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Falcon Brassworks GWR CC3 Tool Van


buffalo

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The old Jindenco/Falcon Brassworks kits will be well-known to old hands, but there has been some interest shown on the forums in their recent re-introduction under new owners so it is perhaps worthwhile to present a review of one of the 'new' kits. I recently ordered a couple of these kits, an AA6 PW brake van and a CC3 Signal Dept. tool van and both arrived within six weeks. I assume that if you are the first to order a particular kit then you'll have to wait a similar period, but they may be producing a small number of each kit when it is first ordered so subsequent orders might be delivered more quickly.

 

Apart from a freshly produced etch, the kit contains various pieces of straight wire and white metal castings. For some reason, perhaps problems with the packing list, no buffers were supplied, though the AA6 kit included a suitable set of MJT buffers. The instructions, always one of the least satisfactory parts of these kits, have been retyped using a computer. They are still just a copy of the originals but, hopefully, given time and feedback from builders they can be improved.

 

Time, I think, for a photo. I forgot to take one of the complete etch (there's one of the AA6 here), so let's start with the body:

 

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The instructions, like many other Jidenco originals, tell you to fold this up with the etched detail to the outside. That may be correct for all those vans with external planked detail but for this iron bodied van it is quite wrong. Here, the fold lines should be on the inside, but first the rivet detail along the bottom of the sides and ends needs to pressed out.

 

Once the body has been folded into a box, the next problem becomes apparent. Like Iron Minks, the iron bodied vans in the CC group all have curved corners, though the kit folds to a simple right angle. The solution is to fill the inside corner with a suitable piece of brass -- I used some 1.6mm square section -- and file the corner to shape:

 

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The next item in the instructions is also wrong. It says that both side and end windows should be attached to the outside of the body. Whilst the prototype had external window frames on the sides, the end windows were opening and are more correctly represented by soldering their frames to the inside of the body. The required effect is seen here, together with the doors that have been added to the sides:

 

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Perhaps the most difficult part of many of these kits is folding the solebars. I use some home-made bending bars in which one plate has been milled to suit such tasks. Perhaps one of those Hold and Fold devices would also do the trick but, otherwise it will be tricky without some suitably sized pieces of metal:

 

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The axle guards and brake detail supplied in the kit may also cause problems. Both etched pieces are identical, so one has to be folded in the reverse direction to the other. Otherwise, the rather minimal brake detail will not match up correctly:

 

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Whilst it should be possible to construct a rigid chassis using these parts, I replaced everything between and below the solebars with readily available and better alternatives. I used Bill Bedford sprung axleguards. The outer ones were carefully aligned and soldered in position, then the solebars and buffer beams added. The central axleguards were then aligned relative to the outer pair and soldered to the back of the solebars. Once the solebars were in place, the body strapping was added, wrapping it down over the outside of the solebars.

 

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The roof was supplied as a piece of pre-rolled brass. That would have been helpful if it were the right size and correctly curved. Unfortunately, it was both a couple of mm oversize in both directions and insufficiently curved. It's a bit more difficult to trim the sheet to size once curved and it needed further rolling to match the ends before fitting the strapping. I also cut out the areas underneath the roof lights so they wouldn't show after glazing.

 

These vans had iron roofs with rivetted strapping over the panel joints. Whilst there were a few odd pieces of strapping left over on the etch, there was not enough for this job, so I used some rivet strip from a Mainly Trains wagon detailing etch. The roof lights and oil lamp tops were added, and I also made up a little stove unit with its flue emerging from the roof. The position of the oil lamps shown on the drawing in the instructions is, I think, wrong. The drawing is copied from the Swindon original but, by comparing the Swindon drawings for this family of vans, I came to the conclusion that the roof details shown for CC3 are simply copied from the, already suspect, CC1 drawing. The positions of lamps and strapping is more likely to be correct on the CC4 and CC7 drawings.

