Goods and minerals

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Guy Rixon
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Goods and minerals

Postby Guy Rixon » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:21 pm

A wagon has jumped its place in my build queue. I was cleaning up the pile of unbuilt kits and the easiest way to tidy this one was to build it!

Between 1910 and 1914, the SECR bought a number of 12-ton mineral wagons, in anticipation of of output from the Kent coalfield. They were same size and shape as RCH 12-tonners post 1923, but with detail differences, notably in the solebar fittings. Therefore, the Parkside-Dundas kit for the RCH-standard 12-tonner is a great starting point.

SECR-12t-mineral-1.jpg


No changes were needed to the kit's body. On the headstocks, I removed the buffers altogether as these wagon's didn't have the ribbed kind in the 1923 spec. I still have to fettle the outside corners to hide the mitre joins. Capping strips will go on at the end of the build. The black ironwork is much easier to paint before assembly, so I painted inside and out first. This kit is the nicest bit of moulding I've worked with in ages.

The 1910 solebars look nothing like the 1923 spec, although all the usual bits are there in both. William Barter has made an etch for the solebar decoration, pictured here alongside one of the kit solebars.

SECR-12t-mineral-4.jpg


I've attached the door-stop springs to the solebars but looking at the picture I see that I've forgotten to do the horse hooks. Some more cleaning up is needed and one of the springs needs to be checked for alignment. The SECR bought these wagons from Hurst Nelson and from Pickerings, but the solebar etch seems to be most appropriate for the Hurst-Nelson batches: the makers' plate is oval rather than diamond shaped.

The suspension is Bill Bedford "RCH 1907" axleguards, pre-aligned with a wire through the flanges.

SECR-12t-mineral-3.jpg


Since this wagon is 16' 6" over headstocks, one could use the Bedford axleguards with the longer springs but I chose not to. Firstly I don't have any in stock, and I don't want to buy a full etch just for one wagon (they are not applicable to much else in my period). Secondly, the axleguards with the short springs leave more space for the tails of sprung buffers.

williambarter
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Re: Goods and minerals

Postby williambarter » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:04 am

Guy,

Looking very good! One thing though - the bit of iron plate located in the middle of the door is there to make contact with a single door spring when the door is open, as per the original kit. On this SECR variant, there are two door springs, and they make contact with the strapping of the door hinges. So the - what is it called? Striking plate? - located centrally on the door is redundant, and in building my pile of these kits I have shaved it off with a scalpel.

If you or anyone want any more of the solebar etches I have some left.

William
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Guy Rixon
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Re: Goods and minerals

Postby Guy Rixon » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:05 pm

I finally finished the 12-tonner.

Hurst-Nelson-12T-mineral1.jpg


The axleboxes are approximated by Midland W7 units from MJT. These seem to be a close, visual match to what Hurst Nelson fitted for the SECR, lacking only the company initials on the cover. It looks like these vehicles had oil boxes, which was rotten posh for mineral wagons in 1910.

The brakes are from Bill Bedford's RCH fret, converted to non-reversible shoes by grinding the bottom lug off each shoe. I bodged the brake shafts in the technical sense of freehand turning, using a mini-drill and a file. The wagon has independent brakes on each side and therefore each side should have a short brake-shaft running in a tubular guide fixed between the two V-hangers. I simulated this with pieces of 0.9mm brass wire, turned down at each end to 0.7mm. Visually this adds almost nothing, since to see it you'd have to get so close that all the faults show up. However, the shouldered brake-shafts made the assembly easier, so were worth the 15 minutes or so to make them. And it was something a bit different to do at the bench.

The transfers are by Fox, from their SECR-goods sheet. They are not exactly right for this wagon: the 12 TONS legend is a little too small and the number and company name are very slightly too large; but it's close enough. This model represents a wagon built by Hurst Nelson in late 1910, so doesn't need the longer legend "12 TONS COAL WAGON" on the top plank; that little essay was only on the batch built by Metropolitan C&W. That was a relief, as Fox didn't include all the words on the transfer sheet. If I did need the long-form inscription, I think suitable text could be lifted from the HMRS sheet for the LNWR. I actually managed to get all the fine print onto the solebar! I wonder how much longer my eyes and hands are going to be able to do that.

