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Found 7 results

  1. A couple of notes on the details. Sadly, my local model shop didn't have lamp irons in stock. As i am prone to impatience i fashioned the upper side irons out of plastikard cutnintonthin strips and welded at a 90 deg angle. The lower one were made from brass handrails i had left over from another build. The safety rail for the veranda is 0.3mm wire. The vacuum pipe arrangement is made from 0.8mm brass wire and a springside (i think) steam heat pipe i had in the odds and sods box. Priming came next which exposed a couple of rough areas to be sorted before painting.
  2. Last year we had a discussion about SDJR Road Vans here on RMweb, which revealed that – contrary to what one might think – these vehicles travelled well beyond the SDJR on a regular basis, including foreign destinations right up to London. For details, please see Buckjumper’s notes in the thread. I thought I might justify one of these vans making an occasional appearance at Farthing, perhaps carrying small consignments of cheddar, cider and other Somerset delicacies to satisfy the palets of Wiltshire’s gentry. The SDJR had at least two designs of road van, one of which was based on the Midland Railway diagram D363 vans. Slater’s do a kit for the latter MR van, so I thought this would be a good basis for a kit bash. As it transpired, the project came to involve a lot more scratch building than kit building! I began with the chassis. As can be seen here, the kit comes with oil axleboxes but my photos of the SDJR vans show Ellis grease axle boxes. So I removed the axleboxes and W irons, and also filed off some of the solebar fittings, to be replaced later. I bought in some MJT compensation units and and Ellis grease axleboxes from Dart castings. To make space for the MJT units, parts of the underframe from the kit was cut away, using what I call the “salami method”. Plastikard packing under the MJT units to get the right ride height. Then came the time-consuming part. As can be seen above, the Slaters kit has a sliding door type which is wrong for the SDJR vans. To make matters worse, the door is off-set to one side, meaning the Vs of the framing aren’t actually symmetrical. So I decided to scratch build new sides. For the new sides I used plain Evergreen 0.5 styrene, and did the planking with my new scribing tool. This makes a neat V-groove, whereas other methods – eg the back of a scalpel blade – tends to make an unsightly ridge along the groove. The framing was a bit tricky. The joins with the van ends are mitred, and the bottom framing is sloping in order to let rainwater run off. It helped to fit the ends to the chassis, so that I could offer up the sides to the van and check that everything fitted as I went along. I trust my fettling more than my measuring! The framing all done. For the strapping I used a general etch from Mainly Trains. Having done a full side, I realized that the strapping should have rounded ends. I decided to leave it, but next time I’ll use plastic strip instead as this can be fashioned as required. Door hinges and locking mechanism were made from plastic rod, wire and chain. Bolt heads were added using rivet transfers. The lower framing “dips” where each bolt is mounted. This was replicated with plastic putty filed to shape. Sides checked against drawing. The perspective makes the side look a little too long here, but it fits in reality (honest, guv!). My glorious reward for scratchbuilding the sides was that the ends now looked a bit coarse by comparison! I decided to leave them as they were, except for a bit of modification to the strapping (lower left is as it comes, lower right is modified as per the prototype photo). Ready for primer with brakes and various other fittings now added. The headstocks were extended a little to be flush with the lower framing, as per the photo in Southern Goods Wagons. The roof seemed a little short to me – even for the original kit – so I extended it by 0.5 mm at each end. The paint job did not go well. Unfamiliar with the livery, I first sprayed on a light grey, then tried a darker one, then the light one again, etc. As a result, the grooves in the sides started filling in and revealed that I hadn’t cut them all to equal depth. Lesson learnt, the hard way! I couldn’t find any available SDJR lettering, so used individual letters from various HMRS sheets (the SR pre-grouping sheet is particularly useful). Number plates are a print from the original photo, with the perspective changed in Paintshop. The split spoke wagon wheels are temporary till I get some new plain ones. Thankfully, the slightly heavy paintjob is not really noticeable in a layout context. One thing puzzles me though: Most SDJR wagons seem to have had distinctive black ironwork, but the 1896 photo I was working from shows no. 1038 in all-over grey, with only the number/works plates picked out in black. It’s an official photo taken at Derby works, so perhaps not to be trusted? For the time being I’ve left the strapping in plain grey but if anyone has further info I’d be interested. Thanks to all involved for helping out with the info used in this build, very much appreciated!
