Here we go then, Asters are produced by a small Japanese company that originally built Cash Machines but when things started to go electrical in the early 70's Aster did not want to do this so they had some very skilled engineers with nothing to do, Aster then started to produce there first live steam loco a 'Schools' class 4-4-0 with tender is had a Smithies boiler and meths fired they produced 3000 costing £300 a lot of money in the 70's today a mint one will fetch £2000. They are still easy to find and it was what got me into Gauge1 3 years ago.
The kit I am going to do the build thread on is the new BR Standard Class 9f 2-10-0. Aster have produced 2 types the 'Evening Star' and an all black 9f, I chose the all Black as these ran up and down the country pulling anything from coaches to wagons. I'll include as many pictures as possible.
The 9f has a limited production run of 311 but 110 of these are Black mine is number 51 they come with a nice little makers plate. As you can see the boxes are all numbered, inside the boxes all the packets of parts and fixings are lettered and numbered there is a very comprehensive instruction manual and a picture manual to help see now parts go together.
Last Edit: Jun 25, 2008 21:51:42 GMT by spamcanman
An exploded assembly drawing really makes it clear how all the parts fit together. It's something Model Engineer and their ilk never seemed to have figured out. But for any one who has glued together a plastic model kit it just looks right.
Your correct with the price and that's including VAT. One thing about all Asters they are a limited production run so when they run out that's it, they do keep spares for all there engines they have ever built (now that's a service).
A thing to remember is they are a very good investment and secondhand ones change hands for more than they cost when new. Already the 9F 'Evening Star' has sold out only being out for 5 months and I know if I wanted one now I would have to pay a premium
Last Edit: Jun 27, 2008 14:50:34 GMT by spamcanman
Cylinders fitted both sides, great care and patience constructing these parts as they must move smoothly
Horn blocks next and springs all the wheels are fully sprung.
Each wheel has weight plates fittind to both sides of the wheel you should be able to just see the M1.3mm screws, Aster supply a screwdriver that fits perfectly into the cross head screws so I just push the screw onto the driver end then fit the screw
I have fitted the Forward/Reverser bracket to the back of the frame notice the wheel which is full y adjustable so I can notch up the loco when running.
The crank is fitted to one of the main wheel shafts to pump the bypass valve, for a bearing between surfaces Aster supply a small length of PTFE strip these are very free running and only need some light oiling occasionally.
I have finished fitting the slide bars and coupling rods to the wheels it's looking more like a loco now every time I add something I check for smooth motions before proceding to the next part.
I have also fitted the Forward/Reversing rod and checked that the linkages are adjusted properly all the moving parts are bushed and Aster recommend using Loctite 222 which I will do thoughout the build.
With both Cylinders fitted to the frames you can see the branch pipe with double nozzle is also fitted.
As you can see in the picture my 9f is fitted with piston valves as per full size this is a first for Aster as all there locos have been slide valves in the past. If you look at the piston valve you can just see a slotted head for a screwdriver, to time the valves which I will describe in another post I slacken the lock nut so the piston can turn fore or aft to lengthen or shorten the rod. Having piston valves it was a must to have drain cocks or lock up would occur.
The axle pump is assembled the manuel says tap the 4mm supplied stainless steel ball with a piece of wood dowel to seat the ball, I do this then discard the ball and replace it with a Nitrile ball I find these work fautless
As you may see more detail fittings are going on like the sand pipes near the wheel rims and brake hangers