Finally, the buffers are by Lanarkshire Models: B033 Wagon Buffer 1’6” no rib 12" head, round base, Mineral wagons (wood)". They're the sprung kind. These again are not exactly right, but are so close that I wasn't motivated to draw and print a special set. The buffer castings had 2.1mm spigots, so I ended up turning them down to 1.95mm, to fit 2.0mm holes, using mini-drill and file. I find that buffers need to be sliding fit into the headstock, rather than an interference fit, if I'm to have any chance of getting them into place properly before the glue grabs. Apart from the spigots, the Lanarkshire buffers are fine castings and needed no fettling at all.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Goods and minerals

Postby Guy Rixon » Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:58 pm

Currently on the bench is a Cambrian Railways wagon from the kit by Cambrian models.

cambrian-slate-wagon8.jpg


This is the second in a trio of identical kits. The first was done with Bill Bedford axleguards and brake parts, plus buffers from the plastic parts in the kit and metal, unsprung heads. This one has an Exactoscale chassis and brakes.

cambrian-slate-wagon3.jpg


I am undecided about the Exactoscale parts. Basic alignment of the suspension is very easy and reliable, since the axleguards fold down from an etched floor. Making the bearing carriers and springs is easier - less fiddly - than the BB system, although I had some issues with paint blocking the working parts; I need to mask up these bits if I use this system again. The brakes were horrible to build, as each push rod is a separate part. The Exactocale brake-kit assumes brake blocks on both sides of the vehicle, which makes the system self-jigging. For older wagons with brakes on one side only it is not so easy. The end result is adequate, I think, even with my poor construction.

Still to do are buffers, couplings, and brake safety-loops, the latter having been missed out at the soldering stage. And I need to repaint the solebars, since the grey has come out a different shade to the body. It's Precision LMS grey, BTW; I only have "light grey" as a prototype reference.

I wanted sprung buffers on this one, since the Exactoscale suspension leaves space for them. The kit parts are not good for this; I've messed up 5 of 8 buffers trying to set up the springing. I've now drawn up a 3D CAD for this buffer, approximating the dimensions from the plastic bits. Shapeways promise to send these to me in the next fortnight and I may have some spares if anybody needs a set.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Goods and minerals

Postby Guy Rixon » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:08 pm

Just exiting the bench, a refurbishment of a very old model.

GWR-sheeted-open1.jpg


It's a Cooper Craft kit, decorated with the transfers that came with the kit and upgraded with compensated suspension.

This was the first thing I ever built in P4, about 26 years ago. It wasn't quite right, so it went to the back of the cupboard pending renovation. When I rediscovered it recently, I decided that it was worth saving. When I built it, I didn't know thing 1 about GWR livery so it was painted too light a grey and the company initials were the 16" size (post-grouping) instead of 25" (pre-grouping). The buffers, which were the plastic originals from the kit, had become brittle and the heads broke off. And the wagon sheet had gone missing. Apart from that, it wasn't too bad.

I cut off the old buffers and ground out their bases flush with the headstock. The new buffers were from MJT. In the spirit of an '80s model, I used the rigid kind.

Next, the paint. I used Vallejo "Model Air" paints, which are acrylics ready-thinned for airbrushing. My new standard for GWR grey is equal parts "Nato Black" and "USAF dark grey", mixed from the Vallejo dropper-bottles straight into the paint cup of the airbrush. This seems to match quite well to the Precision "GWR grey" I've used on other wagons, so yay! an easy repaint...

GWR-sheeted-open2.jpg


...except I'd sprayed over the old transfers, which show up like the budgie under the new-layed carpet. D'oh! Just shows how coarse those old transfers were. Transfers apart, the new paint seems to work quite well. In fact, it was easy enough to abrade away the transfers and to respray. The Vallejo paint covers really well, so I was able to fill in the gaps with one thin coat.

New transfers came from Fox. HMRS would have done just as well, but I get on better with waterslide.

I was going to use a Smiths wagon sheet, as I remember these being really nice, back in the day. It turns out that the current ones are made differently and are not nearly as good. They also represent the later pattern of sheet. On Another Forum, I found a graphic by Ian Smith for a sheet from the right period: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/gallery/image/42027-gwr-sheet-1903/. I resized this in Photoshop to 21' x 14' in 4mm scale and printed it on a colour laserprinter. To try and avoid it looking like a crumpled piece of paper, I folded it as I understand wagon sheets were supposed to be folded: by quarters across the width of the sheet and by thirds along the length. This gave it a few plausible creases, but they were too white against the black of the sheet; that looked fixable. I superglued the sheet to the sheet rail, then arranged the "drape" around the ends of the wagon and glued the draped folds to keep them in position. Next, I went over the whole sheet with grey washes in artist's acrylics. A dense wash toned down the white of the creases, and a thin wash aged the white lettering. Finally, I attempted to represent the securing ropes by sewing cotton thread through the edges of the sheet and and securing the end of the thread with dots of superglue where the full-size wagon had rope cleats (the plastic kit doesn't have cleats; if I do another of this kind of wagon, I'll make some).

