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GWR ex Broad Gauge Passenger Brake Van Dia V9


During the Cardiff model railway show back in October 2019, I treated myself to a couple of six wheel coaches from Dragon Models.  http://www.taffvale.wales/page1.php  Although I thoroughly enjoy building locomotives and wagons, I always find building coaches a bit of a slog and consequently haven't got many to use on Sherton Abbas:rolleyes:  My entire passenger stock comprises of three Slater's 4 wheel coaches, a solitary Slater's all 3rd bogie clerestory and an etched brass V2 passenger brake van.  I'm about half way through a Slater's Clerestory brake 3rd dia D14 which I really should summon the enthusiasm to finish, but I fancied a bit of soldering, so made a start on this Passenger Brake Van!

 

Dia V9 brake van.

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The kit comprises of the usual etched brass frets, accompanied by some lengths of brass wire, white metal castings and a pre formed roof.

 

Kit components

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Before the body could be assembled the door hinges and door bangers had to be soldered in position along with the droplight window

 

Hinges and door bangers

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The sides and ends could then be soldered together. Unfortunately this was easier to say than do, the kit relies on butt fitting the sides and ends and would have been so much easier if there had been locating tabs incorporated in the kit design:rolleyes:  Eventually I managed to get the thing square and strengthened the joints with fillets of solder.

 

Sides and ends assembled

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The W irons and supporting flooring were assembled next.  The kit has a clever design that allows the wheels at each end to pivot and the centre axle to be able to slide left and right, which hopefully will allow the model to negotiate tighter curves than the prototype!

 

W irons

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The components for the outside clasp brakes were then added.  I'm always concerned that metal brake shoes will cause an electrical short if they touch the wheels, so I wrapped the shoes in epoxy resin soaked tissue paper which once set provides good insulation.

 

Outside Clap Brakes

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The body and W iron components were then fitted together and the ride height checked.

 

Body on wheels

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The etched brass step boards provided in the kit looked suspiciously malnourished and this was confirmed by measuring against a scale drawing.  An order of brass strip and 1mm square brass rod was obtained from Eileens Emporium https://www.eileensemporium.com/materials-for-modellers/category/brass-flat-strips-metric and step boards were constructed from this.  The picture shows the boards provided in the kit at the bottom, along with my fabrications at the top.

 

Step boards

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The step boards were fitted to the body ensuring that there was still room fore the W irons to pivot/slide laterally.

 

Step boards in Situ

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On the prototype coach the W irons are connected together by a rod linking them all.  However on my model if I simply soldered a wire linking all the W irons together on each side, it would stop the W irons being able to pivot or move laterally and lock everything solid.  To overcome this issue I soldered a length of brass tube behind the centre axle W iron and then cut the connecting rod in half.  The rod was then soldered at one end to the outside axle W irons, but allowed to slide free in the centre axle tubing. This subterfuge is hopefully not too obvious, but should allow the coach to cope with reasonably tight radius curves!  

 

Centre axle tube

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The coach was then burnished with a fiberglass bristle pen to remove excess solder and then the white metal ventilator bonnets, axle boxes etc were glued in place using 5 minute epoxy resin.  The white metal buffers included in the kit left a bit to be desired, so I replaced these with sprung versions from Slater's.

 

White metal components in position.

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The next couple of pictures are of the coach with the roof just resting in position, the next step will be to paint and glaze the model before the roof can finally be fitted permanently and the hand rails fitted.

 

I also need to decide whether to model the coach with gas lighting, or as oil lit.  I quite like the idea of oil lit to provide a contrast with my other gas lit coaches, but I'm not sure if this would be appropriate for a coach running in 1905.

 

Roof in position

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Despite a few problems encountered during the  build of this coach, nothing was insurmountable and I quite enjoyed the experience!  Bearing this in mind I think I'm going to make a start on building  a matching 6 wheel composite carriage dia U9, I might even finish that Slater's D14 clerestory!

 

Until next time....