  3. I’ve been building some “foreign” stock for the goods depot at Farthing. It’s a real pleasure, but also humbling to realize just how little I know about other companies, and how difficult it can be to obtain kit parts for other pre-grouping companies. We GWR modellers are a spoilt lot! My 1900s period is before the “common user” arrangement, so most of the goods stock at Farthing would have been the GWR’s own - but there should be room for a handful of foreign vehicles, especially from the companies close by. This included the MSJWR, which crossed the GWR's Berks & Hants line at Savernake, not far from Farthing. So first up was a MSWJR 3-plank dropside wagon. Over on gwr.org.uk I had seen a note by Paul Absalom that this could be made by modifying a Slater’s kit for the Midland Railway dia 305 (thanks Paul!). The MR design was used as the basis for 20 wagons ordered by the MSWJR from Oldbury works in 1899.The sides and ends of the Slater’s kit (above) are virtually identical to the MSWJR versions, so these were used directly. The running gear is a less straightforward matter. There is very limited documentation available on these wagons, and the only known photo has the underframe in shadow. A drawing has been made, but there is doubt about whether the running gear is portrayed correctly. So an informed guess is the best we can do. This led to an interesting discussion involving several RM Webbers – especially wagonman – as well as Neil Lover of the “Swindon’s other Railway” site and MSWJR historian Mike Barnsley (see this thread for details). Many thanks, gentlemen! To cut a long story short, we concluded that the MSWJR probably wouldn’t have gone for the fairly sophisticated and expensive Ellis axleboxes provided in the Slaters kit. So these had to go. An alternative option would have been to modify the existing axleboxes. Instead I fitted MJT units/W-irons (non-rocking). This required some of the framing to be carved away, but was otherwise straightforward. Packing was added underneath the units. The exact type of axleboxes used by the MSWJR isn’t known, except that they were most likely of the grease type. In photos of other MSWJR wagons I noticed a simple type not unlike the standard GWR grease box. So I fitted some of the latter (also from MJT) and modified/filed them to suit. The only other modification was to file away the MR build plate on the solebar. I couldn’t find any ready-made MSWJR lettering, so opted instead for the “white shaded black” letters from one of the HMRS P.O. sheets. These are slightly overscale but close enough, I think. The sheet is rather costly, but I wanted it anyway for lettering some Farthing based P.O. wagons at some point. The finished model. I suddenly realized that a dropside wagon might not often be seen inside a goods depot, as they tended to carry loose material, stone etc. But I’m thinking that a couple of large crates might justify a dropside, to facilitate unloading? Shunter George “Bulldog” Mullins studiously ignores the new wagon. A GWR man to the core, Mullins treated vehicles from the competition with poorly disguised contempt. In particular, he refused point blank to shunt vehicles from the MSWJR. The origin of this particular grudge was always a bit of a mystery, although some said it had to do with an unfortunate incident in his youth. The details were unclear, but apparently it involved his pet donkey, a sleepy MSWJR driver and a poorly guarded level crossing.
  4. Part 2 of my kit bash of an LNER 20t Brake Van. So far the main structure has been built, foot-boards scratch-built and some hand rails fitted. Next, a feature quite apparent in it's absence from the kit is the underframe truss assembly. This is more apparent with my finer floor boards allowing more of the underneath to be seen. This was built up from 1mm L shaped strip by plastruct. The job is made simpler by placing a small piece of glass over a drawing of the girder to scale. Glass is used as it is none reactive to the plastic weld. Along the solebar, a set of triangular supports are put in place. These are represented on the original kit with a slight raised ridge. This was carved away at an earlier stage. The outer two supports are strips of plastikard laid at an angle.