 

The oil lamp tops are very nice castings, but those for the springs and axleboxes are less suitable. They are the correct types, but are ones that include the axleguard or W-iron so are not really suitable for the kit as intended to be built or, as here, with added axleguards. MJT do a suitable 4'6" spring and box casting with long J-hangers (part no 2248) for the central axle, but I don't think they do a suitable one for the outer axles. To get round this I cut and filed the supplied castings to remove the axleguards and allow them to fit. As mentioned earlier, no buffers were included so I added a set of MJT sprung ones. The DCII brakes were made up from parts from one of Bill Bedford's DCIII etches.

blogentry-6746-0-08497600-1376222097.jpg

 

Finally, to the paint shop. I've long been a little suspicious of the extent to which black was used for departmental vehicles at this time. Many photos (although I know of none of CC3) certainly show a darker colour, but many of these are quite heavily under-exposed. For this reason, I decided to paint it using Precision GWR wagon grey. However, I had forgotten how dark the paint in my two tins of this were. When first sprayed it looks like a very dark version of the usual grey but, when dry, it is almost black. So, it looks like I'm going to have to go with the black, or at least very dark grey, livery.

 

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Lettering was entertaining, all done with HMRS methfix. Apart from having far too few pre-1904 'G.W.R', the sheet includes 'Reading' in both italic and roman and 'Signal Dept' in roman. Unfortunately the latter is far too big for one of these vans and the style is probably incorrect for pre-1904. In the end, I used italic 'Reading' as supplied, 'Dept' from an italic 'Engineering Dept', and 'Signal' was made up from parts of 'Slough' and various other place names.

 

Overall, then, I enjoyed building the kit and produced, I think, a satisfactory result. The instructions could be significantly improved/corrected, and It does need extra work beyond just soldering the etched parts together so is probably not one for an absolute beginner. Nevertheless, it was much less difficult than one or two other Jidenco/Falcon kits I've tackled in the past.

 

Nick

 

EDIT:

Added photo, taken as per centre metering, not over-exposed, to give a better idea of the colour. Black, slightly glossy unweathered wagon on left and Railmatch GWR grey on right:

 

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EDIT: to add a couple of views of the sliding central axle arre=angement:

 

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That looks absolutely cracking Nick.

 

I think it is safe to say that Bachmann won't be producing one of these any time soon and it is a very unusual and interesting model.  Must have been hot inside it though; big glass skylights on a black painted iron box - phew!

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Nick,

 

What a lovely model of an unusual prototype.  You didn't go for red livery then? ;-)  I only ever had one Jidenco kit, never finished it - I think it was a fruit van and without the experience (and patience) that I have today decided it wasn't worth the effort!

 

Ian

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Thanks, both, I'm glad you like it. In a way, I'm surprised that none of the RTR manufacturers have produced the similar but smaller Henry Pooley weighbridge maintenance van. That could be welcome visitor to any branch line station with a weighbridge in the coal yard.

 

Red livery? Mikkel hasn't yet convinced me that it was still being used in 1902 when these were first built. Mind you, I'm working on an ancient Jidenco kit for a T3 (14T open signalpost wagon). They were first built in 1896, so I might be tempted there. That kit is a real horror, I think only the basic body will be original when its finished.

 

Nick

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Nick, very nice to see some of your superb work, and what a wonderful beast this is. I really like the slightly antiquated look of these vans. 

 

Good thing that your knowledge of the prototype allows you to identify the mistakes in the instructions. It illustrates once again just how important it is to study the prototype closely before and during construction. Perhaps your notes would be useful for the new owners - the roof issue seems to be particularly problematic. 

 

I can relate to your creative use of the HMRS sheets to get the correct lettering. I think it's kind of fun to do, although also a little nerve wracking!

 

I actually like the shade of grey you have arrived at - it looks right to me and does not seem too black. The fact that it is close to black, though, only serves to illustrates how the notion of black liveries for this period may have arisen. 

 

I won't try to convince you about the red livery, it's all about assumptions and hypotheses anyway, and I'm certainly not sure myself either! It just seems rational that Churchward would have made a single sweeping livery change, changing the livery and lettering at the same time in 1904.

 

Is that roof perhaps a litle too clean?

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Hi Mikkel,

Thanks for your supportive comments. I've emailed Samantha to let her know about this blog entry. Hopefully, she may find it useful.

