I've been thinking about getting some more variety with Loco Coal wagons. There is the Coopercraft and Cambrian 10 ton wagons, a Cambrian 40 ton and nothing great in between. Dapol do several wagons liveries as loco coal, but none are spot on. Shapeways do 3d prints of two types, including an N28 body to go on a Dapol underframe. But the underframes were out of stock when I last looked...
You can make an N27 body by taking 2 Dapol bodies and putting the fixed end from one where the other has a door end. A bit wasteful, but it then gives me a spare underframe for a 3d print one. This new body can be turned into an N34 by scraping off the top of the door and adding new strapping.
Then I realised that many of the loco coal wagons had the earlier DC brakes. You can carve the Dapol moulding, but it is not easy to do neatly. I then had a brainwave - if I used a kit underframe, I could modify it to DC brakes. The five79 ballast wagon being the most suitable donor.
Here's the first ones:
Top - N27 Dapol body x 2 with five79 underframe modified to DC brake and cast buffers
Middle - N28 shapeways body on Dapol
Bottom - P23 five79 body on Dapol
I didn't waste the ballast wagon bodies as I used the spare Dapol underframes to complete them.
Top - N34 Dapol bodies x 2 with modified doors on Dapol frame
Middle - P17 five79 modified to DC brake to make earlier type
Bottom - N29 shapeways body on five79 modified to DC brake
Here's a close up of the N27 showing g the replaced end - I mitred the corners before gluing.
Hope this gives you some ideas on making wagons that no kit is made for.
Thanks for reading