Having briefly touched on the fundamentals as regards research and preparation, I intend to provide a rough description of bufferbeam components and their function.
Obviously due to the large amount of locomotive classes and the variations in pipework and electrical services resulting from their intended use, this area is a very broad one, and as such one must approach each class differently.
For instance, a Class 37 being a maid of all trades has a lot of pipework, whereas a Class 60 which is a pure freight thoroughbred has only two pipes.
Due to the ongoing refurbishment programmes that a lot of locomotives went through during their lifespans, many many variations of cables and pipes became apparent.
Modernisation of a lot of vehicles entailed the isolation of steam heat (where provided with a boiler in the first instance), removal of vacuum braking (or isolation only, with exhausters and pipework being retained, but being out of use).
Others inherited ETS (Electric Train Supply) and was installed to some variants (traditionally /4 sub classes).
Other variations include coupling codes (coloured symbols) being used to indicate vehicles that could be connected together via multiple working sockets to enable two or more locos to be driven from one loco.
For the purpose of this text, I am concentrating on the class 56, in particular the Hornby model of Romanian built example 56003.
The bufferbeam arrangement on a class 56 is fairly simple, and usually consists of the following items, in order from left to right, looking head on:
- Control air: Control air is the regulating air that enables the driver to control more than one loco. (white in colour)
- Main Res: Main Res is an air pipe provided to supply compressed air operated equipment located along the train such as brakes. The Main Res pipe connects all main reservoirs on a train from which supplies for compressed air systems are drawn. Connections between vehicles are via flexible hoses which are yellow in colour. Each vehicle has main reservoir pipe isolating cocks at each end of the pipe to allow uncoupling of hoses without loss of main reservoir pipe pressure.
- Coupling hook and shackle: this is the device that connects the loco to what it is hauling.
- Train brake: The pipe used to control train brakes on vehicles fitted with automatic air systems. On air braked trains, when charged, the brake pipe causes the train brakes to be released and the reservoirs (called auxiliary reservoirs) used to apply brakes to be automatically replenished. When pressure in the brake pipe is reduced, train brakes are applied. (Red in colour)
- Duplicate Control air: for description, see above – used as a back-up in case of failure of 1st set of pipes.
- Duplicate Main Res: for description, see above – used as a back-up in case of failure of 1st set of pipes.
Multiple working receptacle sockets and jumper cables are found on the front of the loco, and are in male and female formats. (Female on the loco, and male on the end of the jumper cable itself). These are pre-fitted to the loco as a part of the manufacturing process.
Enough of the pipework lesson- now to the model!
I get out my trusty tool l kit – usually only a few small handtools and some glue.
From my last instalment, I mentioned the following items which were supplied with the model, which is the standard “detailing pack” from Hornby:
Here, you can see:
- Tension lock couplings with shanks for NEM coupling boxes (already fitted to the loco)
- Control Air pipes
- Train brake pipes
- Main Res pipes
- Footsteps and schackles.
Step 1: Take a small hand drill, (matching the drill bits’ diameter to the approximate diameter of the pipe sprue that will be inserted into the bufferbeam) and drill out in the correct places the corresponding number of holes for pipes as they never fit! (I have removed a buffer for clarity)
Note the use of a foam cradle to protect the loco. (particularly the NRN aerials as these are very fine and can bend and snap quite easily.)
Then, using a cocktail stick, apply a small amount of glue to the sprue part of the hose that is to be inserted into the bufferbeam.
Take the hose and apply into the correct position into the bufferbeam, corresponding to your reference data. – Here I am applying a control air pipe with the use of a pair of flat headed tweezers.
Repeat the process with all pipework, working your way along the bufferbeam in the correct order.
Here I am pushing in the shank of the shackle into the beam.
A further feature common to a 56 is the protective mesh plate behind the shackle.
This view shows the pipes, the shackle and the plate in position.
That basically covers the principle of adding pipes.
Next time, I will describe the application of paint to represent dirt.
Thanks to Jim Mosley for his help and patience! Don’t forget, if you have any questions or comments, please post them in the comments form below and I’ll do my best to answer them for you 🙂
About Trev: Trev is an experienced railway modeller who has perfected his weathering and detailing skills over many years. He currently offers a bespoke Turn-A-Round weathering and detailing service, with very competitive prices from his workshop in Tamworth. If you’d like Trev to work his magic on one or more of your locos, you can drop him a line through his page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/dirtymodels