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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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........