The Wingrove Workshop
News & Comments

   April 2017

We are now down to the final assembly of the 2.3 Alfa Monza, and follows my normal practice, as seen in the previous 2.3 alfa models, earlier in this build series.

One item not covered in previous notes is the making of the spring loaded hood catches.  The visible part of the catch is made from nickel silver that has first been drilled to take a short length of fine piano wire, this being silver soldered into it. A second length of piano wire of a few thou’ thicker is then used in the lathe to run up a spring.  Many years ago I purchased an assortment of small springs at a model engineering exhibition, among these were some made with a wire of about 0.008” diameter, the actual spring being about one quarter inch in diameter, by half an inch long.  It is a simple matter to remake springs of these dimensions.  In this case one end of the spring is unwound and held in the lathe chuck together with a length of .030” piano wire.  To do this just trap the end of the spring under one jaw holding the piano wire.  The other end of the piano wire, which can be a couple of inches long, is held, or rather supported in the drill chuck of the tail stock, but not locked there, the jaws just run down to hold it lightly.  With the old spring now held away from the lathe, perhaps on a length of rod, and the lathe switched on at a low speed, it will form into a new spring on the length of .030” piano wire. In this way any size of spring can be made, provided you have some old springs of a useful size of spring steel wire. to start with.

About a quarter inch of open spring is required to be able to lift the spring catch sufficient to lock it in place and hold the hood down, three required on one side and two on the exhaust side.  This is way out of scale, but with a little thought the springs can be hidden inside the chassis frame on the inlet side and behind the lower louvred panel on the exhaust side.  This panel on the Monza, although hinged at the bottom, is next to impossible to open because of the proximity of the exhaust pipe, and is in fact secured with a screw to the side of the radiator cover on the actual car, so is left closed.

Unfortunately my regular electro plater decided to retire and shut up shop before I had completed this series of three 2.3 Alfa models.  I had known about home plating kits for some time, having been warned of his imminent  retirement, and not having another plater anywhere close at hand, that I could trust with this work.  So I purchased a kit to plate the parts shown here myself, - details can be seen in Fig-104.  The kit was about the same price that it would have cost me to have all the parts professionally plated, but would probably plate twice the number of parts.  Following the instructions it was simple to use and the end results satisfactory.  However as the nickel was starting to be used up from the solutions, results started to deteriorate.  At this point it is possible to check the solutions and replenish them, but now one gets into the technicalities of electro plating, if of interest then all is OK, but for me, with plating perhaps once a year, I will be looking for a professional who knows his job for the next plating session.

It is like a lot of tasks in model making - etching is another example - the techniques and materials are basic and simple, once you get used to using them, but it might - for me - take a couple of days getting used to working with these, and 10 minutes to do the job, then wait another year for the next one.  By which time the techniques have been forgotten and the materials age deteriorated.  For me, such techniques are for the professionals, who know what they are doing by doing it all the time with fresh chemicals every time.  So I am back looking for a professional plater for the next project.

For those interested in learning more on the Falls of Clyde models, the centre section showing the how iron ships were built, that was covered here a year or so back < > is now running as a build log at: < > although you may have to sign up to see it.  The photos are the same as used here, but the text is more concerned with building the model than with making the tools, and elaborates more on the techniques developed  in creating the models.


An After Sales Service to my book readers

Should you have found inspiration, ideas, or just picked up new techniques from my books, plans, and/or web site Galleries, and have photos of your work built as a result, and would like to give me the honor of showing them to others here, please drop me a line, and I will let you know how to proceed.


NOTE - Very poor photo copies of some of my books (among a number of others) have been sold on eBay as originals, and eBay, up to this point in time, are protecting the criminals, even though they have ample evidence of my copyright infringement. Should any one have had dealings with- Nicholas Thomas alias - phantomoftheauction09 - and/or  Michael Thomas alias plaininspain9 - or anyone else passing off fake copies of my books, I would be most pleased to hear from them.  eBay UK have now removed both of the above individuals, from their web site, but will not, as yet, provide me with the details I need to put them permanently out of business.  Until they do my advice is DO NOT SHOP FOR BOOKS ON eBAY-UK - Go to AMAZON and get satisfaction.


I am often asked about the availability of plans.  The following web sites have been brought to my attention, and I am pleased to pass them on here. Some of my own plans are available in my books.  For details, click on the ‘Books’ button on the ‘Home Page’



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