  5. A return to an old favourite here. The Dapol kitmaster 20t Brakevan is a firm favourite of mine and is a kit I return to often. It is a good datum for measuring my progress as a modeller as it is the first kit I built upon returning to the hobby and since then I have built a few different representations. It remains one of the best representations of a 20t brake van and at just 5 quid is an absolute bargain. This time round I wanted to make a bigger change to the kit and attempt to represent the earlier LNER brake van upon which the BR version is based. This is not a review but it is worth noting the amount of flash on this kit. It is is also worth noting that this is absolutely no consequence to the end product. A sharp knife and fine sanding blog with sort this right out. This picture is from a different build (same kit) and shows an essential tool for removing raised detail. Handrails will be replaced and it is best to remove them before the kit is constructed. The kit is built in the usual way but the floor ends are removed as the LNER brake van did not have the concrete weights which are represented in the kit. The handrails have been scraped away. A thin piece of plastikard is used for the end floor replacement. Grab rails which are present on the BR version are not required. The Footboards are shorter on the LNER version. It would be acceptable to cut down the kit steps but instead I decided to scratch build for a slightly finer finish. A thin plastikard strip is added to tidy up the bottom of the veranda. I have also added the plate above the lookout ducket which was not present on all examples and I assume was a later addition to perhaps ease corrosion as I would say this was an area where water would run off the rain strips onto. Holes have also been drilled to receive the .5mm brass wire handrail. Handrails have been added to this side of the vehicle. for the first time I have also put the handrail brackets on the horizontal grab rail. NEXT: Solebar strengthening triangles will be added, Underframe detail scratchbuilt and a roof fabricated (the Dapol one is a bit thick and is a mirror image of the prototype with the vents being in the opposite position to reality. Bed Now though! Nos da.
  6. Hi folks, I am nearing the completion of a little project I have been working on. This is a Dapol BR 20t brake van I have tweaked and finished as an air piped example from the 1970's. The kit is a real favourite as it is very simple to build, captures the essence of the prototype and is very very cheap!!! Tweaks include the removal of handrail mouldings and replacement with brass wire, a scratch built roof, new inner doors, removal and replacement of lamp irons and addition of air brake pipes on the side of the vehicle. There was an article about the revamping of this kit in one of the big model railway mags I believe which was quite a coincidence. I didn't happen to get a copy but I believe the updates went some way beyond my efforts. Here are the results so far... Next time I would consider replacing the footboards with something finer. I believe there is a kit but I will refer you back to one the main reasons I love this kit...cheapness!! Impatience led to me skipping ahead without adding coupling hooks (as I have run out) so this is one of the last jobs before adding sprat and winkles. Enjoy the rest of your evening all.
  7. I’m building a GWR 1854 class saddle tank in 1900s condition, using a modified and detailed South Eastern Finecast body kit on a Bachmann 8750 chassis. The build is also in my workbench thread, but that tends to be a rather meandering discussion, so this is a summary of the main steps without the diversions. I bought the kit part-assembled, but a bath in hot water dissolved the glue and allowed me to break it down into its main components. The Bachmann chassis I'm using is the version for the 8750 model, seen here on the right (my loco ref was 32-200, I think the recent 57xx model also uses this chassis). Note that older versions of this chassis (seen on the left, my loco ref was 31-900) are higher and the chassis block is longer, so is less ideal for conversions. I wanted to avoid modifying the chassis more than strictly necessary, so that it could be replaced easily in case of a failure. The only chassis modification was therefore to remove a section off the front to allow the kit to fit over it. The body castings require more work. The locating lugs on the side frames and buffer beams were removed, and about 1 mm was filed off the central section of the footplate and splashers each side to clear the motor. Plastikard was used front and rear to get the correct ride height. The body and chassis assembled. The two front splashers are 0.5 mm too far out. However with careful positioning of the body it is barely discernable, so after mulling it over I decided to accept it. The tank sides fit neatly over the motor. The two tank halves were the most work intensive parts of the kit. The “skirts” need to be cut away… ...allowing daylight under the boiler… …followed by much filing and filling to get the two halves to fit together. The motor intrudes slightly into the cab, so the backhead was moved 1 mm forward and a center section of the floor raised slightly. I replaced the main SEF white metal boiler fittings with parts from Alan Gibson. Other details were scratchbuilt from bits and bobs. The tank steps were later redone enitrely in brass with tabs to secure them. The footplate steps need filing to the correct straight shape as seen here. Liftings rings, made from soft wire wrapped around a brush handle and squeezed to shape with pliers. Coal rails made from wire, and fire iron hooks bent to shape from flat brass strip. The early lamp brackets are from the Broad Gauge Society, and the buffers are Alan Gibson. While the main build was fairly quick, the detailing has been time consuming. So here she is, almost ready for a good scrub and then some primer.
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