Category Archives: Modelling

Something a Bit Bigger…

 

I am grateful to Neil Ramsay for these photos of his wonderful 15mm scale model of CDR  six-wheel saloon no 1. The bodywork is cut from plywood, built up in layers to produce the panelling, the  use of real wood in this scale gives the  effect of the grain, and imparts more ‘atmosphere’ to the model. The axle-guards were gravity cast (from Neil’s masters) in white metal by John Campbell, who also provided the lamp-tops.

The interior is fully detailed, always a good idea for saloon stock, and especially in the larger scales. The internal mirrors are cut from old CDs with real French-polished woodwork and carpeting from dolls’ house wallpaper. The dining chair is a dolls house model in 1/24th scale, with a new seat from Das modelling clay. They are not really proper scale models of the originals, but give the right ‘feel’ when looking through the windows.

The chassis is built with  simplified Cleminson units,  a mixture of home made components  and sprung bearing assemblies from Ron Grant. The centre wheel assembly is shifted sideways by the linkage to the outer wheels. The problem in a model like this is trying to achieve maximum lateral movement of the centre wheels, as this determines the minimum radius (just about 5’) it will go round.  Springing greatly improves the running: in fact Neil’s  six-wheelers run better than bogie coaches and suffer less from buffer lock as the ends don’t stick out so much on curves. Wheels are Slaters gauge 1 split-spoke 37mm diameter. Neil recommends  Slaters 31mm diameter spoked wheels for the 2’ CDR and LLSR wheels. These wheels are coarse scale G1 and work really well in the garden.

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The UTA’s Finest Train

Colm Flanagan

 

My story of this train goes back to late 1966, when I was a boarding pupil at Coleraine Institute. Going home for the occasional weekend pass, we boarders were gathered as usual on the down platform at Coleraine Station one Saturday morning. The train from Londonderry came into view way down the line, having curved off the Bann Bridge. By now the UTA had repainted quite a few MPDs into red and white, so as the train approached I assumed it was one of these leading the set. However, as it got closer I heard a distinctly un-MPD sound, a deep rumbling throb, then the train swept past me and I had a glimpse of a large, greenish engine behind the windows of the leading car. Clearly it was not an MPD. The seating was high backed with grey and red upholstery which definitely looked superior and a welcome change from the rather drab green upholstery of older trains. Then we had a glimpse of first class compartments, with seats trimmed in blue, as the train slowed. The restaurant car was an old friend, 550 (ex UTA diner 87, now repainted red and white to match the rest). At the back was another power car rumbling like the leading one. I thought, as did others at the time, “My, it’s a NEW train!”

The completed six-coach set

The completed six-coach set

That was my first glimpse of the trains which I consider the best diesel train that the UTA put into service and certainly a candidate for the best diesel trains in Ireland to date. We knew them as “DEs” – the term “Hampshire” was used by some others more attuned to the GB scene, because of course the power arrangements were the same as used on BR’s Southern Region.  The power unit was a chunky EE four-cylinder generator driving electric motors on the power car rear bogie.  They never reached the very high speeds an MPD on a good day could do, but they were definitely a “proper” modern train with the lighter panelling inside and very comfortable modern seating;  the ride wasn’t the best at the back of the power car and the vibration there was high –and remained so to the end of their lives. You can still experience it for a while (slightly muted) on the NIR class 450 DEMUs, which are now the last of their kind in public operation in the UK. In the un-powered “trailers (there was a first / brake, restaurant and two thirds, all compartment stock), the ambience was similar to that of an LMS or BR Mk1 express train. Later the power cars received names of “Rivers” under NIR and they lasted until the mid-eighties when the bodies were scrapped and dumped and the power units taken to Derby for re-use in the Castle / 450 class.

