Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How I assembled a corrugated van from a Swift Sixteen kit

For a while I had been considering making a van suitable for transporting explosives to the copper mine. Although I had found some suitable prototypes running on 2' narrow gauge railways I had not found anything for a 3 foot narrow gauge railway. And then Swift Sixteen produced their corrugated van kit for both 32mm and 45mm gauges. A kit was purchased at the annual show for the Association of 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers.

The kit is probably the best resin kit I have encountered - the mouldings are extremely crisp. There are very few component parts to the kit.

The wheels were tapped on to the axles with a small hammer, with the brass bearing tube positioned between the wheels.

The axle mounts were then superglued to the base between the moulded guides..........

...... and the wheel assemblies were superglued to the mountings.

The beautifully moulded axle boxes and w-irons were then superglued to the base.......

...... using the moulded guides to ensure correct positioning.

As I was intending to use LGB hook and loop couplers, I marked-out a 12mm wide slot in the buffer-beams ......

and cut these out with a razor-saw and a craft-knife.

Five 1.5mm thick packing-pieces of plasticard were then glued in place to which the LGB coupling was screwed with a self-tapping screw.

In hindsight, I would not have cut the slot so deep into the buffer beam but I was unsure of the height needed to mount the couplings which I had to determine by trial and error.

A recess was carved out behind each of the dumb buffers to accommodate the LGB coupling ....

........ and these were then superglued into place.

In essence, the model was now complete, apart from a paint-job.

The wheels were masked with tape before the two component parts were spray-painted with Citadel Chaos Black in my patent spray-booth (a cardboard carton on its side).

I decided to depart from my default Halford's grey primer livery as the van would need to be distinctive.

The wagon was then added to the stock roster.

However, I intend to design and apply white lettering to the side of the van ('Explosives') and give the wagon my customary weathering.

UPDATE (15/8/12) - The wheels originally supplied with the kit had the same profile as those provided by IP Engineering which proved incompatible with LGB R1 points. I solved the problem by fixing plasticard washers behind each wheel (see How I made IP Engineering wheels compatible with LGB pointwork). Swift Sixteen kits are now provided with Accucraft wheels which are more compatible with LGB track.

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