After working on the Z20 over the last few days I felt I was ready to make a post about progress and share a photo. Work on the chassis has essentially stopped for the past week while I’ve worked on getting the parts footplate parts made so I can solder the seven parts together. One of the reasons I moved onto the footplate before completing the chassis was that I wanted to check the fit of the last few components against the footplate as these were added. You can measure and look at plans and photos as much as you like but until you can fettle a part against the loco there’s no guarantee things are going to fit.
I had reached the stage of making up the buffer beams and then applied these to the footplate that was shown in a previous post. For some reason I couldn’t explain things weren’t quite right and on checking it turned out I’d measured the original footplate incorrectly and it was a couple of mm too narrow. There really is nothing to be gained from putting off the inevitable so I cut new parts and started over. As I’d made a few other minor mistakes in version 1.0 I was able to correct these as I made the new components. The lesson here is that parts that you know are right act as gauges against parts that you assumed are right. If they aren’t right then you cut new ones and start again. I have an ice cream container that is accumulating a lovely collection of off cuts and abandoned .5mm NS parts 🙂
The cast polyurethane sections from the Z19 class kit have been fettled a bit and placed on the footplate to give some sense of how it will go together. I don’t have any problem using parts from a kit in this fashion, in fact it makes a project like this far more approachable. However I suppose it stops it being totally scratch built. I don’t really mind this as long as it looks like a 20 and it runs well. I can forgive a loco a lot of inaccuracies as long as it runs ok.
The footplate is actually made up of seven separate sections of NS if you include the buffer beams which I’ve used to stiffen up the assembly. They are soldered to the ends of the footplate, not the chassis. Once I’ve prepared and assembled the cast parts I’ll attached these to the footplate with screws from below and possibly glue if I can’t find a way of attaching the firebox end securely with screws. As the footplate is made from .5mm NS it is a little floppy and the boiler assembly will go a good way to stiffening this up as long as I can find a way of securing it firmly. I’m looking at inserting a chunk of something like brass bar in the firebox front wall into which I can tap some holes for screws which will come up from below to achieve this.