I’d built a number of 4mm model MPDs and a three-car MED train previously, and these have been covered in New Irish Lines. But I’d always liked the idea of doing a DE set. The question was how? During research for my book on UTA diesels I came across some articles, photographs and a few drawings (of the power car and 87/550) and from these I decided to build a six car set as two of these sets operated the principal services on the ex NCC main line.  The power cars were something of a challenge. They were 63 feet long, with side ventilation grilles in the power compartment. With these, sundry doors and a unique front cab; there was no chance of a simple bodge here. The SR trains, although mechanically similar, looked very different. I had, however an old three-car Lima Class 117 DMU and realised that the under frames of these, suitably hacked by getting rid of most of the engine bits underneath, would do. In the case of the DE trains, the rather large Lima pancake motor isn’t a problem; it’s no bigger than the real engine was! Indeed, in the dummy car I built a plastic card “engine”; I have since acquired a 4mm model of the EE power unit from a firm called Southern Pride, but haven’t got round to fitting it yet. From memory these engines were a greeny/grey shade when new.

72 and 711

72 and 711

548 and 701

548 and 701

The sides of the two power cars were made from the same source as my MPD/MED models, panels cut from Hornby LMS Stanier coaches and then glued together – “cut and shut”.  SE Flushglaze windows improve them no end. Charlie Petty at DC kits provided underfloor etches, roof exhaust panels, and sundry grilles from his SR DEMU kits: beware if fitting the grilles, make sure you use butanone glue as the normal plastic weld glues won’t hold them.  In fact, I had a problem too with the Lima bogies when I tried fitting a plastic card yaw damper/shock absorber (or whatever it was) that is prominent in photos of the EE bogies. I couldn’t get them stuck as the Lima plastic is slightly flexible. In the end I got a useful tip which was to use a combination of MekPak and Evostik. This worked well. The bogies were not a BR design and I have not seen anything like them on any other model to date.  I lowered the bodies on the under frame as they seemed to sit too high:  this is an awkward job on the power bogie and quite easy to make a mess of. A better, though more expensive way of doing the under frames might be to take a Mk1 coach under frame and fit a Black Beetle power bogie.

Under construction

Under construction

Under construction

Under construction

Then I had to build those cab fronts. I used sheet plasticard and cut the windows out, then glued them to the sides and made the rounded edges with filler. The headlamp housing was made from part of a plastic tube filled and sanded down to shape, quite a fiddly job. But once painted the whole thing looks rather well. The train is a little narrower than scale, I think, judging by end on photos, but I can live with that, as it runs on 16.5mm track anyway! Painting the fronts was also quite tricky, I cut curves into masking tape (I prefer the Tamiya product) to reproduce the swooping lines of the livery.  Arguments rage about what colour was used precisely: I just used BR “blood” and white. The crest that adorned the front of these trains for the first year or so of their lives, I’d love to have, but can’t figure out a way of doing it – yet. Anyway, some of them ran briefly without any insignia on the front before the NIR one came into regular use.

After all that the trailers were relatively easy. I’d originally thought I would simply respray two Hornby brake ends and two composites, but when I started looking at the trailer coaches in a bit more depth (there’s an excellent photo of one of these in Des Coakham’s book on Irish broad gauge coaches) I realized, that, not for the first time, the UTA ones were quite different in some respects. The first/brake (701) had only four compartments and  being first class they were of course considerably wider than second class. I modelled mine by cutting panels out of the Hornby composite and the brake end to get close to the correct layout. The all second class ones had both lavatories at one end, similar to the slightly earlier Cravens coaches on CIE, rather than one each end, as BR and the LMS had arranged them. So I had to do some switching of a few “panels” around to get them near correct also. The good news is that they are correct length – viz. 57’.  For that reason I modelled the rebuilt restaurant car 548; this had been a 1924 built NCC coach and worked with the MPDs in original form. The first six car set got 550 (ex-87), a 60’ coach, when the second DE set entered traffic there was need for a second restaurant car. The North Atlantic diner had worked with the MPDs, but was not fitted or refurbished for use with DEs, presumably because with its totally different window pattern, a complete rebuild would have been needed and it was just deemed not worth it.  So 548 was re-skinned and given a look that matched the other coaches quite closely.

