What do you mean By "mildest gradient?" Anything steeper than about 1 in
100 is not mild. Not in my experience, anyhow. Also keep in mind that
tractive effort varied quite a bit in the prototype engines.
Bear in mind a couple of things with "liquid lead".
a) if mixed with some adhesives, eg. PVA, it seems to form an oxide over
time which has a larger volume than the original lead plus PVA. As it
expands it can crack open a model. The topic was covered recently in some of
b) packing density. A friend of mine did some maths on the packing density
of lead spheres, including varying the diameters (because there are air or
glue gaps). He then did some practical experiments. Outcome was that lead
sphere filling a void have a very similar density to solid brass of the same
Solid lead is quite easy to work; it comes in sheets/rolls as "lead
flashing" used in building work.
Webmaster at http://www.2mm.org.uk/
There is a much better way - if you choose to use lead shot/liquid lead.
Pour it in to place as per normal then using a lit wax candle pour molton
wax over it to hold it in place. If you're doing a large amount do it in
Using this method allows for expansion and perhaps more importantly means
that it can be cleaned out at a latter date without leaving any marks.
Could someone recommend the best place to get hold of this Liquid Lead?
Can it be acquired from your average model shop, or a specialist retailer?
Also, where is the best place to add extra weight? Presumably over the
driving wheels/power bogies?
as said earlier in thread, liquid lead expensive blx. Walk passed any house
having roof done. Lots of narrow strips of lead there for free. Can get huge
quanities after a while. Just the right thickness too although if you want
it thicker then cut over width and narrow it in vice.
Far easier to add to anything, flat so glues easy, can roll for in boilers.
Easier to get into a lower place so better centre of gravity. Beware of
unblancing loco, can end up with wheels lifting.
I don't know if they still use lead. But what is sold as liquid lead
on the left side of the pond is shot, for those who pack their own
shotgun cartridges. Could be steel balls.
Of course as soon as you put a model railroad/railway label on it, up
goes the price.
Before I left the UK I used split shot from the fishing shop. This was
20+ years ago so I don't know if it was actually lead or just
something heavy. Try that source.
Other possible weights are wheel balancing weights for cars.
The answer to where to put it, is anywhere it has the effect. A friend
hid layers of flat sheet lead inside the cab roof of a 4-4-0 because
there wasn't any room left above the driving wheels after putting the
motor and gearbox there.
In an 0-6-0 or larger there should be room in the boiler. But this is
too far forward in a 4-4-0 unless the engine is properly equalised
with the bogie carrying the engine's weight via a rubbing plate.
Mike Sharman's Flexichas booklet describes the problem.
He also provides answers like transferring weight from the tender on
engines without a trailing truck. This has the rear tender axle fixed
and the front two on a sort of bogie, with the draw bar pushing down
on the rear of the engine. Or you could use a dummy fall-plate
attached to the tender, rubbing on the cab floor to do this.
In a tank engine, the obvious place is the tanks which would be over
Try someone from a former USSR republic, probably plenty lying around.
I remember seeing a highly radioactive layer outcrop in South Africa but
cant remember if it was uranium or thorium or ...It did send the geiger
counter sky high and we didnt walk over it.
At model train shows in Canada, vendors dealing in miscellaneous tools
and parts sell 3 oz strips of lead with peel & stick backing, marked off
in 1/4 oz (7g) sections, specifically for model rail applications. I use
them for weighting freight wagons, concealed underneath or inside.
For goodness sake, stop talking about buying lead. Go for a walk - not only
is that good for you but theres plenty of free lead in the UK. You can even
consider it recycled waste.
I put some in the slots under the wagon floor of recent built dapol kit. Dab
of superglue and held nicely, no messing with round bits. No worries about
There's something similar in the UK designed for balancing model
aircraft wings being thin with peel and stick backing. Used it to add
weight to trains myself. Should be able to get at any model aircraft shop.
It's the sort of thing you buy when you go into a shop for the first
time, spend time looking round and find nothing in your scale or
period, but don't want to leave without buying something.
Like my local model train shop (in up-state New York) which proudly
sells O-gauge - but 3-rail AC.
Which locos, what gradient? I have gradients of 1:70 and can pull
14 coaches up those with the Hornby A4, I can also pull over 150
trucks up that gradient with the Hornby 8F. Some small amount of
additional weighting in the loco does help. The biggest problem on
our line is the tender drive A3, which is pants really.
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
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