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Wagon Corner

Posted: Tue May 03, 2016 7:34 pm
by Jeremy Good
Inspired by one or two other OMWB threads I thought I'd try and catalogue some of my own attempts at wagon and NPCS vehicles.

Having recently acquired Wheal Elizabeth I need to complete some of the part-built china clay wagons in the nearly finished pile and add a few more to the stock list. Those wagons will be focussed around the 1955 to 1960 period and the 1975 to 1980 period that I intend to use on that layout. More on these in due course.

The other stock is for the Scottish BLT project. As my other threads suggest this will be a harbour-side terminus deep in former Highland Railway territory. Whether this is fictitious or a "based on" or even "a model of" a particular location is yet to be decided. That largely depends on the space I have available after the builders have finished. What is certain is that it will be set in the early 1970's to allow a mixture of loco type and greater variety of freight stock and traffic - fish vans and cattle traffic survived in certain Scottish locations until that period.

So having handed over reasonably sized chunk of cash to Mr Newitt of Rumney Models at Scalefour North and picked up a bundle of kits and components including, amongst other things, a couple of his new Fish Van kits I thought I'd start with one of these.

BR Dia 1/801 Fish Van:

The kit comprises some very finely etched parts for the chassis, following the same format as many of the Rumney kits, a multi-layered, fully etched body and a very nicely produced resin cast roof - the various parts are shown in the photos.

The chassis etch and cast roof.

The body etches.

I thought I'd make a start with the body sides and ends which are each formed of three layers of etch of varying thickness to produce the flat panelled sides and the riveted angle strapping edging each panel. These are to be soldered together to form each component. As you can see from the photos they are each etched within an outer frame with a number of 1mm holes in them. The etches are laid on top of each other in the right order and the right way around (don't ask) and then aligned with 1mm rod through 4 of the holes in the outer frame. This puts the sides in register and aligns averything as it should be. The parts are then soldered together in one go and, whilst I didn't find this quite as easy as Justin's instructions suggest, with some perseverance all went together fine. The angles for the strapping is etched separately with tags to fit into the slots provided on the sides. These were aligned carefully (after the slots were eased a little with some spare etch) and soldered in place.

The first side went together fine as did both ends. The second side was put together at a key stage of Sunday's football and the middle layer soldered in place the wrong way around (moral - don't model and listen to sport!). After the required cursing and soul searching I eventually hit upon a solution. Fortunately the strapping is half thickness and therefore cut reasonable well with a scalpel so, all 9 strapping panels were carefully cut out and unsoldered and then replaced in the correct order and soldered back in place. I'll leave you to decide which side is which! The sides and strapping angle took about 2 hours to put together properly; fixing the problem took another hour and a half!

The completed sides and ends look something like this:

The sides and ends.

The sides are now ready to be removed from the etch frame and soldered to the main body former, a neatly etched fold up former with tabs corresponding to the slots on the back of the van sides and ends.


Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Tue May 03, 2016 8:18 pm
by Mark Tatlow
There are an awful lot of etch there for a single wagon - it is not difficult to see how the cost mounts up!

Good of Justin to use jigs to aid assembly; a much better idea not to ignore them though Jeremy!

Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Wed May 04, 2016 11:19 am
by Guy Rixon
Should this kind of kit be soldered with a flame, possibly? There's quite a lot of metal in the sandwich.

Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Wed May 04, 2016 6:31 pm
by jjnewitt
I wouldn't recommend it. There isn't really that much brass in each side/end. The layers are only 0.010" thick and have a large amount of half etched detail on them. If you took a flame to them you'd almost certaily end up with a buckled, distorted mess. I wouldn't even like to tin the backs of the half etched parts.

A 25/30W iron and a good read of the instructions is all you need.


Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Wed May 04, 2016 9:02 pm
by Jeremy Good
Thanks for the comments.

Mark, I agree that there is a lot of brass involved and there has also been a lot of care and thought in the design. In terms of cost the kits is similar to the Masterpiece CCT and probably uses a very similar amount of material albeit that the finished wagon is a little smaller.

Guy, I think I agree with Justin's comment here and in the instructions. By making the sides as layers and using the frames to make alignment (almost) idiot-proof the etch is extremely thin. As I found in trying to trim the strapping as part of my repair it has a tendency to bow under heat and I suspect that a flame would only exacerbate that issue. I haven't tried it though so can't really comment! What I think I might try on the next one, though, is liquid flux rather than paste as this may just penetrate between the layers a little better.

