Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

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Nothing like a challenge…

…to get things moving.

Ok, so I’ve done it, I’ve decided to enter the 009 Society railcar competition. So once the June deadline is reached I’ll move onto this. I have a plan, I have the bits, I have a good idea in my head what to do and how to do it. Die cast model collectors may need to look away though…

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Loads better

A short interlude in 59 while I just show you another wagon load. The wagon is Dapol’s Pwllheli Granite Co 7 plank wagon which comes with a really poor wagon load.

I have replaced it with some G scale granite ballast which looks right to be boulder size in 4mm. The replacement I am sure you will agree looks better.

The wagon is not full to overflowing because wagons weren’t if they were carrying high density traffic. The wagon is now a scale weight but that is all to the good I reckon – stops overly ambitious freight train running.

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Body works

Further lowering of the W&L covered van into Ffestiniog 59 van continues. It is fortunate that there are plenty of photos on the internet to refer to for details – although I spent a lot of time around the van I never took note of its details and never looked to compare it to original format as I am now doing.

After that photo was taken I shortened the final side and so it’s now time to cut the doors out (leaving the frames). The following challenge is to make the louvred doors. There are various white metal ones available on the web but I need them to be light because this wagon will be heavy when it’s finished – more of that later.

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Watching paint dry

Actually, I’m not stuck because of paint but because I’m awaiting a delivery of scalpel blades which has stalled the 59 van work which needs precision cutting.

In the meantime I dug out the kit that comes with the 009 society welcome pack which only needs the sprues cutting so can cope with less than perfect cutting.

It’s a simple kit and turns 3D pretty quickly. Here it is waiting for the glue to dry. I’ll continue building it in gaps between doing 59.

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Reverse engineering

One of the vehicles my narrow gauge section needs is the Ffestiniog Van 59 which started out at the VoR as a cattle wagon before being regauged at Swindon for the Welshpool and then being bought by the FR when the Welshpool shut.

The East Anglia Group of the Ffestiniog Railway Society then rebuilt it for the FR and in later life it became a bike wagon (not often) and generator wagon for the disco train.

The cattle and closed vans for the VoR were basically the same thing so I procured a short while ago a Nine lines Welshpool closed van. The problem is I don’t know what the EAG did. However, recently 59 van was sold back to the VoR who converted it back to a cattle wagon. Now, having spoken to them I know they inserted 11″ back into the height of the vehicle to restore it. That’s why it looks “normal” in VoR guise and more like a CCT van in FR guise.

I have therefore done a cut and shut on one end of the van and have the other end to do. This is complicated by the angled bracing struts at the back so it required some careful cutting and sanding to fit – and will require some filler to finish.

However, the comparison picture shows just how much a difference there is.

Next up will be the other end and then the sides – including modifying the doors into louvred ones as fitted when it was a disco generator.

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Wagon works

The Wonderful Wagon kit is finished (except couplings- what a surprise!)

It looks good and is a great kit for its age.

I loaded it with some ballast from the Patriarch’s archive box which being 4mm is a bit big and so I’ll use for wagon loads rather than track ballast. It’s stuck in using the usual pva and water mix.

I consulted some books to get photos of loaded wagons to ensure it looked right. I like the result.

Next in the wagon works is something of the NG variety that I’d like to get done for June.

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It’s a wonderful world

In having my clear out the other day I found the Peco Wonderful wagon kit I bought last year.

For an old kit it is a clever idea and well designed although I feel it probably will be best if the wagon is loaded as I don’t think the floor will get truly flat.

I hadn’t realised the suspension is achieved through the plastic being flexible rather than use of springs. Time will tell how long it lasts.

Having built the chassis onto the body the body covering needs fixing to the bodyshell.

The covering is embossed card complete with detail and is pretty convincing for a small wagon such as this.