Starlight Express

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Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Sun 04 Aug 2013, 2:48 pm

Hi Steam Traction World Family,

Just registered and will try and post some photos of my progress so far. I was bitten by the model engineering bug approx. 10 years ago but had very little workshop experience apart from making wooden toys for my kids. With the help of some wonderful and patient mentors through the Tauranga Model engineering club I managed to complete an Allchin traction engine with the castings being supplied by Reeves. The attention to detail on my Allchin may well prove to be my undoing on my showman. With Traction engines being my focus I started looking for another project. Having purchased a second hand 3" scale Burrell it performed perfectly ok but it became obvious that an engine in 4" scale was the only option if I wanted to muck around on the rally field .The task of re-equipping my workshop to cope with a 4" scale project was going to be expensive and require extra space. Working full time and with all the other challenges on my time from family it was also going to be a challenge to fit in sufficient time in my workshop to do justice to complete a 4" scale project from the plans with raw castings etc . Phil (kiwi connection) put me onto STW and the rest is history. Submitters have often expounded the virtues of Dean, Steve and the rest of the team at STW.I can only endorse these comments and then some with all the extra work involved for boiler compliance by the authorities in New Zealand. The powers that be in NZ eventually realised that the English have been building boilers for a little longer than one of the commonwealths most southern territories and full compliance has been achieved. My kit arrived before Christmas and I will try and post some photos of my progress so far. .



Photo of my stash at STW's premises.  They were most helpful in letting me store paid for kits until enough were built up for a shipment to New Zealand.



Safe arrival in New Zealand.  No major problems with Customs.  No import duty but GST (similar to UK VAT) payable.  Me thinks I will need a new trailer as the current shipment which comprises approximately 2/3rds of the kits is looking a little under spec.  



Unloading of shipment at home.  Could be a bit difficult to hide this from my better half.  The block and tackle is an essential piece of kit for the build.  



My friend John, an engineer, "supervising" the unload.  The dolly which I have positioned the boiler on has been very useful for manoeuvring around my garage and workshop



Last edited by showman shane on Wed 07 Aug 2013, 2:47 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : change of title)

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  lynnr on Sun 04 Aug 2013, 10:03 pm

Welcome to the world of steam engine building. Looks like a road loco kit?
It does get a bit smaller when all the packing is gone and the bits are flying in tight formation.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  Kiwiconnection on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 12:28 am

G'day Shane

Looking forward to being in the same position as you in the not too distant future. Will be dropping in on STW very soon to pay the final bill for my RL so they can ship my gear as soon as possible. I know you are forging ahead with your build, (more photos please), and I hope to catch you up soon. Looking forward to returning to NZ within the next 3 weeks or so. Keep on building.........Very Happy

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  lynnr on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 9:09 am

Well have you finished the kits yet?

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 1:28 pm

Hi Lynn,I am constructing the showmans and am no where near completing the kits already shipped. Your leadership and supplementary information on your build thread has been invaluable to me.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  lynnr on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 1:51 pm

If you need info on a specific part or a photo taken please contact me.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 2:40 pm

One of my main concerns in building a kit with a boiler not constructed in New Zealand was obtaining compliance by the New Zealand authorities. With the operating pressure exceeding 100 PSI, the boiler inspector in my model engineering club does not have the authority to sign the boiler off. SGS is a Government sanctioned company to approve boilers in New Zealand. Jim at their Rotorua Branch was most helpful. SGS requested from STW the following certificates:

- Design Approval Certificate
- Assembly Inspection Certificate
- Hydraulic Test Certificate
- Copy of RSA approval which qualifies the boiler for CE mark

The above information was supplied by STW and they also answered any queries that SGS had with the result that the boiler has been certified to operate in a public place in New Zealand. The only requirement by SGS was a caustic boil or chemical wash to remove any scale and other impurities.

Anyone in New Zealand who is thinking of building one of STWs kits, don't let boiler compliance hold you back as it is not an issue.

To operate the engine in New Zealand in a public place it is my understanding that a full sized traction engine licence may be required. You can apply for an exemption which hopefully is easy to obtain provided you can show you can safely operate the engine. Hopefully a letter from my model engineering club's president confirming this will satisfy the New Zealand authorities. It is my understanding that because the boiler's volume is under 50 litres, that there is no restriction on my operating the engine at my model engineering club.

Photos below show the boiler ready to be transported to High Performance Coatings in Manurewa. They gave the boiler a light bead blast and coated with a high temperature paint. I am pleased with the result.


