Saturday, January 20, 2007

Stock update

To complement the open wagon, a guards van has been added to the goods stock. Like the open wagon, it uses a Hartland flat wagon chassis. The superstructure was constructed from wooden lollypop sticks. It was inspired by the Welshpool & Llanfair prototypes.

As can be seen, it has yet to be weathered and needs detailing with handrails and the all-important brake-gear.

Friday, January 05, 2007

How did I make an open wagon?

After some interesting and productive correspondence through the G Scale Mad discussion forum (see - ), I purchased some Hartland Loco Works flatcars and Bachmann metal wheels from Steve Warrington at Back 2 Bay 6 ( ). At £8.00 per wagon (plus £5.00 for two pairs of wheels) it seems a highly cost effective way of getting a chassis. These kits are a joy to construct - they simply click together in under 5 minutes - and come equipped with LGB compatible couplings.

HLW Flat wagon as purchased
From my archives I dug out some drawings of Southwold Railway open wagons (published in the 1979 edition of Model Railway Constructor - pp 194-6).

Modelling to 15mm/Foot - the HLW chassis provides a chassis with a 5'6" wheelbase - spot on for the later versions of the Southwold opens. The overall dimensions of the wagon body are a slight compromise - but then the axle boxes are not quite right either.

Four pieces of 60thou plasticard form the sides and ends of the wagon, suitably scribed to represent planking. The strapping was made from 10 thou microstrip - with rivets formed by cutting discs from plastic mico rod and painstakingly applying them.

A quick spray of grey undercoat, with strapping picked out in black acrylic - then grubby weathering and a load of crushed coal and a spray of semi-matt varnish - results in a passable representation of an open wagon.

The resulting model

Progress Report 8 - More stock

A few days leave over the Christmas / New Year break provided me with an opportunity to devote some time to sorting-out a few outstanding issues.
  • I kit-bashed my first item of rolling-stock (see 'How I made an open wagon')
  • I bought some items of rolling stock
  • I replaced an Aristocraft point (turnout) with its LGB equivalent.
  • A couple of building kits were purchased
  • The patio viaduct has now been 'plastered' ready for scribing (see 'How I made the viaduct').
More rolling stock
In addition to making the kit-bashed open wagon, some judicious bidding on eBay resulted in the purchase of:

  • A Lehmann van with balcony from the same starter set which will be bashed to become a more UK-friendly version, or modified into a guards van using the GRS kit (no longer available)

  • The chassis from the ubiquitous LGB Stainz 0-4-0 which will, one day, become another British outline loco.

Replacing the turnout
When laying the track for the cross-over in the terminus station I was tempted by a 'new' Aristocraft electrically operated turnout which was compatible with LGB. This was duly laid and wired-up. What I hadn't realised was that whereas LGB point motors operate from 16v DC, Aristocraft motors require 16v AC. As I had wired these to work in tandem (ie one switch operating both points), there was immediately a technical problem. Furthermore, after only one season in the British climate the steel screws holding everything together showed signs of rusting. Obviously, the US manufacturers had not anticipated their products being used outdoors anywhere other than California! A pity, because otherwise the point was robust and cost effective. For example, the point-motor includes an inbuilt switch useful for activating isolating sections which is an optional (£14.00) extra for LGB point-motors.

Fortunately, the cement-based ballast in the terminus station had set to a crumbly consistency which was sufficient to hold it in place in some of the more torrential downpours we had experienced since the summer but fell apart when the point was lifted. More significantly, attaching the two wires to the point motor resulted in instant, co-ordinated remote point operation.

The revised cross-over

Some building kits

I was also attracted by the signal box and station building kits sold through eBay by T&M Models. These kits are very cost effective and highly detailed. A visit to Mike Cullen who, it turns out, lives locally resulted in the purchase of his halt kit and a signal box. These will be made-up and positioned in due course (see How I constructed some station buildings). 

 << Go to Progress Report 7