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wagons

A post post!

Originally I wasn’t going to really have ‘through trains’ on Brettell Road – the through line was only going to be used by the industrial shunter but like most of the plans for this layout it all went a bit wrong.  So now that the branch is used by BR as well it made sense to have a short parcels train.  I had already done a LMS GUV from the Lima model but in another hark back to my childhood train set I always liked my Lima Siphon G as well.  I’m not quite sure what happened to the original one I had but I found a bashed up one on Ebay for a few quid and set to work. The Lima body has had the lower vents added from the cooper craft (ex blacksmiths) etch.  Kindly picked up for me from Scalefour southwest last year by Steve Carter of the Scalefour Society.  The bogies are MJT on the brassmasters frames, as are the buffers, with small steps from the Frogmore Confederacy Range (both available from here).  The gangway is a Hornby DMU one which I cut into from the bottom and glued back together to give that characteristic drooped look. The other side with some of the vents left open. In terms of somewhere for the guard to sit, the good old Mainline LMS BG.   just new handrails, glazing and underframe bits on this one.

A couple of RTR wagons from Bachmann.  the Grain wagon has had its axleboxes replaces with Parkside spares and the brakes moved to line up with the wheels.  Finally below just a few images of my Jinty pottering about.


Hoppers finished off and a few other things.

I’ve finished off the hoppers I was working on. Here’s the coke hopper in the company of the previous one I had already done. As the older one is an LMS version I revisited the weathering to make it look a little more used. The 13ton hopper Mackerel with a gannet and herring. A few I haven’t mentioned before. The M. E. Evans one is a Bachmann collectors club model in memory of Merl Evans. I spent a very enjoyable day at Tysley with Merl surveying a couple of class 150’s so this little wagon seemed a no brainer to me. Straight wheel and coupling swap with a bit of weathering.  The ED wagon is a Powsides kit for one of the Earl of Dudley’s fleet. Another no brainer.  Whether either wagon would have lasted to the late 50’s I dont know.

Finally I was directed to this neat little book. OK it’s not Birmingham and it’s not even West midlands but if you are, like me, a fan of what I call ‘urban grim’ (I guess most people aren’t here because they like pretty layouts) then you might find this right up your street. No text, just a lot of super atmospheric pictures.

Click here for the link


A hopper hat-trick.

3 hoppers via 3 different routes. On the left a coke hopper from the old Three Aitch kit.  I’ve already done one of these and this follows the same pattern of using Bill Bedford W irons.

In the center also a kit but a brass one from Dave Bradwell for the BR 13 ton hopper.  A fun if not sometimes tricky kit to build. Dave Bradwell kits

On the right a mackerel ballast hopper converted from a Hornby trout, again with Bill Bedford w irons. I make no claims for the idea behind this as I first saw it on Kier Hardy’s EM 70s website. Click here


Hornby hacks 1 part 2 (and a few wagons)

My class 25/0 is now done. Here are some pictures. I don’t normally like a pre-weathering shot as its not finished yet. But some people do. Below some now customary moody shots.(well you kind of expected the last one didn’t you?)

Wagon News

As I mentioned in one of the post scaleforum posts I found i had more wagons than really necessary. So im planing to just finish off those in the to do pile and try to resist adding any more. Nearest is a diagram 2049 wooden ended open with steel reinforcement. this uses the Parkside sides and underframe with a Rumney Models kit for the ends.  Behind is another standard 20 ton brakevan, this time from Bachmann.


HEA steps

As you may be aware my friend Phil has taken over the wagon bits and kits side of Colin Criag’s useful range and set up Stenson models. Its hoped this will grant Colin more time to develop stuff as well as new things Phil wants to develop himself. One of the new bits is this rather handy etch for the HEA steps. Phil has used some good thinking in the design ensuring that the end result has a neat and robust way of actually attaching to the wagon (some purveyors of etched bits take note).  The same steps were found on the MEA and MFA wagons too.  One down 17 to go!