The finished product

The finished product

So that is it, for now.  I still have to apply numbers and someday will get round to it. This train, like its prototype, has been quite a favourite with the public when it has been shown on our UTA era layout “Killagan”. Someday I may re-engine it with a smoother newer power unit, and I would quite like to fit sound modules when someone does one with that wonderful distinctive throbbing beat I remember so well. Which might mean looking at DCC…but that will be another story.  I am building a new layout partly based on Coleraine in the 1960’s, so I’ll be able to re-create the moment I referred to at the start of this article, in my own home, one of the great delights of this hobby of ours.

The finished product

The finished product

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Building a Worsley Works CIE G Class

Jeremy Fletcher

 

I put together a Worsley Works 4mm etch set of the CIE G-class 0-4-0 diesel for Jim Edgar (“Jim Markle”) who required one for his intended ‘OO’ Irish branch line. The etch set arrived in the usual flat envelope containing the sections laid out on etch ‘frets’.  Resin spring/axle box dummy castings were provided. A nickel silver fold down ‘basic etch’ piece was provided to make the drive/gearbox.   No motor, gears or wheels were provided and it is necessary for the modeller to arrange his/her own.  There are no instructions supplied with the Worsley Works etch sets and it is a good idea for the intending model builder to first study the various parts and decide on the most appropriate procedure to follow. It is a good idea to have as many as possible prototype photographs at this stage.  The G-class kit is one of the more straightforward Worsley Works sets to assemble as there are few complicated double curvatures, although the need for a drive might deter some people.  It provides a good introduction to making  etched brass models.   

Soldering is of course involved in putting the parts together and this may be off-putting to some.  It is not really that hard once you take the initial plunge and get used to it. As this particular model is of a powered locomotive it is advisable at an early stage to decide what sort of drive will be used and how much of the floor must be cut out to give clearance for it. It is easiest to cut out parts from the etchings before starting the assembly.  Cutting them out later can be very difficult and frustrating. I found it easiest to put the G-class together in a series of sub assemblies: cab,  bonnet,  main frame and the drive/gearbox assembly. The upper cab and bonnet are soldered together on the main frame and the drive/gearbox is screwed in place to allow removal for maintenance and oiling.  The cab roof is not soldered on until the cab is soldered in place.  

 

I started by making the main frame sub-assembly out of the footplate and end and side plates, basically ending up with an open bottomed box.    I first cut out the footplate sheet inside the bonnet area to accommodate the motor I intended to use and also most of the cab floor, being careful to leave enough for soldering on the cab. It is necessary to be careful when cutting out any etching sheet as any stretching of the metal will make it very hard to keep it flat afterward.  It is probably best to drill a series of close-spaced small holes alongside each cut line, break out the piece that is to be removed and then finish off the edges with a fine file.

There are pre-drilled holes to locate the buffers and I enlarged these to suit the  buffers which I made myself. There are also suitable  commercial ones available, such as  Markits  The footplate underside is provided with etched grooves (like those for fold up locations) to locate both the end and side plates.  I first laid the footplate upside down on a flat surface so that it would not distort when being soldered.  I located the end plates in the grooves and held them square to the footplate while running a bead of solder along the join.  I then did the same with the side plates and then soldered the end plates and side plates together.  The side plates also have etched grooves which should be lined up with corresponding ones on the footplate underside.  These are to locate the four triangular side gussets which are soldered on afterwards. I checked that the main frame assembly was true and square before going further.

I next made the cab body by folding around the one piece wall etching to make an open top box.  There are multiple parallel fold lines at each corner to produce curved corners.   I bent the metal around a piece of 7/64” rod to produce even bends. The etch piece edges join between the cab front windows. This joint line will be conveniently hidden by the exhaust stack.  I found that some of the cab window edges which are close to the bends buckled during the bending but were easy to straighten again.  The bottoms of the cab walls have locating tabs which engage with slots in the footplate section.  I checked that the cab fitted properly and soldered it in place.

