Sunday, January 4, 2015

One of Those Models - The D57


I hope 2015 started well for everyone. Ours started badly by losing the car keys on a beach during new years eve celebrations. Luckily, my wife spotted the so called childish Lego key ring I had fitted and plucked it from the sand. The Lego key ring is no longer so childish and the new year was saved!

Anyway, I am sure everybody has one. One of those models that no matter what do something always goes wrong. Mine at this point in time is my Bergs, second run D57 class. I purchased the model and decided I would strip the paint and give it a restoration if you like. Normally stripping a model is pretty easy, especially brass models. This model however needed to be stripped four times, as each time I applied etch primer I would find tiny patches of what I am guessing was the original clear coat. I couldn't really see this clear coat until the thin primer was applied.

After this continuous saga I found that the cylinders and front valve gear platform had been araldite glued on to the chassis frames. I know this is not how they are suppose to be as I had not that long ago converted my Uncles 57 to DCC. Over the araldite was this really thick black paint that needed to be chipped off. Eventually it was all removed and everything was ok. I am still not sure why the model had been glued together? Perhaps it was because all the valve gear just flops around once the boiler section is removed? I am not too sure?

I wanted to line my 57 as it seems this is how they were often out shopped during the 50s. The red lining didn't last long but in some photos you can still see parts of it. This is what I wanted to achieve. With my Graphos pen loaded with paint, I went about lining the tender and cab. Keeping with tradition, the lining of this particular model was not at all easy. First the pen would not work, then I couldn't get the paint consistency right, then I placed the forward vertical red line on the tender in the wrong spot. I know all these problems really sound like they are more to do with the numb skull doing all of this however it is far easier to blame something else, so that what I did! Eventually I ended up with a not too badly lined model. Now to cover some mistakes.

The sound install differed slightly from my Uncles. I ended up using two speakers. One a 15mm x 12mm Zimo sugar cube and the other a Knowles 18mm x 13mm phone speaker with a styrene built sound chamber. This makes the Knowles speaker a sugar cube I guess, a sweet tooths sugar cube.
I am not sure if this set up sounds better or I am just being fooled by the increase in volume output achievable by having the two 8 ohm speakers paralleled (making the load 4 ohms). This has meant that the stay alive needs to go in the tender, something I am now regretting. One downside of the increased volume is that the model rattles. I am getting some horrible rattling sounds when blasting the whistle from the valve gear. Of course this didn't happen on my Uncles model because its not mine.

I will do a side by side comparison between the single and twin speaker installs. If it is just volume that is making it sound better I might consider removing a speaker and then move the stay alive into the boiler. Unfortunately my D57 class sound file is lacking in volume slightly. I have not been able to edit the chuff file sounds any further, so as to increase the volume without degrading the quality.

Anyway, after many days fiddling around with this model, lining parts, wiping the lining off and re-doing, soldering pieces back on that just fell off, fixing a weird short and touching up damaged paint here is the result. Sorry for the pony truck wheels still having tape on them. Still a few things to do.

For some reason the front vertical red line on the tender followed the rivet line rather than the tender side. 

Sound install. This replaces the original lead weight utilising attachment screws. Decoder is a 21 pin ESU V4 on 21 pin adapter board. Zimo speaker at the back and Knowles speaker with styrene enclosure in front.

See you soon,



  1. Linton

    Looking looverly...

    Regarding the 'rattle', are you sure that it is the valve gear and not the speakers hitting their physical limits of the cones?

    I put a 15mm x 11mm similar speaker in my Z13 and Z25 and the sound quality was vey good however the volume was low. If I increase the volume then I get clicks when chuffing heavily and even worse when I use the whistle at the same time. I have lowered the volume so that chuffing is OK and I still get a bit of clicking when the whistle is used.

    Ray P

  2. G'day Ray,

    If I hold the valve gear with my fingers the vibration stops. It seems to be a metallic rattle.

    As the mobile phone type speakers are all of the 8 ohm variety low volume is always going to be a problem, particularly due to the V4 decoder being designed for a 4 ohm load.

    I have had plenty of speakers, obtained from alternative sources (not Zimo speakers) that can crackle and click. I have an entire batch of 15mm x 12 mm speakers that can not even play low volume sounds. I have a Wollongong supplier for Knowles speakers and he gave me two speakers rather than my requested one, due to there reliability being so low. As soon as there is the slightest mark on the alloy looking cone the speaker will not perform properly. The funny thing is I have not had one problem with the Zimo speaker, genuine Zimo that is. I think they sound louder and have never had one that clicks. The Zimo speaker comes with the enclosure fitted. Perhaps due to this there is no chance of damage? Not sure. If the speakers you are using are not genuine Zimo's perhaps give one a try. I can send you one if you like.


  3. Looks good, Linton.
    It's always amusing to hear of others misfortune because, to be sure, the same things also happen to me...
    Santa brought me a decoder tester and Lok programmer, so one of these days I'll get around to mucking around with some sound files.
    Cheers and best wishes for 2015

  4. Linton,

    You've done a great job on the lining, I like how it's just visible under the weathering - very evocative of the 50's.


  5. Hey Linton,

    Looking great.
    Just a thought with regards to the speakers, could it be that the speaker / enclosure is touching the body & thus causing transmission of the vibrations? are the speakers mounted using a foam tape to help minimise vibrations?

    Cheers Alex.

  6. Hi Mr lost the keys in sand
    I know all the so called experts have had their say on the possible causes of the noises.
    But it could be something as simple as condensate accumulating in the steam pipework or valves and causing a banging or pounding noise as the steam under pressure breaks threw the water block or water dam .
    You should check any condensate drains and ensure they are working correctly.
    Before you get to carried away checking speakers.
    This has been another helpful hint from Fergusson Plumbing
    You have not been charged for this service.

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