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Spitfire's Workbench - Gauge 3 Adventure

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Well hello everyone. With a little support, I decided to start a little workbench thread here.

You'll mostly see wagons, which I rather enjoy building.

So. Yes. A little jump behind.

These are built of bass wood, styrene, and brass. Its mounted on a Cambrian underframe which was a little unsettling as I couldnt get the headstocks to sit flat. (My stupidity and not noticing a locating tab was in the way of the coupling hook.)




This was the first start towards a scratch built PO wagon. I never envisioned it'd have so many setbacks.


Rewind a bit more, my kit building efforts so far have been fairly good. If you want to check them out, my flickr is linked in my signature.

I chose a nice photo of an A.J. Salter coal wagon, but later found out it was built in 37, which is a bit late for what I want to model. Not knowing this till I built 2 wagon bodies..2 because the first I made the planks too tall.

So after tons more searching for a 7 plank wagon with no end doors on a 1923 underframe, found a picture of a wagon owned by Dursley coal co, and with a build date of 1925, fit perfectly into my intended period.(LMS pre 1936)

And thats where those pictures are from.



Here it is in a base coat. I dont really mind the grain or tiny fibers, its made of wood cut with a most likely dullish blade.

So, I rush along in spite of college work, and end up painting the entire livery minus the letter shading. I have no idea how Id manage that. Actually got where this picture is last night.


All thats left is the tare and load markings, but Im not going to go and paint those. Need a nice decal. If I can find a decal for the phone number(left side middle) Ill paint over my squiggle.

So yeah. I know that must've been rushed for a first post but I did a lot in a short amount of time. (About 2 weeks.)

Also, Please forgive the horribly close up photos. My IPad likes to make my work look as bad as possible.


If you're interested, please look back in the coming days. Im home for break so I can get a bit of my American N gauge work done.

Edited by Spitfire2865
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So yes, back home for spring break, first day I spent doing fun things before I have to get on with course work.

My first project was to finish the PO wagon. I ended up painting the floor and sides wood.



Figured if I used the detailed floor, I might as well paint it to look the part unloaded. This time around, I didnt get the best wood effect. Im not sure what went wrong.


And here for the second time. I broke the end bit off and had to reglue. Still have to touch up the paint here and a few other places.



I got all the small parts finally painted. Just need to get the time to put it all together and do their final touch ups.



And while in a hobby shop yesterday, I found some small metal kits.



This was really fun to put together. Simple in some steps, difficult as hell in others. My struggle was the tail and elevators. Just wouldnt go together. But now it looks nice and took a couple hours I couldve spent doing boring course work. Haha.

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Well then, yesterday I didnt get much work done due to some physics homework and having to get my passport renewed.

But what I did do is I finally fitted the brake levers(not that you can see them) and added a coal load.



At the current point, the load is a drop in facade and the body isn't even glued to the frame. Although..this may not be necessary.

My woodworking "genius" designed the body to press fit over the frame and headstock. In truth, Im really glad I managed to make all 3 parts fit together without glue. Its strong too. Even with shaking the wagon, nothing falls off. Final step is to add buffers and then touch up any areas where the paints been scrapped off. When Im back at school, I can give it a coat of matt spray.

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Hello all. Ive finally finished my PO wagon. Yeah some of the paints not the best but whats important for me is this is my first successful scratchbuild. I do love working with bass wood. The planks are a little too thick but they're actually wood. And Ive improved my woodworking and lettering, although they both need some more work. Haha.

Heres the wagon all complete. Some of the buffers are a little askew but who will notice from a normal viewing distance. I just hope the buffer doesnt screw me over later with propelling moves.





I like how the coal load came out, though it may be a tad low. I could always add another spacer inside.

So. My next wagon wont be for a week or so. Its guna be put on a Charles Roberts underframe, so Ill be doing plenty of research to find a suitable prototype.

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Your previous work has been great, so I would be tempted to continue with the individual planks. However you don't know how successful the other method will be until you try it.

Im not really halted by failure. Ill try scribing and if that doesnt work I can always go back to planks.

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Well... Heres my progress on the next wagon.


Before I did my last wagon I had scribed all the planks deeper. Not sure why anymore.

But the brakes are painted as well and I have some open spokes waiting to be trapped between the solebars.



My attempt at scribing. Not too thrilled to be honest. Feels very flimsy and annoying to get flat. Im probaby going to go with my older style of planks. For the next few days my desk will be covered wood and sawdust.

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So yes, after a busy week, I finally got some much needed modeling time.

Ive continued on my next wagon, which Ive decided to create my own livery to remember my grandfather who was the reason I love trains so much.

What Ive done so far is paint almost everything.


The headstocks went on easily, and once again I thank Slaters for making such an amazing underframe. I cant think how you could screw it up. Maybe non square axles but the headstocks mostly take care of that.

I was originally going to do an all black body but Im thinking how I could add some color to it. Something along the lines of London red or maybe a sea blue. Any ideas are welcome.


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Im back again. Now with a newly painted wagon.

A little bit of a jump there due to a day of work and forgetting to post anything. I tried to do rivets with glue dots. Some came out nicely (corner bits) and some came out blobby(everything besides the corner bits). While painting I was interrupted by 2 fire alarms in my dorm...someone probably burnt popcorn or something...

The walls came out a little crooked, and its really noticeable in a couple pictures and in person. I may have to figure out how to fix it.


I was originally going to do an all black livery but last minute I decided to try a deep blue with black ironwork. I think the blue looks good with the black solebars and ironwork.