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

 

Edited by wenlock

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17 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

You don't mention how you formed the tumblehome...

Hi Stephen,

 

Nothing very high tech I'm afraid, I just use my thumbs as a lever and gently work along the side until the tumblehome curve matches the end profiles:)  As long as you take your time brass is pretty forgiving really!

 

BW

 

Dave

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53 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

You don't mention how you formed the tumblehome...

Dave does not need to describe his method because there is no tumblehome on GWR Dean carriage stock.  On the other hand, Dave, pleased to read how you did the "turnunder" of the model.

 

Separately, information from HMRS Steward for GWR rolling stock is that a number of Dean passenger brake vans (V5 and the ilk) had oil lamps into the Edwardian period - maybe I ought to pose the question to John Lewis.

 

regards, Graham

Edited by Western Star
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16 minutes ago, Western Star said:

Dave does not need to describe his method because there is no tumblehome on GWR Dean carriage stock.  On the other hand, Dave, pleased to read how you did the "turnunder" of the model.

Hi Grahame,

 

I consider myself a bit of a Great Western aficionado, but had no idea that the good old GWR referred to the lower body side curve as a "turnunder"  Was this purely Great Western terminology or a term in general use for other companies coach sides in the Victorian/Edwardian era?

 

23 minutes ago, Western Star said:

Separately, information from HMRS Steward for GWR rolling stock is that a number of Dean passenger brake vans (V5 and the ilk) had oil lamps into the Edwardian period - maybe I ought to pose the question to John Lewis.

 

regards, Graham

Asking John regarding this would be very useful, as would any detailed pictures showing oil lamps in situ on coaches of the period.  I seem to remember seeing in a photograph that alongside the main oil lamp was another smaller fitting, but cant remember exactly where I saw it, or what it was used for!:rolleyes:

 

BW

 

Dave

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I have to confess I couldn't produce evidence for what the LNWR or Midland called it! "Tumblehome" may just be modeller's cant. I gather it's a disputed term anyway, as ship modellers will point out that it's the term used for the inward (reverse) curve above the waterline giving a traditional sailing ship its characteristic pear-shaped cross-section. 

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It's difficult to predict when oil to gas conversions took place, and some V diagram vehicles kept their oil pots until a fairly late stage.

 

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20 minutes ago, Miss Prism said:

It's difficult to predict when oil to gas conversions took place, and some V diagram vehicles kept their oil pots until a fairly late stage.

 

Would there be any effort to make or keep a branch set with all gas or all oil lamps - from the point of view of economy?

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Well....someone has been using their time wisely !

 

Thank you for posting the methods for this kit Dave, it is one which is most suited in my opinion and I too had considered it. The only thing that "put me off" so to speak is exactly as you found ( and managed to get done satisfactorily ) are the butt joints of the sides and ends. The range of coaches from this manufacturer are suited to the period thought.

 

It's always something that irks me when you have to make additional purchases in order to make kits just that little bit better which is something you have managed to do.

 

Nice work as usual and look forward to the next instalment.

 

Well done mate.

 

G

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2 hours ago, Miss Prism said:

It's difficult to predict when oil to gas conversions took place, and some V diagram vehicles kept their oil pots until a fairly late stage.

 

No need to predict when the HMRS Company Steward for GWR rolling stock can provide the dates...  first was no. 123 in July 1894 and last were nos. 116 and 119 by 29th February 1900 / 3rd March 1900.

 

Dave, the register entries for diagrams V8 and V9 record that some of the stock was altered to 4-wheel when converted to narrow gauge (conversion date is recorded as 23rd July 1892), you may wish to avoid numbers 114, 117, 120 and 124.  No. 130 was converted from 6 to 4 wheels in April 1923.

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1 hour ago, Compound2632 said:

Would there be any effort to make or keep a branch set with all gas or all oil lamps - from the point of view of economy?

 

Good question, and one could argue it either way. Things carrying passengers got converted to gas at a fairly early stage, so that would mean a branch set would need access to a gas tank, and it would make sense for anything working regularly with a branch set, like a PBV, to be gas-fitted as well.

