Introduction. PDF version
Bill Parker's kit comes in his usual flat pack. It contains the etched sheets, a bag with white metal castings for springs, buffers, etc., wire and comprehensive instructions.
These latter include exploded diagrams, scale drawings, history and detailed instructions to build this, quite complex, vehicle.
Ultimately, each side is five layers thick overall. I started by punching out the bolt heads, of which there are a great number, using a Leaky rivet punch.
Next the upright stanchions were fitted by inserting their tabs in the slots and twisting them at about 25° in alternate directions from behind. The accompanying picture should make this clear. I have used this method on many kits for this type of fitting with great success and the added bonus is not risking solder running into the etched plank lines.
The droplight, bolection molding, stall doors and strapping were next, followed by the shutters, which can be fitted in any combination of open or closed. Most of the parts for the sides can be fitted before the side is fitted to the ends, including handrails, door handles and locking bars for the stall doors. Back to top
The picture above shews one side close to completion and the other ready for the parts to be fitted.
The ends and sides, all virtually completed before assembling the body. The loose hatch covers will be fitted, once the body is made up, inside the frames on the ends, which themselves are soldered to the sides.
I decided to use a set of CPL lost wax cast buffers instead of the white metal set provided though, I note these now come with steel heads and rams with springs and nuts; a big improvement.
All handrails, etc., are fitted, only the white metal parts remain to be stuck on. Some care is necessary in assembly but all the parts fit perfectly provided one files off the cusps. Crunch time comes when the two halves of the body are put together. It is not difficult but one does need to go one step at a time and constantly check for square and fit.
The sole bars were fitted after the one end was soldered on. Provided the stanchions were fitted well and are square, their ends fit nicely into the sole bar and do not need to be soldered. Solder instead the joint between the side and the top of the sole bar from the inside. Tack it first, check for square and then seam it up. Back to top
Roll the roof. Bill's instructions suggest using an empty wine bottle but mine were all full (by the time one was empty after dinner I was in no mood for work anyway!) so I used the rolling bars instead.
The roof also has a couple of formers to fit inside the roof that nicely prevents the sides from bowing at the top. You can see from the underside view of the nearly completed body that the ends have had the fixing plates soldered in and also, an extra piece of scrap across the centre to prevent the sides bowing at the base.
The fixing plates also have a 6BA nut soldered on to bolt the under frame in place. It is important that the under frame and roof are properly aligned or the gas tank will be on the wrong side compared with the lamp and pipes on the roof however, they are clearly marked.
The roof needed soldering at the ends only. I tack soldered it at the centre from inside, there are convenient etched witness marks provided to ensure it is centered, checked for square and overhang and then seamed it up; an easy job with the RSU.
The completed body ready for the paint shop. The steps have been fitted using modified Slater's GWR step supports; this is just personal preference for stronger fittings. The method advocated in the instructions is perfectly adequate. Back to Top
The basis of the under frame is a flat etch with lots of fold-ups. Most of them benefit from strengthening with solder. It is easy to fold up and makes into a rigid unit once all the parts have been fitted.
Wheels and some brake gear fitted and a start has been made on the rodding. The wheels are the usual inside bearing units provided in WEP kits and present no problems. Ensure however, that packing washers are fitted between the wheel and bearing face.
I use 5BA washers, filed thin if necessary, to prevent hunting.
Further progress on the under frame. All the levers, including that on the vacuum cylinder, operate. However, once the gear is all fitted it will be soldered solid.
The under frame is now complete as these two views illustrate. Some of the brake gear hidden behind the wheels was not fitted.
Finally, the completed model ready to go to the customer, who will paint it himself.