Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Heather Kay

Airfix 00 Railway Stock

Recommended Posts

It seems I can't keep away! This time I'm on rather more familiar territory, as I've done quite a bit of railway modelling over the past few decades. The kits here were purchased at various model railway exhibitions, usually from bring and buy stands, with a view to super-detailing them for my own layout. As it turned out, they remained stashed away and neglected until I rediscovered them yesterday during a periodic tidy up in the loft workshop. 

 

Rather than create three different threads, I'm combining these kits into a single one. The end result, I hope, will be a nice short goods train of Airfix wagons. Happily, the boxes cover roughly three periods of these kits' lives in the Airfix catalogue. The oldest, as far as I can make out, dates to about 1960, then the late 1960s, and into the 1970s. For fun, I've included all the paperwork in each kit here, so we can sort of see the evolution of instructions over the years.

 

44135432731_e66ce38ec3_b.jpg

 

Ironically, we start with the oldest kit here, the British Railways (BR) Standard 20 ton Brake Van, which traditionally brings up the end of a train. I believe this box design dates from about 1960, which is when the railway kits started to appear. The model represents the standard brake van that evolved from an LNER design of the 1930s.

 

30267714628_1335e57868_b.jpg

 

Inside the box we find the complaint slip. I wonder if we might ever find out who No 59 was?

 

43228623465_5652bfa71d_b.jpg

 

On the reverse we find a list of the kits available. I find it interesting that scales aren't mentioned, but rather it is assumed the avid modeller will be aiming to collect all of them! Oh, if only.

 

43228623985_1ef7c1a5fa_b.jpg

 

For something potentially older than me, I rather think this sheet of transfers is actually in better nick than I am! I rather hope they will be usable, but I may have to dive into my spares if not.

 

43228624495_bb7c24afbc_b.jpg

 

Ah, those lovely "locate and cement" instructions, which educated as well as entertained. How else would one know what a sole bar was, or where to fit a vacuum brake cylinder?

 

44135430041_95430bbbfa_b.jpg

 

The contents of the box. The kit is moulded in a styrene not a million miles away from the official livery colour of bauxite red. The wheels are moulded in black, and you will note a pair of rather dead elastic bands. These were intended to be used, or at least one of them, to provide a springing system for the Hornby Dublo compatible couplings. Quite how effective the knuckle couplers were without additional weight in the model is hard to say. My impression is that any enthusiastic shunting manoeuvre would soon entail calling out the nearest breakdown crane to get things back on the rails!

 

44135431841_8f803a86f5_b.jpg

 

Sadly, one of the sole bars is broken. I do have a Dapol repop of this kit which would provide a replacement. It does mean, though, I will have to substitute both sole bars and the wheels, as the Dapol kits were updated to use wheel sets with pinpoint axles.

 

30267712398_0de56a2cf3_b.jpg

 

Next is one of my favourite wagons, a 35 ton Class B tanker. Are you paying attention at the back? Good. Here's the history lesson, straight from the instruction sheet:


 

Quote

 

Following publication of the British Railways Modernisation Plan in 1955, it became clear that future passenger and freight schedules would be revised and speeded up with the introduction of high-speed Diesel, Electro Diesel and all Electric Locomotives. Railway rolling stock would, therefore, be redesigned and constructed to operate within conditions envisaged under the new modernisation programme. Whilst future Railway planning covered the design and construction of all stock, including passenger and freight, no general provision had been made for railway tank wagons carrying petroleum products which normally did not operate at speeds in excess of 45 m.p.h. and were subject to frequent examinations during transit.

 

In 1956 Esso Petroleum Co., Ltd., approached British Railways to design a new tank wagon capable of maximum capacity on four wheels with the 35-ton gross weight permitted under high-speed operations.

 

Three prototype wagons were designed and constructed and, following certain trials and shunting tests, the Mark 1 was approved by British Railways. Subsequently, over 800 of this type of wagon were ordered by the Esso Company from various builders. Two classes of vehicles were built, Class A for carrying Petrol and Highly Inflammable products, and Class B for carrying Fuel Oils, Diesel Oils and Kerosenes.

 

The Class B tank barrel is fitted with steam coils to assist the off-loading of heavy fuel oils. Discharge of load is controlled by internal rod and plug, operated by the hand wheel located on top of the tank barrel.

 

 

 

You can wake up again now! Notice how the young modeller wasn't patronised by dropping the use of long words? Educational at every level.

 

43228622235_0dc1bd40e1_b.jpg

 

A more familiar style to the complaint slip - well, familiar to we oldies at least - has now appeared.

 

43228622995_8bff40709b_b.jpg

 

On the reverse, an insight into the growing Airfix universe of toys. I wonder what happened to Motor Ace, New Artist and Betta Builder?

