Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Wagons and wagon plates

A pair of HR Jones d.12 fish wagons built from Lochgorm kits. 

Recently built and painted, the left hand wagon no. 2145 displays a wagon plate I made myself, the right hand one retains the etched plate from the kit which has been weathered to disguise its being barely legible. The two wagons are lettered differently so they are not identical twins. 

Jones 4 ton d.12 fish wagon number 2145 

HR d.4 8ton covered van from a Lochgorm kit with improvements and full HR insignia.

I built the d.4 van some time ago and left it without insignia, relying only on its number plate on the solebar, which I commissioned from Guilplates, for identification. However the problem with these etched wagon plates is that the numbers and lettering are not white as are the originals but shiny metal... nickel silver. I tried weathering over the plate which certainly took the shine off the metal numerals but left the plate almost illegible and not particularly prototypical. I tried dry brushing the plate with white paint but had no success there just didn't seem to be enough relief and it was all on too small a scale. So I decided to print my own plates and here's how I did it... 

Artwork for a HR wagon plate. 

First I scanned the illustration of a wagon plate (top left) from pg.64 of "Highland Railway Liveries" and printed it.
Then I traced the plate, without the number 4 on good tracing paper, tidied up the lettering and inked in the drawing with a black pen. I glued the inked tracing onto a sheet of white card to make in effect a blank wagon plate, at this stage without numerals.

"Liveries" does not include a helpful drawing of HR wagon plate numbers so I drew the missing numbers myself using the number 4 as a guide to style along with what I could glean from photos of wagons in the book and in Tatlow's "HR Carriages and Wagons".

They are quite dumpy letters, not much higher than they are wide. I drew them and refined them and when I was satisfied with the way they looked I drew them again onto the actual artwork and inked the whole lot in (bottom).

The separate number 8 will replace the 4 of "4 Tons" and 294 (centre) will be placed on top of 2145 to make a second wagon plate, others will follow.

I scanned the artwork and resampled it to size in Corel Photo-Paint. It was then printed on the inkjet on good quality paper and cut out with a scalpel leaving a fairly generous white border. I glued the printed plate to an 0.25 oval metal blank, sealed the paper with varnish and trimmed the plate to its final shape with a fine-cut file...and that's it!

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