Diagram 1/044 Part 2.




As promised, I continued construction of the wagon tonight.
First task was to fit the buffers and to assist with accurate fitting of the replacements, I first bored down the existing shank, thereafter widening the hole to accommodate the broader mounting spigot of the new cast buffers.
Next task was to fit the drawhooks (Exactoscale) and the label boards on the ends.
I then tackled the underframe and brake gear, replacing the plastic shaft with brass wire and adding brass L section to replace the moulded tie bars as I mentioned yesterday.
The last stage of work involved attaching the door bumpers, brake levers and finally some cast vac bags on the ends. Again these, like the buffers are excellent castings by Dave Franks at Lanarkshire Model Supplies (www.lanarkshiremodels.com).

The model is now ready for painting. One notable aspect of this kit is the thin-ness of the sides and the good internal detail of the body mouldings.
Some imaginative paintwork will bring out the full potential of these details!


This morning I finished off the diagram 1897 van, finishing off with some weathering, firstly with Tamiya acrylics then some weathering powder by Anita Decor which I purchased at Intermodellbau in Germany five years ago. I really ought to make more use of the stuff as you can generate some interesting effects with it, particularly on vans for some reason. Suitably impressed with the finish I then applied it retrospectively to the steel-bodied van, still loitering with intent on the bench and also to a Bachmann LNER type that had been similarly hanging around. This was one of the ‘weathered three pack’ vehicles and therefore a good basis for further work.









Meanwhile, the Jumbo has progressed to the priming stage. Any blemishes and imperfections have now been made visible and therefore easier to rectify.




In Between Days

Whilst I’ve been busy with the Jumbo, I had to pause whilst I was awaiting a new gearbox unit for it.
I decided to take advantage of this lull to tackle another wagon.
The Ratio LMS 12T van is an old but excellent kit that belies its near forty year age in terms of quality.
Being the sort of individual I am however, I couldn’t just build the kit as it came. I decided to produce a Diagram 1897 vacuum fitted van which meant using a different chassis, in this case a Parkside 10′ wheelbase chassis with J-hanger suspension.
In addition, the vehicle has 8-shoe clasp brakes and diagonal strengtheners on the body sides.
It was an easy enough job to substitute the new solebars due to the breakdown of chassis parts; they just butt on to the standard chassis. The diagonals were simply added using microstrip and probably need some rivet details added. I’ll likely use Archers transfers for those prior to applying the top coat of paint.
The buffers are as usual the excellent Lanarkshire Model Supplies items and the roof vents are from MJT.



Further 4-4-0 Fun






The Gresley Composite coach has taken a back seat  while the paint hardens and the decals settle so today I returned to the Pickersgill 4-4-0 project. After a bit of head scratching about the best way to progress with the pick-up arrangements, last night I decided to rip out all the curcuit board/DCC stuff and rig the model for conventional wiring. Hornby thoughtfully coded all the pick up wiring in standard red and black, so it was easy to determine what went where. I then combined all the loose positive wires, soldered them to a fresh piece of  the appropriate colour then, protected the joint with heat-shrink tube. 

A basic pick-up rig was created for the tender with pick up on the aft four wheels and a pair of bus bars connecting these with the front of the tender. The connection has been tested then separated again after being found to function correctly. I will connect the loco and tender permanently when detailing and painting has been completed but this is now essentially a working loco.




Encouraged by progress with the Pickersgill, I dug out the part-built ‘Scott’ 4-4-0 that’s been lurking on the bench for two years, seeing sporadic work. I then fitted it with a similar rig on the tender and noticed that the tender itself was sitting lower than it should. Some mounting pads have been fabricated from plasticard but suddenly, it seems that there will be two ‘Scottish’ 4-4-0s heading into the finishing shops shortly!

I apologise for the poor photography tonight; I used the iPod to take these as opposed to the phone!