Monday, June 29, 2015

How I constructed a gunpowder van from a cheap trinket box

The Copper Mine would need a supply of explosives which, of course, would be transported on the railway. I decided it was about time the railway had a purpose-built gunpowder van.

After doing some research on the internet, I identified what looked like a promising prototypes, albeit on a narrower gauged railways.

 
Source: http://www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk/news/images/2013-09/gunpowder.jpg

Source: http://www.penmorfa.com/Slate/gunpowder.jpg
 I happened across a small trinket-box in a well known High Street discount bookshop for the princely sum of £2.00 which looked like the promising basis for a 3' gauge representation.

On returning home, I checked its dimensions against a Hartland Loco Works wagon chassis and found the base of the box was exactly the same length as the chassis and only a few millimetres wider.

The hinges and latch were unscrewed from the box - I'm sure these will one day come in useful! The lid was glued to the other half of the box with PVA and then the box rubbed down with fine emery.

 1.5mm thick plasticard was marked out at 5mm intervals.......

...... and 3mm wide strips were cut from the sheet.

 After some experimentation with various superglues, I found that liquid poly solvent was the most effective at sticking the plasticard to the wooden box.

The box was used as a template and then marks were made 3mm in from the line......

....... before being cut out ........

...... before being glued to one end and vertical strips added to define the door.

 4mm wide strips were then added along the base of the box on the sides ......

 ..... and ends.

 3mm wide straps were then added to the 'doors'.

 and hinge plates were then cut (5mm wide, narrowing to 3mm, 15mm long and glued to the sides at the same height as the door straps.

 A piece of 3mm diameter plasticard tube was marked at 4mm intervals.......

 ..... and these pieces were then cut in half laterally to make the hoops for the door latch (which was also cut from a piece of 1.5mm thick plasticard) .......

..... and also the hinges for the door.

Cambrian Models rivet heads were then applied to the strips using liquid poly solvent.....

.... and filler applied to any cracks, screw-holes and crevices (in hindsight it would have been better to have done the filling before the strips were applied - easier to rub down).

A Cambrian bolt head was glued to the centre of the door catch to act as a pivot.

Once all the rivets had been applied, the body was given a couple of coats of Halford's grey primer from an aerosol rattle can.

Once dry, this was rubbed down  with fine emery......

..... and more filler applied to the remaining dints and depressions ......

 ...... before being rubbed down again.

The body was then given another couple of coats of primer, followed by two coats of satin black.

 The body was then screwed to the wagon chassis.........

..... and the wheels and couplings fitted.

She needs some lettering to be applied ..........

..... and also some light weathering to match the well-used look of the rest of the rolling stock.

...... bit she now makes a welcome addition to the line's rolling stock.


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