September – October 2009
With the chassis almost sorted out, the bodyshell could be made up. Mike had designed both the framework and the panels with slots and tabs to locate the panels precisely, so the bodywork assembly was so quick that not many photos got taken!
Brackets were made from some 20mm angle and these were drilled and tapped to take small bolts. The photo below shows the bodywork assembly at the end of a day’s work. The chassis behind is for an 04 Drewry.
A splash of undercoat to stop things going rusty, and all is looking good out in the morning sunshine. Harlech is now sat on its wheeled trolley, again made from scrap sports equipment! Part of the framework for the removable bonnet top can be seen being checked out for size.
Becomes a bit clearer now, a close up of the rear bonnet. The framework is laser cut from 4mm steel and the slots are for easy locating of components. The unpainted parts will form the rear bonnet ‘lid’ which will be removeable for access to the motor and gearing if need be.
And the photo below shows the rear bonnet almost completed, the lid made from 1mm steel which was carefully formed and spot welded to the framework. Much care had to be taken with this, doesn’t take a lot for the material to blow through. Heavier gauge could have been used but would have made forming the curves much more difficult, and we all like a pretty engine with smooth curves, don’t we?
The front bonnet followed the same method of construction: framework for the lid slotting into locating holes in the framework for the body. This bonnet was much trickier to construct due to its size, the length of the curved section and the number of welds needed.
And here it is, almost complete with just a little jiggery pokery for a snug fit. Mike is wasting no time and is checking out the cab roof framework.
Another little job completed after a trip to Dales for more components, the running boards for both locomotives were made from a patterned stainless steel. Dales cut and formed these for us and they were a quick and easy bolt-on fitting. The steel has a gentle wave pattern that resembles the anti-slip steel found on locomotives such as this – though we’re not sure if Harlech actually has this, it’s most probably painted or weathered black. On the model, it doesn’t look out of place and being stainless it will be easy to keep clean!
The roof panel went through Mike’s rolling machine and came out to be plonked on the cab roof – excellent fit!
From a quiet Norfolk town to the centre of much attention overnight! The locomotive woke up one morning and found it had been kidnapped and taken to Leamington Spa for the Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition! Harlech, along with the red Drewry and the Sri Lankan M7 had been taken to Leamington for display on the 7.25″ Society stand.
Also at the exhibition was an old friend, Noel Shelley, who took his furnace to the exhibition and was busy casting various items… some of which were intended for Harlech and Criccieth/Cardigan!
Also on the 7.25 stand was a chassis for sale, intended to be made up as a GWR Toad van. The price was good and it came back to Norfolk to be used as a driving trolley for Harlech Castle. Well spotted Mike, and thank you!
The suspension needed a little sorting out as it was rather weedy – here the springs are compressing under the weight of one axle as the chassis was turned over! Imagine what they’d do with the bodyshell on top and a driver perched on the roof!
There was only one thing for it – heavier and slightly longer springs! As can be seen, when the retaining bar is put back in there will be a bit of compression already. Once all four axleboxes had been modified – the recess for the spring to locate in needed making bigger – it was much better.
The improved suspension also sorted out a clearance issue between brake rods and axles.
The bodyshell was made from ply with 2″ x 1″ or thereabouts vertical uprights to support the roof, almost complete here.
The roof skeleton can be seen here.
The roof itself was made from a sheet of aluminium and this was topped with hardboard for a bit of softness and insulation – cold ally sheet isn’t nice to sit on! The plan is to top this further with some green seat covering material, so it looks like a felt roof.
The body was made to the basic toad van shape, but it will be branded as a Ffestiniog Railways Permenant Way van. Detailing and final finishing yet to be done…
Harlech and the Toad together… Harlech is taller than the rolling stock on the Ffestiniog so this isn’t that far out of proportion!