 

http://www.stensonmodels.co.uk/

HEA steps and instructions


Post scaleforum, part 1

Brettell road seemed well received at Scaleforum and for a first show I was very pleased with how it went.  That’s not to say there isn’t a list of things that need looking at for the future though.

One of the things I did before the show that I didn’t really have time to post about was this derby lightweight from a Bachmann model. I have long-term plan for a DMU but this was a quick win to have something for the show. I wired the 2 cars together and disconnected the red tail lights. A swap of the destination blinds, a few passengers and some weathering and it was good to go.  I still need to redo the gangway at some point. I found at Scaleforum I had more wagons than I needed. this meant withdrawing ones that played up wasn’t a problem and to be fair my cripple train is reassuringly short. The class 20 didn’t have enough rotation in the bogies so that’s been fixed too.

I’ve toned down the streetlights as well as several people remarked that they were too bright. finally a quick shot of the Deeley parked up under the bridges (well why not?). I still need to finish the bedding in of the bridges so that will be a future post of its own.


The not so dirty dozen

I’ve nearly finished of another batch of a dozen wagons. Some are repeats of types that have gone before, some are variations and some are typed I’ve not done before.

Below are the repeats A LMS 5 plank open from the Cambrian kit.  2 shockvans and a 9 plank private open from Parkside kits. A couple of standard 12t vans from Parkside kits. The plywood one (furthest) is built as per kit with my usual mods to detail the underframe a little. The nearer planked example with plywood doors runs on the Red Panda 10 ft clasp brake chassis. This one is a mix of old and new Parkside. The body is one of their old kits mounted on their newer LMS clasp brake underframe to produce a diagram 1927 vac fitted 12 ton goods wagon. Nearest is a diagram 1379 Southern railways 8 plank open from the Cambrian kit. Furthest a 6ton LMS fish van  from Parkside. 2 palvans from the Parkside kit. Furthest as supplied and nearest converted to a clasp brake variant using parts from the red panda underframe. Not quite as simple as the 12 ton van shown earlier as I needed to retain the palvans slightly odd springing and solebars. Finally a diagram 2111 LMS banana van. The body is from the ratio kit and the underframe is a little bit weird. It is basically the standard LMS clasp brake design but with a shorter 9 ft wheelbase rather than the usual 10 ft. I think it gives quite a nicely proportioned vehicle . Above shows how I did it. I’ve been finishing the bodies first for a while now and adding the underframe later as, provided the underframe is supplied in black plastic, it saves some time painting, especially the visible bits on the insides.  This one uses spare bits left over from other wagon kits. The solebar is from Cambrian and the handbrakes are from Parkside. W irons are Bill Bedford with Wizard models brakes and Rumney Models axleboxes and springs.  Question is, will anyone ever notice?

Some thoughts on Parkside Dundas

I’ve mentioned parkside a lot in this entry. In fact the first wagon kit I ever built was a Parkside Grampus (the unfitted one). Well the people behind Parkside have decided to retire and the range of kits has passed to another supplier. I will no doubt continue building Parkside kits for as long as they are available and i’ve built an awful lot so far. They were always accommodating and it was always a pleasure to stop by for  a chat at shows. So to the guys behind Parkside Dundas, I thank you and I wish you all a happy retirement.


Grampus test etch

A few years ago I was working on a fleet of grampuses (yes that is the plural before anyone asks) for New Street but the project stalled when I decided i wanted to etch new baskets, door bangers and steps for them. This has been on my to do list for a long time but things have changed in that time and when Justin at Rumney models said he was thinking of looking at the same I dropped my plans in favour of just waiting for his. I don’t see a lot of point in duplication in this hobby (although some of the RTR chaps seems a little obsessed with it at the moment) especially when I’m just doing bits I want and someone else is doing bits as part of their business. I’m more than happy to let the guys doing this for a job get on with it basically.
Justin has kindly sent me a test etch to try out and the results of which can be seen above. There is, of course more detail to add but a this point if what you see is plastic it’s from Parkside. If its metal then its from Rumney models. The wagon the right way up (I’ve straightened the bent door banger). Justin is hoping to have these ready for September so keep checking his website. I’m going to need a fair few of these!

