Friday, 22 February 2013

Building a Unit Models wagon kit - 2

Just a quick update really.  The weather last weekend was warm enough to venture to the workshop and waft some primer (sounds so much more refined than blast...) over the Unit Models wagon and also the Romney style coach roofs, acknowledging that for them it was a first coat to find any defects in the filling (which I did...).

I was surprised to find that the Unit Models wagon had a lot more surface texture than was apparent in bare resin form, and not all of it looked too convincing, so I soothed out the sides a little where required, back to resin in places.  At this stage the wagon looked a mess and I seriously considered not going any further with it.  Common sense prevailed and using Games Workshop Foundation series 'Charadon Granite' paint, lightened a little, coverage was no problem, although a second coat is always worthwhile.  Metalwork was picked out in a off-black mixture and the inside in a natural wood colour.  The whole lot now has a coat of Vallejo matt varnish to protect it ready for the inevitable assault of weathering.

Meanwhile, the soldering iron has been in use again lately, but Ill leave that for another day, got to scoot...!


Monday, 4 February 2013

Building a Unit Models wagon kit - 1

The chance discovery of a very cheap Peco N gauge wagon (for the cost of a chassis kit) at the Pontefract show last weekend led me to buy one of the relatively recent Unit Models O9 wagon kits to see what they are like.  I chose the wooden open wagon with a drop-side door.

On opening the box the kit is in two parts, a chassis frame and body, both cast in resin.

Both parts are relatively flash-free although there are some blow-outs in the casting of the various bolt heads.  I opted to replace these with plastic rod slices as it seemed to be the quickest way of resolving the problem. At 29mm wide this is definitely a 'minimum gauge' wagon and although I had thoughts of trying to narrow it to c.25mm to match my other stock I decided to build it as it came as a 'quick' project to fill the odd spare minute or two.

It was at this stage that I realised that the chassis I had was a 10ft wheelbase one rather than the 9ft version required for the kit.  Ooops.... This was easily resolved by cutting away the centre section of the chassis completely (having stripped away all the N gauge brake gear), which will also allow space for a little more weight between the sections.  The Unit Models frame includes a nifty cut out for the Peco weight to sit in:

As can be seen above, I've removed a 1mm x 5mm slice from the centre of the headstock and added a piece of 1mm styrene behind it in order to accommodate a MicroTrains coupler.  With the body assembled to the frame the wagon is actually complete and ready for painting (which will have to wait for warmer weather to spray the primer).  I've added some wire handles/catches for the drop down door.:

More once painting is underway....


Saturday, 2 February 2013

Credit where credit is due...

A couple of months ago I was kindly sent a batch of MicroTrains unassembled coupler parts by a fellow member of a modelling forum.  There was however a little bit of a problem.... the tiny centering* springs were missing.  Whilst they are listed as a spare by a model shop not too distant from here, I suspect they haven't got stock in-store and the shopping 'experience' there can be, er, interesting these days (I'm told). Having then searched online for these, and seen some hilarious postage charges from the USA, I happened to ask on the P&H Models stand at the Wakefield show.  They didn't have any, but could get them in time for Pontefract, so an email confirming the part number was sent and at the Pontefract show I had these in my hand at a very reasonable price:

This has enable me to get on building couplers and there will be several spares for the future.  So credit where credit is due, to P&H Models for their customer service.  Sadly I hear they are winding down exhibition appearances to concentrate on their new shop in Louth, they will certainly be missed at shows - their Evergreen styrene prices are very competitive!


*deliberate Americanisation, it's on the packet!