Yes, fun but nerve wracking just about sums up this use of the HMRS sheets!
 

...I actually like the shade of grey you have arrived at - it looks right to me and does not seem too black. The fact that it is close to black, though, only serves to illustrates how the notion of black liveries for this period may have arisen.
...
Is that roof perhaps a litle too clean?


Interesting comments, but this takes us back to the photo interpretation discussion in your recent blog entry. It's not just ancient orthochromatic film that causes problems. I agree that the grey shown in (what was) the last photo above looks quite good, but compare it with the grey on the other wagon in this photo. The problem is that both photos are a little over-exposed in order to show some of the detail, so the colour looks much lighter than it is. I've added another photo above that allows it to be compared with a black wagon and another in Railmatch grey.

 

Another thought here, take a look at the difference between the body side and solebar in what is now the penultimate photo above and recall my comments about red or black solebars. They really are the same colour but the shadow on the solebar makes it look much darker.

 

Yes, the roof is a bit too clean and does need a little more work. It is intended to be in a relatively new condition but, again, the over-exposure makes it look almost pure white.

 

Nick

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Superb work Nick, and nicely explained.

You're right, a Hold & Fold would have done the trick on the solebars, I used mine to bend the solebars on my RT Models Hudson side tippers.

A small point though, and pardon me for being picky, but there doesn't seem to be any means of opening the doors...

 

Paul.

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Well spotted, Paul! (where's the red face icon when you need it?)

 

I remember thinking about these fittings early in the build when I'd fitted the doors, but completely forgot about them after that. I'll have to see what I can do. It looks like there should be a vertical locking bar and plate on the right hand door and a couple of small handrails/handles on the left.

 

Nick

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Fantastic work Nick - and proof that these older kits can be assembled to produce really excellent results.

 

I'd be interested to see the results of your work with the T3 signal post wagon. I bought a 2mm scale etch of one of these (shot down from the original Jidenco etch in the 1980s I believe) recently.

 

Andy

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I can relate to your creative use of the HMRS sheets to get the correct lettering. I think it's kind of fun to do, although also a little nerve wracking!

Mikkel,

 

I did the lettering on my 2mm Outside Framed Brake Van using Fox transfers.  Obviously the numbers alone are quite small, but I wanted a "G.W.R" to fit between the framing so ended up cutting one of their transfers into it's component parts - the full stop is particularly small :-)  Awkward and fiddly but very satisfying when done!!

 

Ian

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I hadn't noticed the missing door locks either, funny how we can be blind to certain details.

 

Thanks for posting those additional photos, Nick. That's a good point about the solebars, it means a lot of photos are of no use when examining solebar colours.

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...I'd be interested to see the results of your work with the T3 signal post wagon. I bought a 2mm scale etch of one of these (shot down from the original Jidenco etch in the 1980s I believe) recently.

 

I'll try to include it in a future post, Andy. The main problem was the solebars that were well undersize in depth (and banana shaped) after folding. They could have been straightened but it was easier to replace them with some channel section brass.

 

...the full stop is particularly small :-)

The 4mm one is small enough! I lost one and had to make it from the coner of a left over letter.

 

Nick

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  • RMweb Gold

Mikkel,

 

I did the lettering on my 2mm Outside Framed Brake Van using Fox transfers.  Obviously the numbers alone are quite small, but I wanted a "G.W.R" to fit between the framing so ended up cutting one of their transfers into it's component parts - the full stop is particularly small :-)  Awkward and fiddly but very satisfying when done!!

 

Ian

 

I can imagine how tricky that must be!

 

BTW I have a number of HMRS sheets accumulated over the years, and I've noticed that the size of the letters and numbers vary between the sheets. Lettering from one sheet may not fit in the available space, while the same lettering from another sheet will. It has to do with the thickness of the print, I think. A bit frustrating.

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  • RMweb Gold

Really lovely model Nick! Those roof lights look great, as others have said a really interesting and unusual prototype.

 

Dave

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Thanks for this excellent post Nick, most informative. My CC7 arrived today so this will help immensely.

 

With the lack of any definitive evidence of these (and other PW vehicles) being painted black, I think your livery hits the spot perfectly.

