I've now built my second GWR 3-planker from a David Geen kit. This time, I made a floor from 10 thou brass sheet, which acted as a template to keep the body panels square. It certainly solved the problem of trying to align several lumps of white metal in my far-from-steady hands!
My method, when working with brass sheet, is to print a scale drawing of the part onto paper and then stick the paper to the brass using a glue-stick. For the wagon floor, I simply used a guillotine to cut out the rectangular shape but this method comes into its own for complex shapes, such as curved frames, when one simply has to follow the lines on the paper template with appropriate cutting tools. Afterwards, the paper is easily removed by soaking in hot water.
Now, I could assemble the sides and ends, using the floor as set-square and template. The sides have steps at the top of the solebars, on the inside, which provide secure mountings. At the ends, I provided a folded tab, which similarly provided a secure fixing. It was now very simple to align one side and one end - unlike when these parts were 'floating' freely.
The additional sides were then added and fixed to the floorplate. In fact, the castings all fitted very well and simply needed the floor as a jig to assist their assembly. This time, I ignored the advice in the instruction sheet and waited to attach the axle guards until after the main structure was complete. This showed up an asymmetry in the castings since, when the guards were centred over the bump stops on one side, those on the opposite side were noticeably displaced, when the axles were lined up correctly. I fitted the guards on one side first and then trued up the axles before gluing those on the opposite side.
The detail on the castings is very good indeed and once I had found a way of truing up the assembly, I think this makes a very attractive early wagon.
I am very grateful for all the suggestions that were made on my previous posts and would like to ask one more question. Am I correct to assume that the V-hanger should be removed from the side opposite the brake gear? I guess that there was no shaft across the wagon but that the one-side brake was supported by a single V-hanger and the vertical rod inside the brake rods.
Now for another pause. I read, on another thread, about air brushes and, as a result, have bought an AS186 kit to have a go! It may take some time for me to get the hang of it and, definitely, some time before I have anything fit to post!