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Coal wagons for Sherton Abbas

wenlock

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Autumn is here, the nights are drawing in and thoughts once again turn to modelling!:-) As I mentioned in a previous blog entry http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/1131/entry-20890-coal/ I've planned on building some private owner coal wagons for Sherton Abbas and now the layout is more or less complete the time has come to make a start. I wanted to represent wagons that would have been running in the Somerset / Dorset area circa 1905 and found the information contained in this book invaluable http://lightmoor.co.uk/books/private-owner-wagons-of-somerset/L9877
POW sides make 7mm versions of suitable wagons based on Slaters Plastikard kits http://www.powsides.co.uk/www.powsides.co.uk/info.php?p=2

 

POW sides kits
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The kits come pre-painted, lettered and incorporate excellent detail on the outside surfaces, however the sides and floor are completely smooth on the inside of the wagon. I decided that I would try to "improve" the appearance of the wagon's internal detail.

 

I started by scribing planking onto the wagon floor using a ruler and compass point, sandpaper was use to remove any burred edges.

 

Scribed planking
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I've noticed on previously constructed wagons that the sides begin to bow inwards over time presumably as the solvent used in their construction evaporates. In an attempt to avoid this happening, rather than scribing the sides I decided to individually plank them. Strips of 10 thou plastic card were fixed inside the wagon using liquid poly, in theory this should form a laminate with the outside of the wagon in compression and the inside planking in tension giving a stable box shape. Quite how successful this will be remains to be seen!

 

Internal planking
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Prototype coal wagons often exhibit bulging sides, in order to simulate this spacers were cut from an old steel ruler to force the sides apart while the glue.

 

Wagon drying with spacers in situ
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Once the sides had thoroughly dried the spacers were removed and the internal framing was represented using varying thicknesses of micro strip. I found John Hayes' book on coal wagons https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1874103488/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 a really useful source of information regarding prototype practice.

 

Internal strapping
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The next step was to simulate the internal bolt heads. Small slices of 10 thou Slater's Plastikard rod were cut and then fixed in position on the planking with a tiny drop of liquid poly. I can't pretend that this process is anything but tedious, my wife thought I was quite mad:-) Its probably no worse than ballasting track work and does give some texture to the inside of the wagon. Capping strips were simulated with micro strip and detailed with more cosmetic bolt heads

 

Adding bolt heads
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The rest of the wagon's construction follows the Slater's Plastikard instructions. I've completed another of the wagons, so two down, two to go! Once the other pair are completed I can make a start on the painting and weathering of the four wagons which will be the next blog entry.

 

Completed pair of wagons
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Sherton Abbas will be appearing at the Portsmouth Model Railway show https://www.shmrc.org.uk/exhibition/ on Saturday the 17th November, do come over for a chat if you are attending the exhibition.

 

Until next time........

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

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Some useful wagons there Dave, it will be interesting to see how they fare holding their shape ( hopefully they will ).

 

Nicely detailed interiors too.

 

All the best with the exhibition I'm certain you will get a great deal of admirers and interest.

 

Grahame

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There’s a school of thought that says if you stick two layers of plastikard together they’ll warp, three layers and they don’t know which way to warp and don’t. TBH, I wouldn’t bother detailing the inside, just make a load of coal to fit inside, which is simpler, although you have made a lovely job of it.

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Dave,

Your eye for detail is amazing, the internal sides of wagons is so often forgotten, let alone to go for so much added detail, brilliant.

 

And thanks for the heads up, Portsmouth is about a 20 minute drive for me, so I will finally get to see the layout.

 

Martyn. ( with the returning mojo, at last. )

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The author of that book is on here - he's been very generous in his contributions to my wagon-building thread.

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Some excellent models waiting to be loaded and some additional weathering.
Thanks Job!

