Thursday, 31 March 2011

Parkside PC27 Slope sided mineral wagon

Yesterday evening I spent a few moments wondering how to construct this kit. It looked a little more complex than the previous Dia. 1/108, 1/109 wagons. The sides are in two sections and have to be put together with an angle that matches a couple of supports that will be applied to the sides later in the construction. Also the floor does not fit flush to the outside edges of the ends with the sides recessed in from the ends. I was a little confused as to how to fix the floor to the ends, keeping it all square, then fix the sides on at the correct angle all in one go. After much thought, then running out of fingers and hands in many dry runs, the photo below shows my solution.....

After cutting off the buffers, in readiness for the sprung buffers, I realised that I could support the ends with two angle plates. Then after a little work with a file and some gentle encouragement I managed to position the floor in the centre of the ends.

Gluing the bottom side sections was easy, but the top sections needed a lot of work with a file to encourage them to fix snugly but...... hopefully...... I've captured the correct alignment and angle for the sides.

There is some filling to be done to mask the joint on the sides between the top and bottom sections. I think this should be attempted before installing the stanchions each side of the door.

My initial thought for this wagon is to try and replicate the one shown on page 6 of David Larkin's Pre-Nationalisation Freight Wagons on British Railways. As much as I like the condition of this wagon, I especially like the fact that it has spoked wheels.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Armchair Challenge (Part 4)

A brief update to report a little progress on the initial six wagons for the Scalefour Society's Challenge. The current state of affairs at the close of play this evening is shown below.........six 16 ton mineral wagons all in different stages of construction.

Two Parkside standard Dia. 1/108 with W irons attached can be seen at the back. Top left is an old Airfix kit Dia. 1/108 with a replacement floor fitted. On the left is a Cambrian Models LNER 16 ton mineral wagon. In the centre is a Parkside Dia. 1/109 riveted wagon. Scattered across the cutting mat is the next victim under the knife, a Parkside's slope sided wagon.

When the six bodies are completed I'll get back to the under-frames, hopefully plucking up courage to have a go at Exactoscale's chassis kit.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

At last - Track laying finished

I received a parcel last week from a very kind member of the China Clay Branchlines Yahoo Group that contained a number of P4 track items. One package in the parcel contained slide chairs which are something I've been lacking. This spurred me on to try and complete the track to a point where I can start installing the wiring. Bringing the layout down into the living room over the weekend enabled me to work on a couple of bits that were a little difficult to get to where I normally have the layout erected.

And here it is ........ last, track laying finished...... and I hear you say "It's about b****y time as well". I can't believe it has taken me nine months just to build three points and about three yards of track......

During the last few months I've noticed that a few people paint the baseboards before laying track, wiring etc. Is this to help seal the wood from absorbing any dampness: from glues used in track-laying; scenic treatments; and/or from any damp storage conditions that the layout might experience? I'm starting to think it might be a good idea to paint the baseboards, even if it's only to tidy the layout up a little. So, a little late in the construction, I'll aim to dig out some white undercoat from the garage next weekend and give the boards a quick brushing........ Then it's time to get to grips with putting power to the track.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Compensation units

One month has passed since my decision to enter the Armchairs Modellers Challenge was taken. With the holiday and a few other things going during February not a lot has happened. So over the last couple of evenings I've squeezed in some modelling time and started to look at a couple of wagon compensation units.

My aim is to try two or three different compensation units on the wagons. I've a couple of frets from Bill Bedford, some MJT frets plus some Exatroscale units. I've used an old D&S unit on the 7 plank wagon which did go together easily enough and seems to work OK. Unfortunately this fret was the only one I had so cannot consider this as an option for future projects.

First to try was the Bill Bedford units.........

Hmmmm....... Above is my first attempt at putting together one of Mr Bedford's compensation units. To be fair it was built a few months ago, the units were easy to fold and I ran a little solder along the internal folds to stiffen them a little, but as can be seen it is not a very successful attempt. The W irons are not square to the base and when the axles are depressed the W iron splay out a little further..... I couldn't see where I'd gone wrong and the unit was put onto one side for some thinking time. I was sure that, as these units have been around for some time, it was the way I'd put them together that was the problem.

In a subsequent discussion with one of the P4 area group members it was suggested that I use Exactoscale square axles with these units. This I did and the next unit I built.........

has gone together nice and square.....................

The MJT units are similar to the D&S units but again I'm not totally happy with my first attempt as the axle is a sloppy fit not as rigid as the D&S units. The rocking unit is shown below......

I'll persevere with the MJT units on one of my wagons but the jury is still out as to which unit I prefer. I have yet to pluck up the courage to build one of Exactoscale wagon chassis kits which do look a little more complex to put together than either of the above. No doubt once one is built they it won't seem that daunting.