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A Hat Box for Blanche




In an earlier post in my blog, I described construction of a GWR Tilt Wagon, based on a photograph in a Forum Post by Wagonman. I also reported that, when Sir John saw it in North Leigh station, he commented that it might just hold all his daughter's hat boxes. So, I now call it my 'Hat Box'.


At the time of my earlier entry, I had designed and built the basic body and started adding some of the detail. Completing the rest has been a very fiddly task, using lots of rivet strip (from Mainly Trains) and wire for the various rails.


I had just decided that I was going to have to scratch-build the chassis, when the GWR/RCH underframes re-appeared in the MJT catalogue (Dart Castings), after having been 'temporarily out of stock' since the end of last year. After a previous experience of slow delivery, I was expecting a long wait but they arrived by return post - excellent service from Dart Castings!


The W-irons have a rather spindly look, which suits the model very well and conveys the look of the prototype. As a finishing touch, I added some lengths of very fine chain (32 links per inch) from Scale Link.to make the door keeps.


My method for attaching the chain was to cut a short length, dip it in a dilute PVA solution and then tease it into place on the side of the wagon (laid on its side), using a cocktail stick.




The PVA dries completely clear and seems to hold adequately - though I would not try rough handling! Once it had dried, I set the wagon in front of a line of clerestory coaches, similar to the position of the prototype in the heading photo:




It can be seen to be quite a large wagon, especially when compared with the adjacent Iron Mink (V6) van. I still have lettering and numbering to do, but this can wait until I do an overall job on my fleet of back-dated 'red' wagons.


With the Winter modelling season approaching, I feel that I need to turn my attention from building stock to developing the scenery on my layout. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, my layout is derived from a simple Hornby-Dublo track plan, with the addition of a narrow gauge feeder (009) on an upper level.


I intend to tackle the development of the scenery as a series of 'vignettes', as indicated on the following diagram.




Working on each element in turn will allow me to follow Mikkel's dictum of eating an elephant in small portions! Even with my tiny layout, I think it could take quite a long time :)



  • Like 5
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1


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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Mike, I suggest that we hereby add a new item to the GWR code list - if they could have "bloater" etc, then surely also a "hat box".


It looks very good with wheels on it now. Glad to hear the MJT units are back in stock, I'm going to order some before they run out again. The clerestories in the background are very attractive too, have we seen them before? The painting of the panels etc is very nicely done, I think.


Nice to see the trackplan in full. Are some parts of it stil without scenery, then?

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Nice to see some of the rolling stock you've constructed, as Mikkel has already mentioned, those clerestories do look rather nice.

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Thank you Mikkel & Snitzl - I am almost ashamed to admit that those nice clerestories are Tri-ang!  I painted them many years ago, while convalescing after pneumonia, with plenty of time on my hands!  I'm not sure I could achieve a similar finish nowadays. 


Fortunately, the North Leigh line was such a back-water that some of the stock got completely forgotten and missed off the diagram lists.  It's a mystery how Tri-ang got them absolutely correct  :)


I think that, before embarking on more new stock, I should re-build my 6-wheel coaches, since they were really just test pieces, to learn what I could do with the Silhouette cutter. A lot of things were worked out 'on the fly' and should now be done much more neatly.


The basic scenery is there, but with lots of loose ends and frayed edges.  I will work on the various sub-scenes bit-by-bit, until I'm happy with them - though, after looking at some of the work shown on this site, that may be an impossible aim 

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Mike, no need to be ashamed that they are Triang. I suspected as much (something about the roofs), but thought I'd better ask first, in case they were expensive brass things! :-)


There is something very authentic GWR about those Triang coaches. Although they have no direct prototypes, they simply capture the look so well. Very impressed by your paintjob, although probably not worth the pneumonia, after all! 

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Back in the1950s/60s, I think Tri-ang did an amazing job in enthusing young people to take up the hobby.  They understood the importance of stimulating the imagination as well as adding 'play value' to their products. 


I remember enjoying being able to open the doors on my SR Utility Van, to load items inside and, similarly, to drop the sides of my coal wagons alongside my lineside yard.  They included models that no-one else considered, such as EMUs and, of course, the amazing 'Lord of the Isles' set.


In the quest for accuracy and detail, many modern products have become too fragile and expensive.

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