Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Achilles Report No52: Well On The Way...

Hi everyone. More progress has been made over the last week or so on my 5" gauge locomotive "Achilles". The tanks, cab, bunker and cylinder covers have returned in their new livery of shining blue with white lining. The white lining was chosen after a tongue in cheek suggestion, as I had had my heart set on the same red as the tank engine had always carried. However, wanting to try something different for the slightly changed shade of blue, I went for white lining. The tanks, cylinder covers and cab weatherboard have been lined with the rest of the engine remaining plain blue or black respectively. The results, I feel, are very good and I am very pleased with the transformation. I just wish I had more time to get the engine completed more quickly but everything has come at once at the minute! The last of the running boards was stripped a few days ago...
And primed...
The running board above has since had two coats of matt black applied and is now 'hardening' along with the other bits & pieces. Everything that was black is now in a new coat of black; including steps, running boards and the mechanical lubricator & its lid. Other jobs have included repacking all of the piston & valve gland packings. As can be seen from the photograph below, there was nothing left in any of them!...
"LH Valve Gland Prior to Packing"
All of the gland packings have since been replaced and tightened up ready for use when the engine finally steams: hopefully in a few weeks. The packing used is PTFE yarn, wrapped around the spindles with a little help from some thick steam oil. This arrangement results in a good seal and it certainly 'felt' like the seal had improved when moving each of the spindles by hand slightly. The locomotive's smokebox is now finished and has had the chimney, door and dart refitted for a while. The ensemble is looking more pleasing by the day...
"Looking Like An Engine Again...A Bit Anyway"
Well, that's it for now folks. The next jobs are to sort out the remaining painting on the front end and then lag the boiler before replacing the cladding...all this is to come! Best Regards, Sam...

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