TVT - The lost Tribe

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TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by GTB » Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:24 pm

The title refers to the book written just over 40 years by John Buckland. Titled 'The Saga of Sandfly and the Lost Tribe', it documented what was known at that time about the history and wanderings of a group of eight small Baldwin ng industrial locomotives imported into Australia during the late 1880s and early 1890s. Two have survived into preservation, one known as Kia Ora is in Perth and the 'Sandfly' of the book title is in Darwin. The book is still available from the LRRSA, but my copy was bought when it was first published. The intention at the time was to build an Sn3.5 scale model, but I never found the right sort of 'Round Tuit'........ :roll:

This model is one of these Baldwins that didn't survive. It and a sister loco were imported to run a tramway south of Melbourne at Sorrento, to carry day trippers brought to Sorrento by the bay steamers. The tramway ran across the Mornington Peninsular from the pier on the Port Phillip side, to the Back Beach on the Bass Strait side. The tramway owned two of them, bought new from Baldwin and sold to a timber company in Gippsland when the tramway closed after WW1. They were caught in a bushfire in 1926 and the remains were abandoned in the bush.

My Grandfather lived in Melbourne for a while after WW1 and told me stories of travelling to Sorrento on the Bay steamers, but never mentioned the tramway, so it must have closed down before his visits.

This model has been a while coming, as the wheel castings were turned more than 3 years ago and that's how they sat. Early this year, it was too hot at times to work outside on the new track and one of the inside jobs I did to keep busy was to rough cut the frames for this model. Then the weather improved and it again sat for a while until the track was running. Work started on the loco again over the Easter weekend and the next photo shows the basic rolling chassis.

The frames were fretted out from 3mm hot rolled steel sheet (black iron) using a piercing saw and a paper template stuck to the steel sheet. After a bit of cleaning up with needle files, the frames were abrasive blasted. Blasting worked much better to remove the surface scale than previous efforts with files and sanding blocks. The result looks more like a casting in some ways and the surface is more corrosion resistant than previous frames descaled by other methods.

Sandfly-b.jpg

Next up were the cylinders, fabricated from gunmetal and brass. The fun part with this design is drilling the steam passages in the stretcher, which involves drilling a 1/16" and a 3/32" hole from each side and hoping they meet in the middle. (They did..... :shock:) The next photo shows the cylinder 'casting' and the inside Stephenson valve gear fabricated and installed as far as the rockers that transfer the movement from the inside valve gear through to the outside valves.

Sandfly-c.jpg

The next photo shows the cylinders and valve chests completed and the coupling rods fitted. This was the first loco built after I fitted a DRO to the vertical mill and the rods went together with little adjustment needed to get it running smoothly.

Sandfly-d.jpg

This photo shows the con rods and valve rods connected, as well as various detail bits. Still some detail bits to fit, but it is now ready for setting up the valve gear and test running on air.

Sandfly-e.jpg

It lives....... ;) This photo shows the loco chassis running on air on the test stand, ticking over on less than 10psi supplied by my old airbrush compressor.

This is the original small test stand, built when I was setting up my first live steam loco, although I've used something similar for many years for HO models. I've found that by sitting the rollers on the wooden stand, they don't walk around on the bench, or get out of line. I've also got a longer test stand and have made more rollers for test running the large tender locos and the Garratt.

Sandfly-f.jpg

Next jobs were to fabricate the smokebox, smokebox saddle, cab floor and headstocks. Making the smokebox door so it can be opened takes a bit of effort, but well worth it, as it makes lighting the burner much easier.

Sandfly-h.jpg

Boiler construction was next and this one was simple. The cab of the model is very cramped, so a gauge class wasn't fitted. Just a bush for the safety valve and another for the throttle and steam manifold. The first photo shows the parts ready for brazing and the second shows the completed boiler holding test pressure. Being a simple design it was brazed in one session.

Sandfly-i.jpg
Sandfly-j.jpg

These little Baldwins were very small locomotives and a scale diameter boiler would be 35mm dia. and 135mm long. Far too small to get a decent length run, so a larger boiler was crammed in. It turned out that a 1.75" dia by 150mm long boiler would just fit under the saddle tank and fit into the cab. Fitted with a 3/8" flue and a burner with a 0.15mm jet, this will carry enough water for a 20 min. run.

The next photo shows the boiler fitted to the frames, with a mounting bracket on the smokebox and a sliding block on the cab floor.

Sandfly-k.jpg

The next jobs were to fit the reverser, lubricator, regulator and safety valve, shown in the next photo.

Sandfly-l.jpg

The last parts needed to make it a working steam loco are the gas tank, gas valve and burner and these are shown fitted in the next photo. Using square tube to fabricate the gas tank allowed it to be fitted below window level in the cab and carry enough gas to run out just before the water does.

Sandfly-m.jpg

........ and there it sat for a few weeks while I fought the Walker railcar into submission. I finally got back to the Baldwin and fabricated the cab out of birch ply, then made up the saddle tank and the boiler fittings in brass.

Baldwin domes and sandboxes of this period are much easier to make than those on a british loco, basically just flycut the base so it sits nicely on the saddle tank, then turn the body curves. No flared bases to make....... ;)

The saddle tank was riveted in the usual way with the punch tool I use, then rolled to the correct profile and the front soldered in place. The next photos show the more or less completed model ready for the paintshop (when the weather improved). Note, the gap between the saddle tank and cab front is deliberate, Baldwin left a gap there on the real ones.

Sandfly-o.jpg
Sandfly-p.jpg

This photo shows the valve gear fitted to this model. The Stephenson gear is a Gordon Watson design and fully working.

