Kit 16 - Steam Fittings

9/11/06 I collected this kit on 19 July when I visited the factory, but I haven't written it up until now since there's very little that can be done with it until the final kit is delivered. It consists of the following miscellaneous parts:

The front steps can be fitted to the locomotive at this stage, but I'm intending to buy Doug Hewson's version of these, to match the ones that I fitted to the tender. Doug is in the process of making a batch of these. The vacuum hose and swan neck can also be fitted to the front buffer beam - Ted has pointed out that this assembly should be on the left of the buffer beam when viewed from the front, rather than the right where the screw hole has been drilled. I also think that the swan neck, although standard for many types of locomotive, is not correct for 70013 - see this picture of Britannia - and I will look into making a more realistic fitting. The same will apply for the vacuum hose on the tender, which has not yet been supplied.

15/11/06 The book 'Locomotives in detail - Riddles Class 6/7 Standard Pacifics' that I've just bought explains that the first batch of 25 Britannias 70000-70024 did originally have the swan-necked vacuum pipe, but they were all subsequently modified to the shape in the picture referenced above.

6/1/07 I've decided to make the correctly shaped vacuum pipes for the locomotive and tender, and so I've spent several hours filing the first of four pipe connectors from solid brass. I've also ordered a pair of steam heating connectors from Doug Hewson.

8/1/07 I've now assembled and fitted the front vacuum pipe and filed a working hose clamp from solid brass. The trick with all these fittings is to drill the holes first and then file the shapes around them! The next task is to make and fit the stay that holds the other end of the vacuum hose.

10/1/07 I've made the stay to support the end of the vacuum hose from a 5mm x 1.5mm strip of brass, bolted to the buffer beam with 2 small-headed 8BA bolts and twisted through 90 degrees. I removed one of the rivets to make space for this. I won't attempt to make the fitting at the lower end of the stay until I next visit Loughborough and have a chance to inspect the real thing. Doug Hewson is out of stock of the steam heating hoses at the moment.

12/1/07 I've made up the second hose clamp. I'm planning to go to Loughborough tomorrow to work on 70013.

15/1/07 I visited Loughborough on Saturday and photographed the hose stay. I've now made a pair of connectors, with interlocking arms at the top and lugs and slots at the bottom. I filed these from 1/4" brass bar, which took some time as the shapes are quite intricate. They latch together nicely, held in place by the springiness in the hose. Strictly speaking the lug on the bottom of the hose connector should protrude through the mounting and be held in place with a spring pin on a chain. I think that Doug Hewson does do castings for these connectors, for those not wishing to spend hours filing them from solid. Update 15/3/07: I've now silver-soldered a longer lug to the connector on the hose, and fitted a spring pin and chain.

9/2/07 The front steps arrived from Doug Hewson this morning - they are a nice match for the tender steps that I bought from him some time ago, and an exact replica of 70013's front steps that I painted at Loughborough a couple of months ago. The hole in the buffer beam bracket for the inner end of the support stay needed to be repositioned, so I removed the entire buffer beam and brackets as a unit to do this - it is no longer possible just to turn the locomotive upside down! The steps then fit nicely, as shown in the photograph.

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