A bit more progress over the last couple of evenings.

The sides have been separated from their frames and attached to the skeleton frame for the van. The photos show one side on the "skeleton" and then both sides and ends. Again alignment is simple with a few discrete tabs and blind slots and all goes together easily.

One side attached to the wagon skeleton frame.

Sides and ends added to the skeleton.

The final view shows the resin cast roof test fitted for fit. It needed very little preparation but fits perfectly.

Test fit of roof casting

The last job is the doors complete with handles and opening mechanism and then the body will be complete.


Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Wed May 11, 2016 7:43 pm
by Jeremy Good
The last few evenings has bought some more progress with the first of the Fish Vans.

The body is now complete, with doors and door handles and I've made a start on the chassis. So far all going according to plan apart from a slight mis-reading of one of Justin's diagrams - all sorted now though.

Completed van body with doors

The main structural elements of the chassis.

Van body and chassis so far

The next stage will be the fitting of the wheels and springs with just the brake gear to go after that.

More updates soon...


Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Wed May 11, 2016 9:24 pm
by steamraiser
I don't know how strong the sides are but is an extra piece of brass inside the body from the top of the doors on one side to the other worth considering?

Keep up the good work of building and posting.

Gordon A

Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Wed May 11, 2016 10:14 pm
by iak
Enlightenment and clarity in this thread Jeremy. 8-)
Justins beasties have an allure which is being aided by this sort of work, a sense of wanting to jump in and enjoy the benefits and challenges of making them.
Wibbling furiously again now... :thumb

Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Thu May 12, 2016 9:11 am
by Mike Garwood
Exciting times and so much more to come as well...

Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Thu May 12, 2016 11:10 am
by jjnewitt
That's coming along nicely Jeremy! Loos great.

The sides shouldn't need supporting at the top. They are quite robust and there's also a lip all the way around the resin roof which will prevent the brass sides from moving inwards. It should be a very strong structure once the roof is glued in.


Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:02 am
by Jeremy Good
After a bit of a hiatus, while I found the wheels in the storage boxes, I managed to progress the chassis to allow an initial trial fit of the wheels. I do need to go back a step to fit the spring stops, as I wasn't in the right frame of mind to do them, but once they are fitted I can then focus on the brake levers and operating gear.

The latest bits have gone together exactly as they should and, as the photos show, it is beginning to look the part.

Fish van chassis with brake linkage

Fish van with wheels

I'm hoping I'll get the chance to finish the brake gear this week so may be able to post pictures of a finished, unpainted wagon soon.


Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:16 am
by iak
The images are excellent Jeremy.
Very helpful and illustrative in showing what is what. :thumb

Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:08 pm
by Lord Colnago
Very nice J. Its coming along nicely. Looking forward to seeing it finished.

Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:13 pm
by Jeremy Good
Well, that was a very long week!! The Fish Van did get progressed but has then sat at the back of the queue on the workbench waiting for the arrival of Mr Newitt's axleboxes and springs and for me to make a decision on buffers. It has now progressed. The roller bearing axleboxes are attached to the wheel bearings and so do move with the wheels - whether this is reliable in service we'll find out in due course.

It now looks something like this...

Fish van - nearly there....
Fish van

I've taken the opportunity of a relatively quiet Christmas holiday to progress a few of the other projects that have been lurking on the workbench for a while and which are all intended for my mid-70's era layouts.


The Masterclass Models CCT kit is, I think, the best representation of the BR CCT. This has been a while in the making as well and now just need to final parts of the spring hangers fitted and handrails before a trip to the paint shop. It has been built as per the kit designers intentions except that the door bump-stops have been replaced with 0.5mm wire rather than relying on the half etched rivets intended. The only really frustrating part of this build have been the axle boxes/springs which are an ABS casting but with the W-irins included. They have needed significant attention with a file to get them slimmed down enough and even then I've hard trouble squeezing in the hanger brackets behind the steps. I think I'll have another word with Mr Newitt before I do the next one...