Sandfly-q.jpg

Finally, I ran out of excuses and the model was dismantled for it's trip through the paint shop and the usual colour scheme of four shades of black. This photo shows all the parts painted and laid out on the bench ready for assembly. Now if this was an Aster kit, it would have arrived looking like this....... Not as much fun to put together though........

Sandfly-r.jpg

Fully assembled, the valves set and now ready to be run in on the bench before it does line trials. Before that happens it is shown sitting in late afternoon sunshine while it's portrait is taken. Unfortunately I forgot to include the usual figure in the cab to provide some scale. The real Baldwin 4-10 1/2C class locos were very small, about the same size as a quarry Hunslet, or a 7" Bagnall. The cab looks large, but the firebox extends well into the cab and I've never seen a photo of a driver standing upright in the cab on the prototype locos.

Sandfly-s.jpg
Sandfly-t.jpg

The weather is steadily improving here, so I should be able to photograph it in service soon once it is run in.

Regards,
Graeme

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by bambuko » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:44 pm

Another lovely loco from Graeme :thumbright:
Thank you for sharing!

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by Hydrostatic Dazza » Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:08 pm

In recognition for good work we have awarded you Australia's highest award.
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Cheers from Dazza, The Hydrostatic Lubricator 8)
The chances of finding out what’s really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied. Douglas Adams

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by Tropic Blunder » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:14 am

Looks fantastic Graeme what kind of run time do you get out of it? Theyre an absolutely miniscule loco in real life as you said

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by ge_rik » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:28 am

........ Sorry - lost for words. That is jaw-droppingly amazing. As are the photos.

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by GTB » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:14 pm

Tropic Blunder wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:14 am
Looks fantastic Graeme what kind of run time do you get out of it? Theyre an absolutely miniscule loco in real life as you said
The model is much the same size as an Argyle Philadelphia, if you've seen one of those. My Philadelphia will manage 11 circuits of my 120ft track, which means it travels just on a quarter of a real mile (0.4km) on one fill. This one should be the same, as it's based on the Argyle design.

I just checked the loco running records, this little Baldwin should run for about half as long as a small Roundhouse loco, but twice as long as an Accucraft Ruby.

Daylight saving starts next weekend, so more time for late afternoon runs. I need to get this loco run in, as the GSSU is only six weeks away.........

Graeme

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by Andrew » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:16 pm

What a lovely loco! And the matt finish is stunning...

Looking forward to the promised shots of it running...

Cheers,

Andrew.

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by Keith S » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:40 pm

I love the black paint you use on your models. That and the natural light in your photographs reminds me of the habit of Canadian locomotive- builders (and everyone else for all I know) of giving black locomotives a wash of very dilute lime for their official builder's photographs. I suppose it was meant to reduce reflections and bring out details in the black-and-white photos of the day.

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by MikeBick » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:28 pm

Looking forward to admiring this little loco at GSSU in early November.

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by Mitch stack » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:54 am

MikeBick wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:28 pm
Looking forward to admiring this little loco at GSSU in early November.

Graeme I am lost for words! What a fabulous loco! I will have my Sammie there too and we will have to do a comparison!
I will have to agree Mike , looking forward to meeting up at the GSSU.

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by DonW » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:07 pm

Being fairly new to the forum I hadn't seen this before so went back to the start. Wow! what a beautifully made model.

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by GTB » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:40 pm

Keith S wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:40 pm
I love the black paint you use on your models.
I'm old enough to remember when steam locos worked hard pulling real trains and were still maintained regularly. That's the effect I try for.......

I rarely use straight black on a model, it is usually cut back with dark grey and sometimes some red oxide. Since I use an airbrush I can mix paints to the shade I want, another reason I dislike aerosols. In HO I use matt paints, but in garden scale I mix satin and matt to get a semi matt finish.

If you've ever had anything to do with military modelling you'll have run into theories about fading colours to simulate the softening effect of the atmosphere. I don't agree with all of that, but I do find a semi matt finish on railway models looks much more realistic to me when outside on the track.

Graeme

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by Lonsdaler » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:41 pm

I'm in awe of anyone with model engineering skills. It's beautiful Graeme. There once was a time when an old fart like me could learn such skills in later life with night classes at local colleges. Sadly cuts in the education budget now make that rare or non existent :x
Keep up the good work :thumbright:
Phil

Thursday? So am I, let's have a cup of tea...

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by GTB » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:20 am

Lonsdaler wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:41 pm
There once was a time when an old fart like me could learn such skills in later life with night classes at local colleges.
I did a hobby course in fitting and turning at the local tech school about 40 years ago, run by one of the trade teachers. They also ran other courses in useful hobby skills like car maintenance, panel beating, carpentry, etc. back then. The course I did was strong on machining skills, but there wasn't much on designing.

The tech is now a TAFE, but it still trains apprentices, so the workshops and teachers are still there. Sadly I think that sort of hobby course died out here due to not enough pupils signing up. If sufficient people were still interested in learning these skills as a hobby, one of the TAFEs would be running a course ...........

Graeme

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Re: TVT - The lost Tribe

Post by GTB » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:36 am

I've started running the Baldwin in on the bench and the photo shows it on the rolling road while it was steamed for the first time a couple of days ago. The workshop isn't well lit, so the photo is a bit dark and grainy.

Sandfly-u.jpg

It ran, but had some problems to be sorted out. The throttle wasn't closing fully and it ran better in reverse than forward. The exhaust arrangements worked well though, with a nice steam plume and only a few small spots of oil on the saddle tank at the end of the run.

The throttle has been modified and the valves reset, so if todays run goes better, it will be run in over the weekend. My usual procedure is to use a full can of gas on the the bench, before moving on to track testing.

Regards,
Graeme

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