Net result (badly photographed):

GWR-sheeted-open3.jpg


It ain't perfect, but I'm am very glad to have finally finished this relic from my youth.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Goods and minerals

Postby Guy Rixon » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:31 pm

Doing a little stock-taking recently, I found that I had 29 wagons needing finishing! I think I've just identified the cosmological missing mass! There is an entire wall of "to do" boxes glowering at me in the workshop. However, a little progress has since been made.

Two SE&CR (ex LC&DR) opens have been lettered and passed as finished.
LCDR-open.jpg

Both are from D&S kits (bought back when D&S were still in business). One has the compensated suspension provided in the kit and the other has a sprung (Bedford) suspension. It will be interesting to compare running between the two.

A couple of years ago, I bought a P4 iron mink off eBay. It was in post-grouping livery and went to the back of the shelf waiting to be back-dated to 1908. I've now re-done the painting and lettering.
iron-mink.jpg

Looking at that photo, I see that it's got Morton brakes, damaged on the side nearest the camera. I should really remove the brakes on that side. The grey is my Vallejo mix: equal parts black and "USAF dark grey". Transfers are by fox and, as discussed in another thread, lack the "to carry" notation. I've since ordered in a sheet from POWsides that has the right wording, but it doesn't fit the space. I shall probably leave the lettering as is.

I also finished Mr. Wacher's PO wagon (the one where I tried the Prickly Pair suspension) but I don't have a decent photo of that.

Next up is a LNWR D84 open.
LNWR-D84-open.jpg

The underframe is a Bill Bedford kit, modified with some functional side-knees from brass strip; I have issues with wagon sides that bow in. The body is a straightforward scratch-build in polystyrene. This one has been waiting for me to source buffers (now sorted, and discussed elsewhere on this forum) and axleboxes (due to be delivered tonight). The headstocks in the kit seem to be wider than scale for this diagram (probably sized for some other wagon) and I need to trim them back ... which would have been extremely easy right up to the point where I fitted the brake levers.

Finally, plastic parts for a GNR open.
GNR-open.jpg

These were started last time my wife and I went away on holiday and will be finished off over christmas (if I remember to do the brass running-gear before the break). They're nothing special, but a nice example of what can be done away from the workshop with minimal tools.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Goods and minerals

Postby Guy Rixon » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:19 pm

Most of my recent wagon-bashing has been to do with Ratio kits of LNWR subjects and is posted on RMweb (because there seemed to be interest over there). I've also been progressing two SECR "coal" wagons, which started out as a supposed easy win from Cambrian kits.

Back in 1900 or thereabouts, the SECR bought some 10-ton mineral wagons from Hurst Nelson. Cambrian do a kit for a Hurst-Nelson PO wagon. "Right", sez I (back at Scaleforum 2015), "the SECR has clearly bought some standard wagons from the trade and I can just build a couple of them as per the kit." Pause for hollow, mocking laughter...

Almost everything on the SECR wagon turns out to be different to the kit, so I've ended up scratch-building a wagon around the kit body. Since I was scratching around for details, I did my second kit as per Ashford's contemporary "coal" wagon, which had round ends and a sheet rail. (No, not to protect the wussy, Southern coal from the weather; any SECR open was considered a goods wagon unless it actually had coal in it when the yard staff were loading.)

The change list:

1. End pillars changed to channel section.

2. Extra, vertical brace down the centre of each end.

3. Buffers off the ends as they were not the ribbed kind shown in the kit.

4. On the Ashford wagon, make up the sheet support from Rumney Models parts (which are close to correct for this application, but not quite right; I think they represent what the Williams Patent sheet-supporter evolved into).

4. Striking plate added to the side doors.

5. Bin all the under frame parts as these wagons had the "Stone's Patent" breed of mutant brake-gear and the solebar fittings were not as the kit.

6. Rolling chassis + brake shoes, hangars, push-rods and tumblers from Craig Welsh kits.

7. Solebars scratch-built, using: Evergreen strip; Mainly Trains crown plates, maker's plate and label clip; nuts, washers and washer plates from microstrip and rod; brake-lever support and rack + door springs hacked from fret-waste.

The H-N-built wagon now looks like this:

IMG_3401.jpg


and the Ashford one like this:

Ashford-coal-sheet-support.jpg


(haven't done the solebars for that one yet). I was actually rather pleased with the results...right up to the point where I found out that the kit was for a 15' wagon and the full-size ones were 15' 6"; and then the screaming started. Now I've calmed down a bit, I think I shall finish these even though they are dimensionally challenged. But I may be compelled to do some more to the right length.

garethashenden
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Re: Goods and minerals

Postby garethashenden » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:18 pm

Looks very nice. I'm always a fan of round end wagons, some of the SER goods wagons are on my to-do list some day. Maybe sooner than later.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Goods and minerals

Postby Guy Rixon » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:15 pm

IMG_6078.jpg

Another week, another wagon. This one is nothing special ... except that I realised something rather wonderful while building it: it was an entirely relaxed and enjoyable process with no worries about messing it up.

