A Special for me.
This vehicle is to act as a through carriage in a train for the Armstrong to haul. There will be an LNWR through carriage too, I have always liked the coaching liveries of both companies and through carriages were very common in the 1900s so justifying a couple was not difficult.
So what's in the box? Actually there is no box, the kit arrives as sheets of etch securely taped to some substantial wooden backing, together with a bag of bits for bogie sides frames, ventilators, nuts and bolts, etc.
The instructions are of the usual standard one has come to expect of Ivan and are quite comprehensive, though there are a couple of mistakes, they are not serious.
The methods of construction are very similar to those for the LSWR Saloon, which can be checked for further information. It is advisable to file the cusps of all parts before assembly or many parts will not fit correctly.
One of the original sides had some etching missing round the guard's doors. Ivan speedily arranged a new set of side etches duly corrected. Excellent service. Ivan's kits are so designed that one can really start anywhere, though he does suggest a sequence. I started by producing modules that would later be assembled into the whole body and underframe/floor. In similar fashion to the Saloon. Back to top
Here are the body ends completed save for the lower steps, which are fitted after the body is assembled. There is a choice of non step ends to allow for differences in lighting.
It is important to ensure that the mounting plates fixed to the back are a perfect right angle and that a gap of 0.45mm (in practice 0.5mm) between the base of the plate and the bottom of the side or it will not fit the floor when the time comes. Simple enough using the magnets on the RSU plate and some scrap etch as padding.
There is nothing difficult about these parts but it is necessary to clean up all the cusps and open out the slots for the tabs.
The sides take a little time; window bolections are separate items for instance but the droplights come with the hinges already in place, just ensure that the tabs fit the slots before fitting as they are a tight fit. Provision is also made for open windows with special pieces designed for the purpose. The guard's lookout needs some care to get the bends correct but, once achieved, fits well. The instructions suggest using short lengths of tube or rod of various diameters and this works well.
The bogies, in this case American rather than Fox, are interesting and provide compensation built in. Not a method I have used before but, once one has figured it out, relatively simple to put together. Here are the parts for one bogie removed from the fret ready to start being assembled.
The next stage in the process. Ensuring right angles for the bearings is of course essential and it is necessary to run fillets of solder in all the bend lines after bending to add strength. The brake shoes are made from three separate parts but easy enough with a jig drilled in the RSU plate. The hardest parts is opening the holes in the washers to 1.5mm. The brake yokes are assembled in pairs with wire stretchers made to clear the axles.
The well cast white metal bogie side frames need some modifying to make them suitable. The separate spring castings were not great and one of them collapsed into two parts as I began to clean it up due to air holes in the casting. The axle holes were very carefully drilled out 2.7mm and then a 5mm drill used to chamfer the opening. There is just enough room to fit the Slater's bearings into them provided one rounds off the square ends of the bearing tube that fits into the frames. Alternatively, one could drill out the holes with a suitable end mill.
The basic bogie frame assembled but not yet completely soldered. The parts are held together by the rod across the centre. The instructions suggest a method of using some tube across the centre of the transverse pivot, which is suitably cut in half, when complete to allow future disassembly, which I thought I would ignore and simply unsolder one end of the rod. However, this will not do because the bogie side frame springs will foul the space. The wheels were fitted and the unit is here shewn resting on a temporary jig (made from files and magnets) so that the bearings can be soldered in to the correct depth and parallel with the axles.
The finished bogie. The brake yokes are simply clipped into the holes in the brake shoes; the pins that go though the shoes need to be rounded off while the cusps are being filed off. The bogie is robust and very free running but I am not sure I like the press stud fittings to attached them to the bolsters, we shall see in due course.
The vacuum cylinders and gas tanks are easy enough but there are no tops provided for the vacuum cylinder so it is necessary to make some and it is also necessary to source suitable tube, 11mm and 12.7mm outside diameter. The vacuum cylinders on these vehicles (like the Saloon) were mounted on a slope. I filed a slope on the base of each cylinder so that the difference equaled about a 1mm, which matched the drawing in Weddell's LSWR Carriages Vol I.
The underframe is simple enough and very similar to that for the Saloon in many ways. There are queen posts and truss rods to be fitted. The instructions are clear on shortening the queen posts to fit and I measured them as I went using the solebars as a guide. Unfortunately, I had the floor upside down and measured them against the raised inner sides. Silly mistake and I had then to make some mounts for the too short queen posts to fit. You can see the result in this picture to the left. There is one mistake in the etch, the slots for one gas tank mounts are set too far away from the sole bars. It was simply a matter of filing off the tab and using the mount's 90° angle to solder them in place at the correct distance. The safety loops for the rodding was made up from some scrap etch. Back to top
The buffers provided are based upon tube, drawing pin heads and white metal housings that need drilling out with springing provided behind the drawbar. (See the Saloon). I do not like the method and replaced them with some integrally sprung buffers of suitable pattern. (Technically, they are supposed to be LNWR but match the drawing well). The drawhooks and couplings were also replaced with a CPL set. Yes, I know they are the not correct for the company but I have standardized on these couplings for all carriage stock to ensure consistency and ease of coupling.
The body here now largely assembled with the partitions in place but awaiting the cross members in the ceilings fitting. It remains to make up the 1st, 2nd and 3rd class seating and glue them to the various walls, which have great holes in them where parts once were. The roof is an arc so I may make a brass roof and solder it in place. There is a spare end that can be used as a master for shaped spacers. The 4 cross members that fit across the top of the sides are meant to hold the roof and so should have holes in them for self tapping screws but there are none. I drilled each one in the centre for 8BA clearance to give me the option of fitting roof with bolts instead of solder.
Here the seats have been loosely inserted to check for clearances, later I will glue them to the compartment walls.
The body, underframe and bogies are now complete (well, I thought it was until I looked more closely at the picture to find no ventilator bonnets over the doors, now corrected) and it is beginning to look like it will turn out a rather nice model. Next, the roof, which I am still thinking about so in the meantime I'll go back to fitting an interior in the Saloon.
I decided to make a roof from wood covered with shellacked card and started by making a negative profile of the roof to use while planning and sanding down the wooden blank.
The second picture shews it largely complete and awaiting gas pipes.
TO BE CONTINUED