 

Just popping over to evilBay to find some square section brass.... :)

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Thanks, Dave and Ric.

 

I assime the CC7 kit is essentially the same apart from the drawing in the instructions. The CC3 included both straight and angle ended buffer beams and the trussing pieces for the CC7, but not the alternative sliding door. There are also some extra bits of strapping, some just spares, but others with no apparent use. I wonder if part of the revision you mentioned on the topic is to combine the two etches as there can be very little difference between them?

 

It would be good to see the CC7 when you've built it.

 

Nick

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That might take a while, I've yet to dip my toe into brass kit building! That said I have amassed 4 different kits to build now, it's a matter of choosing one to take the plunge with.

 

The CC7 has the sliding door and only one set of buffer beams, the angle ended ones. Strangely, the instructions say to fit the square ended beams - that aren't included on the etch!The roof is as yours, not holes etched for the roof-light and no buffers were included. I will be emailing Falcon to query this as the instructions specifically mentions attaching the buffers in step 4. 

 

If the DD5 Cordon is anything to go by, the upgrade will be to use U section channel for the solebars and buffer beams and more underframe castings, specifically on the DD5; V hangers, brake shoes, brake levers.

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  • RMweb Gold
Here's the CC7 etch:
 
post-7355-0-74027200-1376426218.jpg

 

I notice it has an excess of side strapping too. Two of the bits of strapping (towards top right above the trussing) are for the side door runners. There's no roof rivet detail either, luckily I have a load of the Mainly trains wagon detail etch too for my D1839 kit-bash.

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Yes, i looks very similar. The main differences are the two cutouts in the floor for the doors, only one pair of buffer beams and the lack of central axleguards. Your mention of door runners explains a couple of extra pieces on the CC3.

 

You mentioned using channel for the solebars and buffer beams. Channel buffer beams would be an improvement, but you'd lose the etched detail on the solebars. Have you tried bending the etched solebars? It may be possible with a couple of steel rulers or similar held in a vice.

 

Nick

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Looking at the prototype pics of the SVR CC7, I think the strip of rivets at the top is to go on the body at the left side of the door, not part of the door runners.

 

The upgraded DD5 kit includes an etch overlay for the solebar detail.The destructions say to file off the lower edge of the U. Kind of makes me think that a simple angle section rather than a U section would have better.

 

I've got a hold & fold that I've used to do solebars on a Bedford GWR 10' underframe (didn't get much further due to lack of instructions...) and found it very easy so I think the solebars for this kit should be a doddle. 

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Looking at the prototype pics of the SVR CC7, I think the strip of rivets at the top is to go on the body at the left side of the door, not part of the door runners...

I think you're probably right. I remember looking at the photo of CC7 No 80981 in Atkins et al. and noticing the vertical line of rivets either side of the door. The surviving CC3 has something like this but I think it's a later addition as nothing appears on early photos of CC1/2 with the same type of doors.

 

...The upgraded DD5 kit includes an etch overlay for the solebar detail.The destructions say to file off the lower edge of the U. Kind of makes me think that a simple angle section rather than a U section would have better...

Yes, that does sound a bit odd. Perhaps they made some changes and only realised about that later...

 

Nick

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Interesting to see what they have and haven't (yet) updated.  I had a GC 6 wheel brake van from them, which is designed with the same underfloor/W iron arrangement.  It leaves the van about 1.5 mm too low, so they supplied it with MJT rocking units as a replacement.  Mine also had no buffers, which I highlighted to them (although I've seen what Jidenco used to supply and it probably wouldn't be worth packing them).

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I get the impression they haven't made up their minds about buffers. As I mentioned, the AA6 kit came with a set of MJT buffers, albeit unsprung, and the same type would have been suitable for this van. A difficult choice, really, as those who want to use sprung buffers would probably see good quality fixed buffers as an unnecessary expense.

 

Nick

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I was inending to solder some angled pieces at the top of the sides and ends to which the roof could be glued, but I forgot about that...

 

In the end, I glued some strips of wood in the same places with epoxy. Once cured, the roof was glued to these with with a few small spots of Evo-stik Timebond.

 

Nick

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