Box Van in a Box

At a recent Beds and Buck Narrow Gauge Meeting David Gander kindly gave me an unmade kit of a Unit Models O9 Box Van.

I was very pleased for several reasons. Mostly, because it’s a very kind gift (thanks David!). Also, Unit Models is passing to a new owner and these kits are hard to find at the moment. Finally, it’s a nice model, with crisp moldings and the style fits in well with the O9 wagons I’ve been scratch building.

It would be really easy to make the kit but I wondered if I could add a bit more detail to the body.

I have a pack of Grandt Line 32 thou diameter rivets I haven’t used. I thought these would look good on the iron work of the box van. 32 thou is roughly 1.4 inches in 7mm scale which seems about right.

The rivets come with a plastic shank that can be fitted into a 0.4mm diameter hole in the model. This helps anchor the rivet in place.

One rivet equals one hole, so I set about marking out and drilling 64 holes in the body. It was a good test of how accurately I can mark out and drill. I made a cardboard template to help position the holes.

The final effect looks good – but it took ages to do!

Three New O9 Wagons

… and the wagons are brown. Humbrol German Camouflage (160) to be precise.

I do like the colour. In fact, I got so excited by the warm, red-brown I forgot to photograph them before I weathered them!

All three wagons are the same colour. One appears to be lighter because it has received less weathering with Citadel ‘Stirland Mud’ and a bit more Citadel ‘Ulthuan Grey’.

If you are interested you can follow how I made them here (you’ll need to scroll down the page…).

Paint Your (Flat) Wagon

I have (finally) painted the flat wagons I built in January this year. Last time they were on the blog they were bear plasticard.

I like painting on lots of different layers. It’s really easy to do with acrylic paints and leads to some nice effects. Perhaps I’m over complicating things but here’s what I did:

  1. Primer Citadel Coraz White (light Grey)
  2. Paint chassis Humbrol Dirty Black mixed with a small amount Citadel Ulthuan Grey
  3. Rough coat of Citadel Zandri dust – semi dry brush of top, wet brush underneath
  4. Touch up black on chassis
  5. Wash of dilute Humbrol Dirty Black
  6. Dry brush chassis and wagon in Citadel Ulthuan Grey
  7. Dry brush chassis and  wagon Citadel Zandi Dust
  8. Dry brush chassis and  wagon Citadel Steel Legion Drag
  9. Dry brush chassis with rust mix (Citadel XV88 mixed with small amount of Citadel Dunbar Brown)
  10. Wash with dilute Humbrol Dirty Black – three times

I rather like the end result.

Single Plank O9 Wagons

The scratch building of O9 wagons continues. The latest wagons to be completed are this pair of single plank wagons.

The construction was essentially the same as the open wagon I made. The fake sole bars, floor, sides, hinges and rivet details were made from plastic card and rod. The main difference is these wagons are built on the Peco N Gauge 15ft Wagon Chassis (NR122) and are slightly longer than the open wagon.

The two wagons were made to resemble one another, with small differences. The one on the right is slightly longer (52mm compared to 48mm), has more hinges on the side planks and has shorter end stanchions.

I designed the wagons so they would accommodate the Skytrex Model Railways O scale packing cases and crates. This has worked out well and the loads look good in the wagons.

Both wagons are painted in manufacturer’s photographic grey (also known as primer 🙂 ) because I still haven’t decided what colour to paint my O9 stock !

The Scratch Building Continues

O9 Open WagonI’ve built another O9 wagon, this time an open wagon. The approach was the same as for the flat wagons: a Peco chassis, and plasticard for the floor, sole bars and buffer beams. This time I added an additional four pieces of plasticard to create the side walls of the wagon.

Open Wagon Components

The basic structure is a simple box.

Basic Open Wagon StructureI’ve added some details: 1.5mm ‘L’ shaped angle on each end, and some 2mm wide hinges on the sides of the wagon.

Starting Detailing

To give the impression of bolts I added short pieces of 1mm diameter rod on the hinges and sole bars, and 0.5mm diameter rod to the angle iron on the ends of the wagon. Adding the 1mm diameter rod is quite easy, but adding the 0.5mm rod is much more fiddly.

On the Painting StickWhen I spray paint my wagons I attach them to a short piece of wooden dowel with blu-tack. I hold the dowel while I spray the wagon.

A piece of lead adds weight to the underside of the wagon. The couplings are held in place with epoxy glue. You can see the lead is visible where the blu-tack masked the primer.

Laed and CouplingsI started this wagon at the end of December and it has taken me to the end of January to finish it and apply the primer. I haven’t decided what colour to paint it yet. It will not be grey. All of my 009 wagons are grey and I fancy something different!

The Joy of Scratch Building

O9 Flat WagonsI am building a Hunslet locomotive in O9 (7mm per foot, 1:43.5 scale, running on 9mm gauge track) and I decided it would be nice to have a couple of wagons to run with it.  Rather than buying kits I thought I would try to scratch build the wagons from plasticard.

I got a couple of Peco N scale wagon chassis, cut off the brake details and removed the coupling pockets. Then, I guesstimated the sizes and cut out pieces of 1.5mm thick plasticard. The wagons are really simple, consisting of only five pieces.

The Pieces

To make the surface of the wagons less like smooth plasticard and more like rough wood I abraded the surface using a wire brush.

A Touch of Wirebrushing

This created a very fine scratches over the surface. I wonder whether they are deep enough, or whether the paint will mask them. We shall see.

Roughened Woodwork

I glued the floor to the chassis, and added buffer beams and fake sole bars. Then I added short lengths of 1mm diameter plastic rod to give the impression of bolt heads.

Solebar Details

Finally, I added some lead weights to the underside of the wagons. I’ve given them a quick “finger push” test on some track and they seem to run quite well.

Lead Weights

This is the first time I’ve scratch built rolling stock from plasticard, and I’m quite pleased with the result. Yes, I need to improve the accuracy of my marking and cutting and learn to stick the pieces together at 90 degree angles, but it’s an encouraging start.

Scratch building takes longer that building a kit, but it’s a very interesting challenge and you get something unique at the end. I’ve enjoyed it and I think I will be building more wagons… watch this space.

Let’s Keep it Simple

Cattle Wagon Finished

As I’m a bit rusty, I decided to do some simple modelling.

Ages ago I brought a secondhand Nine Lines Welshpool and Llanfair cattle wagon kit. It’s a simple kit and I thought it would be good practise. I think the kit dates from the 1980’s and the mouldings are really crisp.

The Kit

It was very easy to build. Basically it’s a box with solebars. I found some cows in my bit box. I picked these up secondhand too…

Cattle Wagon Assembled Unpainted

A splash of paint and it was looking good. I used Humbrol grey primer as both the primer and top coat, and painted the iron fittings black.

Apparently in the 1870’s to 1900 lots of diary farmers moved from Scotland to Essex to supply milk to London. They brought their stock with them and Ayrshires became a common breed in Essex. I decided to repaint the cows to resemble Ayrshires so that I can use the cattle wagon on the ‘Thaxted’ layout (when I get round to building it).

Painted Cattle Wagon Waiting Assembly

I weathered the wagon by dry brushing it with light grey, brown and black. I’m quite pleased with the result. Not bad for secondhand…

Cattle Wagon Finished 2