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Some CR ballast wagons.

Dave John



As I mentioned in the last blog I have been building some CR ballast wagons.


These were built using my usual methods, styrene bodies, copperclad sub chassis to take the W irons. The outer pair are from the 1890 drawing, the middle one is a pre-diagram version from the photo. The drawing makes no mention of canvass covers for the axleboxes and without a reference photo I can’t tell whether they were so fitted. I added them to the pre -diagram wagon which did have them. I suppose if a photo ever comes up I can add them to the other two.


What is significant from my point of view is that they are painted with acrylic paints. A bit of a learning curve involved but I think I am reasonably convinced by the result. Comments welcome.









A couple of snaps of a short pway train. The ballast plough is a kitbash, bits of the cambrian kit combined with new sides and  ends.










I have a few other projects which might be occupying the bench for a while. Might even generate a separate blog for one of them .

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I don't believe I've seen a primary source reference to the axlebox-protecting flaps being made of canvas. I've wondered whether they could be leather, having seen wear holes in some. But different railways may have used different materials.


The ballast plough brake you say is bashed from a Cambrian kit - for the Shark, I presume. are the overall dimensions a good match?

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I think some did use leather Compound. The Caley ones do look to me like a heavy tarpaulin style material, but thats just my eye. 





Just had another look at the Ballast plough. The only bits from the kit I used were the ploughs, roof, internal partitions and lifting gear. The rest is in styrene, pre silhouette days. I seem to remember that getting all the letraset lined up was a nightmare. Dates it a bit. 








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The painting looks good. I've been using Tamiya myself for a while with good results


Intrigued by the ballast-plough and would be interested in a blog post

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There's an interesting photie of a ballast train at Dunblane on page 268 of the wagon book. All of the wagons have canvas covers on the axle boxes, but they look heart-shaped or shield-shaped and a touch stiffer than your photie above

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Aye , the wagons in that Dunblane train almost look as if they have wooden wings over the axleboxes.  Strange, and perhaps they are ex SC rather than Caley. 


Here is a photo of the ballast plough. Made about 15 years back, Basically scribed styrene with 10 thou slaters rod in a groove to look like the half round beading. A bit rough, but ok from a passing glimpse. The footboard has distorted a bit and it could do with a number plate. 






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they are painted with acrylic paints


Are they painted by air brush or by hairy brush?

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Hand brushed over Halfords rattle can primer Krusty. 


I make the body then a give it a clean and quick prime , shows up errors well and then apply archers rivets. Then another flick over with the primer and the red lead painted on. For that I mixed Deck Linoleum brown , Red and Flesh.  Then the transfers on and sealed , followed by the Black metalwork and weathering. 


Since I use etched brass W irons the wheel and axlebox assemblies can go in last, makes painting easier . 



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Sorry for the slightly OT question (I did go back to check your plans but the RMweb image massacre of 2022 has rendered them invisible) - what's your rough distance between the rear track centreline and the backscene? You've got a really effective low profile thing going on beyond the railway boundary!

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Hi Lacathedrale, 


It is 130 mm at the platform end. Slightly more at the bridge and a bit less at the signal box. 



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Thanks chum! 


I was flipping through an old RM and saw 'kelvinbank signal box' drawn up for scratchbuilding in card and ply and I thought, "Hey - I've seen that name somewhere before..."

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Heh, I do have a copy of that drawing, it is actually Kelvinbridge signal box. 


This is me playing with names. My layout has elements of both Kelvinbridge and Partick Central stations, but for space constraints I could model neither perfectly. So I compromised , I took ideas  from both and generated the imaginary name Kelvinbank. 


If I had an extra 10 feet I would faithfully model Partick Central but house extensions are difficult with a tenement flat . 

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Hi Dave, 


That makes alot of sense, I'm not very au fait with railways north of the border, to my shame. I do like the deep CR blue and have thought that it might make a nice scratchbuilding project one day, buy your layout is so closely linked with the CR that I would feel quite awkward in imitation! 



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