Accucraft No.6 Peveril

Modified by CW


The first thing was to break out the black paint. Where painting on bare metal I used Precision Paints 2 pack black etch primer as a first coat, followed by Humbrol Satin black. All surfaces were cleaned up first using lighter fuel to remove any grease/oil. I find this works better than thinners or white spirit and (touch wood) I've never had any problems with it attacking commercial paintwork.

The following areas were painted black:-

The cab steps (Shame to cover up that lining but all the 1950's photos I found showed cab steps in all over black)

Backs of the buffer beams

The guard irons below front and rear buffer beams

All the exposed bolt heads on the cylinder covers

The outside face of the wheel tyres (pony and driving wheels) and exposed axle ends on the driving wheels (Done one side at a time)

The lower half of the whistle support

The inside of the chimney cap

The reversing lever inside the cab

The pipework from the gas valve to the burner which is quite visible through the doorway.

Next came the white paint:-

The Coupling rods were removed by undoing the screws in the crankpins. Careful note was made of what order the various rods and spacing washers were assembled in.

After cleaning up, these received a coat of grey etch primer followed by two coats of Humbrol satin white.

After some consideration, I decided it would be easier to paint the connecting rods with them in-situ rather than trying to dismantle them from the crossheads. Another tip here is don't try doing both sides at once as when you pick the loco up and turn it over you will end up with a freshly painted rod depositing white paint all over the place. Again, primer + 2 coats were applied.

Once dry the rods were reassembled and lubricated.

Oil Cans

The two dummy oil cans behind the front buffer beam looked a bit too uniform to me, particularly painted black.

They simply unscrew so were removed for attention.

One was simply repainted into "oily steel" finish with the cork cap picked out in brown, and then the whole thing given a coat of satin varnish with a bit of black paint mixed in. This was screwed back into its hole and was then joined by two other whitemetal items. These came from a mixed bag of such castings I had and I think the ones used were from P&J models or possibly GRS. These too were weathered with dirty varnish and glued in place.

Water Feed Pipes

As has been mentioned by others, these are not profiled correctly. Rather than replace them I thought I'd see if I could reprofile the existing ones. This was achieved with reference to photos by subtle adjustments with a pair of pliers (with non-serrated jaws) until the required profile was achieved. I managed this without pulling them off either the injectors or clacks but you might not be quite so lucky.

Gas valve control knob

This is somewhat conspicuous in the side of the cab opening, so was removed by undoing the grub screw holding it.

Making sure that the valve was firmly in the shut position, a 1/16" hole was drilled vertically through the brass shaft of the control valve.

A piece of 1/16" brass rod about 1/2" long was glued into this hole, projecting vertically from it. This and the control shaft itself were then chemically blackened to make them less conspicuous. Rotating anti-clockwise, this lever has a clear 180+ degrees of movement which is plenty to give sufficient gas control.

Coal Bunker and Tank Tops

Some suitably broken up coal was glued to the top of the gas tank in the bunker. I used epoxy resin which allowed me to move the bits around a bit to fill all the gaps in. I resisted the temptation to add a 1/4" layer on the cab floor as well!

For some reason, the tops of the tanks where they project into the cab opening have not been modelled on the live steam version although they are present on the electric version. I presume this is because of the need to provide room for the reversing lever to operate and access for pipework. This made the area look a bit bare, and there is room for something to be put in place, so I made up some half width inserts out of 1/8" thick bass wood strip, painted them black and glued them in place. I still need to turn up a couple of wooden filler covers to add to them, but they do at least remove the somewhat odd look of just having a vertical edge on show.

Lubricator Drain

Accucraft's lubricator drains are a pet hate of mine, as they project quite visibly in front of the wheels on a number models spoiling the appearance.

You can just paint them black to lessen the visual impact but in this case as it was still quite noticeable I decided to remove it completely. The drain section below the footplate simply unscrews from the bottom of the lubricator, leaving you with a short threaded section that now needs plugging. It would be possible to tap this section and simply seal it with a screw or bolt, but as I didn't have a suitable sized BA tap available (I think it would need to be 7BA). I chose to cap it off instead. A 4mm wide threaded "ring" was cut off the top of the drain section that has just been removed. This was soldered to a small piece of 1mm thick brass plate, and that was then filed back to the same hex section as the "ring" to produce a threaded cap. This was cleaned up and chemically blackened before being screwed onto the bottom of the projecting section on the bottom of the lubricator. It is now virtually hidden behind the pipework on that side of the loco. As with most of my locos I now remove water from the lubricator from the top using a syringe with a piece of small diameter brass tube glued into the nozzle.

Canvas Dodgers

Replaced with finer material in the down / half-open position.


The DJB couplings were basically assembled as intended although I used a 12BA bolt as the pivot for the hook, and also modified the drop down retaining loop by removing the ball off the end and introducing a slight curve and tapered end. This was done by reference to prototype photos and I assume was a local modication made to aid "auto" coupling on the prototype. (Caledonia seems to be the only loco which retained the ball on the end and I believe still has it)

The other slight change which is not critical to installation is that I used a 3/64" brass rivet as the pivot pin.

This was soldered in place (carefully or you end up with a rigid coupling!) and then the excess pin was ground flush with the square shaft on the underside and the rivet head also filed flat on the top.

The completed coupling was then cleaned up with a glass fibre brush and chemically blackened. I used a blackener for brass made by Birchwood Casey but Carrs and others produce similar products. I use this in lieu of paint because I find its more resilient on things like couplings and if it does wear off in time its easily re-applied.

