Sunday, 13 December 2015

The "Chivers Diet" - the Results are In!

After a lot of slicing, dicing and generally making it up as I have gone along, I can reveal the finished products of both of my Chivers Finelines O-16.5 to O9 conversions. These wagons were both rebuilt from assembled kits in a batch of five that I had acquired at a very reasonable price via the NGRM Forum.

The 2-plank wagon is seen complete, weathered and fitted with couplings. I have had the brown MicroTrains couplers in stock for a while, they suit this use better than a grey wagon or locomotive bufferbeam, in reality they do not look so obviously plastic.

The steel-bodied wagon is also now painted, when I said that it would have a splash of colour I meant it...

I've always liked this shade of grey-blue, I had an early O9 bogie wagon painted like this, plus a Gn15 loco at one stage - I also know that it is a popular choice with Steve Bennett of Black Dog Mining fame! Some subtle weathering in the form of colour washes and dry brushing have brought out the details in the Chivers mouldings very well. Using a 1/43rd scale drone I can show the interior weathering and plank effect on the floor.

Those who have followed my wagon ramblings over the years will realise that both of these wagons are in rather different colours to my usual choices, is there perhaps some scheme in the back of my mind that needs the wagons to all be different colours...?

Who knows ;-)


Monday, 7 December 2015

More Chivers go Slimmer

Whilst I haven't had a lot of time at the workbench of late, I have had a tinker with the parts from a Chivers steel-side open. This is another from the same batch of secondhand wagons as the two-plank and once stripped of old paint it was obvious that it was a little lop-sided. It was certainly well glued together (perhaps too well) and I had to be brutal to get it apart, I nearly regretted starting....

With the ends cut down and a new floor, this is the result:

I had envisaged this as a bogie wagon and opened out the headstock for a bogie mounted coupler. However as it reminded me of the drop-side wagons at the Kirklees Light Railway, the decision was made for it to be a 4-wheeler. Having completed basic assembly I filled the headstock back in to create a space suited to a MicroTrains coupler and then added some corner strapping to finish off the ends.

Underneath a previously split-in-two Peco chassis forms the basis of the running gear with Plastruct 3mm channel as the solebars. All of the N gauge spring and axlebox detail was removed from the chassis mouldings and as an experiment I used 51L Highland Railway axleboxes in their place.  A few strokes of a file removed the top section of each box to allow them to sit neatly in position. Visually this trick works very well. 

A coat of primer covers up many sins and allows all the filling and sanding to be hidden. The home-brewed sections of strapping are nowhere near as neat as the fine Chivers mouldings but hopefully once painted they won't look too bad.

This wagon is now in the paintshop getting a splash of colour.