Friday, 23 May 2014

Thornycroft Dunlop Van

I mentioned earlier that a bodied version of the A1 chassis was on the agenda. I wanted a van that had a colourful livery with simple logos.

The Thornycroft Register has an amazing portfolio of vehicle photos. However, the 1920s/30s photos are all monochrome. Livery colours cannot be determined easily.

The Dunlop van caught my eye due to its simple branding. There is a George V 'by appointment crest' beneath which are the words 'By Appointment', the Dunlop  brand name and the words 'Rubber Company Co. Ltd.'

But what of the livery colours? I came across a photo of a Dinky toy Dunlop van in red, desaturated its colours in a graphic editing Application and compared the result to the Thornycroft Register photo. The grey shading was a perfect match! Further confirmation was needed and  a couple of 1930s Dunlop brochures were found where red featured. We can see from the Thornycroft photo that the roof is a lighter colour. One of the brochures showed the Dunlop name in black with a yellow border.  so, I assume the roof was yellow.

Here is an unkind photo of our N gauge model. Its roughness is far less noticeable when viewed from the normal distance of 2' or more.

Its chassis construction was described in a previous posting. The body is 3D printed in plastic and covered with paper overlays designed in a graphic editing Application. Windscreen glass and steering wheel are included as are headlamps and spare wheel underneath on the other side. The number plates carry the number of the Dunlop van in the Thornycroft Register photo.

Here is a very close up photo of the corporate branding. It occupies an area less than 10mm square.

On the layout I intend to park the van outside the factory in Worting Road with the Thornycroft photographer in attendance, thus capturing a typical scene shown in may of the vehicle photos.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Lunch Box Controller 2

Following on from the success of our portable Cliddesden Lunch Box Controller I made another one for Thornycroft Sidings. This time the train controller is a separate unit, which is the black box in the photo of the previous posting below. I kept the train controller separate so that it can power Thornycroft and Cliddesden track if the two layouts are connected together. This lunch box only provides turnout control, except 3 track power feed switches for sidings are included (independent wiring from the turnout control).

The polythene lunch box came from Sainsbury supermarket at £1.50 and takes hole drilling for the switches very well. The finished unit is comfortable to hold and easy to operate.

The electronics inside (capacitive discharge) were lifted from my 00 gauge layout as it was redundant, having opted for manual control when the track was changed from EM to 00 in 2008. The circuit design is shown in the March 1981 edition of Everyday Electronics magazine. Circuit designs can also be found by searching the web.

The cabling is 8 way CAT 5 of which two runs were needed plus a single wire. 25 way D's connect the unit to the layout under the baseboard.

The black wire is the 15 V DC feed for the turnout electronics.


Saturday, 10 May 2014

Baseboard Bank Holiday update

Reading back over "The Book", we realised that the track running past the site heading towards Basingstoke is a 1 in 82 incline, levelling out in the middle and heading towards Worting Bridge a 1 in 50. This meant that we had to raise the track level, and introduced some ramps on the curves at the ends, as the track had to end level with the back where the siding goes into a building. The track bed was raised using 6mm and 12mm MDF, cut to size, sanded and plained down to produce the ramps and inclines. On the downside to this, the track level is now higher than Ciddesden, which means we'll have to create a new inter-scene-section to join them together (whenever we decide to do that). As with Cliddesden we painted the ends, back and sides jet black as they are not part of the prototype, and it draws the viewers eyes to the main layout.

As you can also see from the above picture we have also began laying the track.
To attach the ends to the main board, we decided to utilise our 3D printer, David drew up a design for a latch using CAD software and set the 3D printer to work making 4 of them. To help with alignment we also added in two dowels in each side. Hopefully this design will make it a lot quicker to set-up and tear down.


Friday, 2 May 2014

Thornycroft A1 Chassis - 3D print

Whilst waiting for Ed to find time to work on the baseboard (phase2)  I skipped from phase 1 to phase 3 of the project to see how well our 3D printer could make a Thornycroft A1 chassis in N gauge.

A1 Class

Introduced in 1924 the light weight A1 had a load capacity of 1.5 tons. It was sold as a chassis for customers to add their own body work or supplied with bodywork from Thornycroft's range of styles. A war department subsidy of £120 was available to customers who opted for it, which meant in times of need the War Department could requisition the chassis with or without bodywork at a reduced price from owners. The book price of a chassis in 1926 was £460.

The Model

It was very common to see vehicle chassis in the yard at Thornycroft so it is the chassis that I initially wanted to make. A dimensional drawing is available from Hantsweb and the kit of parts I drew up in FreeCad.

The kit comprises:

  • Wheels
  • Front Axle
  • Rear Axle
  • Engine compartment
  • Chassis with built-in cosmetic leaf springs
  • Drive shaft with gear box
  • Steering wheel
  • Steering column
  • Gear lever
  • Petrol tank
  • Exhaust pipe
Quite detailed for N gauge.

The paint finish of the assembled chassis is a big unknown because only monochrome photographs have been found and most of these suggest a lighter than black colour. I have not found any written records of the stock finish. I assumed they would have been stocked in primer paint to be finished in the customers livery before dispatch. I chose a red oxide colour (Humbrol 100) but grey may have been used in reality.

The chassis will be positioned outside the paint shop on the layout.

All the parts are so small that if they are 3D printed individually the plastic filament does not have enough time to get flowing before the print finishes! So I ended up making a batch of 5 for greater coverage! 

They turned out better than expected and I'm looking forward to making a bodied version and some other vehicle types. I quite fancy one of the six wheeled lorries.


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