As yet no manufacturer produces ready-to-run broad gauge rolling
stock, so anyone wishing to build a layout will either have to borrow
stock from friends, or they will need to kit build or convert a
considerable number of items. This article presents a quick and easy
way of producing
a decent looking broad gauge wagon using a readily available plastic
kit. It should be quite possible to complete one of these in an evening.
This conversion is based on an article by Ian Thomson which originally appeared in Broadsheet No. 5 (Autumn 1981). The original conversion used 2 Coopercraft wagons which is rather wasteful, and butchered EMGS W irons, which is both difficult and unnecessary. For a short wheelbase wagon such as this, compensation is not really necessary. The slop inherent in conventional pinpoint axle bearings should be sufficient to ensure that all wheels stay on the track.
The wagons featured in this conversion were built by the GWR in 1889 & 1890 to lots 408 and 497.
1 Coopercraft 1004W kit (make sure you have P4 wheels included
rather than the standard 00
2 BGS F040 pinpoint axles (or make you own from 2mm silver steel rod - overall length 35mm) £0.80
10thou and 40thou plain plasticard
2mm planked plasticard
Transfers - either BGS F091 (late wagon - white), or HMRS Sheet 11 (GWR goods vehicle insignia)
Take the ends, and with a fine blade piercing saw, cut each end into three pieces, making the cuts as shown in Fig 1. vertically on the outside of the angle iron stanchions, and horizontally at the top of the bufferbeam.
Fig 1. Modified sides and ends
New infill pieces should now be made from 40 thou plasticard (cut
oversize approx 10mm X 4mm), which should be trimmed to give the ends
an overall width of 38mm. Glue these pieces to the centre section, keep
flat and let harden. The offcut end sections need a little
packing to compensate for the material removed when they were sawn off.
Add a piece of 10thou plasticard to the bottom of each of these and let
harden before trimming the excess.the infill pieces for height. Using a
scrawker or the point of a small triangular file the plank detail can
be extended onto the infill pieces.
Square off the ends of the existing bufferbeam .New bufferbeam end sections need to be made from 40thou plasticard approximately 13mm X 3mm. The ends should be square, not tapered or chamfered. Again trim to match the rest of the end when the glue has set, then using the scrawker or file emphasise the join between the bufferbeam and the end so as to match the centre section. If not using the kit buffers, you may wish to remove the buffer backing plates at this point.
The sides need the door banging plate (the circular plate in the
middle of the top plank) carefully filing off. The wagon floor can be
made from a piece of planked plasticard 61mm X 35.5mm. The sides
and ends can be assembled upside down on a plate of glass or similar,
being careful to
keep everything square. For simplicity the floor can be added in the
position of the original kit on top of the 'pips' on the ends, but this
is not strictly correct and it may be better to file off the pips and add the floor about 1mm up from bottom of the sides.
Fig 2. Completed end
Both of the solebars need the Dean-Churchward brake lever brackets
removing from both ends, and the V hanger in the middle removed. (It's
too short and needs to be replaced). The holes in the back of the
axleboxes should be drilled out a little to take the brass bearing cups
(otherwise the axlebox is liable to split when the bearing cup is
inserted). Glue in the bearing cups with superglue, so that the rim
butts up to the back of the solebar. The 'lip' on the top of the solebar should be trimmed back till only 1mm remains.
Fig 3. Modified solebars
Glue the solebars to the back of the sides, sandwiching the wheels
between them, so that the bottom of the reinforcing strip at the top of
the solebar is level with the bottom of the sides. Before the glue sets
fully, check that the wheels run level on a plate of glass, and adjust
as necessary. Add the brakegear, which should be fitted on one side
only, and make a new V hanger from 1mm microstrip. The brake lever,
buffers and coupling hook can then be added. Mounting plates for your
choice of couplings can now be added, and a little ballast to aid
trackholding. I add these to a brass subfloor epoxied into place.
Fig 4. Assembled wagon
Fig 5. Assembled wagon
The wagon should be painted in a weathered wood colour internally, and externally in red (Humbrol 132 Red Satin). Below the solebar I paint everything black, but there is a school of thought that this also should be red including the wheels. With early film being insensitive to red light, they would look similar.
Markings would have been on the sides, with "G.W.R" on the lowest
plank at the left hand end and "To carry 10 Tons" on the plank above.
At the right hand end would have the running number on the lowest
plank, and the Tare weight on the plank above. Running numbers
would be in the range 11401-11500, 11901-12000, Tare weights would
originally have been "5.6.0" when built.
Fig 6. Finished Wagon
Page updated : 19 Dec 2015