Well the Blowfly manual arrived from A.M.E. It's pretty much just direct copies of the original articles though (including the old ad's on the pages, and some errors in the drawings), but at least it saves damaging the old magazines. Currently waiting to hear back from a steel distributor who's trying to hunt down some BMS for the coupling/connecting rods for me, I'm likely just going to end up using black steel. Also the lathe needs a new belt, and I'd like to get some new jaws for the 3 jaw chuck, unfortunately there's no belts in stock, so I'm waiting on those as well. It looks like the Hobby Mechanics' A10 brake blocks will work nicely though, so I'll probably order those along with a few other bits and pieces (stainless steel rod, maybe bushing materials, various sundries) from them this (next) week.
I've been trying to find some bright mild steel for the coupling and connecting rods; so far I've found suppliers of sizes too big and too small. Why is BMS so hard to get? I might end up just pickling some black steel again. Putting together a list of materials needed to get the chassis to the 'on air' stage, so I hopefully won't have to stop half way through doing something. At least bronze is easy to get. Also, the brake shoe castings I had on hand seem to have gone missing at some point, there's none included in the blowfly casting set, but I had some spares from when dad's sweet pea had brakes fitted. So I might see if Hobby Mechanics will sell a set from their A10 which should suit. Waiting for the Blowfly manual to arrive from A.M.E., I've still got the original series, but don't want to risk damaging the near-30-year-old magazines. Besides, there might be some updated info in there that could prove useful. Thoughts have also turned to a driving/riding truck, I don't want yet another of those ugly things that just about every blowfly builder seems to have, current thinking is to make two 4 wheel wagons, an open wagon for coal and riding on, and a box tank wagon for water. This would at least make for a more interesting train. But that's a long way off, so ideas may change greatly before I get there.
I dug out an old set of frames for a 5" gauge Blowfly that had been sitting under a bench for over a decade; this had been started just before dad sold most of the workshop machinery, and thus never got finished. The rolling chassis as it was left years ago, I had to clean it up a fair bit as, aside from some spider's making a home of it, there was a lot of rust. The hornways had rusted so bad that one of the axle boxes had to be knocked out with a hammer and drift. Another view of the chassis, the rust on the front axle is plain to see. After much cleaning, degreasing, and a bit of polishing it's now in a much better shape; and some fresh oil should keep it that way. Here there's some temporary adjustable coupling rods in place, and the valve gear - what little of it there is with slip eccentrics - is also visible. Some of the brake linkages after cleaning, as there's no drawings for brakes these were designed by me. The cylinder will allow for steam brakes, hence the elongated lifting link with spring inside, The hand brake standard is fitted to the foot/running plates, which I don't have a picture of at the moment. The two pins at the bottom of the image are for the couplers.