I still need to add the end bits which is why I have refrained from painting the ends.post-21863-0-45857300-1395883712_thumb.jpg


The lettering is going to read


Coal Merchant

No 65 (location yet to be determined)


I already have some white waterslide letters which would fit nicely, hopefully Ill have no issues with the wood and glue mixing with overall wetness.


The inside is going to get the usual treatment of multiple coats of browns and tans and will be heavily dulled with weathering powders and charcoal.


The end result will hopefully be a good looking wagon.

So yeah. In a few days or so I may have another update. Not sure if anyone is really reading this thread, but if you are, thank you.

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Just a small point - the majority of wooden solebar PO wagons had their solebars painted the same colour as the body, with the ironwork picked out in black.  There was also a tendency to leave the diagonal strapping in the body colour, although there are several examples where they were black, but it might interfere with the layout of your lettering.

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Just a small point - the majority of wooden solebar PO wagons had their solebars painted the same colour as the body, with the ironwork picked out in black.  There was also a tendency to leave the diagonal strapping in the body colour, although there are several examples where they were black, but it might interfere with the layout of your lettering.

Wouldnt the headstock get the colour as well? And I was going to try to avoid the ironwork anyway due to my planning to use waterslides, so the diagonal strapping shouldnt be a problem.

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I'm not sure, not having worked with real wood, but I think the problem with the carrier film is because the surface is a bit rough.  The normal advice is that the transfers should be applied on gloss varnish, and then a matt finish given to seal them.

As for your painting the headstock the same colour as the body - the way you did the Dursley wagon is correct - the buffer beam itself woudl be the body colour, as well as any wooden bases to the buffers, and only the buffer stocks, the coupling plate and the vertical ironwork would be painted black.

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Hello. After an evening of working, Ive done everything but what I wanted to. Mostly due to the decals refusing to obey my will. I wish I had some press-fix.


Heres the lettering so far. I ended up scraping off the original letters and sprayed a matt spray in hopes they stick something better than plain paint.

And while being bored and sick of decals, I gave my MR 3 plank a load.



Thread is a terrible thing to work with. Its too springy and annoying to tie in small knots. But once its on it stays.

The entire wood load is loose, which does give me the option to remove it all if it doesnt please me later.

I remember reading somewhere that if a covered van developed a leaky roof, they would throw a wagon tarp on it. Would it be normal sized or would it be folded over or something to allow continued use of the doors till repairs were made?

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Ok then.

No change in lettering, but I did repaint the frames, matching body colour.


Aside from this tidbit of work, I did revisit my first kit, a cambrian LMS open. Originally I built it without any decals so the lettering was carefully hand painted. Not the best in the end, but it was covered in a tarp so no one would notice. Today the tarp was irritating me. Im not sure why but I couldn't stand how it sat. So I cut it off, and ended up repainting the entire wagon and re-lettering it. I wish I thought to photograph the wagon pre repaint.

Now for the



And After



I may repaint the interior if I get a chance. It still needs weathering and a tarp covered load. This time I want to try a different technique and maybe an odd shaped load.


Im now a little stuck. I have no kits to build due to budget, I have no micro sol so I cant do the PO wagon lettering, and the only unfinished model is the brake van which is only missing weathering, but since Im a tad heavy handed, I don't want to risk ruining it.

All I can do is finish this 5 plank and then Im left with gluing bits of wood together.

If anyone has some wooden bodied wagon diagrams or drawings with measurements, I would greatly appreciate it.

Edited by Spitfire2865
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Well after letting this sit for a few days I figured I should post it. Be somewhat active and all. My LMS open has gotten some (very) light weathering and a newly painted interior. As of now, the only thing that hasn't been repainted on this is most of the black ironwork.






The inside was painted and heavily weathered. In the close up photos, I do really like the tiny scratches which do somewhat (in my mind) look like wood grain.

In the next few days, Ill be taking on the challenge of my first stick and tissue plane. Dont worry Im not giving up on trains, i just want to take a break and let my funds build up for some new kits. I still have the PO wagon to finish and I have some micro sol coming in the mail so I can do a bit of that as well. Maybe in my next post Ill include a picture of the plane which will also be occupying my time.

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Lovely job, i love the weathering, very nicely done,

If you don't mind me asking? How did you weather the outside body of the wagon?

Outside body? Weathering powders on a fine brush. Lightly dust it and slightly rub it in, then blow off excess. A final rub with the brush should be good. I did slight rust on most metal bits and general grime everywhere.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow. Forgot about this a bit. Not much work done due to materials. I gave up on the water slides and ordered some press fix letters which don't come off when you put the next one on. Just need to wait for them.

I also have built a Guillows balsa kit in the past week. She flew...sorta... Pics on my flickr if interested.

When the decals come in I can get back to work and maybe finish the wagon before the semesters over.


Though I still need a home location for my PO wagon...thats the hard part...hmm...

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So yeah, for a brief 3 days I had a flying model plane.


Then last Sunday, It took a graceful nosedive and the wings ripped through the fuselage. post-21863-0-56154800-1397596888_thumb.jpg

It was KIA over the fields of Smith Road.

A moment of silence [insert silence here].


Aaaaand Im back. Decals arrived. Started redoing my PO wagon.


The U is a little crooked because I was a bit afraid that the 5 letters wouldnt fit.

They do, and apparently U isnt a common enough letter to warrant more than 4 on the HMRS sheet.

Well. I can live with it. My railway, and I say the painter was drunk. Haha.

I also bought a small plastic model of a Sopwith Camel, just to keep me busy. It was cheap, so why not.

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