I made the bonnet section by bending the one piece etch sheet similarly to the cab.  It also has the multiple fold lines to give curved corners although the curved bonnet top has to be bent to look like the photos.  There are outlines on the footplate and cab front to help in getting the shape of the bonnet section right.   The most tedious parts of the bonnet section were the side access door frames and shallow pyramid shape panels. The panels came flat, with fold lines to allow them to be carefully bent to shape. The wire lifting handles on the doors, when inserted in their holes were useful to locate the doors in their correct positions.  I made and soldered in place the handrails for the cab and bonnet sections before going any further.  Ideally I should have used commercial handrail knobs to hold them but could not find any short enough and the handrails would have stood out unrealistically, so I simply bent and inserted the ends of the .019” wire into the pre-drilled holes.  I also made and  soldered in the dummy front and rear marker lights, engine air inlet ‘mushrooms’, sand boxes and the exhaust stack.  I made hand grabs at the front steps from pins.

I fitted the bonnet section in front of the cab, using the outlines as a guide, and soldered it in position.  I then bent the cab roof to shape and soldered it on.  I made the front curved section over the “radiator” grille by filing from plastic which was glued in place after the soldering was all done: of course, there is no actual radiator as the prototype was powered by a Deutz air cooled engine.

 

I made the drive/gearbox from the basic etch sheet provided, with the axle holes already in place.  It was designed with fold down sides to make a box shape for the gearbox.   The drive/gearbox carries the axles (inside bearings) and the external axle box details are non functional. I found that the gearbox had been designed to suit the P4 ‘Irish’ track gauge and was too wide to fit between wheels set at ‘OO’.  I therefore cut off the sides at the fold lines and soldered them back in position closer together.  As the loco is so small and light it would be barely capable of moving anything with only one axle driven and I therefore made a drive to both axles by means of a gear train, with the motor lying horizontally along the top of the gearbox, inside the bonnet.  I used NWSL 72DP brass gears with an overall speed reduction of 32:1.  The wheels are salvaged from a previous re-powering project.  There was just enough room above the motor in the bonnet for a couple of stick-in lead weights to help traction in this tiny locomotive.  I have not painted the finished locomotive as Jim Edgar wanted to do that himself. 

I put together a Worsley Works 4mm etch set of the CIE G-class 0-4-0 diesel for Jim Edgar (“Jim Markle”) who required one for his intended ‘OO’ Irish branch line. The etch set arrived in the usual flat envelope containing the sections laid out on etch ‘frets’.  Resin spring/axle box dummy castings were provided. A nickel silver fold down ‘basic etch’ piece was provided to make the drive/gearbox.   No motor, gears or wheels were provided and it is necessary for the modeller to arrange his/her own.  There are no instructions supplied with the Worsley Works etch sets and it is a good idea for the intending model builder to first study the various parts and decide on the most appropriate procedure to follow. It is a good idea to have as many as possible prototype photographs at this stage.  The G-class kit is one of the more straightforward Worsley Works sets to assemble as there are few complicated double curvatures, although the need for a drive might deter some people.  It provides a good introduction to making  etched brass models.   

Soldering is of course involved in putting the parts together and this may be off-putting to some.  It is not really that hard once you take the initial plunge and get used to it. As this particular model is of a powered locomotive it is advisable at an early stage to decide what sort of drive will be used and how much of the floor must be cut out to give clearance for it. It is easiest to cut out parts from the etchings before starting the assembly.  Cutting them out later can be very difficult and frustrating. I found it easiest to put the G-class together in a series of sub assemblies: cab,  bonnet,  main frame and the drive/gearbox assembly. The upper cab and bonnet are soldered together on the main frame and the drive/gearbox is screwed in place to allow removal for maintenance and oiling.  The cab roof is not soldered on until the cab is soldered in place.  

