Thursday, 22 December 2016

Wagons - an Estate of Mind

I often say that when I find myself tinkering with wagons that there is some indecision in the air... and it is probably true...

My O9 wagon fleet has been through a few sessions of splitting bodies and chassis, new bodies on old chassis etc, often to revert back to the starting point once I've got whatever frustration it was out of my system.

Although I generally scratchbuild my own wagon bodies, over the past few years I have collected together a number of Black Dog Mining wagon bodies for some long-term 'industrial' project. For some time this has included two WA05 open wagons:

Back in the summer I posted a picture of this wagon alongside Roger Chiver's Theakston wagon kit, and Roger commented on the combination: "They almost don't look like they are the same scale. It's the planks I think." The more I thought about it, the more it rang true... an attempt to cut one down to a single plank height did nothing to improve matters and they still looked huge alongside my own scratchbuilt, miniature railway proportioned stock.

These thoughts were occurring as I thought about the potential for a scenario where a 15" gauge railway was conveying loads, e.g. a farm or estate. I was reminded of two wagons that I built back in 2004 by cutting down (in width) two Black Dog WA04 bodies, adding handles on the ends to represent 'Tops' wagons:

These wagons were subsequently sold on, but I had a reference for the dimensions so could scratchbuild a "replica" on one of the existing chassis...

Having marked out the parts for a second it wasn't long before both wagons were in the process of being re-bodied. 

My usual method of creating bolt heads on wagons is to dice a suitable styrene section into thin slices then apply them individually (much the way Steve Bennett has on the masters for casting). On the first body I used Evergreen 30 thou square section, whilst on the second I used 25 thou round section. In the past I have also used Plastruct Hex section. Once applied I leave them to dry overnight and use a wide flat file to reduce them all to the same depth (I'm hopeless at cutting them the same). The second wagon is now awaiting this treatment.


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