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More work on the Gloucester 7 planker (7mm scale)




The photos show some of the progress described in the last post.


Another advantage of using these for new build is it's possible to give them a thorough clean while still in the flat. I was having some trouble getting the brass-blackening chemicals to work properly on the retro jobs. Then it dawned on me (it should have been obvious!) that they weren't clean enough. It's not impossible, but a lot harder, to clean the interior of a completed wagon with a fibre glass brush.


The Evo-stick tends to work between the planks and spill out onto the etches. I don't think this is avoidable, but it's a lot more straightforward to get rid of it when working on a flat side.


The wagon sides and ends glued together round the floor rather better than I expected. Well done MMP and Slater's! To be honest I did have to shave a sliver off the end of the etched floor with a file, but it wasn't exactly hard to do this.


I don't have any etched V irons in stock suitable for Gloucester wagons, so I have used the plastic ones which aren't too bad. I did think of using the plastic brakes too, but having looked at it and thought about it I shall probably fit etched brakes, brake lever and brake lever guide.


I decided not to spring this particular wagon. Someone was saying the other day that if he worked in 7mm he would spring all his vehicles. Well, if he was working in S7 this would probably be essential but in 7mm FS it isn't. Some object to the bumping and banging of rigid wagons over crossings, but to be honest I don't think the first reaction of anyone watching a real train of loose coupled wagons moving at speed was 'Wow, how smoothly those wagons went through that crossing!' There was usually a fair bit of clatter to say the least. Anyway, I think the main culprit in this regard is the sloppiness of 7mm FS standards, not the lack of springing/compensation.


By the way, what is more realistic? An rigid wagon which has all its cosmetic detail in place, including the underframe; or a sprung wagon that uses non-prototypical parts and looks quite wrong if you tip it on its back? In medieval Provence there were Courts of Love which settled abtruse issues relating to love affairs. Perhaps we need something similar in railway modelling. Of course the judges in the Courts of Love were ladies with nothing else to do. They didn't even dress themselves. Perhaps the only available judges for the Court of Railway Abtruseness would be the armchair brigade.


By the way, I am not anti spring/compensation. I have built many wagons in that way, and one more may shortly be described. It's just that I don't make a religion of it, and the advantages, in 7mm FS, seem quite minimal. Iain Rice used to argue that the simplest way to get a wagon to run properly was to fit three point compensation. He was probably right. Getting a rigid wagon to run true can be difficult. (It's all too easy to get three wheels on the rail and one in the air.) However, dear reader, I managed to get it right this time, and there wasn't a sheet of plate glass in sight. Nothing but a simpile jig to ensure the axles were parallel.



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