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The Johnster

W 207 W, a reworking of a K's auto trailer.

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The story of this Diagram A31 trailer began at this year's 'small' Cardiff show on Lord and Butler's stall, where, among the secondhand bits and pieces was a more or less complete K's A31.  At least, not quite complete, as there were buffers missing and one of the bogies was a separate piece, but enough, I thought, to work on.  I am after a pre-A28/30 auto trailer for Cwmdimbath; Tondu in the 50s had a good variety of types, though AFAIK there were no matchboard or 70 footers.  These trailers were all allocated to Newport as division headquarters, and worked on the various Valleys branches serviced by Tondu; Porthcawl, Abergwynfi, Nantymoel, Ogmore Vale, and Gilfach Goch.  My layout adds another branch to the list, Cwmdimbath.  They seem to quite frequently not have been worked by auto fitted engines, and used as normal loco hauled stock, probably due to a shortage of auto fitted locos at Tondu.

 

£8, so I pounced.  The model, when examined, proved to not actually represent any actual A31 prototype unless bogies were swapped between coaches, something not mentioned in John Lewis's book.  It is numbered as 211 in 1945-8 GW chocolate and cream livery, and has 'American' type bogies; a photo in Lewis of 211 at what looks like an Eastern Valleys station hauled by a 57xx in Lewis shows that this coach cannot be the K's model, as the real coach has 7' Collett bogies not Americans.  Furthermore, the model has twin passenger entrance doors not the single door in the 211 photograph.  The A31s were built in 2 lots, one at Swindon with a single passenger door like the real 211 and one outsourced to Gloucester RC&W; these had the twin doors.  

 

To complicate matters further, 3 types of bogies were used, the Collett 7', the American, and the 'Fish Belly' type.  For Cwmdimbath I needed a Gloucester built coach allocated to Newport Division in the 50s.  Luckily for me, 5 out of the 6 photos in Lewis are of Newport Division coaches.  3 are at Godfrey Road sidings, 204 with a Swindon door and American bogies, and still with guard's compartment end windows of the railmotor profile, then there is 209, with Gloucester doors and Collett 7' bogies, the 211 photo already mentioned, and 2 shots of 207 at Monmouth Troy, with fishbelly bogies, Gloucester doors, and plated toplights in BR crimson livery (Lewis calls this maroon, but it's not).

 

So, working from this as a basis for a model for Cwmdimbath, some work has to be done either in the matter of replacing the bogies or cutting out the two Gloucester windows and removing the door join to make a Swindon passenger door, a move fraught with peril with the panelling and all.   Further work in any case includes new buffers, NEM tension lock couplers probably on Parkside mounts, a floor and interior, and re-glazing.  Interior surfaces need painting and the cab needs a detailing set.  I'd like a new bell for it as well if I can source one; the cast one looks a bit malnourished and, well, cast!

 

Lewis gives lists of what coach carried what bogies and the withdrawal dates, but the allocation has to be assumed from the photos.  Only one coach carried American type bogies, 204, which we already know about.  This coach was condemned in 1949, which makes it a poor choice.  211 was out of the loop because of it's railmotor guard's windows.

 

OK, what about 209.  This has Collett bogies and the correct doors, and I have Collett bogies available from a withdrawn Airfix B set.  In service until August '57; a better option.  The photo shows it in 1948 chocolate and cream livery as W 209.  

 

But I liked the look of the toplight plated 207 in crimson, very evocative of the period to my mind and something not usually modelled.  But it had fishbelly bogies, and as far as I knew nobody made them even as cosmetic sides, so that was out.  Ok, W 209 in 1948 choc/cream it is, then.

 

But I was looking for buffer castings yesterday online and discovered that they are available from Coopercraft, and, to my delight, so are the fishbellies.  So, I can have a go at 207 after all; the decision has been made and the coach has an identity.  

 

I have made a start this afternoon, removing the roof, taking the glazing out, and I have filled the toplights on one side with Milliput; the coach is starting to look different already!.  I want the Milliput to go off before I tackle the other side, then after sanding and finishing up I can give the body a coat of crimson on the outside; I reckon cream with brown lower panels and a dark grey floor inside.  The Coopercraft fishbellies are compensated, and if I make them up in this form they will be first on my layout.  W 207 W lasted until the end of 1956, and probably turned up at Tondu some time in the 50s; that's good enough for my interpretation of Rule 1! 