Rumney Models Website.


Basically just an excuse for pictures!

Brettel road now has its final front and backscenes added. More work to do on the fronts yet but its starting to look like a proper layout!Here is a view of the warehouse with the new backscene in the distance.   Ive decided to take some pictures of trains too. (sorry this post isn’t a bit more, erm, informative!) Railcar 22 trundles past towards DudleyPannier tank arrives with the sausage train. Kirtley shuffles some ballast wagons aroundClass 20 descends the bank.Jinty waits for something to do. Deeley takes its turn at some wagon worrying. The railcar climbs back up the back towards Stourbridge.Yeah I know this looks a bit wierd but there is a prototype practice for it.


Haven’t had a loads of finished things post for a while.

So lets start with a buildings and a request,  When I posted the image of the pub at night I was asked for a picture of the area in the light so here it isThis also shows the water tower I was working on too, speaking of which…Remember the lower part of the Hornby water tower I was fiddling with and how I didn’t worry too much about details?  This is the reason why – you can just about see it, if you know where to look! Moving on to some wagons. This is the Chivers kit for a Dia1674 LMS Bolster wagon.  A nice simple kit to build although given the long wheelbase I did opt for Bill Bedford springing.This was supposed to be a quick win. I liked the local livery and thought that it would break up the sea of grey and bauxite wagons. Its a Bachmann product but an older one that was stretched to fit their 10ft wheelbase steel chassis. Some careful cutting in 4 places lost some of the extra length and while it is still too long it does now fit the longer Cambrian wooden chassis. I’ve finished off the vans I was working on too. Not a lot more to add about them really but here’s the pictures.  LMS 6 wheel fish van – Chivers Kit.LMS GUV Palethorpes 6 wheel vanAnd the larger bogie version – Transfers are from Cambridge custom transfers. Sheet BL153 covers the 6 wheel vans while sheet BL154 covers the bogie vans.

Finally aside from the crew and some coal (plus a slight warping of the footplate) the 94xx tank is done too. Here’s a few images.


One thing leads to another

On a couple of forums people asked for more details on the Lowmac compensation shown last time so…
This is the underside. It’s best to set everything up with normal bearings first so that the rise height is correct. Then a  simple case of adding a bit of scrap etch for the axle to rest on.Once happy you can replace the bearing with ones that have been filed into a slot. This means the ends of the axle can move up and down, it really is that simple! On the subject of track holding…This is the Chivers kit for the LMS fish van (diagram 2115) of course ive done plenty of 6 wheeled bogies before but never a 6 wheeled wagon.  Brassmasters do a clemenson chassis for 6 wheeled vehicles but as the fish van has stretcher bars I didn’t think it would work. To the right of the picture is a Bill Bedford pedestal suspension unit converted to inside bearings, the outer axles use normal suspension units. The plan is to join them all with wire so that the center axle can slide side to side.  Speaking of 6 wheeled vans and clemenson chassis…A black country icon, the Palethorpes sausage van.  this uses the ancient Hornby model (well 2 of them) and chivers sideframes.  You can see from the picture where the 2 vans have been cut up to correct the length of the van as supplied.  Note also the strange backwards brake lever.Where the fish van is quite open underneath these vans are not. They were fitted with onboard lighting and internal fans thus the dynamo and battery boxes. It’s all a bit cramped really!! Speaking of palethorpes…The 6 wheeled vans bigger brother. Surprisingly you only need 2 vans to do one of these too!  the underframe is from the comet kit.  And finally on the subject of bogie vans…the good old Lima GUV, fitted with new bogies and underframe details.


Kirtley finished (well nearly)

First up a short video of the inside motion doing its thing.

There’s still a bit of work to do on the Kirtley – add a crew and the weather sheet, some coal and the wet weather effect but its pretty much done. Below are a few pictures.

