Monday 20 July 2015

Calf van finished...

And after a very good discussion over on the Scalefour Society Forum about the making and shaping of brass roofs, last night I soldered it into place:

That's the van now finished, and ready for the spray booth.  As I have a total of seven wagons and vans to paint now, I'd better find a spare evening to take all the kit out and do that.

However for the next modelling item that can be done in spare moments in the morning before work, I feel a spot of the 1960s coming on...


Thursday 16 July 2015

Making progress...

Well, after a lot of scraping of solder, and cutting and hacking, the Calf Van was reduced to a minimum. Every time I thought that I had reached a point of satisfaction, I found another element that I wanted to remove to improve it.

You may have seen the partly rebuilt van over on MikeH's Scalefour Forum thread about starter wagon kits, where it made a brief appearance.

Now it's finished apart from adding weight and a roof. I assume that the roof was originally etched brass, and included with the kit. However like many casting details, this wasn't with it when I acquired the part-built kit.

So tonight I've been out with ruler and set-square, piercing saw and files, and started cutting out the roof from a piece of sheet brass.


I've started squaring it off, and if I have time tomorrow I'll measure the arc of the roof and mark it out to size. I've already pulled the trusty GW Models rolling bars out of storage, and I expect that the actual rolling of it to shape will be the quickest and simplest thing to do...


Saturday 4 July 2015

Off again...

Well, the lead sheet went in, and was left for half a day for the Araldite to go properly off. Yes, I have vans where there is a distinct "clunk" from the weight inside moving around as you pick them up... Then it was on with the roof and this is the result:

As before, the camera exposes something that the naked eye did not. There was a sliver of flash between the roof and the top of the side at the far end that is highlighted by the camera. Fortunately ninety seconds with my finest scalpel blade and it was no more! How I missed it first time around when assembling the sides I have no idea.

So on to the next thing. I have a succession of projects tucked away in those small Really Useful Boxes that I have a real addiction for. The one that has been tempting me for a little while has been a part-built etched van that I picked up from somewhere or other. It was basically the completed body, plus underframe built rigidly and in all honesty not very well. None of the fittings like axleboxes or coupling hooks were with it.

The Kit was originally Jidenco, and the core body is really nicely proportioned and nicely etched. The rest? . The prototype is described in the extraordinarily brief and confusing (how would you build this if you didn't have a good knowledge of how the prototype went together?) instructions as an LMS Calf Van. It actually looks to be the Midland Railway Calf Van, which is nicely illustrated on page 5 of Volume 2 of "An Illustrated History of Midland Wagons".

I neglected to take any pictures of the "before" version, but what I found when comparing it to the reference photo was that the builder had added extra strapping fitted in LMS days, the buffers were all wrong, and what was below the solebars was pretty horrendous and totally unsuitable for P4.

So over the last couple of evenings I've been busy with a slitting disc in a Dremel and a pair of stout snips, removing most of the underpinnings in preparation of replacement. And this morning I cranked the soldering iron up to full to remove the extra strapping, and also the buffers to replace them with correct Midland pattern ones. The soldering braid also came out as well, as all of this was fixed with an excess of the shiny stuff.

This is how the stripped down model looks:



The next steps will be to clean up the remains of the solder with a fibreglass brush, and solder up any dodgy joints and fill in the gaps.

I've started collecting the replacement components to rebuild it in the aforementioned RUB. As usual, it will be sprung suspension, although whether it's Bill Bedford or my own home-brewed etched version remains to be seen.

More as it happens...


Friday 3 July 2015

Doing something...

It's been rather busy on a number of fronts recently. Modelling has only had the occasional ten minutes when I can pick something up and do it quickly. To make the most of that, I've been ploughing through a few things that were part-built and had stalled for some reason.

One of those was a Slaters kit for a Midland ventilated van - I can't remember the exact terminology. It had stalled because I wanted to build the fitted version that ran on coach-size wheels, as I quite fancied the look of the bigger size of spoked wheel as something out of the ordinary. Progress had halted because I didn't have in stock any W-irons suitable for the larger size of wheel.

So rather than wait any longer, I checked the reference books and changed the plan to the diagram that had the same body style but ran on conventional wagon underpinnings and was through-piped. So in the last week, it has progressed from a bare plastic body to this:



The plastic undergear of the kit is replaced by some Bill Bedford sprung w-irons, a Bill Bedford brake lever, a v-hanger nicked from another fret, some old whitemetal brakegear that is still finer than the plastic version, and some safety loops made up from scrap fret waste.

I'm rather pleased with it at the moment. It needs some lead sheet placed inside to bring it up to my preferred 50g weight for four-wheeled wagons, and then it can take it's place in quite a lengthy queue for the paint shop.

Like James Wells said only a couple of days ago in another place, it's good to be modelling again!