 

I now have 2 pairs of Airfix Collet 7' bogies and one of Americans in my odds and ends box.  One pair of Colletts can convert an old Airfix A28/30 to an approximation of an A27, but i'm open to (polite, please) suggestions about what to do with the other Collets and the Americans.

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Posted (edited)

A picture of what you purchased for £8 would be interesting.

 

Gordon A

Edited by Gordon A

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Mr Johnster, You can source 3D printed Fishbellies from shapeways.

Somewhere in the GWR prototype etc. Section there is a thread I did several years ago regarding building 3 (Yup, 3) K's autotrailers.

I stalled when I got to the glazing of them as I wanted to try and make my own "semi flushglazing" as the whitemetal sides are way too thick.

They are buried in a box as other things peeked my interest....but one day...

Anyway I'll try and root out some pic!20150514_142503.jpg.0c852a1709ea90aab34e1739a431ec13.jpg

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I’ve had some warnings about dealing with Coopercraft on the basis that they take your money and never deliver the goods over on Layout Topics as well as Nick’s comment.  Thanks for the heads up, gents!

 

3D fishbellies (presumably from 3D fish) from shapeways mean that I can continue with W 207 W, but I still need a source of buffer castings or mouldings; nearly ordered an 0 gauge set in a fit of enthusiasm last night!

 

Good to see your pics and that I’m not alone in this insanity, Lofty.  You’ve made a very neat job of the floor.  I’ll be attempting ‘Liquid Glass’ for the side windows, but if that doesn’t work I’ll conventionally back glaze it, which I’ll have to do for the cab windows anyway, and learn to love my thick whitemetal body...

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Dave Franks, aka Lanarkshire Model Supplies, was muttering on another thread about doing GWR Autocoach/Railmotor buffers?

 

Tim T

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Thanks for the sourcing advice, chaps.  Dave Franks' site does not mention GW buffers of any sort, not as yet at least, but I'll be keeping an eye as his stuff looks to be very good quality.  Shapeways are a bit harder to fathom; I was expecting a site with a list of items they could supply, but they seem to want a drawing to upload and then they'll print it for you.  Sounds expensive; do they do one offs?  I have no access to such a drawing or CAD anyway.

 

I have done nothing irreversible to the coach yet, but am having yet another rethink about prototype given the bogie problem.  First, I'll attempt to track Coopercraft down at a show (maybe they'll be at Bristol?) but even that is contingent on them having the fishbellies in stock on the stand and they don't sound as if they are reliable to ask beforehand on the phone, if he answers his phone that is!  The alternative is one of the Newport Division photo-ed in Lewis Gloucesters with 7' Collett bogies or to rebuild the coach as 204 with the Americans, a fair bit of door surgery, but at least I have alternatives and can continue for now with the floor and interior.

 

As for buffers, if the worst comes to the worst I'll get an old Airfix A28/30 off 'Bay and chop the plastic buffers off that.  I'm sure I've seen cast whitemetal ones somewhere, but of course I can't for the life of me remember where!

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Coopercraft are not listed at Bristol. so this is becoming a bit of a problem as I am becoming disheartened about them.  I will not make a decision today, but a coach with fishbelly bogies is looking increasingly unlikely.

 

I want a Gloucester double doored coach, as my existing trailers have examples of the Swindon type door, and would like to increase the biodiversity of my bogies by using fishbellies or Americans.  But only 204 had Americans and this had a Swindon single door.  The Gloucester trailers seem to have been divided between fishbellies and 7' Collett bogies, so a Newport Division trailer with 7' Collett bogies and a late withdrawal date suggests itself.  I'd also like a coach with plated toplights, but can't find photographic or even written confirmation of a Gloucester one with Collett 7' bogies; Lewis does not list toplight plating.  

 

The best I can do from Lewis is number W 209; toplights not plated, Gloucester type double doors, Collett 7' bogies, and early 1948 chocolate and cream livery with W prefix to number on left hand end of coach side, i.e. the GW position, photographed at Newport Godfrey Road from the station on a fine, possibly winter's, afternoon.  The paintwork is faded and dirty, and the date is probably 1950 or maybe 51.  W 209 was withdrawn in August 57, and may well have received crimson livery as W 209 W, the number going to the right hand end of the side in the normal BR position, but I can't confirm this and will, if I take this option, model it as in the Lewis photo.  It is extremely unlikely to have ever been painted in plain maroon post 1956 livery.

