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A web-site by Rob Speare


Building my Q1.

by John Lloyd    

I started my 'Q1' around 2002 after completing my 'original Merchant Navy' model.  I say finished, but that's not completely true as I have been modifying bits and pieces ever since the year 2000, and am still doing jobs on it.

It has proved to be at least as troublesome as the full size ones and probably more so, and much to my embarrassment has let me down on 3 IMLEC runs; though made up for it in style with a flawless run at Bournemouth IMLEC in 2010.

But being an Eastleigh man I decided to remain loyal to Mr Bulleid, and next to build a 'Q1' in 5" inch gauge, as a quick build.  Just make it basic and just a good runner . . .  Joke !!

Unfortunately it's not in my nature to make it basic, as for me it seems to have to be complicated - and so it has turned out to be.

I managed to get various drawings from friends who have helped a lot, and also lots of photos etc.  I've been to York museum twice and taken photos and measurements, but when you get home there is always something that you forgot to check on !

Anyway I have a good drawing of the valve gear and have scaled it down as near as possible, except the rocker gear which had to be altered to suit my valve travel.  I made all the valve gear and other rods etc out of gauge plate which seemed like a good idea at the time, and fortunately it all came out ok.

The cylinders I prefabricated in brass, but with cast iron valve liners and gunmetal cylinder liners - I did this because I wanted to get the right layout for my particular design.  Fortunately I am lucky as I have a friend who does professional lapping so the bores are spot on.

The 'Q1' is outside admission, so valve setting is simpler as you can look down the bores and see the ports opening with the aid of a small torch.

I was lent a wheel pattern and had them cast in gunmetal as our foundries around here don’t do cast iron.  There are steel tyres shrunk on though, so I don't foresee a problem.

I fitted steam operated brakes with a rather over sized cylinder inside a scale sized vacuum cylinder.  I did this as I was determined to have the brakes work, as on my M.N. despite the brakes working on air pressure, they are reluctant to work under steam.  This may be because the brake cylinders are gunmetal, the pistons are stainless and may expand more.

I have just finished the smoke box which has 8 m/m thick end plates only because I managed to get that thickness at reasonable price, but still not cheap.  The outer casing is a bit unusual in that it is double skinned.  This is because I had some 18 gauge copper sheet which I thought was a bit thin on its own, so there are 2 layers but with a small gap of about 1/8" between, so I don't think the paint will blister !

The smokebox door on the full-size 'Q1' is held closed by 8 dogs around it.  I did not fancy undoing and doing those up every time, so used the same idea my friend Dave Finn uses on his 'S15', and that is to use a single centre fixing which is activated by just one allen screw situated to one side of the door, which can just about be seen but not obviously so.

The cylinder drain cocks are steam operated, 6 of them in one block, 4 for the cylinders and 2 for the valve chests.  I have not tried them on steam or air yet, but they are of a proven design so fingers crossed.

The lubricator will be driven by a cam on the leading axle, the same system that I use on my M.N. loco; the cam activates a rocker which is connected to the lubricator rod.

That's the story so far . . .  Unfortunately, though I have a well equipped work shop I don’t have as much time as I would like as I do a lot of work for my son in law which is a very useful additional source of income, so I have to fit my hobby in with other jobs.