 

I started by making the main frame sub-assembly out of the footplate and end and side plates, basically ending up with an open bottomed box.    I first cut out the footplate sheet inside the bonnet area to accommodate the motor I intended to use and also most of the cab floor, being careful to leave enough for soldering on the cab. It is necessary to be careful when cutting out any etching sheet as any stretching of the metal will make it very hard to keep it flat afterward.  It is probably best to drill a series of close-spaced small holes alongside each cut line, break out the piece that is to be removed and then finish off the edges with a fine file.


There are pre-drilled holes to locate the buffers and I enlarged these to suit the  buffers which I made myself. There are also suitable  commercial ones available, such as  Markits  The footplate underside is provided with etched grooves (like those for fold up locations) to locate both the end and side plates.  I first laid the footplate upside down on a flat surface so that it would not distort when being soldered.  I located the end plates in the grooves and held them square to the footplate while running a bead of solder along the join.  I then did the same with the side plates and then soldered the end plates and side plates together.  The side plates also have etched grooves which should be lined up with corresponding ones on the footplate underside.  These are to locate the four triangular side gussets which are soldered on afterwards. I checked that the main frame assembly was true and square before going further.

I next made the cab body by folding around the one piece wall etching to make an open top box.  There are multiple parallel fold lines at each corner to produce curved corners.   I bent the metal around a piece of 7/64” rod to produce even bends. The etch piece edges join between the cab front windows. This joint line will be conveniently hidden by the exhaust stack.  I found that some of the cab window edges which are close to the bends buckled during the bending but were easy to straighten again.  The bottoms of the cab walls have locating tabs which engage with slots in the footplate section.  I checked that the cab fitted properly and soldered it in place.

I made the bonnet section by bending the one piece etch sheet similarly to the cab.  It also has the multiple fold lines to give curved corners although the curved bonnet top has to be bent to look like the photos.  There are outlines on the footplate and cab front to help in getting the shape of the bonnet section right.   The most tedious parts of the bonnet section were the side access door frames and shallow pyramid shape panels. The panels came flat, with fold lines to allow them to be carefully bent to shape. The wire lifting handles on the doors, when inserted in their holes were useful to locate the doors in their correct positions.  I made and soldered in place the handrails for the cab and bonnet sections before going any further.  Ideally I should have used commercial handrail knobs to hold them but could not find any short enough and the handrails would have stood out unrealistically, so I simply bent and inserted the ends of the .019” wire into the pre-drilled holes.  I also made and  soldered in the dummy front and rear marker lights, engine air inlet ‘mushrooms’, sand boxes and the exhaust stack.  I made hand grabs at the front steps from pins.

I fitted the bonnet section in front of the cab, using the outlines as a guide, and soldered it in position.  I then bent the cab roof to shape and soldered it on.  I made the front curved section over the “radiator” grille by filing from plastic which was glued in place after the soldering was all done: of course, there is no actual radiator as the prototype was powered by a Deutz air cooled engine.



 

I made the drive/gearbox from the basic etch sheet provided, with the axle holes already in place.  It was designed with fold down sides to make a box shape for the gearbox.   The drive/gearbox carries the axles (inside bearings) and the external axle box details are non functional. I found that the gearbox had been designed to suit the P4 ‘Irish’ track gauge and was too wide to fit between wheels set at ‘OO’.  I therefore cut off the sides at the fold lines and soldered them back in position closer together.  As the loco is so small and light it would be barely capable of moving anything with only one axle driven and I therefore made a drive to both axles by means of a gear train, with the motor lying horizontally along the top of the gearbox, inside the bonnet.  I used NWSL 72DP brass gears with an overall speed reduction of 32:1.  The wheels are salvaged from a previous re-powering project.  There was just enough room above the motor in the bonnet for a couple of stick-in lead weights to help traction in this tiny locomotive.  I have not painted the finished locomotive as Jim Edgar wanted to do that himself.

