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The Fatadder


Well I have finally made a decision as to what I will be working on at Scaleforum. Along with a couple more Vi Trains Class 47s which require a simple rewheeling job, the main project I am planning on bringing is the conversion of Lima PGAs into a rake of Gunnels.


This morning I have been focusing my efforts on completing the required research,

Phil Eames' definitive series on PGA wagons in Demu's Update along with Jon Hall's Gunnel Thread on the DEMU forum have helped work out the work which is required. While Fotopic (principally Martyn Read, Mike Cubberley and Andy Jupe' sites, along with the main search for specific numbers taken from the information on DEMU)

This thread on the previous generation Rmweb by Lyneux gives some good ideas for detailing the Lima wagon (the separate pipe runs in particular stands out) and This Gunnel thread gives some very useful photos, particularly showing inside wagons. This also includes a very interesting shot of 390593 which is still showing Yeoman lettering through the yellow paint.






My plan is to build 11 wagons, (looking at photos I think I would need twice that to have a prototypical length rake, however as with most engineers wagons there are photos showing them mixed with other types.) The few photos I have found which are dated from the late 90s (all three of them) show that the yellow on the wagons was in a fairly good condition, while the ends were more of a mess...

My plan is to model as many of the different variations as possible (the drawings list 7 different types!)

In each case the planned work:

  • Remove body from chassis (easier said than done given the amount of glue, in one case the chassis fractured into 5 parts in the process and even then the 5th part is still glued to the hopper! I also suffered a few wagons breaking off the end supports, which will need to be carefully rebuilt from Evergreen strip.
  • Remove all the Lima details from the body
  • Cut down the body just above the bottom of the flat part of the side.
  • New sides & ends from plasticard
  • Remove all pipe runs from the sides/ends & fill the holes where the walkways clipped in
  • Replace the missing section of end rib from where the walkway clipped
  • New air break detail & pipework for the sides
  • Remove Procor boards (with the exception of a couple of wagons which the prototype retains them, on these the board will be removed from one end only and a plasticard replacement added at the opposite end)
  • Add ribs to side/end/inside as required. The intention is to model the wagons loaded so that I can avoid having to tidy up the fictional divider & worry about the step out between the plastic model and new sides. The top couple of mm of the inside ribs will be visible above the top of the load.
  • Change the side cleats as required by prototype
  • Fix chassis so that it can have scale wheels (may fit Bill Bedford units if needed, but plan A is to remove the narrow inner bits from the Lima chassis and drill out to accept proper wheels.

The work on the ex salt version will follow the same plan as above, but will use the parts left from 2 wagons which had their ends damaged when separating body and chassis. The prototype is about 2ft longer than the 'standard' PGAs, so only needs 8mm adding to the length. I haven't yet checked against the drawings, but I am assuming that this extra length will be in the hopper not the ends. The plan is to make a cut towards the damaged end side of the central divider on each wagon (including the extra length that is required.) Chassis will be split in three parts, extending the hopper units to match the new body length and 2 headstocks. (The chassis will have the Procor plates removed at the same time). Once it is all glued back together (with some extra reinforcement over the joint) the process will follow that of the standard wagons.


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