The Accucraft couplings are removed and I then filled the bolt holes with epoxy putty, subsequently sanded flush.

Then comes the fun bit!

The only modifications that the beams actually need are holes to mount the shaft in, and then one for a securing bolt to hold it in place.

Normally, the easiest way to modify the beams themselves would be to remove them from the loco (which also makes repainting them much easier), but on Peveril, this comes under the category of "easier said than done", particularly for the rear beam, which actually requires you to remove the cab back to access some cunningly hidden screws which fasten the beam through the running plate. Raif Copley sent me a copy of the way he went about this but having read it, I decided I'd leave the beams in situ. (I can forward Raif's instructions if anybody wants to adopt that method)

If you measure diagonally across the end of the coupling shaft you should find that its roughly 4mm.

So what we need is a 4mm hole through the beam.

I marked the hole location in the middle of the beam (centrally horizontally and vertically) and made a small pilot hole with a 1.6mm drill (size not critical) about 1mm deep.

Clearly, holding a loco in one hand and a drill in the other generates a slight problem in terms of running out of hands, so I carefully "clamped" the loco to the bench with a couple of pieces of wood and 3 slabs of foam rubber arranged in a "U" shape so it was held firmly in place and I then had 2 hands free to guide/operate the drill. I did see if there was anyway of holding it vertical so I could utilise my pillar drill instead but the height was too great.

So a sharp 4mm drill was then mounted in my trusty power drill, a low speed selected, a deep breath taken, and 4mm holes were drilled slowly in both buffer beams. At the front, you will find that this hole also needs to go through the frame spacer behind the beam. I can't remember if the same applied to the rear. (My loco is manual so there is nothing mounted in the "box" behind the rear buffer beam - If you have a radio receiver hidden in there obviously that will have to come out first!)

The beam brass is fairly soft, so with a sharp drill, you should soon have a neat 4mm hole through the beam.

You then need to turn the loco upside down (I did so in the same "cradle") and drill a small hole vertically and centrally into the underside of the beams which will hold the coupling shaft in position. I used a 12BA brass screw for that purpose (although the hole isn't actually threaded) so drilled a suiitable 1.3mm clearance hole for that. You can use whatever bolt size suits, but remember you will be drilling a similar size hole in the coupling shaft and that is only about 3.5mm wide.

That hole needs to break through the 4mm hole (hopefully in the centre!) and continue through the other side for 2-3mm.

To stop you breaking through the top of the beam wrap a bit of tape round the drill shaft at a shorter length than the depth of the beam and stop drilling when you get to that point.

The assembled coupling can then be inserted in the buffer beam. You might need to take a file to the corners to get it to fit snugly.

I mounted mine so that the pivot pin was just in front of the buffer beam face. This is fairly critical to operation when you fit the front cover plate, so DON'T drill any fixing holes through the coupling shafts until you've made those plates up and tested operation with them in place..

If you find that the coupling shaft is too long and fouls something behind the beam, excess length can be removed but make sure that the shaft is still at least long enough to reach the rear of the beam.

Coupling mounting/cover plates -

I need to get the loco out to measure the exact brass section sizes I used and will insert those in due course but the following is a guide as to how these were made.

A square backing plate was cut out of ???? wide x ??? thick brass strip. This had a ?mm hole drilled in the centre which was then opened out with a square needle file to give a ??? x ??? mm square hole.

Into this was soldered a short section of hollow brass square section ?? x ?? x ??mm long. (I got this from Eileens Emporium - usual disclaimer applies) This was filed flush on one (the back) side of the plate and filed until about ??mm proud on the outer face.

Holes were marked and drilled in each corner to take a 1/32nd brass rivet (0.85mm drill from memory)

The plate was then tacked to the buffer beam centrally over the coupling mounting hole with a very small dab of cyano in order that the fixing holes could be marked and drilled through into the beam itself. (Mark the back of the plate so you know which way up it went, in case, like mine, the 4 corner holes weren't quite 100% symetrical)

These holes don't need to go all the way through the beam so you can do the tape on the drill trick again to prevent this.

De-stick the plate from the beam and clean off any remaining glue.

The 4 retaining bolts are made up of a 1/32nd brass rivet passed through a 14BA nut (which the rivet head should retain) and then through the plate. Solder this in place from the back.

You should now have a 4 pronged plate which can be fixed to the front of the buffer beam. You might need to trim the rivets to length.

I secured mine with an Engineering grade Loctite which is supposed to be more heat resistant, but as it doesn't actually take any load, normal cyano would probably be adequate.

With the plates in place, try the assembled coupling in place again. I mounted mine so that the articulated joint was just inside the square housing and that gave plenty of room to swing. More so than the Accucraft coupling in fact.

At this stage MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT COUPLING IN THE RIGHT BEAM! The one with the hook goes at the back of the loco.

Also make sure the coupling is the right way up.

Once happy that its in the right place, turn the loco over and drill a fixing hole through the coupling shaft using the previously drilled vertical hole in the beam. The coupling can then be fixed in place with in my case a 12BA screw trimmed to length secured with a bit more Loctite, but its probably best to wait until after you've painted either just the mounting plate to match the beam, or in my case, I repainted both beams in something more "bufferbeam red" than "Indian red" as supplied.

That as they say, "is all there is to it"...........

I've found that the DJB couplings are perfectly happy coupling to Accucraft and Brandbright chopper couplings but make a big difference to the cosmetic look of the loco. Now all I need to do is get round to doing Caledonia as well...