Porter: Detailing and Knuckle Couplers

Since the first test run some time has passed by, but there have been only a few opportunities to make progress with the tender’s construction. Nevertheless I managed to slip into the shop now and then and today I’d like to summarize the progress.

Tender mit Klauenkupplung und Rangiertritt

Tender with knuckle coupler and conductor’s platform

The most important thing first: the tender’s got a knuckle coupler. On the one hand it seemed plausible to me, since I’m going to model a railroad at the beginning of the 20th century, as mentioned on creating the blueprints. On the other hand I’m hoping for easier operations. I’ve already got some experience with link and pin couplers and I find it quite cumbersome to pull and put the links and pins between the cars with a long set of tweezers. Knuckle couplers however allow for automatic coupling at the best of times, especially if you can set brakes on the cars. Decoupling is even easier if you have cut levers at the side of the cars or use an R/C-controlled servo to pull the pin.

A Timewarp and Construction Diaries

A lot has been going on in the last months, hence I haven’t found much time to post on this site.

I posted the last updates on building the Porter tender in single posts, with their date matching the days when I actually worked on the model. Since some of them date back several months, here’s a list of new posts:

Besides that I created an index page listing all posts concerning my construction diaries. I hope this will make it easier to find specific steps in the construction process. The index page is now listed as a submenu item of “Model Railway”.

Porter Tender: Paintwork

Rungen abkleben

Masking stakes

With working couplers between loco and tender finished, I finally wanted to see some colour on the side walls. First, the stakes were painted with carmine red acrylic paint, as were the handrails. That turned out to be a bit tricky, but a second coating provided an acceptable surface.

After all handrails looked nice and the paint was dried, the red areas were masked with tape. You have to work carefully and pay attention to apply enough pressure at the edges of the tape, in order to avoid fresh paint to seep into the gaps of the wood’s grain.

Porter and Tender: Coupling

Vierkantmutter und Gewindestange verlötet, mit Unterlegscheibe

M1,6 square nut soldered to threaded rod, with washer

Of course, the electrical connection between loco and tender made it necesarry to add a coupling between the two before there could be any test runs. In order to stay close to the prototypical concepts and to make a long-lasting connection, I wanted to use threaded rods and square nuts. Unfortunately there was not enough room on the loco to use nbw on both ends, so I soldered a square nut onto a threaded rod with a diameter of 1,6mm. That way it looks like a genuine nbw from the outside, but can be screwed into the thick plastic frame.

 

Porter: Conversion to Battery Power

Porter Lok zerlegt für Umbau

Porter loco disassembled for conversion

Now that the tender’s basic construction is finished, I wanted to achieve operational readiness. That required the porter loco to get converted from rail to battery power. The most important thing to keep in mind is to insulate the loco’s circuits from the rails in order to avoid “supplying” the rails with the battery’s current. Only then one is completely independent from other loco’s and can really enjoy the advantages of battery power.