Tuesday, 30 April 2013

LSWR 12-Ton Open Wagon - Part 3

Bodywork painted and lettering applied. The latter taken from a Presfix 00 gauge BR(S) transfer sheet. The sheet had various sized lettering, some of which matched n scale. Some letters however, had to be painted over to change yellow to white. A coat of clear, matt varnish over the letters stops wear and tear.

Brass wire for the tarpaulin rail.

Much of the bodywork detail and lettering will be hidden by the tarpaulin, which will also hide some of the build faults.

To Part 4.

To Part 1.


Monday, 29 April 2013

LSWR 12-Ton Open Wagon - Part 2

Each panel was filed square with corner panel joins mitred at 45 degrees. The parts were then assembled and Superglued onto a Peco chassis NR-121. Gaps are filled with a mix of clay dust and pva glue.

The thickness of panels and interior details are not too important because this waggon will be tarpaulin covered.

The three butt joined side panels were 1mm too short for the chassis. This was taken up by one of the ends resulting in the corner bracing width being oversize, but not too noticeable thankfully. If I made another then gently stretching the two FIMO end portions of the three panel sides by half of a millimetre would easily take up the slack.

I have to say that this build method is extremely quick with quite good detailing and relief compared to the printed card method used for our other scratch built rolling stock. The clay method is only possible of course if a closely matching injection moulded r-t-r waggon is available to use as a mould pattern.

To Part 3.

To Part 1


Sunday, 28 April 2013

LSWR 12-Ton Open Wagon - Part 1

Another waggon to build. This time it's the standard 12-ton open with tarpaulin bar and side doors.

I bought the Peco NR-10S, SR Ferry waggon with the intention of chopping it up to make the more common, and shorter 12-ton version, as suggested here. But I could not bring myself to cutting up an otherwise perfect and highly detailed waggon.

So, it was out with the FIMO clay again to make the sides using the Peco waggon as a pattern for the moulds.

In the photo, from the top, the waggon is Peco NR-10S. The two pieces of FIMO are the side and end moulds created by pressing the waggon sides into the soft clay, which is then hardened in the cooker at 110 Celsius. The next two are the end panels formed by pressing the soft clay into the end panel mould and then trimming the parts to size with a scalpel before hardening in the cooker. The  lower six pieces are the side mouldings. The Peco waggon has five panels on the long side but we only need the centre (doors) panel and the two end panels for the 12-ton version.

The white residue evident on the mouldings is talcum powder used as a release agent to stop the clay sticking to the moulds.

To Part 2.


Sunday, 21 April 2013

Thornycroft J Class Lorry - Part 5

About 5,000 J Class lorries were built during WW1 by Thornycroft of Basingstoke (just up the line from Cliddesden). The majority configured for military use.

Here is a small batch sent down the Basingstoke & Alton line to Southampton docks via Alton and Winchester. Not a typical route for them I'm sure but my excuse is a blockage on the Basingstoke to Southampton main line!

I  first had the vision of creating this train many months ago. Anyone who has followed my postings on the J class or Lowmac will know they were scratch built.

Just to show not everything goes to plan in the world of railway modelling this load of five trucks will never run because our little Dapol M7 suffers too much wheel slip under load. A fact I did not know until I built them. The best it will do is three. Even with empty Lowmacs it struggles with five. They weigh no more than r-t-r trucks and the wheels spin freely. A lorry is only a few grammes too.

I have read the M7 might not have enough weight over the driving wheels to maintain traction. I might experiment in that area.

The J class story.

The Lowmac story.


Thursday, 18 April 2013

How to make an 'n' gauge LOWMAC - Part 5

Buffers are made from Hornby 00 gauge track pins cut to 5mm long. The bufferbeam is drilled to accept them. In the design file the buffer beams have the positions marked with white dots.

The buffers are positioned to stick out about 2mm from the beam.

Last job is to paint the card white edges and other areas showng white to normal viewing with matt black paint.

Possible Enhancements

Whilst not included in my model (how far do you go in this scale?) you might consider adding:
  • 10 tiny trianglar decking support webs along the long side of each frame.
  • Chains fixed at each end of the decking for strapping the cargo down. (See Paul Bartletts website)
  • Hand break lever each side on one end of the side frame.
  • Coupling hook and chain on each bufferbeam
And that is the end of an amazing simple build with few parts to make a great model.

To Part 1.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

How to make an 'n' gauge LOWMAC - Part 4

Cut out the plain decking with 4 rectangles, paste onto postcard and cut out again including rectangles.

Note the black lines shown arrowed. Turn over and mark two lines that mirror the two inner lines. Lightly score these. Turn over and score the two outer  lines. Fold to form the same angles as the frames. Glue to the frames ensuring centrally placed.

Check wheels run freely and their flanges sit below the top surface.

Cut out two buffer beams, glue to postcard and cut out again. Glue to ends of frames orientated as shown.

Cut out planked decking and create folds as before. Glue on top of the plain decking ensuring centrally placed. Check wheels turn freely. Lightly smooth the long sides of the decking with fine grade sandpaper.

To Part 5.

