Sunday 15 January 2023

Underground Skip Progress

In my last post on the Hudson U-tub underground skip I had just finished hand pushing one half finished wagon along the Nystrup Gravel track. Since then I added a little weight in the tub (a 12 g pipe fitting) and made some tests with loco pushing the skip along the track through points and curves. Everything seemed to work tolerably well.

The Lister Rail Tractor test pushing 3 skips - so far without any derailments.

Once the testing on one skip had been carried out I prepared parts for two more wagons. I subscribe to the view that 3 examples of an item is seen as 'many'. Probably because the eye easily recognises two as a 'pair', 3 seems to put more strain on the brain. No matter what I now have 3 assembled skips that I will continue to work on. I will gather experience and only then assemble the last 3 skips. 

Prepared parts for two skips laid out on the worktable.

As I mentioned the skips' very light weight is a serious obstacle for reliable running on my uneven track. With a weight of the frame of only 6 g, wheels and axles 7 g and the tub weighing 12 g, I added 10 g of additional 'ballast' gaining a total weight of 34 g. Even with the 3D printed wheels the test wagon worked alright, although more weight wouldn't hurt. It remains to be seen how much weight I can fit in.

Blog reader Nick Curtis commented that Slaters Plastikard's 6 curly spoke 16 mm diameter wheels (ref. 1612DIN) could probably fit on the skips and I'm now considering to replace the plastic wheels. I'm trying out the kit wheels first to give them a chance, though. Surely the advise and hints I'm picking up from the blog's comments is a valuable source for improving my modelling.

The wheels that may find their way to replace the kit's 3D printed wheels.

Once the final rolling tests and weight experiments have been carried out I will take the 3 skips apart again and figure out how to fit coupling chains and hooks. I will also be working on how to add some texture to the skips to represent rust, flaked paint and caked on ash and debris. More about that later.

A U-tub skip being loaded by a Eimco 12B rocker shovel at the Lea Bailey Light Railway. The skip has similar tub details as my Hudson skips, but has a different frame. Image: LBLR. 

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