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Locomotive Portrait

SL&NCR 0-6-4T Lissadell in 7mm scale

SL&NCR 0-6-4T 'Lissadell' in 7mm scale

Sligo, Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway 0-6-4T Lissadell in 7mm scale from John Brennan’s collection, a fine scale model running on scale 5′ 3″ gauge, built from the North Star kit.

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Wagon Portrait

CDR Oldbury open in 15mm scale, built by Neil Ramsay

CDR Oldbury open in 15mm scale, built by Neil Ramsay

The wagon uses Slaters 37mm diameter G1 split spoke wheels and couplings, and axelguards from John Campbell.

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Locomotive Portrait: Cork, Bandon & South Coast Railway B4 Locomotive

Graham Bridle

 

I have liked the look of this loco ever since I took a greater interest in Irish railways. I know of no kits but Alan kindly sent me some 4mm and 7mm drawings. At the time I was modelled in 4mm.  I built a chassis for a B4 in 4mm but before I got any further I was at a small local show that was run by Gauge 0 Guild members. Although many scales were there, I was taken with gauge 0, which suited my eyes and ten thumbs better.  So I changed scales. I made a loco from an etched kit and bought a brass pannier, yes I know not Irish but GWR is next best! I also decided to go with the flow and stick to 32mm gauge using C&L products.  I decided to scratch build a B4. I made many mistakes as I went along for I am not good at working out all the pitfalls first. The chassis I built first and I will at some time make another.  I tried full spring suspension but found making sure all was level difficult. I had made the frames from too thick nickel silver and found the gearbox too wide. I fixed the axle bushes and after some filing it fitted. But I forgot to reassemble on the jig so the running was poor. I think I stripped and reassembled four  times, but it does run. The other main problem was with the bogie. Getting the right tension was difficult and I wonder if I should have used a swivel on a pivot set back.

The footplate and body were easier. The tank sides and cab were cut and soldered together to make sure they were symmetrical. There are flanges on the bottoms with captive screws so that the cab and tanks plus the boiler can be dismantled from the footplate separately although I now think this is not necessary. I invested in a riveter and roller.  Rolling the boiler was not too difficult, the riveting monotonous and not easy to maintain a line if a reversal in the riveter had to be done.  I do not have a lathe so I spoke to Laurie Griffin (Miniatures ). I sent the drawings to him and he did a good match with the boiler fittings. The chimney is not quite right but as all are screwed on I could change it if I find a better match. The boiler door also came from him and the darts.  Other proprietary fittings such as the buffers, jack, and couplings were picked up at trade shows. The sand boxes I made and are also screwed on. The coupling rods I think were universal ones from Slaters laminated at the right length.

My painting expertise is not brilliant but it will pass my inspection and as it is intended for my attic this is okay. The detail is not totally accurate because I noticed things after I had soldered up (e.g. the buffer mountings should be round and the bunker is not quite right) but overall I am pleased.  This has taken me several years to complete and I have enjoyed doing it. My better half said it was wonderful (honest!) but then it keeps me out of her way for many an hour. I bought a MGWR J26 kit on e-bay which will be my next engine. I do like the lines of the Neilson and Dubs engines supplied to the CB&SCR but I have no drawings. Anybody out there have any?

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Scratch Building a CIE Cement Bubble

Des Sullivan

 

Prior to its gradual demise, the freight section of  Irish Rail produced some very distinctive and unique rolling stock that just begs to be scratch built.   We have also been blessed that MIR has provided several quality kits in the past few years to recreate them.   The cement bubble has been one of these. However, when I decided to build an eleven to twelve  unit rake of them over twelve months ago, the euro-exchange rate at the time proved to be something of a disincentive.  I also wanted to capture some of the finer detailing that the existing kit as seen from the photo on Steve Johnson’s site didn’t seem to cover.  Since having built them, the euro has strengthened significantly and the kit has been superbly revised (what with a very solid new resin casting of the bubble and gangway and ladder brass etchings).  Oh well, c’est la vie.  I was fortunate in having the opportunity to photograph several of them at the old container sidings in Limerick station which revealed the finer detailing and colouring that would add to building a suitable model.