 

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  • RMweb Gold
2 hours ago, Miss Prism said:

It's difficult to predict when oil to gas conversions took place, and some V diagram vehicles kept their oil pots until a fairly late stage.

 

Good news!  I'm hoping that a lowly vehicle like a passenger brake van in comparison to a passenger carrying coach would be the last thing to be updated to gas lit.  

 

2 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Would there be any effort to make or keep a branch set with all gas or all oil lamps - from the point of view of economy?

Something I haven't considered.  Perhaps a complete set would have all been sent back to the works for conversion at the same time. If anyone can shed light on this I would be most interested!

 

1 hour ago, bgman said:

Well....someone has been using their time wisely !

Thanks Grahame:)  Not sure Mrs Wenlock would agree though!:D

 

1 hour ago, bgman said:

Thank you for posting the methods for this kit Dave, it is one which is most suited in my opinion and I too had considered it. The only thing that "put me off" so to speak is exactly as you found ( and managed to get done satisfactorily ) are the butt joints of the sides and ends. The range of coaches from this manufacturer are suited to the period thought.

It's a shame about the butt fitting corners because they are otherwise pretty good offerings.  I tend to look at all kits with a jaundiced eye these days, most need extra work/different components to build an acceptable model and these are no different!:rolleyes:  Perhaps we are just too fussy!:D

 

2 hours ago, bgman said:

It's always something that irks me when you have to make additional purchases in order to make kits just that little bit better which is something you have managed to do.

Glad you think my additions are an improvement.  If only Martin Finney or Malcolm Mitchell had made coach kits, they are about the only manufacturers that I can think off that don't need "tweaking!"

 

BW

 

Dave

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21 minutes ago, Western Star said:

No need to predict when the HMRS Company Steward for GWR rolling stock can provide the dates...  first was no. 123 in July 1894 and last were nos. 116 and 119 by 29th February 1900 / 3rd March 1900.

 

Dave, the register entries for diagrams V8 and V9 record that some of the stock was altered to 4-wheel when converted to narrow gauge (conversion date is recorded as 23rd July 1892), you may wish to avoid numbers 114, 117, 120 and 124.  No. 130 was converted from 6 to 4 wheels in April 1923.

Thanks for all this, that's really useful!

 

21 minutes ago, Miss Prism said:

 

Good question, and one could argue it either way. Things carrying passengers got converted to gas at a fairly early stage, so that would mean a branch set would need access to a gas tank, and it would make sense for anything working regularly with a branch set, like a PBV, to be gas-fitted as well.

 

Our posts crossed and I agree that it makes sense for passenger carrying stock to be converted first.  Perhaps my PBV is an oil lit stand in used while the regular van is being converted:)

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When I  am faced with a butt joint, I often solder a short length of brass wire to the inside edge of the inside panel by holding this vertically on a scrap of wood with the wire resting on the wood. A bit of blutack or double sided tape will hold the wire in place while soldering if need be. This just gives a bit more 'meat' to butt and solder against. If you wanted to be really clever you could use a higher temp solder for the wire but I am not usually clever!

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Dave, there were a couple of articles in early BRJ by John Lewis on GWR coach lighting. I will dig them out tomorrow as I seem to remember a chart that showed the numbers of coaches that still had oil lighting in our period of interest. From memory I think that pretty well anything 1st or 2nd class had been converted, a fair proportion of 3rd class likewise, but brake vans retained their oil lighting longer.

The all 3rd that I completed a couple of weeks ago I fitted with oil lamps for variety (I posted some photos in my Modbury thread).

Ian

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34 minutes ago, KH1 said:

When I  am faced with a butt joint, I often solder a short length of brass wire to the inside edge of the inside panel by holding this vertically on a scrap of wood with the wire resting on the wood. A bit of blutack or double sided tape will hold the wire in place while soldering if need be. This just gives a bit more 'meat' to butt and solder against. If you wanted to be really clever you could use a higher temp solder for the wire but I am not usually clever!