I have been doing a few wagons as an aside to the soldering iron. Another lowfit from Red Panda.  This one has a Parkside chassis and buffers from my supply. I don’t know who made them or what type they are but they matched some of the pictures on Paul Bartletts wagon site  Thanks to my friend Brendan for the lowfit transfers. The Dapol lowmac kit. Reworked with Lanarkshire models buffers, archers rivets and new axleboxes from the spares box. The brake lever is an etch and the ratchetey looking guide is from a piercing saw blade.  This wagon is really too long to be rigid and there’s not a lot of room for any sort of springing or compensation units so the solution here (which I remember from a P4 society digest sheet years ago) is to file the bearings into a slot and use a bit of scrap etch in the centre of the axle to allow it to rock.


Containers and other things

I picked up a few Parkside container wagon kits at Scaleforum and over the last week or 2 I have been putting them together. Along the way a Bachmann example was added too as it was cheap and had the smaller container that I was after.

conflats-in-progressAbove are the Conflats themselves, the 2 on the left being the Parkside ones and the 3rd the Bachmann one.   The first one is built as intended with the usual additions of buffers and brake pipes from Lanarkshire models, safety loops from Bill Bedford and tie bar from Eileens emporium. (I’ll come back to the chains in a moment).   The second one uses the Red Panda underframes as a lot of those pictured on Paul Bartletts site (link here) seemed to match this configuration. For the Bachmann one it looked a bit of a faff to sort out the underframe as the brakes were set for 00. Strangely Bachmann had the wrong brake levers on either side meaning that the brakes wouldn’t actually work anyway as lowering the lever would pull the shoes even further away from the wheels! A Parkside chassis is the easy option and I had a spare from the second wagon. conflat-underframesAbove is a view of the different underframes. You could go much further than this if you wanted too but this is a representation of what I feel you can see in all the gloom. If you did want to go further then the obvious start point would be one of Justin Newett’s excellent etched chassis but even if you didn’t he puts his instruction on his site anyway and there’s some good references and info on how it should all look. Well worth clicking here! The wagon at the front is the BR clasp underframe. conflat-fine-detailsI mentioned earlier that I would come back to the chains and to my eye Parkside have been too delicate in the details on this kit. There’s a tendency to think that finer is better but I don’t think it works here. The chain I used is 23 links per inch from Langley models Which as supplied has quite round links with a twist to them. You can see the original shape on the container on the right. To get them to the more lozenge shape it’s simply a case of putting one end of a length of chain in a vice and pulling the other to stretch it. Nothing cleverer than that!   The lifting shackles on the roof were also too fine and were replaced with spared from Justin’s Bogie Bolster E underframe detailing kit.  In case you are wondering the wagon on the right was destined for the smaller container which is why the raised links are towards the middle. conflat-rakeThe finished wagons – Both large containers were sprayed with Halfords Rover damask red. The apparent difference being due to the weathering. I might be stating the obvious here but it pays to weather the wagons and containers separately meaning the weathering process is earlier in the build than normal. conflat-close-upThe shackles are from Roxey models and use the same Langley chain links. While a little fiddly it does mean that they can be assembled without resorting to the soldering iron! I didn’t use the supplied eyelets for the containers as I felt they didn’t really look much like the prototype pictures I was using so I just used a bit of fine wire instead.   Once the chains are in place it worth treating them to a thin coat of ZAP thin CA (the pink bottle) to set everything solid.

lowfit800I’ve been doing other wagons too. Above a Dia 1/002 Lowfit from the Red Panda kit.

lms-mineral

D2109 LMS 16t mineral wagon from the Cambrian kitbanana-vansA couple of Banana vans – Wrenn bodies on Red Panda underframes with additional details. 20t-brakevansAnd finally a couple of brake vans – on the left the Airfix kit with Bill Bedford springing and extra details. On the right Hornby RTR.

