So, that’s where I left off the Day 20 update. I had a first chassis made. When I say “first chassis” that’s a pretty big deal because I’ve never done anything like this before and any previous tries, well, they just never worked out even close to this. What you see in the above photo is square, those axles can move vertically in their axleboxes to facilitate compensation, and it rolls beautifully. Win!
Fast forward to today. I’ve been saying about how I wanted to learn how to do this through a series of iterations. I realise that that probably also sounds like some self doubt and laying a foundation layer of excuses to never really do anything but I meant I was learning something new and each of these attempts was part of learning to do something. I only need one of these models so why not take some time to really study how to make it and learn from and by doing?
The IP Engineering kit is designed to suit either 32mm or 45mm gauge track so is wider than the version I’d like. Narrowing the kit to suit my 32mm gauge track was fairly straightforward. I didn’t cut it down to exactly that width and have left it about twenty percent wide, in line with the way the kit’s design.
When I completed the first full iteration of the chassis I noticed that it actually almost slid up inside the kit’s frame and then I had this smart idea: why not design my chassis to do just that and live inside the frame? The above three photos show the sides of this second design.
In the first chassis my priority was just to make it square and test an idea about how to make it in general. While the overall proportions were important exact dimensions were not. In this next iteration I wanted not to just have something that worked but something that looked better. I was really worried about keeping things square so made a primitive jig from some cardstock and built the chassis inside and around it. As successive pieces of plastic are glued together small amounts of solvent do leak out but that helps hold the thing in place. I made the chassis sides in mirror image of each other and you can see how some crucial parts overlap and I think that’ll help them align when this is made up into a square chassis.
So this is where we are now. I have the two sides. They’re made up in layers of styrene and I have some final sanding to smooth the edges but I’m very pleased with this progress. Not least of all, I’m quite pleased that the angled axlebox guides (what is their name?) all look about the same size and shape. These dimensions are based on what I’d used previously so the hornblocks I already have made will work equally well in here.
This design is intended to slide inside the Lister’s frame crossmembers. That said I discounted how this might look in a model where most of this structure is visible. I’m not sure I like seeing this extra thickness but I’m also not sure how to correct this. Where weeks ago I’d never done anything like this now I have some primitive experience so can already feel the dawn of wisdom because instead of seeing this as a failure it’s just one more thing I’m looking forward to learning.
All that said, this does look fantastic from the side. I’m very proud of this. Very, very proud of this.