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1950s to early 60s, how knackered should my 16t wagons be?


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Hello all

 

I'm currently building a load of Parkside 16T diagram 1/108 mineral wagons. (Hauling coal may I add!)

 

As the title suggests, how knackered/rusty should they be? Layout is based 50s to mid 60s.

 

I know British Leyland Cars used to rust in the showrooms, but hopefully these mineral wagons lasted a bit longer!

 

Paul Bartlett's site comes up with mainly 68 onwards where wagons are in a very poor state!

 

The book by David Larkin "Wagons of the Middle British Railways Era: A Pictorial Study of the 1955-1961 Period" again, has pictures from the 70s.

 

I don't want to overdo the distressing of the wagons, as it'd look odd for a wagon that was built in '52 to look on its last legs a few years after It was built!

 

Can anyone shed some light on pictures or books that might be of some use?

 

Kind regards

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There's an enormous 16T wagon thread somewhere on RMWeb with loads of photos, many from your era. It should be possible to track down enough info from there alone. Here's the link

 

 

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Newly introduced, steel wagons themselves were not (usually) prone to rusting in the same sense that certain motor cars gained notoriety. The nature of their payloads, loading and discharging, not to mention the odd “rough shunt” gave rise to body damage which could range from small blemishes to sizeable dents. This, in turn eventually caused the paint to flake and peel, exposing the metal, resulting in corrosion. (Take a look at the bodies on some road HGV tippers which have spent a while on demolition/hardcore duties - though many operators will soon attend to such repairs before they approach anything like the condition that befell those of a sturdy 16T mineral wagon.)

Also of note was the atmospheric locations in which wagons operated; sulphurous and salty environments could accentuate the rate at which rust formed.

In terms of modelling, a most realistic approach would be to incorporate wagons of varying degrees of corrosion, together with the odd (almost) recently shopped example in the same consist. 

 

Edited by Right Away
correction
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If you are modelling the early era when the 16T wagons were still being built, they were replacements for the old wooden 12T/13T pre-war wagons, and both types would be in service initially - the wooden ones being very distressed having been hammered during the war whilst the new ones would be relatively good condition.  As Right Away says, there would be a mixture of conditions, with some being only just serviceable and others new.  It was usage rather than age which caused the damage. 

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The 16 ton minerals have several generations that were running at the same time.

There were the prewar private owners, wartime built MoT ones that were finally delivered after 1945 including those that went to France and were later returned.

pre war/ wartime built LMS and LNER ones.

After this the Ones built by and for BR.

 

Its the age of the wagon that will dictate condition. Most of the diagram  1/108 would still be in good condition at this time as being relatively new!

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When you get to the late 50s and early 60s you are into the sort of period that I can fairly clearly remember, and it was common to see one or two new shiny 16tonners in a rake, standing out against the general decrepitude.  They didn't really get significantly rusty until the mid 60s, and then it was the older ones, but they got very dirty very quickly.  They were loaded in colliery washeries, which kept the dust down but meant that black slurry got everywhere, and once the load had dried out were working in a very dusty environment, often in very polluted industrial locations.  Export coal tipped into ships' holds created huge amounts of dust which permeated the surrounding areas. 

 

Coal varies in sulphuric acid content from pit to pit and sometimes seam to seam, but all coal is acidic to some degree, and this affected the steel wagons over time as well, especially the floors.

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16 hours ago, PatB said:

There's an enormous 16T wagon thread somewhere on RMWeb with loads of photos, many from your era. It should be possible to track down enough info from there alone. Here's the link

 

 

 

 

I've often wondered why that thread is hidden away down there,  instead of being in the prototype forum 

Edited by 101
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6 hours ago, 101 said:

 

 

I've often wondered why that thread is hidden away down there,  instead of being in the prototype forum 

I'd guess because it covers models as well. 

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On 20/06/2021 at 02:59, Possy92 said:

Can anyone shed some light on pictures or books that might be of some use?

 

 

There are loads of Ian Allen colour books with photos from the likes of Peter Gray et al (try eBay) which show minerals from the late 50s onwards. As others have said the condition at this time was typically nowhere near as bad as the later sources show them and its not uncommon to find a few virtually pristine ones in the pics. 

 

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Here’s an example showing the morning empties, set back in the platform, waiting for the road. Mainly Bachmann with a couple of Peco/Parkside.

(For real wagon weathering, check out Western Viscount’s examples in the Painting and Weathering section .....)

 

EE28D47E-2CB2-469D-9A45-304169090F59.jpeg.8298304cf8c40a85f0defda93a9c428c.jpeg

Edited by Right Away
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Bear in mind as well the re-bodying programmes that were done. There were a couple of significant batches in the mid-'60s and then later in around 1976. These would field some ex-works examples. This then brings the opportunity with dia. 1/108 wagons to lose the top flap doors and / or have the body fitted the opposite way round. 

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16 hours ago, HGR said:

Bear in mind as well the re-bodying programmes that were done. There were a couple of significant batches in the mid-'60s and then later in around 1976. These would field some ex-works examples. This then brings the opportunity with dia. 1/108 wagons to lose the top flap doors and / or have the body fitted the opposite way round. 

As you say, the rebodying was later than the topic asks. It went on for many years from the late 1960s; Before that and more relevant is that there was replating of the lower parts of the sides and repainting sometimes just of the replating, although at others times it was left to rust very rapidly. 

 

A couple of examples, also out of time https://PaulBartlett.zenfolio.com/brmineralweld/e38921d42

https://PaulBartlett.zenfolio.com/brmineralweld/e2d29e405

https://PaulBartlett.zenfolio.com/mineralrivet/e2c561900

 

Paul

 

Edited by hmrspaul
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I seem to recall rakes of these in use in the Black Country (Wednesbury as an example) to carry scrap metal - in fact some of them seemed to remain in place for some time - they all seemed to be in very rusty condition.

 

Of rakes in use for coal traffic, one only has to look at the state of the ends of the BRCW D53xx/D54xx diesels in use on some of these trains in the 60s on the Midland lines, and the completely filthy to the point of virtual obscuration of the white end cab window surrounds with dirt/coal dust to realise the wagons were also so covered (especially the ends), and also rust scars. As mentioned by others, each train may well contain the odd ex works wagon (as indeed, occasional ex works locos). The same would be true of trains of standard BR vans also. 

Edited by MidlandRed
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