Monday, 6 January 2014

WAGR Water Columns

3D-printed model of "extended" water column (unpainted)
The Marbelup Models WAGR water columns are typical from the late steam era, and are available in two heights.

Prior to the mid 1950's, the original, shorter version of the water column was in use.  However, in preparation for the introduction of larger steam locos like the V class, many existing water columns were raised in height by 18" (in the old measure) by the addition of a cast spacer piece.  Photographic evidence from the Rail Heritage WA web site, suggests that most water columns at larger stations were raised in height, but some shorter columns remained at smaller stations and on lines not suitable for the larger steam locos.

Having drawn the 3D drawing for the extended water column, it was then a simple matter to produce a version without the spacer piece, allowing either type to be 3D printed.  

Computer rendering of WAGR Water Columns
Here is one photo of the many available from Rail Heritage WA, by searching for "water column".

Assembly Tips

  1. Carefully remove the support structure from the model using a sharp craft knife, starting from the valve handwheel, which is the most delicate part of the model.  A knife with an Xacto No11 blade is recommended.  For delicate areas, cut with multiple strokes of the knife rather than trying to cut through in one go.  
  2. The flanges on the vertical post typically have bolt heads/nuts top and bottom.  When cutting the support structure away from the bottom, leave a small amount (similar in size to on top) to represent the bolt detail.
  3. Use 0.3 mm brass wire (not supplied) to form the support for the arm.  The distance between the right-angle bends in the wire should be 35.25 mm.  Install the wire in the holes provided, and secure with super glue.
  4. Paint in desired colour.  The Rail Heritage WA web site has several colour photos of the prototype.
  5. Fit supplied length of heatshrink tubing to form hose. 
  6. Weather to taste.
  7. For installation on layout, the base is intended to be 3.5 mm below rail level, corresponding to the typical height of sleepers and rail.

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