Some handy links

Parkside Dundas (also for Red Panda)

Cambrian Kits

Eileens Emporium (also for Bill Bedford)

Langley Miniature Models

Roxey Mouldings


A modern takeover

If you can call diesels modelled as they appeared 30 years ago modern, a few have escaped from New Street and ventured to Brettell Road. They have since been rounded up and shepherded back to their own world! 31-at-brettell-road 45012-at-brettell-road 58040-at-brettell-road VGA-at-brettell-road


One of those finished things posts.

The advantages of working on more than one project at once is that, firstly, I don’t get bored and secondly every so often you seem to finish a lot of things together.  This is one of those instances with several things that have featured recently have reached the finish line sort of together.

loading-gaugeMy loading gauge has been painted for a while but now its been planted too. I love stuff like this as its one of those things that I hope disappears into the scene and becomes unremarkable. Perhaps once in a blue moon someone will notice it but, much like the real thing I like stuff like this just to be ‘there’. It’s not supposed to get people’s attention. (don’t worry about the big gap under the wall – that’s not been permanently attached yet)Thames-and-AustinMy Ford Thames and Austin A40.  The colours of the Austin have a somewhat obvious Birmingham influence. Cartwrights was a furniture store in Brierley Hill but I have no idea if they used Austin vans or even if they had any road vehicles at all. ex-coke-wagonThis was a quick win project – Started life as a Bachmann Coke wagon which I imagined was sold to Round Oak and had the coke rails removed. I just liked it because it had a local livery and i’ve never done a distressed private owner before. The lettering was attacked with one of those brass brush wheels in a mini-drill and then the wagon was weathered. The w-irons needed a but more work with the mini-drill and a burr to get the wheels in but this was really minimal effort modelling! DE2-paint-1And so to the big project of the last few weeks – the DE2 shunter.  I have to admit I didn’t relish the thought of painting its striped livery but by using some 4mm making tape from a company called Jammy Dog it wasn’t too bad at all. (click here for their website)      A few more pictures below.DE2-paint-3 DE2-paint-2coal-emptiesThis is the sort of train I had in mind for the loco – Pushed up the hill with the loco at the rear and no brake van. I will need to add a shunter to the front wagon at some point.

van-train-bwFinally another moody shot of the Jinty heading out of the yard on a train of vans.


Going about it all backwards

One of the first kit wagons I built was the Cambrian Turbot. Back then it had super fragile bogies but was, and still is, a decent kit. The current version comes with one piece bogies so they don’t tend to disintegrate as soon as you look at them anymore.

A while ago Justin Newett of Rumney models produced an upgrade kit for the Lima bogie bolster E and since that where the Turbots came from it seemed sensible to use one of these to update my ancient and small fleet of Turbots. (Kind of the reverse of what BR did.)revised-turbotAbove is a comparison of the new underframe and the old. Because of the good design of he kit its dead easy to build although I did have to cut the baseplate in half as my solebars were closer together than the Lima model’s.

turbot-undersideThe view no one will ever see! These are the newer type of one piece bogie which Cambrian do as a spare.