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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 2:57 pm

Boiler all bunged up for transport to HPC

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All ready for the chemical wash

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Will need to give Johns fish pond pump a good rinse before putting back in pond

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 3:57 pm

Kit 1
Made a start.The supreme boss had to check out where all the noise was coming from.

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Photo of workshop early on in the build .Looks pretty dirty now.

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SPRAY PAINTING

Spray painting has been a new experience for me. Wished I had done a course at the local tech or something before I started the build.The book "How (not) to paint a locomotive" was very helpful.Probably made a rod for my back in deciding to go with a 2 pack system.Needed to up grade my air compressor to cope with the volume of air required for a fresh air face mask system.I have gone with a brand called Altec which is an industrial paint sold in NZ and Australia .It is manufactured in Tauranga near to where I live.Mainly used on machinery etc and has a high temperature resistance-120 degrees approx.After pin striping I have also used their clear coatings (2 pack) with the final coat having and an anti graffiti additive.They tell me it will repel oil grease etc.I hope they are right!. I have had to use the same paint for my pin striping as Altec could not guarantee stickibility if any other paint used. I obiviously could not use a beugler pen to apply my pin striping because of viscosity so had to devise another system.I hope you like it.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 4:18 pm

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Was hard to do but had to sand with 400 grit wet and dry before applying 3 clear coats

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Pleased with end result but think I need to buy some shares in 3M with all the tape I will need for the rear wheels.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 4:39 pm

Kit 2
Sick of painting so keen to have a play in the workshop. Front axle pin not quite square so bushed and happy with result.
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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 5:11 pm

Kit 3
I think Dean and Steve were having a little joke with the boys (and girls ) downunder. Attached door to smoke box and name ring to door-guess what name ring wrong way up.I guess it is in the same position as a name ring sitting in the correct position in the northern hemisphere.

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no problem to fix

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Had HPC paint smokebox,door, chimney etc with very high temp paint

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Kit 3A

Lots of cleaning up etc .On reflection should have had the castings bead blasted to save time.

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And pinstriping of bits and pieces

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Then the rub down and apply top coats of clear.

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Starting to assemble -quite exciting after all the work to get to this stage and only up to kit 3A!

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 6:21 pm

Kits 4 and 5

It was with some reluctance I started the build of the rear wheels. My main concern apart from the pinstriping  was their weight -of approx. 35 kgs each. To paint (I can only manage a touch up gun)I needed to be able to rotate each wheel easily on its axis and turn it round to do the other side easily.I purchased some threaded rod(cheap as chips) and some large washers which I turned on my lathe to same diameter less a few thou to hole in axle hub.With nuts holding the inside washers in place and larger washers on the outside of the hub to stop it moving I was able very cheaply to set up the assembled wheel on two stands as shown in the photos.The ends of the threaded rod also acted as handles for lifting.  

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I love it when a plan comes together-run out for total wheel approx. 20 thou. A credit to STW systems and expertise.

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Now for the pinstriping

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Please with the finished result.I guess you could call it down under free lance.I will be interested to see the colour scheme of some of the other builders in this part of the world.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 6:58 pm

Kits 6,14 and 15 relating to boiler completed without to much bother.

Kits 7 and 8 have yet to start.

Kit 9
I under estimated how heavy this piece of kit was when assembled before attaching to boiler.I had an incident pride still intact but only just.Phil can check out the "hanger rash"when he returns to NZ.I decided to take from memory Lynn's suggestion and did not pinstripe the horn plates.It will hardly be seen and saved a lot of time.The different colours on each side was a mission in itself.only one photo i'm afraid.

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Kit 10
Lots of bits and no photos of individual parts.Managed to set everything up ok on hornplates and used the bearing line up tool to align the 2 bearing housings with little adjustment required. Then pulled apart and reassembled on boiler. I also made some collars to go on axle to stop the wheels sliding over and damaging paintwork.

With Starlight Express  now on her wheels she saw the sun for the first time two weeks ago. Another star is born in the STW stable but this time down under. I hope those of you in the UK notice that the sun is shining in the pictures and it is the middle of winter in NZ.

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Kits 11 and 12
Spent a lot of time cleaning up the outside of the cylinder casting and hope its not one of "those ones" that had a we issue.Have had the cylinder painted by HPC and in last week attached to my boiler barrel.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 7:07 pm

Well that's it from me.Comments and advice from any builder will be gratefully appreciated. Now to start the next kit-which one will it be....