 

Some useful wagons there Dave, it will be interesting to see how they fare holding their shape ( hopefully they will ). Nicely detailed interiors too. All the best with the exhibition I'm certain you will get a great deal of admirers and interest. Grahame
Thanks Grahame! I’m looking forward to the show in Portsmouth, I was last there about 25 years ago and had a great weekend:-)

 

There’s a school of thought that says if you stick two layers of plastikard together they’ll warp, three layers and they don’t know which way to warp and don’t. TBH, I wouldn’t bother detailing the inside, just make a load of coal to fit inside, which is simpler, although you have made a lovely job of it.
I did consider using three layers, but didn’t want to make the sides too thick. Quite whether I’ll regret this remains to be seen:-)The wagons are going to be used on my private siding where they will arrive full, go “of stage” and the coal will be removed. They then will return down the private siding empty and wait in the exchange siding for collection. Hence the need for all those bl**dy bolt heads!:-)

 

Dave,Your eye for detail is amazing, the internal sides of wagons is so often forgotten, let alone to go for so much added detail, brilliant.And thanks for the heads up, Portsmouth is about a 20 minute drive for me, so I will finally get to see the layout.Martyn. ( with the returning mojo, at last. )
Thanks Martyn and glad to hear the elusive mojo is back! Make sure you introduce yourself at the show, looking forward to a chat.

 

The author of that book is on here - he's been very generous in his contributions to my wagon-building thread.
Thanks Stephen, we are lucky to have so many helpful and knowledgeable people on the forum.Best wishes to allDave

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Capping strips - they're difficult to pick out in official Gloucester photos (see the Keith Montague book) but they are pretty much universal on late 19th century open wagons - they're there on the 1887 RCH specification drawings (see the Watts Ince book) and on Midland wagons, also LNWR and L&Y wagons (ref. the standard works on those). Usually 3/8" thick. Without them the top edge of the top plank would soon be reduced to a worn splintery mess. They also serve as washer plates for the nuts on the top end of the vertical rods that pass through the sheeting planks half-way between the side knees and end corner plates - a feature visible in that Midland drawing; the nuts can sometimes be made out in Gloucester photos. I would expect them to be painted black when the rest of the ironwork was black but I'm not convinced that's what the Gloucester photos show. My own 4 mm wagons are generally deficient on this point (along with interior detail in general...)

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Did those old Gloucester PO wagons have capping strips?

Hi Russ, judging from these images courtesy of Lightmoor Press then yes!

 

IMG 2185

IMG 2186

 
As Stephen says the top plank wouldnt last long with out them!
 
Best wishes
 
Dave

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Capping strips - they're difficult to pick out in official Gloucester photos (see the Keith Montague book) but they are pretty much universal on late 19th century open wagons - they're there on the 1887 RCH specification drawings (see the Watts Ince book) and on Midland wagons, also LNWR and L&Y wagons (ref. the standard works on those). Usually 3/8" thick. Without them the top edge of the top plank would soon be reduced to a worn splintery mess. They also serve as washer plates for the nuts on the top end of the vertical rods that pass through the sheeting planks half-way between the side knees and end corner plates - a feature visible in that Midland drawing; the nuts can sometimes be made out in Gloucester photos. I would expect them to be painted black when the rest of the ironwork was black but I'm not convinced that's what the Gloucester photos show. My own 4 mm wagons are generally deficient on this point (along with interior detail in general...)

Thanks for the very useful information!

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Thanks!

 

Btw, putting new inner sides and ends in is a stroke of genius - wish I had thought of that.

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Thanks!

 

Btw, putting new inner sides and ends in is a stroke of genius - wish I had thought of that.

 

It’s actually doesn’t take much longer than scribing and has the advantage that it hides all those horrible internal mitres in the corners of the wagon:-)

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Hi Dave, I'm coming late to this but good to see you modelling again.

 

As others have said, very clever idea to add individual planking to the insides. It makes a big difference and I can imagine it must be quite therapeutic work. Good luck with the Portmouth show!

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Hi Dave, I'm coming late to this but good to see you modelling again.As others have said, very clever idea to add individual planking to the insides. It makes a big difference and I can imagine it must be quite therapeutic work. Good luck with the Portmouth show!

Thanks Mikel, now Autumn is here, I’ll hopefully be more productive on the modelling front!

 

Looking forward to the next report from Farthing!:-)

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

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