Good idea! I’ve sometimes used a bit of scrap etched brass fret to create a shoulder to solder against, but it would be so much easier if kit designers thought about the builders of their products:rolleyes:

 

31 minutes ago, Ian Smith said:

Dave, there were a couple of articles in early BRJ by John Lewis on GWR coach lighting. I will dig them out tomorrow as I seem to remember a chart that showed the numbers of coaches that still had oil lighting in our period of interest. From memory I think that pretty well anything 1st or 2nd class had been converted, a fair proportion of 3rd class likewise, but brake vans retained their oil lighting longer.

The all 3rd that I completed a couple of weeks ago I fitted with oil lamps for variety (I posted some photos in my Modbury thread).

Ian

Fantastic thanks Ian, I’ll zip over to your Modbury thread and take a look:)

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  • RMweb Gold

Very nice Dave, I do like PBVs!

 

I was trying to spot any tell-tale signs of its Broad Gauge origins in the kit, but then realized I don't know what to look for.  I wonder if there are any rules of thumb for spotting ex-BG carriages?

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2 hours ago, Mikkel said:

Very nice Dave, I do like PBVs!

Thanks Mikkel, me too!:)

 

2 hours ago, Mikkel said:

I was trying to spot any tell-tale signs of its Broad Gauge origins in the kit, but then realized I don't know what to look for.  I wonder if there are any rules of thumb for spotting ex-BG carriages?

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me will help with this, but for what it's worth I think the ends of ex Broad gauge are the main give away to their origins.  Rather than the usual single arc, or elliptical roof profiles found on most coaches, oddities occur because a section was taken out of the ends during the conversion to narrow gauge.  Here's a picture of the step end of my coach:)

 

IMG_4058a.jpg.033509d48a643cd2f699311ac0a94d95.jpg

 

BW

 

Dave

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Thanks Dave. What a strange task it must have been for the coach builders at Swindon to do the narrowing work. Especially for the broad gauge hardliners among them (I'm sure there would have been some!).

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Interesting hypothesis.
 

is it the case that 3-arc roof profiles are always associated with broad gauge conversions?  
 

in my mind, I associate them with clerestory vehicles, a sort-of-simplified-but-same version, but of course they would be a similar era.  Maybe I’ve been missing something obvious!

 

atb

Simon

 

 

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2 hours ago, Simond said:

Interesting hypothesis.
 

is it the case that 3-arc roof profiles are always associated with broad gauge conversions?  
 

in my mind, I associate them with clerestory vehicles, a sort-of-simplified-but-same version, but of course they would be a similar era.  Maybe I’ve been missing something obvious!

 

atb

Simon

 

 


No, but the profile is different on a broad gauge conversion because the conversion was accomplished (in simple terms) by cutting a length-wise slice out of the middle of coach and joining it back together. That is unless it was a ‘convertible’ where the change was to put the already narrow body on a narrow under frame. 

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7 minutes ago, richbrummitt said:


No, but the profile is different on a broad gauge conversion because the conversion was accomplished (in simple terms) by cutting a length-wise slice out of the middle of coach and joining it back together.

Not quite if we are to believe what John Lewis has written about the process (Model Railway Constructor Annual (1981)).  Swindon took two slices out of a BG body, the cutting was just to the inside of the coach side.  Hence the "centre" part of the roof line of the BG coach was retained.

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But there were many vehicles built with standard gauge bodies on broad gauge underframes, so only the underframes need modification.

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This is turning out to be a really interesting, thought provoking topic! Thanks everyone for their contributions:)

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12 hours ago, Mikkel said:

What a strange task it must have been for the coach builders at Swindon to do the narrowing work. 

 

The opposite was done at Stratford, where old 8ft wide carriages were cut lengthways and had an extra 1ft width added to increase capacity from 5-a-side to 6-a-side. I think thety were mounted in pairs on bogie underframes at the same time.

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