Cambrian Models

Rumney Models


Variations on a theme

I must admit I’ve never paid that much attention to the humble 12 ton goods van, mainly because I’ve never needed to before. However once you get into them they are quite addictive little so and so’s! After a good read of Ian Flemings blog and consulting books I now find myself with quite a few of them. cambrian-vansFirst up some Cambrian kits. The first 2 were built as per the kit (Although I replaced the roof with 20 thou plasticard) while the third one (far right) was converted to a 10 ft wheelbase diagram 1812 example by carving off the metalwork on the left hand end and, modifying the door mechanisms and replacing the chassis with a Parkside one (code PA16). When it comes to the brake gear you can get etched or white metal replacements for much of the parts but I’m happy to use the supplied ones. I do however replace the safety loops with Bill Bedford etches.unfitted-vansNext the ever so handy Ratio kit for the LMS 12 ton van. The one on the left is built as supplied (but with MJT roof vents) and the one on the right has a modified door , simply using the Mainly Trains etched rivet strips. Buffers are from Lanarkshire Models.vac-convertedVacuum braked versions with more rivet strips, spare vac cylinders from the scrap box and (in 2 cases) tie bars from 0.8mm L section from Eileens. The example on the right has a vertically planked door. vac-and-br-vanLot 929 on the left with Parkside underframe bits and on the right the BR build of the same design. The body for this one isn’t a ratio kit but the old Airfix body. It rides on another Parkside PA16 chassis.shockvansA couple of Shocvans. Plywood one on the left from the recently returned Red Panda kit and planked on the right from Parkside. odd-vanI include this one as its a variation on what the kit was supposed to be. Starting life as the Parkside PC42 kit for the BR fruit van I replaced the ends with more Ratio ones and filed off the diagonal strapping and other details to depict a Diagram 2097 goods van. The chassis was replaces with a PA09 chassis. The roof has slightly lifted so I’ll need to fix that.

Some handy links: Ian Flemimgs Windcutter blog, Cambrian Kits, Parkside kits, Ratio kits, Lanarkshire Models and Eileens Emporium (Also for Bill Bedford parts)


More wagons

wooden-opensWhat you see above is a variation on a theme, both started out as Parkside kits for the same wagon (although different generations of the same kit) and both have been built to represent something slightly different to what was intended. On the Left a clasped brake version achieved by substituting the supplied chassis for a PA16 chassis kit from the same supplier. On the right the supplied chassis modified with vac cylinder and tie bars (0.7mm L section from Eileens).

steel-opensA selection of steel opens built pretty much as intended. The far left is a Red Panda kit the others are Parkside with the usual extra detailing. It’s good to see that the Red Panda kits have reappeared from Parkside although the example shown here remained available continuously.

abandoned-lorry-2I decided I quite likes the idea that when the building shown in the last update was abandoned an unfortunate lorry was left behind too. Perhaps it wouldn’t start or its been dumped there?  Having mooched around for a suitable victim I quite fancied a kit rather than ready to plonk and I havent built a vehicle kit for a while. I settled on a Coopercraft Bedford ML and set to work.

The kit is quite poor if i am honest. There’s loads of flash and the fit of the parts isn’t great. I also decided that the windscreens were far too small but being all plastic it’s not too much hassle to fashion something presentable and as I’ve mentioned before I find poor kits strangely rewarding. I attacked the bed with a circular saw in a mini drill to gouge out some of the planks and simlulate rot.  The above is the more presentable side!

abandoned-lorry-1On this side I cut off a wing and cut down the tires to simulate flats. The rubber at the bottom was added with filler. The lorry was first weathered with a light blue to simulate fading, varnished and then gouache was used for the rust. another coat of varnish and washes of enamels were added to simulate dirt and grime. Finally the whole thing was dry brushed with Klear to make it look wet.

On the subject of road vehicles I will be doing a demo at Scaleforum this month so please stop by for a chat if you are going.

http://www.scalefour.org/scaleforum/2015/


A technological rethink

A while ago I wrote about the benefits of using modern techniques and processes, specifically laser cutters.  However I have sort of come to change my view on this a little recently. You see, if you are doing more than 1 thing that is the same then laser cutting can offer a distinct time-saving. If however what you are doing is pretty much bespoke then the extra effort is, I have concluded, not really worth it. Take my retaining walls for Brettell Road. I did draw up the larger one but it took for ever. It turned out to be much quicker and easier to just get some sheets of embossed plasticard and get stuck in! I have to admit those that protest on forums that laser cutting is cheating really don’t have a clue what they are talking about because it’s a lot, lot harder than the old way. large-retaining-wallsmall-retaining-wall

These walls use Slaters bricks and I have done the top row by cutting individual blocks from evergreen strip and gluing them in place. Even taking the time to do this (Which isn’t exactly taxing but is long-winded) these walls didn’t take all that long to do.