The basis for most 20’ four wheel CIE freight stock is the Dapol C043 cement wagon.  The distinctive springs, spring hangers and brake levers are all well captured on this model.  Also, because it is a plastic kit, there is much more “depth” to the brake mechanism than one would get with a single piece RTR moulding.  The dimensions are a little out, given that the model is a OO/HO hybrid, but this is really of minor importance compared to the abundance of chassis detailing.  Finally, there are several parts in the C043 kit that with minor alteration can be used to provide the extra detailing needed for the rest of the model.

  
Parts Needed
To build one you will need the following:
  • CO43 kit
  • Two Kinder Eggs – not the hinged type (yes, there are more than one) but the one with the two shells.
  • Guitar string (a light gauge “A” string).
  • A paper lollypop stick (c. 3.6mm diameter).
  • Transfer set (details later).
  • 0.35mm styrene sheeting 30mm x 80mm.
  • Scrap of net curtain material or K & S etched mesh 3/64 diamond.
  • Flexible 0.6mm wire.
  • Milliput.
  • Ratio signal ladder pack (#451).
  • Paint (beige, black, grey, white).

Chassis Construction
First, completely pare back and remove the raised rim on the wagon floor plate (part 6) using a sharp knife or blade.

Scribe and then remove the central part between the two holes.  I drill out several 6mm holes to make this easier.

Chamfer the straight sides of the hole at 45° to make for maximum surface and gluing contact between the bubble/egg and the base.

Construct the chassis as detailed in the Dapol instructions, make sure any flash or mould lines are pared and sanded back.  The main focus of these is at the buffer sides.

Remove the moulded chain from the end hooks prior to fitting as it will impede the coupling bars otherwise.

Widen out the wheels on the axles ever so slightly (0.2-0.3mm). Drill two holes on either side of the frames for the levers.

Base Detailing
The hole left after removing the central section of the plate is too long and will leave a gap at either side when the egg is put in place.  You will need to construct a new wagon floor sheet from styrene sheet that the bubble can sit into, see the adjacent diagram for the appropriate dimensions. 

Remember, fit-check-pare and repeat until a precise fit is got prior to gluing.  Then glue down the sheet onto the original chassis top.  It will take a bit of time, but once done properly, constructing another ten or fourteen can be done with assembly-line ease.   I made a stencil from styrene and used it to draw out and cut the other eleven chassis sheet covers once I was happy with the final dimensions.

Identify the plate (part 44).  This has raised diagonal detailing that matches the prototype closely.   Cut to size by removing paler material as shown in the attached diagram and remove the nodge on the top.  Fit at one end of the  wagon floor sheet, opposite of where the ladders will be.

Construct the cement pipes from chopped up parts 55 and 56.  Mark and drill 0.8mm holes in the floor sheet at the other end (opposite to where plate is on)  and fit.  Bend and then glue some 0.6mm wire to the back. Cut a 5mm length of lollypop stick at a 45° angle using a sharp knife, and mount near the pipes as shown.

Making the Bubble
One of the delights of scratch building this model is that the bog standard Kinder Egg is an almost exact scale replica of the bubble in terms of the hemispherical ends.    It does require lengthening and this is done as follows.Take a male section of one egg and carefully cut off the outer 4mm of the rim.  This is easy enough to do as the egg wall has a thin channel or groove here to act as a cutting guide.

Take the other egg and roughen the ends with sandpaper and then shape a small piece of Milliput so as to round the ends.  I recommend dampening the Milliput , applying to the egg end and then shaping it in the palm of your hand.  Leave to dry overnight. 