 

This would require the removal of the Milliput plating I've put over the toplights, but this is not a major operation.  On the plus side, I have the bogies to hand, and can crack on with the work, though I have still not sourced buffers.  I won't even have to repaint the coach, the exterior of which is not in a bad state, though removal of the numbers and replacement with BR Sans Gill will be necessary, along with some fairly stringent weathering.  The roof in the Lewis photo (attributed to D.M. Lee) is very similar in shade to the K's plastic roof, which will only need a squirt of matt varnish. This is now officially plan B, and plan A is dependent on being able to find fishbelly bogies.  B is looking stronger and A weaker by the minute, especially as I am keen to crack on with this project and not lose momentum.  I have a definite feeling of time running out for option A W207 W unless I can find fishbellies.

 

So as to avoid more faffing and indecision (this is Johnster's A31, not Brexit) I will make a decision tomorrow and stick to it hell or high water.  But the smart money has to be on W 209!

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Are Dart Castings or Wizard at any of the shows near you. Not sure if they stock or make something useful.Otherwise, might be worth a call.

 

Re: Dave Franks, no point in keeping an eye out, ask, nay, command him to make some for you.

 

Regards

 

Ian

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Wiz are at Bristol, but I don't really want to schlep over there unless I have to, as I'm scared of picking up too much in the way of booty when I've got plenty to do here!  But neither Wiz nor Dart apparently do fishbellies or auto trailer buffers.  If I'm going to command Mr Franks to make buffers for me, which would be very nice of him, I wonder if I can command him to have a go at at least cosmetic sides for fishbellies...

 

Commanding people to do things for me is not a natural thing for me to do (born peasant stock here, I have a cunning plan, my lord), but I'm sure I'll pick up the basics easily enough.  Chinless wonders do it all the time and they're thick as two short planks.

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Stafford Road Models is the shop for some GWR bits on Shapeways. 9' Fish Belly Bogie here

 

And here is what they look like in reality. The texture surface is a function of the printing process. I haven't painted mine, that might help.

p2899284903-5.jpg

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Great Bear, you may have saved W 207 W's bacon at the last minute US Cavalry style!  That's a nice looking bogie.

 

Decision deferred pending investigation of Stafford Road Models, and if the bogies include t/l couplings as in the photo...

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48 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

Great Bear, you may have saved W 207 W's bacon at the last minute US Cavalry style!  That's a nice looking bogie.

 

Decision deferred pending investigation of Stafford Road Models, and if the bogies include t/l couplings as in the photo...

I bl##dy told you you could get 'em from Shapeways, yer daft <censored> Ag, ag, ag...

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, you did. Lofty, and I went to Shapeways website.  Couldn't find anything there that mentioned Stafford Road Models, or any model railway content come to that; gave up too easily.  Great Bear has put me on the right track, and I'm grateful to both of you but we're not out of the woods yet...

Edited by The Johnster
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Have you checked out 247 Developments for the bogies? I don't know if they have the type you are after but they do have a large selection.

 

Dave R. 

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7 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Great Bear, you may have saved W 207 W's bacon at the last minute US Cavalry style!  That's a nice looking bogie.

 

Decision deferred pending investigation of Stafford Road Models, and if the bogies include t/l couplings as in the photo...

 

No problem, glad to help. The bogies include pocket for NEM couplings. If that doesn't suit I'd think you can snip it off and file away as required.

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12 hours ago, The Johnster said:

If I'm going to command Mr Franks to make buffers for me, which would be very nice of him, I wonder if I can command him to have a go at at least cosmetic sides for fishbellies...

 

Commanding people to do things for me is not a natural thing for me to do (born peasant stock here, I have a cunning plan, my lord), but I'm sure I'll pick up the basics easily enough.  Chinless wonders do it all the time and they're thick as two short planks.

Johnster, if you do succeed in getting that nice Mr Franks to make some I’m up for at least three sets!

