P4 Starter Pack A: 16T Steel Mineral Wagon

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Topic review

Expand view Topic review: P4 Starter Pack A: 16T Steel Mineral Wagon

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Knuckles » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:20 pm


Ok thanks guys.

When the time is right then I'll order a packet and have a faff - see if I prefer them etc. Would like to use them anyway as waste causes cognative dissonance in me.

I have 1 exactoscale wagon spring unit the bearings fit and I did manage to get the instructions online (lost them!) But I understood nowt. It was in my earliest P4 days a few years ago so I might comprehend now.

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by dal-t » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:18 am

Hi Knuckles,

I was going to point you at the very informative C&L pages previously, but John answered your queries anyway. However, I'm sorry to say that the bearings you have appear to be the 1.5mm outside diameter for the Exactoscale units, see here. There doesn't appear to be a data sheet on the bearings, but there's an instruction sheet for assembling the axles, INS 551 on this page. HTH (a bit).

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Lord Colnago » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:56 pm

Hi Knuckles,

Just be sure you have the right ones. Exactoscale used to do parallel bearings that specifically fitted their own springing units and they were smaller. The ones I use were designed with other springing/compensation units in mind if I recall correctly, hence the 2mm. outside diameter.


Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Knuckles » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:46 pm

Hi, thanks for the help. :) I was wrong, I didn't throw the packet away as your post prompted me to look for them. They are 4CW 601A and yours are 4CW 603A, no idea if that matters or not. At least I know I have some.

I did think originally they would only work with Exactoscale spring units but as you have used a Rumney chassis obviously not.

I'll try them on some Bill Bedford spring units (only ones I tried so far but I like them) and see how I get on. They look a lot smaller in diameter to the usual Wizard Models/51L pin point cups I usually use but we'll see.

If I can get these parellel ones to work I'll be a happy bunny because for years I've been looking at these axles wondering if they will ever be used. I hope so.

You said you prefer them so that is good enough for me to believe they are still a good product. I only have experience with pin points.

Ok many thanks. (Insert happy face here)

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Lord Colnago » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:09 pm

Hi Knuckles,

Check my posting on 12th Feb. Look for the photo with the Ernie Ball guitar string. There are four bearings sitting on the packet.

Hope that's useful.


Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Lord Colnago » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:05 pm

Hi Knuckles,

The parallel bearings look a little like an overgrown top hat bush. They have an outside diameter of 2mm., an inside bore of 1mm. and are just over 1mm. long. (OK, 1.2mm. to be more precise). They are made from phosphor bronze. If yours fit that bill then they are the right ones.

I think there is a picture of them on the C & L website and I may have taken a photo of them during the tutorial, I can't quite remember but I'll check and come back to you.


Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Knuckles » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:23 pm

I'm two pages late but have just ploughed through them both. Many thanks for the thread, has been a boon.

I have a wee question though. As I like Exactoscale wheels I have a good handful of wagon wheels. I usualy use pin points but I do have a lot of parellel ones too. The latter I have never used as I don't know how to. I have what I think are the bearings for them and they look like washers.
Do these fit in cup bearings or is there another bearing I need to buy? I can't remember what washers/bearings I have so cannot check with your list on the previous page but any advice would be great.

Once again well done on a great tutorial. :)

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by iak » Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:43 pm

Downloadable PDF maybe?

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Lord Colnago » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:09 pm

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your kind comments on the tutorial.

Your suggestion of a booklet is entirely reasonable but I fear the old chesnut of cost would get in the way at present. It would certainly help to keep costs down if we were to produce it in CD format, like the civil engineering book but I would be happier if a more substantial publication could be put together that would include several more tutorials on a variety of subjects. Of course, that would depend on others producing the goods.

There is also the fact that this information is already out there and freely available, so is there a demand for it in book/CD format? It is something that I think we could consider, at committee level, as something we might go with at some time in the future, but demand would be a major consideration.

I would encourage any member with the necessary skills to give a tutorial a go. I found it a rewarding experience and I'm sure others would as well. I would suggest that the subjects are kept simple to allow beginners to easily follow what is going on.

I look forward to viewing your efforts.


Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by DaveHarris » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:19 pm


Thank you for an excellent posting. I think all would agree that all of us have learnt something from your excellent 'construction article'. I for one was looking at the same chassis on my bench and wondering just where to start!
Could your writings, and the useful questions by others be condensed into a booklet similar to the Starting in P4 booklet available on the society stand? I think it would show the sort of help available in the society, and given the ever onward progress being made by Justin and others, would be a great help many just starting or re-starting in this excellent hobby.
Once again John, many thanks :thumb

Dave H

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by TEZBEDZ » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:03 pm

Thanks John, you were too quick. I just noticed it and tried to delete my question

Should have gone to Specsavers

I still agree this is a really useful informative thread

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Lord Colnago » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:01 pm

Hi Terry,

The underframe is from Rumney Models. Check out my posting of yesterday.


Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by TEZBEDZ » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:54 pm

I have had a look through this thread and find it really informative, some very good ideas and advice, especially for people like me who are based in a shed at home and work alone.
ne thing I cant find (and I apologise if it is mentioned) What is the supplier of the underframe?

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Lord Colnago » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:36 pm

Hi David,

The lead comes from the end of a roll used in roofing. Its thickness is a rather odd 1.7mm.


Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by David Knight » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:26 pm

Just out of curiosity, how thick is the lead slab in the bottom Your Grace?



Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Lord Colnago » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:11 pm

Hi Gordon,

I suppose I could but it might be a while before I get around to it. There are 7 others in the queue ahead of it!


Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by steamraiser » Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:30 pm

Lord C,

Thank you for taking the time to photograph and explain the construction of the ubiquitous 16 ton mineral using Justin's chassis.
Are you going to continue the thread with painting and weathering of the wagon?

Gordon A

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Lord Colnago » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:30 pm

There have been one or two questions which I should address first, after which, I will list the bits that went to make up the wagon, as I promised.

Gordon - Indeed you did.

Gareth - Philip Hall pretty much echoes my sentiments. Stick with what works for you though, having said that, never be afraid to try something new, you might end up sticking with it and if you don't like it, at least you can say that you have tried it out.

Guy - many thanks for the info on buffers and the measurements you have adopted. Useful stuff that I shall certainly take on board.

Dave K - My apologies, Check out his 16T Rarity thread. Its on there.

So, now to the components used.

Body - Parkside PC21 16T Mineral
Chassis - Rumney Models B.13, BR 16'6" x 9' Morton Brake, Welded body.
Axlebox/spring castings - MJT RCH/5 leaf.
Buffers - Lanarkshire Models & Supplies B006D (the pre-drilled type).
Buffer heads and shanks - Exactoscale 13" heads and seperate shanks. I'm not sure if these are still available. However, MJT, 51L/Wizard and possibly others offer alternatives.
Leaf springs - Exactoscale. I think these now come as part of 4BC 201A, but check if they are available seperately.
Wheels - Exactoscale E4CW 104A, 3' 1 1/2" 3 hole disc.
Parallel axles - Exactoscale 4CW 501A
Parallel bearings - Exactoscale 4CW 603A
Coupling Hooks - Masokits.

That's about it. Please ask if you have any more questions. I hope that it has been a useful exercise, I know that I have learnt a few things, which is never a bad thing. I really should return to my WD now, its been too long since I did anything to it. Perhaps, if anyone has a suggestion for another tutorial on a different subject, they will suggest it and hopefully, someone will take up the challenge. It may even become a regular feature of the forum.

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by grovenor-2685 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:32 pm

I have scanned Justin's thread a couple of times but cannot spot any reference to the wheel assembly jig, can you show me where it is :?:

Not to worry, Johns explanation above is perfectly adequate.

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Dave K » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:17 pm

Lord Colnago wrote:In the photo above, you will have noticed an Exactoscale back to back gauge and the two parts of an axle assembly jig that I knocked up, based on one used by Justin Newitt. You can see Justin's jig in his Wonderful World of Wagons thread, elsewhere on this forum.