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Starlight Express

Post  Tassie Tiger on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 8:03 pm

Hi Shane
Welcome to the STW club. I am building a 4'' single cylinder across the ditch in Tassie. How long did it take you to get to get to this stage? I received all my kits in one go in Dec 2011 and have been doing bits and pieces since. Not much being done at the moment due to cold weather. I have to post some more pics as I have done a lot more since. Your build looks awesome with the bright colours and spot on paintwork.
All the best with your build
Regards
Phil

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 8:47 pm

Hi Phil,Good to hear from a fellow builder across the ditch. Are you aware of any other STW builders in these parts? Look forward to seeing some of your build photos. I started the build in Dec last year and don't expect that Starlight Express will have a fire in her belly for at least a year or so. Cheers Shane

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Re Starlight Express

Post  Tassie Tiger on Mon 05 Aug 2013, 9:51 pm

Hi Shane
There are 2 others in Aust that I know of, Rod in Vic and another I think in Qld. I think Rod is building a Road Loco from memory.
Cheers
Phil

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  lynnr on Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:09 am

Well well. what to say indeed?

Outstanding!

Just love the workshop space. Bit green with envy in that respect. Defo looks like you are sluming it. For what I am guessing from your comments this is the first time with a spray gun. Well excellent work is all I can say. I painted Crystal with only a touch up gun with no problem. Wasted less paint in the process. So no worries mate.

Your finish is top notch. When Crystal gets her first overhaul. I will be doing some tidy up and repainting.

The accomplishment and quality bars have been set extremely high in New Zealand.

Looking forward to the next instalment.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  Flasback on Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:49 am

Nice colours Shane, the wheels look great.  Tony looks like you have competition on who can get the the most shiny bits of metal, those fire doors are like mirrors.  Mine is now covered in WD40, oil and dirt, Kev was right about the dirt.  You spend all that time clearing it, loving painting it and now.....Sad   still part of the fun of building it Razz .

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Tue 06 Aug 2013, 1:41 pm

Thanks Lynn and Flasback for your kind words and encouraging comments. As indicated in various threads and which I totally endorse the bar is at a level that each builder is personally comfortable with having regard to their available time and skill level . Its not a competition between the various builders as each engine will have its own personality and provide great joy to its owner. Merry banter over a beer between STW owners is to be expected though.Cheers Shane.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  lynnr on Tue 06 Aug 2013, 1:55 pm

If you ever reach the top end of Scotland. Give me shout and the door is always open. Should also get the spare room sorted soon. Eviction of sister set for the 19th.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Tue 06 Aug 2013, 2:37 pm

Thanks Lynn,I appreciate the offer.Checked your beautiful country out last year for a week after the Olympics(our daughter was competing).The weather was great and people most obliging.Ditto if you are ever down this way.Photo from our front deck which might help your decision.

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  Tony King on Wed 07 Aug 2013, 2:15 am

WOW!! Shane, you've hit the forum with the most incredible "Olympic winning post".......... Absolutely amazing progress & stunning finishes!!
It's so good to see these kits going to the other side of the planet & then get incredible feed back on the build. It's so interesting for other builders to see how you do "stuff" & in your case, "perfection" seems to be the order of the day!!
I'm totally impressed & look forward to seeing the next installment!!
Well done!!!
Regards,
Tony (Just round the corner from Lynn)

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Re: Starlight Express

Post  showman shane on Wed 07 Aug 2013, 2:13 pm

Thankyou Tony,I really appreciate your comments. Builders and owners of 4" scale traction engines in NZ are pretty thin on the ground . I am sure that once my friend Phil(kiwi connection) and I complete our engines they will create immense interest and orders for STW.I call it the magpie syndrome ie until potential builders can see and touch the finished (bright and shiny) engines they won't commit to a build.

Northern light is a real credit to your skill and I look forward to meeting some of you guys when in the UK hopefully when on sabbatical next Aug/Sept. Kind regards Shane

Below are  photos of a bracket I made to attach  Starlight express to the smoke box. It was abit of a fiddle using my engineers level to mark out the correct cutting angle to mill the curve on my rotary table. When describing my frustration to some of my mates at my model engineering club Murray a computer and maths whizz writes a programme and spread sheet to calculate the correct angles!

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Last edited by showman shane on Thu 08 Aug 2013, 1:29 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Starlight Express

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