Fit the second egg ends together as shown and use the cut off piece from the donor egg (!!) to fill out the gap.  If the rim piece is cut carefully, it should be a perfect fit.  Glue the three pieces together.  Note that the plastic used does not take glue very well (even Superglue) so handle carefully.  It may be worth trying a more full-bodied epoxy glue though I haven’t done this to date. Glue the egg to the chassis base.  Glue some lead window strip underneath to add weight and ballast.

Other Detailing

Fit the manhole cover (part 51) as the Bubble cap.

Bend and glue the guitar wire as vacuum pipe.

The gangway can be made from net-curtain mesh (or K&S etched mesh) with a thin rim of styrene sheet .  Use double thickness styrene triangles as gangway supports and glue to the side of the bubble.

The ladder included in the kit is perfect, but there is only one in each kit!  I suggest Ratio signal ladder as an alternative.  It is also a little finer in scale. 

Fit the manhole cover (part 51) as the Bubble cap.


Bend and glue the guitar wire as vacuum pipe.


The gangway can be made from net-curtain mesh (or K&S etched mesh) with a thin rim of styrene sheet .  Use double thickness styrene triangles as gangway supports and glue to the side of the bubble.

The ladder included in the kit is perfect, but there is only one in each kit!  I suggest Ratio signal ladder as an alternative.  It is also a little finer in scale.

Given that a rake of fifteen  will probably remain permanently connected, for added realism I suggest using the coupling provided for the end wagons, and very light gauge wire loop glued to the hooks to connect each of the interim wagons.

Note: I will be producing a brass etch of the gangway and supports as an all-in-one bendable unit as an alternative to the above.  It will also include the ladders.  This should be available in January 2009.*

Painting and Transfers
Painting offers a few challenges as the model has had several liveries, including orange and beige.  However for the last decade and more, most of them are an interesting mottled shade of greyish white with algae green streaks.  The chassis originally was black but is now usually a non-descript grey-brown. If you are going to be building or repainting any volume of models,  I strongly recommend purchasing a good quality air brush, such as an Iwata HP-CS and a mini-compressor.  These can be got for quite good value off eBay.  The simple reason is you can paint a brace of kits in a matter of minutes using diluted acrylic paint with a smooth, uniform coat that covers even the most inaccessible parts, dries quickly and allows repainting almost immediately.

Paint the model in the following order:

  • Paint the entire kit in white primer.
  • Spray-paint the chassis and wheels in a lightish grey brown.
  • Spray the bubble beige (mask as necessary).
  • Fit the “Broken Circle” and cement decals. I made up my own stencil type transfers of the CIE circle, “Cement,” model numbers and wheel inspection dates. Contact me if you are interested in sets of these.*
  • From overhead, use a criss-cross alternating mixture of white and primer grey to get a non-uniform finish approximating to ten years of cement coating. Another option is to spray a thin mist of water and then sprinkle minute amounts of fresh dry Polyfilla powder through a very fine sieve to get the layered cement look.
  • Bend and attach the side levers using 0.6mm wire into the pre-drilled holes, paint white and then yellow.
  • Paint the cement pipes a darker shade of grey/brown.
  • Paint the ends of the brake lever white then red.
  • Paint the sole-bars at appropriate points as indicated in the picture and fit the chassis numbering and inspection stencils.

To Conclude…
Oh the hours of blood, sweat and tears that can be summarised in little over three pages!   However, taking the approach as laid out above and tackling them in an assembly line fashion, you can build a fifteen-unit rake for little over €100 in a matter of days.  The main points to re-iterate are: get plenty of pictures to be in that comfort zone about the detail locations and take your time to get the chassis cut out and chassis sheet dimensions and angles correct.  You’ll be well rewarded.  In a future issue, I’ll tackle how to build the 20’ beet wagon using Corrugated sheeting.  Nice!

[Ed: I once weathered a OO lime wagon with toothpaste, which looked like a thick coat of chalky minerals, but I would advises a test-patch, as some paint finishes may not tolerate tooth-paste.]

 

* dezsullivan@eircom.net

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