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To stimulate discussion, post photos and exchange ideas, and (being an open public forum) help encourage others to try S scale modelling.

Scratchbuilding Wagons From Plasticard


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1 hour ago, ScottW said:

 

Evergreen do larger sheets of 5thou styrene. If you go back to when I made the underframe you will see that I use a homemade cutting jig to cut 0.040” stripes from these larger sheets. I apologise if my post wasn’t clear, let me know and I go into it in greater depth. :good_mini:

 

Your post was perfectly clear - just my inattention to blame! Thanks. Lots of ideas here - keep it coming!

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  • 2 weeks later...

With the body now assembled I next build up the corner plates. On the real thing these were one piece but I make mine in two halves, one half for the side and another for the end. Again I cut them from 0.005” styrene sheet. There was a 1 in radius on the corner so after letting the two halves of the corner plates fully set I, very carefully, file the radius by eye. The corner plates are then finished off by adding their nuts.

 

IMG_1319.JPG.f2b22d48caa424a608fa060151b86156.JPG

 

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I've found that if I make the corner plate as a single piece, I get a nice curve by folding the piece around the corner against a light score line on the inside of the bend, flooding first one side and then when the excess solvent has evaporated, the other. That's with 0.010" plasticard so I imagine it would work even better with 0.005"? (If I remember, I put a slight chamfer on the end of the side.)

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37 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

I've found that if I make the corner plate as a single piece, I get a nice curve by folding the piece around the corner against a light score line on the inside of the bend, flooding first one side and then when the excess solvent has evaporated, the other. That's with 0.010" plasticard so I imagine it would work even better with 0.005"? (If I remember, I put a slight chamfer on the end of the side.)

 

Thanks for that tip, Stephen. :good:

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End Pillars, these extend below the thickness of the floor plus the depth of the headstock. They are normally tapered over the length of the end planks. Some people file the taper, I have tried this but could never get all four pillars to look the same. I suppose you could make some sort of jig but I choose to make mine up in layers. For this GNSR wagon I made the end pillars from three layers of styrene strip of various thickness. The centre section acts as a spacer and is the same thickness as the taper, it’s length being the same as the flat section at the bottom of the pillar.

 

IMG_1338.JPG.aaa553e319e87a461a8c274deb9a15ed.JPG

 

The layers are glued together and once set I fill the void in the taper with model filler.

 

IMG_1375.JPG.efa2c82852b178ef911087c4af0eef43.JPG

 

I apologise for the quality of the picture but I hope you get the idea.

Once the model filler is set I clean any excess of with a file and add any detail that is required. Some end pillars may be chamfered or rounded on the top, as with this GNSR wagon. This is done by eye with a file before fixing the pillars to the wagon.

 

IMG_1384.JPG.bee41f84f2596542dc61599b3c6966c6.JPG

 

That pretty much concludes the wagon body, next stage is installing the running gear.

 

IMG_1392.JPG.2d056247bdbd27c3d184d35d18286b85.JPG

 

IMG_1394.JPG.d56d91022de2e1eaa6a23bb4e777729a.JPG

 

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4 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

I've no experience of model fillers but need to get some as I've a hole to fill! What are you using?

 

To be honest I don't have a great deal of experience either. I bought a tube of Humbrol Model Filler many years ago, it's been okay for filling end pillars but there may be something better on the market.

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On 13/03/2020 at 13:29, WayneKennerley said:

 

Hi Irish Padre

 

Did you ever get around to testing this product please, cheers Wayne

Indeed I have Wayne. Using to apply details on this work in progress. So far I like what I see.

82E4A630-BFB5-456C-9ED9-6831CCB42FB3.jpeg

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On 05/04/2020 at 14:05, Irish Padre said:

Indeed I have Wayne. Using to apply details on this work in progress. So far I like what I see.

 

Brilliant thanks, I hope it works better than the MEK I bought, which seems a bit week compared to EMA plastic weld, so much so that I bought another EMA. I wil llook out for your stuff when I need again, many thanks

 

Wayne

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2 hours ago, WayneKennerley said:

Brilliant thanks, I hope it works better than the MEK I bought, which seems a bit week compared to EMA plastic weld, so much so that I bought another EMA. I wil llook out for your stuff when I need again, many thanks

 

Wayne

You'll certainly find Limonene "weak".  It doesn't grab the parts and, wherever possible, benefits from being weighted as it dries.  Drying takes a long time too.  The benefit is lack of distortion, especially warping, which occurs with more aggressive solvents.  This makes Limonene especially useful for laminating.  Good luck.

