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Sunday 8 May 2011

Screw Link Couplings

In a previous posting I noted that my 4mm scale Merchant Navy Pacific loco lacked a chain link coupling and vacuum pipe. That is now corrected and this posting is about how the chain link was made. Forgive the crudity of the item in the photo. It is very, very small in reality and hardly visible when fitted to the loco. Why bother at all might you ask - well making this appeals to my creative nature and it makes my Hornby loco look even more authentic than it already is. 

The method of construction was based on the 'How to' at Southern E-Group. I had to modify the screw link part of the build because the Merchant Navy coupling has an extra half chain link. If you read the Southern E-Group method together with this photo then I think it should be clear what I did. Note that the extra half link is on the left of the screw and a tight loop is used at the other end to hold a full size chain link. 

The missing right hand vacuum pipe was lifted from my spares box. With a bit of judicious cutting this particular pipe both looked like the Merchant navy pipe and facilitated holding the chain end for storage.

On the prototype there appears to be a hook or something down there to hold the chain. Furthermore, care was needed to clear a boss that sticks out on the front of the bogie chassis. I could have filed it down but fortunately the vacuum pipe is forward enough to hold the chain out of the way. Perhaps I should say that the coupling is a cosmetic addition, not functional. I painted the coupling in-situ, otherwise the paint may have clogged up the linkage making it difficult to manoeuvre into position. The Hornby supplied hook already had provision to hold a chain, which makes me wonder if the manufacturer fits one and it was missing from my purchase?

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