Friday, 24 November 2017

Cambrian Machinery Wagon

Cambrian Railways 10 Ton Machinery Wagon.

This wagon, called a "Roll Wagon", in the Dragon Models catalogue was built some time ago and stood neglected, though not alone, in the sidings of despond until this week when I decided it was high time I cleared some of the backlog and did some painting. The etched wagon plate that came with the kit had a number but no lettering to identify it as a Cambrian Railways wagon, so I made one myself.

The most difficult part of this task was drawing the letters to conform to the oval shape of the plate and it was only on my second attempt that I achieved a reasonable result. I could not find an example of a preserved Cambrian wagon plate so I took the etched one supplied on trust and used it as a guide.

The wagon cries out for a load and I'm thinking about this now. I bought a Fordson F tractor from Universal Hobbies with this wagon in mind but it's not one of their best models. I have a Duncan Models kit for a Portable Steam Engine in the cupboard which would make a much better load though it would be a far more time consuming project.

M & G N Roll Wagon with portable boiler load c.1920

The above photo is copyright of the National Railway Museum & SSPL... here's a link to more photos on their site...

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Precursor Tank details

LNWR Precursor Tank No.44 c.1906

LNWR 44 was built from a Taff Vale/Dragon Models kit with many improvements and additional detail. Ample motive power is provided by an MSC Models motor and gearbox with 3 stage 40:1 helical gears. The completed engine weighs in at just over 1kg with space for more weight if necessary. I intend to test run her with a reasonable load at the Running Day next weekend on the Carlisle club layout. The cab interior is finished now so construction of the engine is complete.

LNWR 44 cab interior detail

I did not have a GA drawing to help with details of the cab interior, I don't think one exists,  so I've done my best with what information I have been able to glean from a variety of sources. I could have added more but restrained myself from filling the cab with dubious or speculative details. The cab rear spectacle plate features a coal hole at footplate level, access doors to the coal space and tool boxes and a brake wheel, note also the opening cab doors. All components are brass or nickle-silver, either sourced from LGM or made by myself, no white metal was used in the construction.

LNWR 44 Cab interior and backhead detail.

The backhead and front spectacle plate are a unit and can be removed for painting; the glazing slides between the inner and outer spectacle plates. The bottoms of the windows are six feet above footplate level so the crew needed some means of levitation to see out of them. The model's interior step arrangement is based on that of the LNWR Bowen-Cooke 4-6-2T which was introduced only four years after George Whale's Precursor Tank and which has a cab of comparable proportion and fortunately for which a GA drawing exists. The GA shows that the coal hole and shovelling plate of the Bowen Cooke engine was well above footplate level, a novel innovation which eased the fireman's task. I suspect that George Whale may have had a similar consideration for his crews, however the designer of the Precursor Tank kit thought otherwise so I 've deferred to his judgement in this case and left the coal hole at footplate level.

Contemporary photos of crew working in these engines confirm the existence of the interior step arrangement which served to elevate them well above footplate level and enabled them to see ahead through the cab windows.

The roof of the model slots into place and can be removed to facilitate painting and later examination of all the interior detail.

Exterior of cab of LNWR 44 with door open and showing some interior detail

LNWR 44 smokebox and buffer beam details

The removable lamps have brilliants set into them, clear to the front and red behind. The author's nickle-silver smokebox door replaces the white metal casting supplied in the kit. There are a large number of tiny brass rivets replicating the real thing in the hinges of the "piano front" and larger bolts can be seen on the bottom of the smokebox wrapper, these tiny brass fittings are inserted into holes and soldered in from behind.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

G&SW timber wagons painted.

G & SW 10ton swivel bolster wagon.

My attempts at printing a number for the wagon and a "To Carry..." plate to fit inside the raised edges of the etched plates that came in the kit just didn't work, the paper rectangles didn't fit properly and looked scrappy. So I removed the metal plates and replaced them with printed paper ones which I glued to thin Plastikard sheet to give them more body, the effect was much improved.

My artwork was for number 12783 which is the only register number known for these wagons, it didn't take long to substitute a "2" for a "3" to produce a different albeit speculative number plate for the second wagon which was then scanned, sized and printed to produce the plate. The smaller plates, "To Carry 10 Tons" were produced similarly ; the tare or weight of each wagon appears on the bottom plank under the "G".

Nos. 12782 and 12783 paired together.

The colour used to paint these wagons is my own interpretation of the G & SW's light grey goods livery. All below the solebar is spray painted, all above is painted by hand, in both cases with enamel paint ; transfers are HMRS Pressfix. A light weathering mix has been airbrushed from below which unifies the colour scheme and helps to tone down the bright white of the transfers and number plates.

Sketchbook page with hand-drawn artwork for number and load plates