An Old Kit but, a Good One.
Back from Ian Rathbone's paintshop, what a great job he has made of it.
This old Colin Waite kit, which is dated 1978, is being built for a client. It would I think normally have arrived in a strong, flat, box that would not hold the finished model but this one got here in a plastic box with many parts already cut from the fret and bent to shape, mostly with reasonable accuracy but I would have preferred to start from scratch, naturally. I think it may have come from a 'Bring & Buy'.
Colin Waite kits were well ahead of their time and the parts are generally very well drawn and etched and go together with relative ease. Here I have added the door hinges, drop lights, steps, guard's lookout and under roof end mouldings. The 6 wheel suspension is based on a 4 wheel swivelling bogie with rocking axles sets and one fixed set of wheels. How it will work in practice is still to be seen but I imagine there must be quite a number of V13 vans trundling around various 0 gauge layouts so do not expect it to be very problematic, even when the tensioning rods are soldered up between the W irons.
The important thing with Waite kits is to get the body soldered up square with the correct turn under for the sides and ends, so it is worth taking time to ensure that the various bends are consistent before offering them up for soldering. Here the sides are fitted to their respective ends and the central bulkheads. One bulkhead was missing so had to be scratched up from some sheet brass. They are important to ensure that the turn under is consistent along the length of the vehicle and to add strength. Back to Top
Once the body is soldered up square, the fixing points for fitting the body to the underframe can be fitted. These parts were rather flimsy so I added some rigid U channel to stiffen them up. It is important that the body sits square on the underframe before soldering these parts in place or it will cause distortion and prevent smooth running.
Never-the-less, one end was a tad high in one corner so I used the minidrill with a sanding disk on it to sand down the fold under for the side and bring it down to level. An artefact of the etching process where gapping was not so accurate as it can be today with CAD drawing and the previous owner was not as accurate in bending up the parts as one might have wished.
There are vents above the doors, including the dog box, that are exactly opposite.
This makes daylight visible right through the side view so I soldered in some scrap brass to act as blinders. Once painted black they should do the job well.
The roof will be soldered solid, which will give the body more rigidity but the window glass can be inserted from underneath. The loading doors have provision for grab handles however, the only picture I have (in Russell's book) shews them only fitted beside the guard's door. But, other pictures of brake and luggage vans in Russell shew them fitted to the right hand doors.
The picture of the V13 also shews it with wooden brakes blocks, which would have been replaced by about 1900ish I should think; we have also assumed that through heating pipes would also have been fitted.
The underframe with the fixed set and the 4 wheels 'bogie' in place. The bogie needed a washer soldering to the base of the floor to ensure that the ride height was consistent along the length of the vehicle but this is noted in the exploded diagrams anyway. On the whole, a simple operation. Back to Top
Here the basic running chassis is tested to ensure it is level before further work on adding detail is commenced.
Checking that the body and chassis are a good fit and that the vehicle sits square and even on a flat surface.
The roof section is a 0.5mm etched part in hard brass. Rolling bars are essential to obtain a good arc. The instructions suggest that the roof can be removable. Not necessary with a removable floor so it will be soldered solid, which will also strengthen the basic body.
The chassis completed at last. The springs and hangers took a while. The parts provided included J hangers meant to be affixed to the centre of etched pads on the solebars with bolt heads already in place, which meant that the fixing surface was about 1mm x 1.5mm at best. A sort through the spares box turned up some J hangers with the pads attached; so I filed down the bolt heads and fixed the new J hangers in place. The springs are fixed to the W irons and therefore move with the wheels sets on two sets of wheels. The axle boxes need very careful drilling out (I used a hand brace with water for a lubricant) while the Slater's bearings had to be filed down a little and rounded off to fit in the domed holes made by the drill.
The Slater's vacuum pipes are soldered into small blocks of brass which in turn are soldered in place under the floor. The steam pipes are fitted in drilled holes in the buffer beam and floor. The couplings are removable from the hook and the etched step supports have been replaced with Slater's as they are considerably stronger.
The body did not present any difficulties in completing, the roof fitted well and the rains strips, though fiddly, also went on well too. Having looked through several books I decided that grab handles would have been fitted to the loading doors by the early 1900s. They are fitted but not fixed yet so they can be removed for painting and are the door handles.
All in all, an interesting build that presented few problems.