There are rather a lot of things that can go wrong in making a fine-scale vehicle, even something simple like a plastic wagon-kit, and I lack the advanced craft-skills to avoid them all. Age is not helping. For this one, however, I've found solutions for all that worries me.
  • Suspension is a can of worms, but the Bill-Bedford axleguards are a proven solution and I know how to assemble them without breaking anything.
  • Aligning the axleguards can be tricky, but I printed a baseplate to do that and now it's easy.
  • Fitting the brakes without them dragging on either wheel used to be a problem for me, but I printed the brakes too and they self-align.
  • I've never been very good with painting, but the combination of a working airbrush and Tamiya acrylic paint seems highly reliable, even for me...
  • ... and the combination of a cheap, non-rubbish airbrush, an AS118 compressor and cleaning the brush in an ultrasound tank means that it does work when I need it.
  • Transfers mock me, but for this wagon the nice people at the Welsh Railways Circle sell a dedicated sheet of really good waterslide transfers including made-up numbers and weights.
  • Lots of black ironwork in this wagon, which would normally be several hours of hyper-concentration. But now I have a Posca pen and it's much quicker and easier. (I still need to tidy up on the solebars.)
  • The buffers in the kit don't really work for springing, but I printed replacement guides a couple of years back and everything went together without a fight.

All that sounds a bit smug, but I think what I'm working round to is that P4 with all the necessary aids and after-market bits is fun, and bare-bones P4 not so much; at least not for me and probably not for a lot of potential recruits to our corner of the hobby. It's taken a long time to build and equip this comfort zone, and for most of my 35 years dabbling in P4 I've been making things harder for myself by under-engineering and over-bodging.

Next week, out of the comfort zone and back to maiming coach kits...

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Goods and minerals

Postby Guy Rixon » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:30 pm

Lest I be accused of never finishing anything (wot me guv?) here's the end-state of the Ashford coal-wagon, as featured in primer earlier in this thread. (Yes, the one with the sheet rail for protecting wussy southern coal from weather :D ) The weathering is a simple wash of black oil-paint and it's really, really easy to do. Happy with this one.
H-N-wagon-finished.jpg

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Dave K
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Re: Goods and minerals

Postby Dave K » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:20 am

Guy Rixon wrote:Lots of black ironwork in this wagon, which would normally be several hours of hyper-concentration. But now I have a Posca pen and it's much quicker and easier. (I still need to tidy up on the solebars.)

Guy,

What is a ’Posca pen’. Never heard of it?

Dave

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Goods and minerals

Postby Paul Townsend » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:13 am

Dave K wrote:
Guy Rixon wrote:Lots of black ironwork in this wagon, which would normally be several hours of hyper-concentration. But now I have a Posca pen and it's much quicker and easier. (I still need to tidy up on the solebars.)

Guy,

What is a ’Posca pen’. Never heard of it?

Dave

Google is my friend and should be yours too :D

I see they are acrylic paint pens with a range of colours and tips down to .7mm
They look very useful but could we hear from users about tip clogging and how to get a good life. I note the supplier offers spare tips but only down to 3mm.
As acrylic paint is quick drying I expect this is an issue.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Goods and minerals

Postby Guy Rixon » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:08 am

I thought that Posca pens had been discussed here, but I see that it was on RMWeb. As Paul notes, they dispense dilute acrylic paint with, apparently, fine and dense pigment and excellent covering-power. The black paint comes out matt; I haven't tried other colours yet. They put a lot of paint onto the work, but it seems to dry flat. There's enough surface tension in the paint to contain it at the edge of raised ironwork, and the main problem for wagons is drawing round fasteners.

I got my three - black yellow and gold, all with 0.7mm nibs - from Cult Pens. They are cheap at list prices, currently discounted, and shipped promptly. I consider them disposable and don't worry too much the shelf life.

I got my pens for an assault on some coaches. I'll report results in lining later if they're not too embarrassing.

Terry Bendall
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Re: Goods and minerals

Postby Terry Bendall » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:02 am

Guy Rixon wrote:but I think what I'm working round to is that P4 with all the necessary aids and after-market bits is fun


:thumb Yes it is and it can be without lots of other bits and pieces, but sometimes they make things easier.

Guy Rixon wrote:It's taken a long time to build and equip this comfort zone,


No one is born knowing how to be a skilled modeller, just as no one is born with expert skills in any other field. You try, you practice and you learn. You have some problems, you make some mistakes, you learn from these and you have some success. In time your successes are greater than the failures. :D

Terry Bendall


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