open

Wagon building continues and I have amassed a fair few now (probably enough for Brettell Road if I am honest). This is a diagram 1/019 BR medium goods wagon from the Parkside kit which, as is customary for their stuff, pretty much falls together out of the packet. The usual extra bits and bobs have been added to the underframe. opens

On the left a BR 13 ton steel open again from Parkside while on the right a 13 ton sand tippler from Red Panda. I originally built this for Amlwch but never actually ran it on that layout so it can go here instead. It’s good to see that the small but useful range of Red Panda kits have recently resurfaced from Parkside. jinty-in-the-rain

Finally this is pretty much what I hope Brettell Road will be all about, dark and wet! It’s always been my intention to depict a rainy  night somewhere in the Black Country and this is the first time I’ve really been able to get an image that illustrates what I am looking for.


Just a few more wagons

Been building a few more wagons for Brettell Road.

Starting with some RTR offering, from left to right, Dia 2078 van from the Bachmann van. I’ve converted it to a fitted van and repainted it. Next an eastern region van of some descriptions again from Bachmann. My local model shop had these in their bargain bin so I picked 3 up thinking it would be a quick win. In reality it was a bit more involved as due to the chassis design p4 wheels don’t fit. The backs of the W-irons were slimmed down and the brakes removed and replaced along with some extra details. Then we have a Hornby Dublo banana van mounted on a red panda chassis kit. Not much more to say about this really other than to direct you to Ian Flemming’s blog (click here). Likewise the last van, an Airfix body on a Parkside chassis.

More vans starting with the Slaters 8 ton van kit. In reality it’s too old for the layout but I liked its antiquated look and have assumed that it’s an internal user for the steel works. Next along a 12 ton van from the Cambrian kit followed by a shock an and LMS brake van both from Parkside kits.

Finally a Cambrian single plank wagon (left) and an older Parkside open. The load is based on a picture I found in a book or magazine somewhere. I wanted a tarpaulin covered load as being an older kit there was no interior detail at all. Quite why the end of the wooden beams weren’t covered over is a mystery. Next to that is another Parkside kit for a wooden open and the famous Airfix 16 ton mineral. Surprising to think I’ve been into model railways for my whole life and never actually built one before. Finally a Ratio 5 plank open which I’ve depicted as sold off to the steel works due to its age.

 


A little engineers train

I’ve always liked engineers trains (what do you mean, we know?) so a short one for Brettell Road was always going to be on the cards. I’ve shown you my build of a gannet before but now it’s painted.
20150305-203405.jpg
Shown here with a Cambrian starfish ballast open.

From one of thier old kits to one of thier newest, the recently released herring ballast hopper. There were 2 very different designs of ballast hopper given the herring title. One of them was closely related to the mackerel and of the catfish ilk (walkway one end, single hand wheel).
20150305-203751.jpg
The Cambrian kit is for the GWR design and it suffers from the same problem the gannet had, that being to discharge the ballast a track worker had to stand by the side of the wagon, right next to where the falling ballast is going to be. It’s a diminutive little wagon and features a one piece hopper and a one piece chassis, the latter being a big improvement on the catfish and dogfish kits. For such a small wagon there’s a lot of details to be added and the underside shows a nicely pleasing complicated look. Of course most people probably won’t notice so if you wanted a rake you could probably miss a lot of this stuff off but having said there nothing that’s really tricky if you take your time.
I swapped the buffer heads for MJT ones and drilling the shanks for these proved a bit tricky with the sides ending up really thin. I didn’t spring them (never do) but think the metal heads are a worthwhile improvement.
Some of the smaller parts had quite a bit of flash on them which was a bit of a surprise as most Cambrian kits I have built recently didn’t have any. That’s the only negative of what is a nice little kit.
20150305-204938.jpg
I have a couple of Tunnys still to do and I might throw in a catfish too but that’s for another day.


The origin of species.