There have also been a few brake vans hanging around. I have now finished the Bill Bedford chassis of the LMS 20t Van which sits below a Hornby body. I need to address the handrails and lamp-irons so it will then give me a reasonable representation of one of the late LMS built vans (I think!). The other BR Vans just need a little work before they visit the paintshops. They were mainly built before Justin N produced his Barke Van axleboxes/springs so these need revisiting but otherwise are nearly ready for the paint shop. The brass/plastic one is a Bradwell chassis with a Bachmann body and was modelled on one seen in Diesels in the Duchy, it is intedende for use on Wheal Elizabeth, the other is a Connoisseur kit looking for a prototype!

ex LMS Brake van
BR Brake vans

Finally, for this update are 5 different, but the same, BR 12t Vans. All are Parkside kits with Masokits running gear and solebars/W-irons and details from a variety of sources. One or two of them adopt my now standard approach to using Masokits sprung chassis kits, that is to attach etched W-irons to each of the springing units to give a much finer looking finish here - it also makes attacking the kit solebars with a big file easier as I don't need to worry about saving the W-irons/springs!

12 ton vans - the first 2
12ton vans - the other 3

Hopefully there is something of interest in this batch and at least the first of the Fish Vans is pretty much ready for the paint shop - only 2 more to do, plus a couple of Parkside ones when I can get my hands on the correct chassis....

There will be another update in the next few days with some of the other wagon projects that are close to completion, at least this time it won't be another 18 months!

Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:59 pm
by steamraiser
Thanks Jeremy.

Good to see some more wagon construction.

Gordon A

Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:16 pm
by iak
Very nice... :thumb
I wouldn't worry about updates as many of us lapse with our thread updating - ahem...

Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:55 am
by Craig Warton
Very well done indeed. It is always good to see someone making progress on things. Slow but steady still beats doing nothing at all - keep at it!


Craig W

Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:00 pm
by Jeremy Good
It’s been another long gap since I posted anything on here but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing anything.

The current plan is to try and get some of the started projects to the finished stage with particular emphasis on mid-1950’s stock for Bodmin and mid to late 1970’s stock for Wheal Elizabeth. The list of unfinished projects is quite long....

The latest items to feature are a couple of rescue projects. These are things that I’d built a few years back and given up with because they didn’t satisfy. Essentially the kit bodies have been rescued and new underpinnings added.

First up is a GW Fruit D. A Parkside body but with Morgan Design underframe. The solebars are also from the Morgan range but are those for the Mink D to V11 (Ref 4697) which with the deletion of a couple of sets of etched rivets are a pretty good match. It still needs footsteps and buffers but it looks a whole lot better than when I started.


Next is a pair of BR Vanwides this time for 1970’s clay traffic. They still need buffers but consist Parkside bodies, Masokits spring underframes with MJT w-irons overlaid on the springing units. The solebars are Evergreen plastic channel with overlays borrowed from a Rumney underframe kit with inappropriate rivets deleted. Castings are also Rumney. In this case the Masokits chassis have been tweaked to give a representation of a BR Derby Clasp Brake underframe and the levers are from a Bill Bedford etch. The next one will just use the Rumney underframe.


So these can nearly join the long paint shop queue, something I will have to begin to address soon.

Next update will be along soon.


Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:16 pm
by iak
Nice... :thumb

Re: Wagon Corner

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:08 pm
by Jeremy Good
After an extended period with no orders the Work's Manager at Wheal Elizabeth is pleased to report that running trials have recently been carried out to allow a re-opening of the works.

Running trials at Wheal Elizabeth

The trials have seen the arrival of a batch of 7 BR Clayfit wagons with temporary hoods for an order to the docks at Fowey and a further batch of 7 wagons for the Clayliner service to the potteries of Stoke-on- Trent.

These wagons have, along with a batch of eight vans, been on my workbench for nearly 18 months and a concerted effort over my extended Christmas/New Year holiday has finally seen them move off the workbench for running trials before numbering, fitting proper hoods (these are ScaleScenes ones that were a download from Model Rail a few year's back) or tarpaulins, a covering of white clay dust and other weathering.

The BR Clayfits are Ratio bodies with Rumney Models chassis (one was the original test build) and axleboxes/springs whilst the Clayliner fleet are Parkside BR 12t 5 plank opens again with Rumney Chassis and axle box/spring castings. Wheels are Exactoscale throughout mostly running in parallel bearings.

Once they have all proved themselves adequately around the layout they will return to the bench for completion but in the interim a chance to "play trains" for the first time in a while. I've already decided that auto-couplings are going to be required though rather than instanters!