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42ft & 47ft Container flat wagons


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As if I haven't got enough to do, I also have an interest in Irish railways in the 1990s, before DMUs took over. The availability of RTR helps here. Passenger trains are fairly well covered, but goods is still a bit lacking. With this in mind I've been thinking about this project for a while, in theory it should be relatively easy to draw the body of this wagon and have it 3D printed. Using a drawing and photos I've found online I've drawn a test model and had it printed by Shapeways in the WSF material.



The framing isn't 100% correct, but this was mainly to test things like alignments and ride heights.

The first thing to check was whether containers fitted and aligned with the attachment points. I used 20 & 40 ft C-rail containers.




So far so good, they all line up.

Edited by Nile
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The structure is quite strong, just like the real thing. It will flex under force, far more is needed than any model load will apply.

I've used these bogies from Cambrian Models, they seemed the closest to the prototype I'm modelling.



Buffers are from LMS (Lanarkshire Models & Supplies), type B049. Wheels are 10.5mm lowmac wheels from Alan Gibson.

This test assembly showed that the ride height was about right, but the buffers are slightly too close together.




I tried to improve the look of the bogies with a bit of filing. The original one is on the right.


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Very interesting project. Only Irish Freight Models, (RTR) and Studio Scale Models,(brass kit) have produced this wagon. I take it the model is still in the development stage, attaching bogies and couplings still to be sorted? Do you intend to market it?

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The printed model has a rough surface. To improve this I sprayed it with Halfords filler primer, then sanded some of the more exposed surfaces. I've stuck the bits on the ends with super glue - buffers, hooks and brake pipes. The handbrake wheels aren't quite right but will do for now. They are attached to a 0.5mm brass rod cross shaft.



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Looks great and most importantly it looks truly flat and square unlike any brass ones I've ever seen (i.e. no daylight under the containers or bow in the middle).  Had you considered FUD 3D prints for the buffers, handbrake wheel and buffer beam details?

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Thanks for all the interest, I thought there might be some.

I'll answer Noel's question first - yes, stay tuned.

The model was next sprayed with red primer (forgot to take a photo of that). This gave it an as new look, ok as a starting point. I found some transfers about the right size for the number. To give it a used and weathered look I painted the whole model (apart from the number) with Humbrol 160. I'd kept the handbrake wheels separate, and painted them red before fitting them.





On the Cambrian bogies I've super glued some NEM362 sockets. They could be Bachmann or Hornby, I have a bag of them removed from various wagons. I think they are also available as spares.



All of this modelling took place at the end of last year. Over the christmas break I worked on the mk.2 design, with improvements and additions. My order from Shapeways arrived last week and I've been working on the new parts for the last few days. I shall try and keep you updated with my progress.

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Things changed in the mk.2 version:


Headstocks modified to put the buffers the correct distance apart.

Brake gear - link from cylinder to cross shaft added.

Top deck framing corrected.


Working out the layout of the top deck wasn't easy, the drawing only shows a side elevation. Photos showing this detail seem thin on the ground, the containers tend to get in the way. I eventually found the info in a youtube video of some shunting at North Wall yard. I'm not claiming the detail is 100% correct, but hopefully it looks the part.

As the LMS buffer isn't entirely correct (it lacks ribs) I drew my own. I also drew a handbrake wheel as i couldn't find anyone selling this type.


I ended up with three versions of the mk.2 design:

1 - similar to the original.

2 - with added bogie pivots suitable for the Cambrian bogies.

3 - as 2 plus buffers.


This is the print of version 3 in WSF-P (polished)




I also had this version printed in Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD)


This has come out very clean and smooth.


A set of 8 buffers were also printed in FUD. These still have some support material on them and need cleaning.



The brake wheels can only be printed in FUD due to their dimensions.


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  • Tempfix

Very nice indeed and knocks my Triang cut and shuts into a cocked hat !  The mk 3 is the business and FUD would be good for an empty vehicle.  I think Studio Scale Models does the brake wheel as an etch, K39 on the webpage.

Hopefully you can sprue them to the wagon along with buffers if it makes it cheaper to print.


Certainly looking at getting some now - probably 3 of MK3 version when you make available.


Thanks for taking the time and effort to help this three thumbed modeller!


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Hello all, thanks for the comments. I'll try to answer a few questions. I use Sketchup to draw these. I find it easy to use most of the time, although I've been struggling with some detail bits today. As a guideline to the cost the WSF version is around €15 and the FUD version is around €25. Bear in mind the mk.3 in FUD won't need any extra detail bits, apart from bogies. It's subject to the value of the Dollar, the good news is that has been falling recently.


And now for some more photos.

A FUD buffer after cleaning up. This can be done by soaking in white spirit or IPA.



It locates into a small hole in the headstock.



Brake wheels cleaned and separated. The white mark is a residue of support material and will disappear under paint.



They locate onto the ends of a brass rod cross shaft. I leave them off until painting is finished.


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I see you have generated some interest on the IRM forum. That sort of bogie is a bit beyond me at the moment, I have some Bachmann Y25 to try out.

Back to the current batch, those printed in WSF for sprayed with filler primer. Before sanding I took this photo as it shows the detail well.



This photo shows the three different versions at this stage.



This shows that the buffers are now in the correct positions.


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In this episode I shall show the two different methods of mounting the bogie that I've tried.

This is version 1, it has no built in mount and relies on the one that comes with the Cambrian bogie.



The mount needs to be trimmed to make it less visible.



This is glued to the underside with the included screw inside.



The screw is visible from above, it will be less noticeable after painting.


The Cambrian bogie is held on by its nut as it's meant to.


Version 2 has a mount that fits the Cambrian bogie. It could also work with the Bachmann Y25 bogie and maybe others.



In this case I drilled the hole in the centre with a 1.5mm drill. The screw is a small self tapping one about 2mm thread, the type usually holding  a die cast model in its box. This works well with this material (WSF), with FUD you have to be very careful not to split it.



I had to drill the hole all the way through to accommodate this screw, a shorter one would be better but this can be disguised by paint.


This method is easier/simpler provided you can find suitable screws and washers.

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