 

Alan

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Absolutely Alan. I used PlasticWeld for the main structure. The Limonene is used for gnats-whisker size bits. Applied with a tiny wargamer’s brush, there’s just enough capillary action to gently adhere the detail without dissolving it. You can just see the first bolt heads going on (red microstrip) at left of pic...

5E1FBD2C-2CD4-4105-823D-B477879C76EC.jpeg

Edited by Irish Padre
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On 05/04/2020 at 13:33, ScottW said:

 

To be honest I don't have a great deal of experience either. I bought a tube of Humbrol Model Filler many years ago, it's been okay for filling end pillars but there may be something better on the market.

Indeed. I've used the Humbrol filler in the past and it has been good to me. Recently, I got some Tamiya white filler and that is much better for filling fine cracks. It seems to have better adhesion and a smoother consistency.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Scott, do you have a wagon plan that's got enough detail to just pick up and run with? I have various styrene profiles and sheets, but having trouble actually finding a plan to work to - I know this is your thread and about your work, but hopefully it could be considered an addendum to your wonderful series of build steps on the previous pages?

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Sorry, I have nothing to hand at the moment. I’m currently under quarantine in an Angolan hotel prior to going offshore. Everything is at home. Being a Scottish modeller I don’t know if I would have anything suitable?

 

Books can be a good source of information, as with this GNSR wagon. 

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Oh wow, in Angola?!

Many thanks for the reply, I'll do some looking in the kitchbuilding & Scratchbuilding forum - it seems plans I find online are either 'the side of a wagon is a rectangle' or 'this is the radius of the inside edge of the coupling hook' and little inbetween!

 

Cheers,

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You need to search out Ken Werret's drawings in the Railway Modeller (particularly in the 70s, I think) and Model Railway News (certainly in the 60s).

Plus, there are plenty of wagon books out there, and then there is the HMRS and also various line societies.

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21 minutes ago, Regularity said:

You need to search out Ken Werret's drawings in the Railway Modeller (particularly in the 70s, I think) and Model Railway News (certainly in the 60s).

 

I've never got to the bottom of Werrett. His drawings claim to be from field surveys but have all the appearance of being based on works drawings.

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If possible, I always like to work from a GA drawing. The NRM has a large collection and their catalogues can be downloaded from their website. It’s not possible to view the drawings so it’s pot luck if, from their description, you get what you are looking for. Fortunately, with the aid of the internet, you can receive a digital copy at a reasonable price. That way you haven’t lost too much money if it’s not what you expected.

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4 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

 

I've never got to the bottom of Werrett. His drawings claim to be from field surveys but have all the appearance of being based on works drawings.

The earlier publications had the position of nuts and bolts marked with a + but later on they were obviously reworked/detailed up/embellished.
I presume that he took detailed notes and measurements on site (he was a wagon checker for the RCH, I believe) and then drew them up later.

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Wonderful, thanks. I have lots of drawings which look roughly accurate but only with a few dimensions marked, such as the attached.

 

Maybe it'll be a better bet to check with the relevant society (I'm a member of the SECR society) or NRM.

 

Have you done wagons with rounded ends, any thoughts?

@ScottW

20200425_075322.jpg

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I would happily build a wagon from that drawing.


As for round ends, you use a pair of dividers to scribe the round bit. If you need the substantial ends used by the LCDR, get some square section of a suitable size, and form it to roughly the right shape before fixing it in place carefully.

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Like Simon, I would happily build a wagon from that drawing. It’s not always possible to find a GA drawing, especially the further back in time to go. It may be the case that a drawing like this is all you have, or possibly with even less detail. The drawing gives major dimensions so it can be fairly accurately re-scaled. If possible, a good photograph also helps just to check visually that all the major parts are in relation to what the drawing shows.

 

I wouldn’t let yourself get too bogged down with accuracy, sometimes we have to compromise. If you want the actual dimensions of everything you intend to build, right down to the last nut & bolt, then you may find you never actually make anything. Modelling is much about visual representation, if you find your drawing is a fair representation of the prototype then I would be happy with that. After all, no one is going to take a micrometer to the model.

 

Generally, you will find that solebars and headstocks are 12” deep. From your drawing it would appear the headstocks are deeper than the solebars, much in the same way as those on my GNSR wagon.

 

With regards to rounded ends, I think Simon pretty much covered things. If you find that there is insufficient space on your plastic sheet to locate both points of the dividers you may wish to make a separate jig from sheet metal. This could then be used to mark out the curvature of the end.

 

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