Sunday, 23 June 2013

HR d.4 van ready for traffic

HR d.4 Box Van complete

Built as a much needed addition to my Highland Railway train this is the second HR goods vehicle that I've completed, it's still a short train! My mate Grahame Brind sent me a jar of Floquil "Tuscan Red" which apparently he'd had for ages. He assured me that it was the best match for HR "claret" in which colour these vans were painted before 1896, and I think he was right. I've dry brushed the van with lighter tuscan red and air brushed my weathering mix from below for a lightly weathered effect.

There appears to be only a single photo of these vans in existence, and that hardly a close-up; it's in Peter Tatlow's "Highland Miscellany"...Plate 230; there is no visible insignia to identify the van as belonging to the HR and it may be that these vehicles simply relied on the cast plate on the solebar for identification. I've similarly allowed my van to display reticence regarding its identity.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Highland Railway D.4 Van

Plate 1. Railway workman RW6 in nonchalant pose beside HR d.4 van

The nonchalant workman is ref: RW6 from Pete's own "Heroes of the Footplate" range of 1:43 scale figures.

Plate 2. HR d.4 Van from a "Lochgorm Kits" etch, with additions.

I made a few additions and alterations to Lochgorm's Highland Railway d.4 Van...

I dispensed with the "rib and stringer" construction inside the roof and simply added a curved rib at each end and doubled the thickness of the roof all round with 0.45mm strip. I think this ensures an adequately robust roof structure. The roof can be removed though I can't see any reason why it needs to be; I think I'll glue it down to stop it rattling over the points.

I added a simple door fastening with a security chain made from twisted 0.2mm wire for the peg.

The ride height of the van needed adjusting which I achieved by adding more metal to the vertical rib that supports the rocking-axle tray.

The upper riveted corner plates when soldered to the side top rail and folded didn't meet the end top rail, they were in the air. I thickened the end top rails with short lengths of 1 x 1mm brass section which allowed the corner plates to seat snugly, you can see this modification in Plate1 above.

I made new brake levers as I found that when I'd removed the cusps from etched levers there was practically nothing left! I added lamp irons to the sides and ends in the positions indicated on the drawing supplied... and I made those little chains and pegs that dangle from the brake guards and are used to peg down the brake levers.

The axle boxes I found were oversize, so I modified them by sawing a square of metal out of the back so the bottom of the spring sat on the axle box. Then I cut away enough of the top of each axle box at the front to ensure that they didn't mask the springs, which I think much improved the look of the van below the sole bar. I had to cut away even more metal from the axle boxes at the rocking-axle end to ensure some rocking movement was retained.

Couplings were made up from CPL castings. Safety chains, which hang from modified hand-rail knobs, were made from 0.6mm n/s wire.

The completed van weighs in at a satisfyingly chunky 250g...possibly a little overweight, but undoubtedly adding to her smooth running qualities.