I had intended to wait until my carriage truck was complete, before writing another post, but various events have introduced delays, so here is a 'work in progress' report. . Some of my readers seem to like my 'off-beat' approach to modelling and this one also has some unusual features!
It all began when I saw a box of 'extra long' safety matches on the supermarket shelves. I had been looking at a drawing of an early wooden -framed carriage truck (1866) in Janet Russell's book on 'Great Western Horse Power' and suddenly got the idea of making the frame from these matches! The drawing shows several intriguing features, such as the diagonal-planked floor, with iron strips under the carriage wheels, and supports for moveable cross-bars that are below the side hand-rails.
I constructed a simple under-frame from a selection of both 'extra long' and ordinary matches. I also had some small pieces of veneer from an old marquetry set, which provided a suitable deck. I glued the veneer to a rectangle of 10 thou brass sheet, to provide mountings for the under-gear.
The first source of delay was that the 'MJT' compensating W-irons, which I intended to use, have been 'temporarily out of stock' all year, so far. When I had no reply to an e-mail querying potential availability, I looked for alternatives and found both the 'Mainly Trains' GWR running gear etch and their wagon detailing set. I fitted the running gear under the brass floor and found that I needed to cut recesses in the backs of the side frame members to accommodate the W-irons. Fortunately, the match wood was easy to cut with a scalpel blade.
The Mainly Trains detailing set contains lengths of rivet strip, intended for wagon bracing, which I used for the strakes along the deck of the carriage truck, together with some square riveted plates to complete the ends of the loading ramps.
The next step was to mount the two side hand-rails. The prototype used angle irons as vertical supports at the wagon ends and T-section bars for the intermediate supports. I had some 1mm x 1mm brass angle rod, so cut this into short lengths and then fixed lengths back-to-back for the T-sections. This was very fiddly and I should have made up the T-sections before cutting into individual lengths. These intermediate supports also ended up too wide, though this is not really noticeable in practice. Perhaps I shoud have used styrene sections but I wanted to represent the metal of the prototype with metal parts. The top rails were too small in section for matches, so I used 1mm square styrene rod for these. Once these parts were all in place, I addded additional iron-work details to the solebars, using parts from the 'Mainly Trains' fret. I think it took me as long to add these details as some people take to build a whole layout
I'm now stuck again, waiting for grease axleboxes and other parts to arrive from Dart Castings - those guys really mean it when they say 'allow 21 days for delivery'
The 1866 drawing does not show any brake gear. I assume that, after 1880, the vehicle would have been fitted with the moving-cylinder vacuum brake with a single side lever. If anyone has any more information, perhaps they could let me know.