A one off. PDF version
This kit is for one of the first two Morels built by the GWR and given the Diagram number E1 when the diagram book was started in about 1905. The kit arrives as a flat pack taped to stout card together with a bag of castings, wire, and 5 A4 sheets of instructions containing some brief historical notes, 27 instruction points, an exploded diagram and a diagram of the etched sheets to identify parts.
Since the wagon has no floor but a large open space, it cannot have been an easy kit to design but it works and the parts are generally a good fit. I began by punching out all the rivets as instructed, some care is required to ensure they all line up nicely because the dimples are a little on the large side.
I would suggest altering the build sequence in the instructions and fit as many parts in the flat as possible and bend up the inside raised portion of the floor. More important though is to dry run the parts for the trunnions and ensure that they will go through the slots in the wagon bed before soldering anything. Also, I found it much easier to fix the top lip to the inside uprights before fixing the side/trunnion. That way the floor can be held down square and flat while the parts are being soldered on.
This picture shews most of the parts prepared for assembly. The side with the trunnions partially fitted has been slid into the slots, (they will need to be opened out somewhat) and to aid the process the wagon bed at that point was gently bent upwards to allow the rivets to go through the slots. Not too difficult provided one takes time. Once at this stage, I soldered the side in place taking care to ensure it was at a perfect right angle, which required some complicated temporary jig building on the RSU plate. The second side is not soldered in place until fitting the bearings and wheels.
It is necessary to ensure that the wagon is clamped to a solid, level base/jig when fitting the wheels to ensure the wagon will run properly. The instructions suggest compensation can be effected by giving a set of bearings vertical movement and springing the axle. I considered the work involved not worth the effort and the wagon does run perfectly because the bearing holes are accurately etched.
In the 1930s a second set of brakes were added and they are provided for in the kit but this one is for an early period layout and so one set were discarded. The castings for the brakes are not wonderful but with some careful cleaning up they do the job.
Here is the wagon largely complete. The raised side (parts 7) is an edge solder but both the floor and the parts are half etched to provide a good joint, as is the top lip, so making the job easier. The parts are accurately etched and needed very little fettling. I have still however to fix wire beading around the top.
The buffers provided are nickel silver cast heads and white metal housings, meant to be sprung using wire in conjunction with the coupling hook. My client prefers integral buffers so they have been substituted. The instructions state that it is necessary also to bend the ends of the sides outward to accommodate whichever buffers are used. There are white metal wheel chocks provided that are supposed to slide along the lip but they are rather poorly cast and I thought I may have had to make some from scratch.
In fact the casting cleaned up OK and did fit. The couplings provided are lost wax Instanter type, which did not come into use until well after the period this build represents. I thought the hook too small anyway and changed them for a set of WEP 3 links.
Well here it is complete and ready for the paint shop.
Hopefully, there will be more pictures once it has been painted.
An interesting build but not for the beginner.