An Unusual Prototype.
This is yet another vehicle being built for a client as part of an extensive collection of Great Western and Cambrian goods stock. Here it is finished and painted by Ian Rathbone.
Dragon wagon kits generally arrive as a flat pack but this one arrived in a box as a partially started kit; most parts had been removed from the etch and a deal of bending already done. It took a while to remove tining and verdigris from some parts but, once cleaned up work began.
There are four sides of A4 with instructions and step-by-step pictures that shew well how the vehicle goes together. The part that needs a good deal of care is the floor, which also has some complex folds to make up the headstocks. These need very careful bending but, once done, they produce a nice bulky set of headstocks at either end.
The integrally sprung buffers if fitted as designed would be totally enclosed in the body and therefore impossible to adjust or remove the heads and springs. I decided to modify it so that the housings could be fitted and the heads, springs and nuts added after painting. The backing behind the buffer holes was drilled out sufficiently for the buffer shanks to be accessible, as in the picture here. The couplings were changed for a set of WEP 3 link with the hook cut short, pinned and soldered solid. The lashing rings have to be fitted before bending up the headstock boards and the various plates are best fixed before bending the headstocks up to shape too.
The next job was to cut some rectangular holes in the floor, large enough for the jaws of a pair of forceps clamping a 12BA nut to fit through comfortably. The holes will be covered by the wheel ramps that fit behind the headstocks leaving the buffer shanks accessible from underneath.
The side rails have also been fitted with a good fillet on the inside ends as that is the only fixing point for them. The fillets will, of course, disappear under the ramps too.
Here is the body complete and the parts for the wheels and brakes waiting to be assembled. The wheels were specially commissioned by Dragon from Slater's and they are an unusual fitting, having inside bearings. These units arrived assembled, unfortunately one set of bearings came adrift while fitting the unit to the floor. It was a bit of fiddle putting that right.
Here it is all but completed and awaiting a new set of buffers since the originals were too badly rusted to be used.