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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

      Just got myself an aster thunderbolt kit.  First time kit for me.  Wonderin if you guys had some tips or ideas.  All comments appreciated.


                                   Thanks,     
                                               Brittany:confused:
 

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It is currently my favorite engine to run out of the 3 currently.  Its really powerful for its size (and fast if you dont watch it) :p

Andrew
 

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Heres a video of it running, Pulling 8 AMS coal cars, 6 LGB grizzly flats cars, and 2 wine cars. 16 cars, all stock wheels. Multi gauge, I was having fun :p




Good Construction note page on the engine
http://www.sidestreetbannerworks.com/railways/Lion/construction.html

General Aster Construction notes:
http://www.southernsteamtrains.com/manual/assembly.htm

Good information on your Aster Engine (firing etc etc)
http://www.southernsteamtrains.com/reference.htm

Mod not for the faint at heart, adding an axel pump to it.
http://www.gaugeone.org/story_behind_the_axle_driven_wat.htm

Andrew..

P.S. I didnt edit the video, so its pretty raw and too long for the 1 -2 pass lol
 

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The Thunderbolt paint scheme was dreamed up for a movie. The Lion colours are much better but Aster got these somewhat wrong also. Before you assemble the kit you should find a photo of the actual preserved/reconstructed locomotive and consider a bit of painting. Then the dome must be polished to a mirrorlike finish. Exactly follow Aster's instructions for painting the boiler to resemble wood; they got that right. I put a thin sheet of wood over the tender top and glued on bits of coal.

I don't know if the coaches are still available anywhere. If so, they will be expensive. There should be three classes but we don't usually see the third-class coach. The blue one alleged to be third is actually second-class. You can make a third by using a goods wagon for a chassis. Of course, since the locomotive operated before the age of photography, on photos exist but we do have a couple of paintings for reference.

I have travelled on the Liverpool to Manchester rail line and noted the engineering work to make it almost perfectly level. The model may be powerful but not the 1:1.
 

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Am I correct in remembering that Taperpin once made two cylinder conversions for the Lion?
If so, has one ever made it to the States? I'd love to read some comments on it 
 

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Hmmmmmmmmmm. The Aster Lion is my one and only shelf queen in a fairly large collection. The build was fun and I lined the boiler with thin mahogany strips which look good. She ran well on air but I never cracked the code on how to get her running in anger. Having seen the video referenced in an earlier post, I guess I should try again. 
 

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I've seen John Garrett get 30 plus minutes from his Lion regularly and also under control as far as speed goes.
He's done some work on his but not sure what. Maybe he will read this and give some advise.
 

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The modification that did most to tame my Lion, was to sharpen the throttle needle valve. It was very blunt, putting a 90 degree angle on it gave much better control.A string of cars also helped.
By the way, she was designed as a freight engine, I believe. Never could figure out why so many spend there days in passenger service.

Harvey C.
SA1838
 

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Today I completed work on an ASTER Thunderbolt Kit. Unfortunately I was not aware of this thread until near the end of my assembly work.

I faced a couple of problems during assembly but Peter Comley quickly resolved them for me.

I now need to learn the techniques discussed in this thread to operate the engine.

My thanks to Pete for encouraging me to start the project and all his help during the project.
 

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Jealous we iz JEALOUS!

We wantz the precious Thunderbolt we do, we WANTZ it!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi Guys,

I just completed my thunderbolt kit. It looks great but the wheels are pretty stiff. Anyone know why./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif
 

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....the wheels are pretty stiff. Anyone know why?

That's a tough one to answer without seeing the model. Generally, as the model is assembled extra care should be taken to ensure that any tight spots are fixed as you go. Some stiffness will develop but if you require more than gentle pressure to turn the wheels then things are out of alignment somewhere.

Was the steam 'motor' assembly tight before it was mounted in the chassis? If it was then it will need to be removed and the cylinder, trunk guide and other moving parts examined.

I noticed in an earlier posting that you asked for the Red Paint for the Thunderbolt. I had some specially mixed for the model. Contact me off-board if you would like me to send you some.

Andrew
 
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