Tim T,

Modelling Cwm Cynon in EM(when we’ve moved to South Wales)

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7 hours ago, Devo63 said:

Have you checked out 247 Developments for the bogies? I don't know if they have the type you are after but they do have a large selection.

 

Dave R. 

Yes, thanks for the thought though Dave.  I've had stuff from them before, including a pair of Dean 8'6" for working up an old Triang Clerestory which never got used and are still in the odds and ends box.  They don't do fishbellies; so far as I can tell nobody does except I can get them from Stafford Road/Shapeways.  This is perhaps surprising as they were used on a good variety of GW stock during the Churchward era.  

 

I am assuming, because it seems likely, that their use under auto trailers rebuilt in the 20s and 30s from steam railmotors stems from their original use under the passenger ends of the railmotors.  It would make sense for some bogies to be pinched off railmotors just arrived at Swindon to go under the new luggage compartment end of trailers ready to go into service, which also explains why some A31s went into service with Collett 7' bogies, but I am reluctant to state this to be a fact.  One A31, 204, had American pattern bogies which are what are supplied with the K's kit, but the kit has the Gloucester RCW double passenger  doors inherited from the railmotor and not the Swindon single door, so is thus incorrect.  Whatever A31 you model from the K's kit, you need new bogies unless you model 204 and alter the passenger doors.

 

Lewis has lists of what bogies were used on which A31, and whether double or single doors featured.  My trailer is finished as 211, and is incorrect as this trailer had Collett bogies and a Swindon single door.

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Hi Johnster,

 

Are these the style you are looking to get for the model? I think they are vintage PC Models castings.

 

bogies.jpg.4a21ed35a26f4ca89a6eed2baa5cdd29.jpg

 

Sorry about the size but I just plonked them on the scanner when I dug them out of my spare bogie box. They look a lot better in real life and the rivets are quite neat in appearance. I have two pairs of these and I could always spare a pair if you are interested. You can always drop me a PM about them.

 

Dave R. 

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Pretty certain these are indeed the boyos we’re looking for, Dave, but I’m up the pub on the phone at the mo, so can’t confirm.  Will PM later.  

 

I’ve made a bit of progress today in terms of the floor; as built the kit is a bare shell that doesn’t have one and you can see the track through the windows. Modelling was a lot cruder back in the day...  A floor is vital not only for stopping the view of the track but as a support for the seats I intend to provide.  I’ve done the saloons, passenger vestibule, and luggage compartment, wit the cab still to do.  It’s not anything to shout about, just a piece of card cut to fit the areas. 

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Posted (edited)

Just been on Stafford Road's website and ordered a pair of fishbelly bogies, just over £20 the pair including postage as they are sold individually.  These are complete bogies, not cosmetic sides, and have NEM pockets, so I decided that's the way to go; many thanks for the offer, Dave.

 

Glad I've found Stafford Road, as I was unaware of them previously and they do some pretty good stuff by the look of it.  Going back on the site now for a bit of browsing...

Edited by The Johnster
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Tried to sand down the Milliput toplight plating and ran into trouble; the Milliput hasn't gone off properly and dragged on the sander.  Will have to remove it all and start again with fresh Milliput; this has obviously been got at by the air and I will bin it.  But we are committed to W 207 W in crimson BR livery with plated toplights now, and, with the floor done except for the driving cab, and a repair to the rh footsteps and handrails, I have a good feeling that the project is at last underway, after a bit of faffing and indecision.  

 

That this has been dealt with and we now have a definite prototype to work to is down to support I have recieved on the this thread, and I don't think anyone'll mind if I single out Lofty, Great Bear, and Dave for particular mention.  I am grateful for all of your inputs, though; thank you very much for your not inconsiderable help, chaps!

 

I'll be ordering a pair of tank fillers for 1730 from Stafford Road as well.

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1 hour ago, The Johnster said:

 

 

I'll be ordering a pair of tank fillers for 1730 from Stafford Road as well.

Johnster, be careful! If I understand it correctly the Stafford Road tank filler is the one for a saddle tank, not a pannier?

Tim T

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Looked the same to me, but I’ll check it out before taking the plunge; thanks Tim.  Makes sense of course, Stafford Road do a body print for an 1854 in saddle tank guise. 

 

Then again, they do a 517 as well...

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