 

43228622755_a3837245ae_b.jpg

 

The instructions are still the familiar "locate and cement" form.

 

43228621795_03489109d1_b.jpg

 

The transfers, you'll note, include alternative running numbers. These wagons often ran in block trains, so the budding railway builder could have three wagons with different numbers in their train. With some careful nail scissor work, several more might be made up, too.

 

30267712738_e9f24c98c5_b.jpg

 

Once more, the parts are moulded in a prototypical colour for the finished model. Plain black, with little need for more than detail painting if needed.

 

43228626775_e7b15a428c_b.jpg

 

Finally, an odd choice for a model in my opinion. The BR Standard Meat Wagon (technically a "van", but let's not split hairs) is a full-on throwback, a last gasp of the Victorian steam railway built in 1952. It was based on a design of van that first appeared in the 1920s, when refrigeration was all but unheard of in railway circles. It has a short wheelbase, again a hangover from Victorian times, and although it has an automatic braking system and was rated to run at express speeds, it's really not the sort of vehicle the 1950s should have created to transport meat. The only cooling available to prevent meat going off here is extra ventilator hoods on the ends, and some grilles along the sides. No wonder then that these oddball vehicles saw little use, and were summarily scrapped - though some were converted to the altogether more useful task of transporting crated beer about.

 

This boxing comes from the 1970s, when the Meat Vans had been long gone, and would never have been seen with such modern lorries as that in the background. 

 

44135434101_7aa89a0d35_b.jpg

 

This time, the complaint slip enjoins us to get "Buster" or "Valiant" in order to keep up with the Airfix Modellers' Club pages.

 

44135435571_77109c7db2_b.jpg

 

Again, multiple running numbers on the transfer sheet.

 

30267715338_8c4cd70dae_b.jpg

 

"Locate and cement" is now gone, in favour of a more universal multi-lingual exploded diagram format that is still with us today. As a young modeller, though, I was intrigued to find I was able to pick up a little French and German by comparing with the English text. "Nicht Kleben" indeed, especially if you want the doors to open and the wheels to go round!

 

30267715108_f78f1b7103_b.jpg

 

A bright red plastic here, once again emulating the original crimson livery these vans carried when new. 

 

So, when will I get stuck - ho-ho! - into these? Well, we'll see. My stock includes a pair of tankers, a pair of meat vans, and the brake van. I will paint them appropriately, using proper livery colours, and I hope the transfers actually work. I'm not going to change the wheels or couplings, though. I simply don't need these models on my railway - they're the wrong scale, apart from anything else - and there are far better models readily available ready to play with these days. These will be a simple trip down memory lane.

 

 

 

Edited by Heather Kay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting Heather!

 

Looking forward to progress on these wagons.

 

All the best,

 

Ray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

30270304158_594ece6e0d_b.jpg

 

Here's a meat van I built years ago, which was converted to an Ale Van. Working Instanter couplings, replacement buffers, a wire wound brake hose and finer scale wheels.

Edited by Heather Kay
Added details.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Heather Kay said:

On the reverse, an insight into the growing Airfix universe of toys. I wonder what happened to Motor Ace, New Artist and Betta Builder?

 

I was lucky enough to have Betta Builder set, there were tiles for the roof (including ridge tiles) that interlocked with two pins moulded on each tile. You could also but extra building sets and I remember my Dad bringing home one for a castle. The set included a drawbridge and the 'special bricks' to make turreted walls and I think there were some for arrow slots. It was never as popular as LEGO, and therein lies its demise, but I felt that it was better. 

 

I'm really looking forward to watching this little freight collection go together Heather. :popcorn:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for putting all these up to build for this GB Heather.

I kinda feel bad now after pestering you to just build one more and now you've answered that three times over!!! On the other hand, if this is your day job - what else have you got to do? Make sure hubby organises all the other duties around the house so that you can get on with these great railway kits. A few years ago I did take to railway modelling in order to entice my growing son to get into some kind of hobby, however after about 6 months we both lost a little steam with it (pardon the pun). I ended up going back to aircraft modelling and the dreaded Playstation won out with the little fella in the end. We did have some fun and visited a number of museums and took the odd Choo Choo ride as well, so all is not lost I suppose. At least I now know what's the difference between an A4, Type 31 and Deltic! 

 

Cheers and thanks again for being such a prolific contributor.

Dave.   

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice choice of builds, certainly off the beaten path for this GB. 

 

Betta Bilda got on the wrong side of Lego. The similarity's were a bit startling. I've got a few sets, along with some New Artist paint by numbers boxes.

Motor Ace faded with the slot racing craze, that and the dominance of Scalextric here and Carrera on the continent. The Airfix toy and craft ranges nearly rivalled the kits in the companies heyday 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Rabbit Leader said:

Thanks so much for putting all these up to build for this GB Heather.