I have scanned Justin's thread a couple of times but cannot spot any reference to the wheel assembly jig, can you show me where it is :?:

Lord Colnago wrote:In the photo above, you will have noticed an Exactoscale back to back gauge and the two parts of an axle assembly jig that I knocked up, based on]The tie bars need to go in next as these secure the spring bearings in place and prevent the wheels from dropping out when you turn the wagons the right way up. I usually don't carry out the final assembly process until after painting. I leave the wires at the back of the tie bars over length so that I can push them into some blu-tack, to hold them whilst they're airbrushed. For the purposes of this exercise however, I cut them to the required length. This next shot shows one before and one after.

I''ve only built the Exactoscale sprung underframes where there instructions have you fit and solder the tie bars before adding the brake gear etc. This means you have to force apart the W Irons slightly to fit the wheels and sprung carriers in place, although their W Irons do have little bits which stop the wheel/spring carriers falling out. But I may give your twist a go as it seems easier to slip the wheel/spring carriers in place.


Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by dal-t » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:22 am

I have long fitted sprung buffers as a matter of course, and feel fully justified because it is easy to see them working on crossovers or simple turnouts if the radius is tight enough. But I have never managed to make a sprung coupling hook 'work', even in 7mm where my wagons use 3-link couplings functionally. Indeed, I'm usually wary of testing the 'springiness' for fear of pulling the headstock off. So why do I still bother fitting those fiddly little springs? Not sure really - answers on a (virtual) postcard maybe ...

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by David B » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:09 am

garethashenden wrote:How essential are sprung buffers and couplings?

Sprung buffers are more useful on longer wheelbase and bogie stock than with a short wheelbase. It depends on your coupling (type and) length and the radius of track curve. An end-to-end layout with gentle turnout curves will most probably not need any sprung buffers whereas a corner layout or complete circuit could if space has necessitated tighter curves.

If one fits sprung buffers as a matter of course, stock will most probably run on any layout.

A sprung coupling is helpful on close-coupled stock but I suggest is less important elsewhere.

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Guy Rixon » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:05 am

billbedford wrote:
Lord Colnago wrote:The popular method of springing any buffer usually involves placing a small spring over the buffer shank, inserting the buffer into the housing and then securing the buffer at the end of the shank in such a way as to leave the head the correct distance from the housing. I do use this method, but I cut the springs in half and stretch them out to their original length, as I find that the spring is too strong otherwise.

Cutting springs in half with double the spring rate, i.e. it will take twice as much force to compress the spring the same distance. This can be experienced by bending a long and short piece of wire. The longer one will alway be easier to be, presuming they are of the same diameter. What I suggest is happening is that the counter bore in the buffer guide is not long enough and the longer spring is partly compressed while the buffer is at the extended position.

I design printed buffers to have a deep bore for the spring, to soften the stroke. Frequently, the bore for the spring goes right through the buffer guide into the spigot behind the headstock.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 08.52.53.png
Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 08.52.53.png (11.03 KiB) Viewed 13742 times

This buffer, which worked OK when assembled, was bored 4.25mm deep and I've adopted that as a standard.

I think one needs the springs to be slightly compressed when the buffers are fully extended. If there is no compression, then slight friction in the bore may stop the rams extending fully.

EDIT: urk, too early in the morning for coherence. What I should have said was that this buffer is 12" from headstock to front of guide and 18" from headstock to buffing face. That gives a distance from buffing face to the back/bottom of the spring bore of 6.25mm and that is my standard dimension. It happens to give a bored depth of 4.25mm on this one because the guide is 4mm long.

Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by Philip Hall » Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:41 pm

I would say not essential on loose coupled goods stock, but nice if you want to do it. I have many wagons with sprung buffers, but an equal number without; I do it as the fancy takes me. However, when vehicles are to be prototypically close coupled, sprung buffers are essential.

As for draw gear, I've never bothered, just gluing the coupling hook in the buffer beam, but one respected modeller I know always springs his drawhooks, as it seems to cushion the 'snatch' as the train starts off. His hooks are ABS white metal, and with this springing has never had one break.


Re: A wagon tutorial

Post by garethashenden » Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:34 pm

How essential are sprung buffers and couplings? I haven't fitted either to any of my wagons and now this thread is making me wonder if I'll have problems.