To Part 1.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

How to make an 'n' gauge LOWMAC - Part 3

The design file for the components required to make the lowmac can be obtained free of charge to those who sign up as Followers to this Blog.

What you get is a .pdf file that you print from your computer onto normal copier paper or, a sticky label sheet. There are components included for two Lowmacs.

To request the file - first ensure you sign up as a Follower to this Blog and check that your icon appears in our follower list on the left. Do not sign as 'Anonymous' as you will not appear in our list. Sign in to your control panel then click my own follower icon on the left (labelled david smith) and select 'send message' to request the design file. I'll then email you the file.

This photo is the finished assembly for this part of the build. It shows dimensions for the metal weight. Make the weight first and set aside.

Armed with the printed component sheet cut out the side frames, stick to postcard (no more than 0.5mm thick) and cut out. Take one of the coupling/axlebox assemblies and slide the frame behind the axle box to test the fit and then remove it.

Apply Superglue lightly to the rear of the axle box avoiding the axle pin point hole and fit the frame in place checking the top of the leaf spring is level with the top of the frame.

Fit the second frame to the other side and then the second coupling/axlebox assembly to the other ends of the frames checking all is square. Finally Superglue the metal weight in place from the underside of the Lowmac, shown in first photo above.

Now replace the wheel sets checking for free movement. If they do not turn freely then you may not have located the axles in the pin point holes correctly or, you used too thick a postcard.

Note the rectangular gap towards the ends of each frame. These could be covered if you wish by glueing to the rear blanks made from postcard.

To Part 1.


Monday, 15 April 2013

How to make an 'n' gauge LOWMAC - Part 2

Preparation of the springs and axle box could not be simpler. Remove the wheel sets from the bogies. Wash the bogies in soapy water of white spirit to degrease it.

Mark a cut line using masking tape aligned on the outside edge of the small black box (shown arrowed) each side. Note: coupling end of bogie.

Cut alongside the masking tape edge with a razor saw ensuring a 1mm wide cross bar is retained. If the lower tie bar did not break then cut it off at the black box(s) shown arrowed.

Discard the end without a coupling.

The side frames will be fitted to the backs of the axle boxes. They occupy much of the gap between the wheel and axle box. So, if there are raised ribs on the rear of the angle boxes file them away so the whole area is flush, thus increasing the gap and hopefully eliminate wheel binding. Be careful not to weaken the boxes by taking too much material away and ensure the axle pin point hole is not removed in the process.

Repeat with the second bogie.

To Part 3

To Part 1.


Sunday, 14 April 2013

How to make an 'n' gauge LOWMAC - Part 1

In Thornycroft J class Lorry - Part 4 I mentioned the options for sourcing LOWMACs for our fleet of lorries.

I was somewhat inspired by this article written by 'Mike' and decided to have a go at scratchbuilding myself. Mike identified problems replicating the end slope angles and well depth because of interference from the oversize n gauge wheel flanges The standard n gauge coupling assembly also gets in the way. I also overcame both issues but with variation on Mike's build method.

My model is based on the SECR Lowmac Diagram 1681 and there are several good photos of the prototype on Paul Bartlett's website.

Mike gave dimensions of the prototype he modelled (dia. 1686) and also the (compromised) dimensions of the model to accommodate the wheels etc. Interestingly my model is virtually the same size as his.

  • Well Deck: 25mm long (Mike 21mm)
  • Wheelbase: 40mm long (Mike 38mm)
  • Overall body length (without buffers): 55mm (Mike 54mm)
  • Width: 18mm
To get the slope correct and well deep enough I had to make the buffer beam 1 mm taller than it should be.

I considered the Peco 10' wagon chassis as donor wheel/springs/axlebox assemblies but was not convinced it would look like the prototype. All I really needed was the leaf spring and axle box assembly that I would mount on scratchbuilt side frames.

I scanned eBay for suitable donor products and came across an assortment of coach bogies. Now these had potential because there are no solebars. I might be able to build the side frames around the springs and axle box. Auction won and I can say my prognosis was correct. The ideal donor bogies are from the Graham Farish coaches (Mk1 or similar I think) . But we do need two of them because only one coupling per bogie and we need two for the LOWMAC..

It took me two attempts to develop a satisfactory build method and it turned out to be a surprising easy and relatively quick with very few parts and very little bogie butchery involved - just one cut.

Over the next few postings I'll explain the build method should you want to have a go.

First you need to obtain a pair of these - Try eBay:


Friday, 5 April 2013

Thornycroft J Class Lorry - Part 4

Five lorries now complete and out on manoeuvres at Cliddesden

On Station Road viewed from the South East
Station Road from the South West
Over Cliddesden level crossing.

Past the terrace houses

Now I need five LOWMAC waggons to convey them to France. 'N' gauge society have a nice GWR version but it's only available to members. So, I would have to pay to join and then pay again for the kits! I believe there is a brass etched kit available from the 2mm scale society too and GEM fleetline do a cast whitemetal kit for general sale at £9.50 each. I could also scratchbuld one or adapt parts suggested in this article.

I have not decided yet.

To Part 1.

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