Am_Fet writes: With a fleet of plastic fantastics looming on the horizon, thoughts turned to what was going to keep these little beauties from being dragged unceremoniously across the ballast, and the Trackgang Type 16 seemed the best candidate (for reasons that will be explained later)
The initial "un-boxing" (to use an IT phrase) revealed a small plastic bag of bits and a bright, shiny two dollar coin that apparently I was owed by being over generous in my payment. Trackgang goes 1-0 up straight after kickoff!
Laid out on the workbench, the bags contents look like this, to whit 2 bogies made up of 2 sideframes, a stretcher and 2 wheel sets:
Initial reactions regarding the castings was good. Sure, some of the detail on the sideframes was a bit rough, but the flash was almost non-existent (just some mold lines and a wee bit around the pegs) and the stretcher seemed cleverly designed:
Assembly was undertaken with CA Gel, which up to this point I had never tried. The stuff itself is a revelation; it stays where it is put and is quick drying. Even so, I still blew gently on the joints to help them set (CA was first developed as Military Emergency Medical Goop and water is its catalyst....it usually reacts to moisture in the air and skin, which explains why it dont work so flash on hot dry days.)
As for the assembly itself....It took a few goes to work out how to get it to go together. The initial plan of gluing then prising the sideframes apart and inserting the wheelsets came unglued (literally) by the length of the axles on the wheelsets. Somehow I finally got it together by holding a sideframe and stretcher vertically against a block, then inserting the wheels with my other hand and holding them before introducing the top sideframe with my next hand...then proceeding to unscrew the cap off the CA with my fourth hand (if a mad scientist ever gets the hang of genetic modification, I am seriously going to ask for more hands). Somehow it all held and just required a slight tweak to get it all sitting flat. When pushed, it wanders away by itself at around 6.5 out of 10 on the friction-ometer:
When put up beside a bogie from offshore, the difference is startling...it is clearly a bigger, chunkier bogie and when mounted under the IA it just seems to fit together nicely....And this size difference is probably be why I'll be back for more...
So the final roundup: The detail of the castings isnt startling, but I've come to realise that details like this in this scale dont have to be; its all about creating a picture, and I personally dont think it will be worrying me when I have a long freight train of wagons equipped with these bogies wandering past. Assembly is where I hit problems, despite the parts being well designed...maybe I'll get it right the more I do, but it did seem to just be a bit...difficult. I havent put the wheelsets in the second one (I left the glue to cure properly overnight)...maybe soldering will be the answer.
So I'm curiously torn. Russell is to be congratulated for getting Trackgang up and running and making all these goodies available...it sure is easier than scratching my own bogie, and when it is part of a complete wagon it sure is purty. But I'm wondering if I really have the patience to wrestle with every bogie I have to make?
And will someone ever come out of the woodwork to provide an alternative bogie in a different medium? Time will tell....