Jim's kit arrives in his usual, well wrapped, flat pack. It is simple matter to unpack and remove the etches using a little butanone on a cotton bud to remove the Sellotape residue. The instructions run to ten or so pages with sufficient information for a relative beginner to put this together, though I would counsel any beginners to choose a less complex build as a first attempt. Excellent exploded diagrams and some good pictures make it simple to see where all the parts, which of course fit, go.
The first thing to do was separate out the parts, clean up for soldering and push the rivets/bolt heads through thus:
Here are the main parts made ready for the next stage, rivets have been punched, some parts fitted in the flat and the brake shoe pairs soldered up. All the cusps have also been carefully removed.
All the folding up has been done and the solebar overlays soldered in place together with the horse hook point prior to assembling the main body.
Here is the body assembled and the axle boxes fitted. These will be purely cosmetic since the vehicle will be fitted with WEP compensation units.
Now the bases to fit the compensation units are marked and fitted between the axle boxes; fortunately there were just the right height so no extra packing was needed. The units need a little care in assembly but if one is careful, then true running wheels set will result.
As you can see progress has moved on apace with the wheel sets fitted and all the brake gear added as well. The wheel sets are centred by sliding a length of wire through the coupling pockets, the rest just takes the usual care and patience. Not difficult.
Here is the corresponding side view. We now have a free running van with the brake gear fitted. Now it is time to think about how to blank off the view through the louvers, which extend to the ends as well. Once that is done it will be a simple matter of fitting the end stanchions, doors and handrails followed by the replacement integral buffers. I now have to source some lost wax casting for the steam and vacuum pipes. The roof will probably be fitted with internal springs so that Ian Hopkins can pain the inside a dark colour.
Here is the finsihed van with the baffles fitted ready to be painted black. Fitting the various castings proved simple since they are all well cast and fit properly. The buffers are replacements from NMRS and couplings from CPL.
Now it is ready for Ian's paintshop.
The lower view shews it with the roof perched on top, ti wil need to be glued on once the painting has been completed.
Not a difficult kit, expecialy for anyone with amodicum of experience in etched kit work.