This is an Conversion from a WEP kit for the GWR Gunpowder van.
My client wanted a Cambrian Gunpowder Van and supplied the WEP kit for the GWR version as a basis for conversion. The picture I have strongly suggests that it is very similar to the GWR version with relatively few modifications necessary. However, one of the necessary modifications will probably prove tricky since the base of the side stanchion on the Cambrian van do not turn under the body but continue down with prominent bolt heads visible. Exactly how I shall overcome this is yet to be decided. In the meantime I started work.
The kit comes as a flat pack as usual from WEP with the etch sheets taped to a piece of stout card, a bag of casting and bearings and wire. All that is required are a set of 3' 1½", 8 spoke, wheels and a set of integrally sprung buffers to replace the poor white metal set provided.
I began by punching out the numerous rivets and bolt heads and then started assembling as many parts as possible while the parts were still flat. When that was done parts were bent up where necessary and components assembled ready for final assembly of the body and underframe.
I got this far in two afternoons.
The side/end units were bent around a 5mm drill shank. I thought I would have to find a way to fill in the holes in the solebars since the Cambrian vehicle does not appear to have them however, I have since had confirmation that they do.
As usual for a Bill Parker kit, all the parts fit perfectly and are well thought out. The door hinges for instance are simply soldered in place in the etched space provided and then bent back at 90°. The solebars were carefully measured up and the bump stops folded up and fixed at an early stage, much easier than trying to fit them once the underframe is constructed. The kit is provided with sufficient parts for brakes on both sides to cater for the extra brake fitted to one side after the 1920s. However, the picture I have of a Cambrian gunpowder van in 1905 shews no sign of brakes on the opposite side so the extra parts were omitted.
The doors and one panel each side have etched squares where notice panels should be fitted, the Cambrian vehicle does not have such panels on the side and the one of the door appears in a different place so the etched lines were carefully filled in with solder and smoothed down, as shewn here, where I am halfway through the process.
Now to consider how to make the modifications to the stanchions, fortunately I have a number of other vehicles to build for this client so I shall continue with them until inspiration arrives.
Time to start work on this project again. Here is the body complete save for buffers and the underframe with parts still to be fixed after it has been soldered into the body. Construction is not at all difficult, all the parts fit and it goes together well, the roof has witness marks on the underside to ensure it is soldered on square.
The turnunder for the four stanchions on each side have been cut off and leveled with the base of the floor. There are two options to make up the parts required, one in plastic and the other in brass. I shall be experimenting with them both so soon as I have the requisite materials to hand and will post the results in due course.
To finish off the stanchions I cut some pieces of rectangular section plastic rod to fit into the solebar, drilled them out 0.5mm and fitted wire in the holes, flooded them with Butanone and left them to set. Once set the pins were filed down, the piece were fitted to the wagon and some plastic strip cut and fitted to continue the line of the stanchion to the end of the block. A bit of a fiddle but they should look OK once painted.
It is now ready to go back to its owner and on to Ian Rathbone for painting. Here a final picture of the end view.