Well I've done it.........entered my first Model Railway competition! I've no illusion that I've any chance of being placed but hope it will spur me on to build a few wagons and develop my skills.
So what to build?
Ideally for Tredethy Wharf I would build six Clay wagons….. Hmmmm…..I've set the bars fairly high in the respect that I would like to try to install sprung buffers on all goods stock. As yet I've not found a supplier of sprung self-contained buffers for clay wagons and not sure that I'm ready to tackle converting those supplied with the kits. For Tredethy Wharf I'll need 20 or more wagons and more for future projects.……. I don't want to fail to meet one of my objectives at the first hurdle.
So six general merchandise wagons it is…… the next question is, six of the same type or six different ones?
The decision I've made is that I'm going to tackle six of the same type. My thinking is that it will be quicker to batch build, then, if I have the time, I'll gradually build two or three of another type and so on and so forth. Finally, if I've managed to build more than the initial six, I'll be able to select the better ones for my competition entry.
I've always had a liking for 16T mineral wagons. Not sure if this was from seeing endless trains of mineral wagons rattling though Reepham station when I was knee high to a grasshopper. I've collected a few kits for these wagons over the years. Wenfordbridge branch saw its fair share of these wagons for local coal and coal for the Wenford driers. They will offer me excellent challenges in weathering. and not be too difficult to compensate. Sprung buffers, etching/castings for brake gear and different castings for axle boxes are all readily available. I have relevant books by John Hayes, Geoff Kent and Martyn Welch and a few reference photos in other books. It makes sense, to me, that these will be the first six.
So, out came the kits, from the Parkside range, 4 x Dia 1/108 PC21s; 1 x slope sided PC27; 1 x riveted PC54; 1 x French PC22; 1 x Cambrian LNER; 2 x Airfix kits; plus a few part-built Airfix kits from my EM gauge days; and a part built Parkside French type. Out came all the compensation units and different castings I've collected during this last year. Might need a few more bits as I go along, especially sprung buffers. There are plenty unbuilt kits for me to go at, so the part-built kits while be put to one side for the moment. I've collated a few components together and hope to make a start over the weekend...... Well.....hope so.