checked the manual for the jig and, BANG, the realisation dawned; the mock axles on the jig are 1/8″ diameter. Guess who was using 3mm diameter axles on the loco! Cue a Homer Simpson moment.
I had been a little unhappy about the fact I had been producing new rods for a previously built chassis whose spacings had been altered in between times so I bit the bullet and dug out a spare set of frames which had been hanging about since 2009. Using the fresh bearings and Comet EM spacers I quickly knocked up a new chassis which also now has somewhere to mount the pick-up plate!
This model has made similar progress to a wee drunk man on a Friday night; one step forward, two back but I don’t care, I’m in a good mood and I know at least that it’s all going together correctly this time. Culreoch WILL see that ‘Doonhamer’ Jumbo in service soon enough!
All the same, isn’t it time the Imperial measurement system was carted off to an honourable retirement?
Metric is so much more logical!
(Retreats to nearest hard cover…)
A consignment of tender wheels arrived today although I was slightly crestfallen to see that my supplier had provided OO wheels on pinpoints which were ultimately as much use as Nigel Farage to an Edinburgh taxi driver.
After weighing up my options, I trawled my parts boxes and found a set of 14mm spoked Markits tender wheels and saw that they would sit comfortably on the Gibson EM axles I had spare.
Feeling pleased that I’d pulled off the bodge successfully, I placed the wheelsets into the tender frames and have placed them temporarily under the body. There is still a bit of filing and clearance to be done underneath so the wheels turn freely and in truth I wish I’d fabricated new outer frames but things are pretty much on course now here to create a very nice little engine. I’m looking forward to adding the smaller parts and getting on with the painting.
I decided to crack on with the tender underframe for the Jumbo tonight following the arrival of frames from Caley Coaches. The Caley very thoughtfully settled on a standard tender chassis wheelbase during the Drummond/McIntosh/Lambie era and that means I was able to put something underneath the DJH castings. You can see the supplied arrangement in the top picture. How anyone ever produced a running model from this garbage is a matter of amazement. How the hell you solder an entire tender body together whilst installing bearings, wheelsets and ensuring overall squareness of both body and axles is utterly beyond me. To think I used to get so frustrated and blame myself for failing in these tasks!
I would say most successful builds of early DJH were in spite of rather than due to the design!
Anyway, that’s enough grumpiness on my part, let’s get on with our tale.
You can see that I attached a spacer to one end of each of the frames. This is a precaution to prevent any distortion through heat during assembly that might occur if I attached both spacers to one side. This creates a risk of your chassis looking like it should have a Fyffes sticker on it!
Assembly was fairly straight forward, the openings for the axle bearings having been gently opened out prior to assembling the frames. Once this was achieved, I attached the bearings using axles to check squareness. Lastly this evening I attached the transverse rods for mounting the brake gear.
There we have to bring the job to a close for now as I need to order correct 4′ diameter wheels for the loco and also some Carrs Brown Label flux for the stainless steel coupling rods on the loco.
One thing’s sure, I’m going to have to cut the frame ends short and carry out some substantial surgery to the lower body ends on the tender in order to mount these frames at the correct height! Once that’s done to satisfaction I will add a false floor for the purposes of mounting the chassis to the body.
Not Mission Impossible by any means but care will certainly be required!