Whilst Charles Darwin might have thought he was on to something BR had a slightly different idea on the subject. For those new to all this engineers wagons are generally named after things that live in the sea and some of those names are quite inspired! Whale for the largest of all the ballast hoppers and shark for a ballast plough which does kind of look like one, or at least the ploughs do. This is where BR and Mr Darwin deviate a somewhat as to BR the shark was an evolution of the…erm…Oyster! It’s obvious now I’ve said it isnt it? (what do you mean no?)

Sharks and oysters look very similar and the main difference is that sharks are vac fitted and oysters are unfitted (although some were later vac piped). Wanting something a bit different for Brettell Road and given that the oyster was an LMS design anyway I tracked down a cheap Cambrian shark kit and set to work.
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Starting with the body the verandas are 1 plank shorter each end and the van body is 2 planks longer per side. So the side was cut into 5 parts with a scalpel (don’t use a razor saw as you will loose the width from the planks), a plank removed from each end and 2 pieces of 80×60 thou evergreen added in. The handrails were removed as was the extra detail around the doors and the brackets from the ends under the opening. (Use a masking tape mask to protect the planks you need to keep.)
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Turning to the chassis the oysters had different w-irons and no full length lower step. I used some MJT w-irons I had lying around and given the short wheelbase (only 9ft) I just used them rigid. The springs and axle boxes are also from MJT. The plough’s edges were thinned down as supplied they look quite thick. The rest of the van was built up pretty much as per the instructions with the usual extra brake gear gubbins.
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After paint and still not with the roof finally fitted. My last stage of Brettell Road weathering is still to be added, that being to make the model look wet. Below compared with a ‘normal’ shark
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The oysters lasted quite late and some were rebodied with shark style bodies. The only real difference visually would be the w-irons and brake gear if you fancied an easier version.


First stock for Brettell Road, finished

I’ve been busy finishing off some stock for Brettell Road.  Starting with some wooden opens.
Wooden open wagons
The Tube is an old Colin Ashby kit and is sprung with Bill Bedford springing units. I think you can get a kit for these wagons from Chivers now. These wagons have been weathered to look wet but you cant see it in the picture.
improved GBL Jinty
Back to the loco that started the whole project my GBL Jinty. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Before and after, GBL Jinty


Look mum, no glue!

Dear Customer (the letter reads). We are aware then many Falcon Brassworks kits have a reputation for being difficult to build or simply ‘aids to scratchbuilding’…
…If you feel this kit is not what you had expected or you are not confident about completing it please return it to us in its original condition and we will be happy to offer a full refund.

You cant say fairer than that really and given my liking of ballast wagons and the way I get a lot of enjoyment out of making things that are difficult I have been building the Falcon Brassworks Kit for the LMS 25T Ballast hopper or Gannet as they became under BR.

108 of these wagons were built to Diagram 1804 in 1932 by Metropolitan Cammell, and further wagons of the same design (with slight detail differences) were built by BR to lot 1/518 in 1949. Usually branded as Gannet under BR some were also branded Trout and they lasted till at least 1976. Apparently they were unpopular with workers as you basically had to stand next to the falling ballast to operate the handwheels.

Falcon Brassworks LMS 25T ballast hopper

The kit wasn’t too bad, some of the parts were not etched cleanly and there were no tabs to help with assembly but it all went together reasonably well. The W irons were replaced with Bill Bedford sprung ones and other parts such as handwheels, brake hangers and lever guides were replaced with better parts from other suppliers. The Brakes themselves had no detail on at all so these were given a bit of a work over with bits of brass.

Other than that quite an enjoyable little project. I don’t know if id want to do a rake of them and its worth pointing out that the clearances between the hopper doors and the wheels is very very small. Some modification would have to be done for EM and i’m not all that convinced it could actually be built in 00!

RJ Essery’s book on LMS wagons shows one in 1965 with a caption saying that it is in BR Livery. As the image is black and white i am guessing that means black but if anyone knows for sure I would be grateful to hear from you.

For some pictures of BR ones see http://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/brgannet/h58ef291#h15e03d3e