The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 8 (February 1, 1933)
Model Locomotive Building — Unexpensive Hobby
In writing; this Brief article on Model Locomotive Building, I write not as an employee of the Railways Department, nor as an engineer. My profession is that of an optician. However, I have always taken a keen interest in locomotives, and whatever mechanical ingenuity I might possess is traceable, perhaps, to inherited instinct, my farther, the late Thomas Murray, being for many years employed at the old Petone Workshops.
I have made several locomotive models, and the following is a description of some of them:—
Illustration No. 1 shews models of the New Zealand Railways “C” and “K” classes at the station on the miniature railway line of the Wellington Model Engineering Society, exhibited at the Wellington Winter Show last year.
The “Maori Maid” Model.
Illustration No. 2 (“Maori Maid”) is a model of the “C” class locomotive. In the building of this model the only parts of the mechanism not fabricated in my workshop were the electric mechanism, wheels (2), cylinder castings, and a piece of strip brass. The boiler was originally a piece of brass tubing. The tubing was sawn off to the length required, and a section cut out underneath to enable the electric mechanism to fit up into the boiler. The firebox was made from a piece of sheet brass fitted over the boiler, and shaped. The cab was made from a piece of sheet brass cut to shape, the windows being subsequently marked and sawn out. The roof of the cab, was then made, being filed and fitted, the whole being soldered together. In the cab dummy fittings are used entirely. The smoke box door was turned from a flat piece of brass, fitted with dummy hinges, soldered on. The funnel and the three domes were turned from a piece of brass rod, and in similar manner the whistle, safety valve, lamp, pumps, and valves, were turned from odd pieces of brass. German silver (polished) was used for the bands around the boiler. The front and back bogies were built up in brass. The cowcatcher was built up with 1-16in. brass rod, bent and soldered to shape, and the connecting rods and valve gear were cut and filed to shape, and polished. The tender was made from a piece of sheet brass cut to shape and soldered. In the tender are two hand brakes, turned from a small piece of rod, as were also all the hand rail knobs. The engine is painted (hand lacquered) in green, with the smoke box funnel and under-carriage black, and the domes were polished and lacquered. The cab and tender roofs were painted black. This model works well on eight volts D.C., and can be started, stopped and reversed from a switchboard situated near the main line. In coupling up the tender to the locomotive, I had to allow a greater margin of clearance than is usual in real practice, as the small curves on my railway line are such that if this clearance were not provided the tender would foul the cab. (This model took nine months of my spare time to build.)
The New “K” Class Model.
One hobby leads you; out of extravagance.“—Bulwer-Lytton.
Models of the “C” and “K” Class Locomotives made by Mr. Murray. See letterpress for description of the illustration.
Construction of the Boiler.
Now, for the boiler. First, a piece of brass tube was cut to the required length, then a piece of brass tube was turned (with a slight taper) and fitted on to the end of the boiler, where the steam turbine was placed. Next came the firebox. This was made from a piece of brass, cut to size, a throat plate being then made and soldered to the boiler. The cab was then marked out on brass, cut, filed, and soldered to shape, and the eighteen handrail knobs turned and fitted into position. The handrails were all made with a 1-16in. metal thread and screwed into the boiler, with a hole to take the handrail. The funnel was turned from a piece of brass rod, also the two domes, the front, or sand dome, having square sides with a flat top, and the steam dome which is behind this has the whistle fitted on the off side. The other fittings, the steam turbine, three safety valves and steam fountain were turned and filed to shape. The fittings in the cab consist of a reverse lever, throttle, water gauge, pressure gauge, steam taps, two clack valves, firebox and door. The tender is fitted with two hand brakes, a coal door and a tool cabinet at the top, also two ladders and a coal box. The front and back draw bars were turned and filed to shape. The cowcatcher was cut to shape, large pins being used for the bars, which are all soldered to the brass.
The two air pumps are situated between the smoke box door and the running board ladder. They are turned up in brass, with air inlets in front and page 44 steam and air inlets situated at the back of the pump. The steam pipes from the boiler to the cylinders were made from a piece of copper tube buffed and lacquered. The boiler bands were cut into strips from a piece of German silver, polished and lacquered. The lamp was made from a piece of tube fitted with a reflector, miniature globe, and a magnifying lens in the front. (This model is not quite completed, as I have to place the guide rods in position and the connecting rods have to be fluted and the handrail knobs placed in the cab.)
The “Maori Chief” Model.
Illustration No. 4, the “Maori Chief,” is of the 4-6-2 free lance design, with a gauge of 5 ½ inches. I am afraid it would take up too much valuable space at this juncture to give a full description of the making of the “Maori Chief,” but if readers are interested I should be only too pleased to supply details at a later date.
The building of the models described above has given the writer endless pleasure—for a minimum expenditure of money. The models, for the most part, were fabricated from odds and ends of material found in my workshop, an expenditure of less than £3 sufficing to cover the parts purchased for any one model.