 

Not a problem. These little kits don’t take that long to put together. I don’t plan on doing the Full Monty on detailing. I’m just filling in a few bits here and there. As it happens, I have super detailed examples I built many years ago - the Ale van being one - and I will post images to show what I used to do with these kits back in the day. Like most of the 1/76th vehicles, I don’t think I built a wagon kit straight from the box once!

 

It's fun to think of a youngster buying a wagon kit or two, rushing home and gluing everything together, and having them running on their train set later the same day. 

23 minutes ago, TonyW said:

Nice choice of builds, certainly off the beaten path for this GB. 

Thanks, Tony, and thanks also for filling in a bit of the history. I’ve said elsewhere, I find the history almost as fascinating as the products the company produced.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fascinating thread already - I am at the back paying attention! This answers my earlier query when I said that my early self used my pocket money on buying rolling stock from the Triang Hornby trainset range (I started with 'The Midlander'), before I got into modelling kits, and I often wondered since if there was a link between the assembled rolling stock in their boxes and the kits issued by Airfix. It looks like you could build these kits and add to your layout but as you say, Heather, maybe a bit more weight required so these finished kits could withstand a 10-year old's shunting skills. I used to fill the ready made wagons full of split peas and red lentils and use the working doors to offload them onto the living-room carpet. Maybe you could fill the Meat Van with dog treats....?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never been a railway fan, but these old kits bring back memories. Interesting to see that it was cheaper to buy the Airfix magazine one issue at a time  (1/- each) than have an annual subscription (16/-). What were they thinking?

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ian, I thought that too. Most odd.

 

Heather, last month at the local car boot there were three Airfix cement trucks for sale.

The price on top was three pounds. So in a fit of indecision I didn't buy one.

The next week I found out it was three pounds for all three! Doh.

I was simply after one for nostalgia's sake though.

 

I still have some green Betta Bilda roof tiles. The quality of the bricks was nowhere near to

that of Lego bricks and the only ones I saw were plain white. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

three Airfix cement trucks for sale.

I began collecting part-built cement wagons years ago. They, like the tank wagons, often ran in block trains, and I intended on super-detailing them up for our club layout. I prevaricated long enough for Bachmann to produce the same wagon ready to run. I’ve still got the Airfix ones in a box somewhere.

 

 

Edited by Heather Kay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention that these were still boxed. As they left the factory.

I liked the detail on the sides and considered using parts of them in Sci Fi builds.

Go on, say it, Heretic!

Mea culpa.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Go on, say it, Heretic!

:whistle:

 

if if it was good enough for Gerry Anderson… 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The meat vans fell out of their boxes and sort of ended up finished. Like many kits of this golden age, there ain't a lot to 'em. 

 

44171147501_e11db0f14e_b.jpg

 

The underframes and running gear, upside down. In this kit, the frame is moulded integrally with the van floor. The big circular features each end are for fitting the Hornby Dublo-style coupler. After fitting the vacuum brake cylinder - one went AWOL, so I carved a new one quickly from some scrap - the sole bars are fitted, one at a time and the wheel sets installed. If I was doing a full on super detail jobbie, I would be fitting brass top-hat bearings to take finescale wheels. I would also have removed the tie bar between the W-irons and replaced it with something thinner. The sole bars are identical, so it doesn't matter which way round they go. What does matter, though, is fitting the hand brake levers. The one on the vacuum cylinder side has an extra blobby bit moulded at the pivot point. This is a representation of a thing called a Morton clutch, a device that allows one handbrake lever to operate the brakes on both sides of the wagon. The only addition, aside from the makeshift cylinder, has been a brass rod cross shaft between the brake gear. The headstocks, often referred to as buffer beams, are slotted in place and we're halfway to finishing already! The headstocks are moulded with prongs on the bottom edges which are intended to limit the swing of the huge coupler if it's used. They have been excised and the edge sanded. I have done this to all the Airfix/Dapol kits I have built, as it's not a feature of the real thing.

 

You can see I have already fitted the dummy couplings and brake hoses. It's been all of about fifteen minutes. 

 

44171147611_8a2f88e5d6_b.jpg

 

Here are the brake levers in closeup, before I fitted them to the models. You can see the differences between them now. 

 

43453237924_c4c510432a_b.jpg

 

This boxing is from the 1970s, with the multilingual exploded diagrams. What is missing is the clear instruction in the earlier kits to indicate which way up the buffers go. There are four webs moulded around the housing, and the shorter web goes to the top. 

 

44171147331_e52f532636_b.jpg

 

The bodies go together well. The box corners are moulded at 45 degrees, and there are copious locating ledges to get things to fit the floor neatly. The door hinges are fragile, and one had come away in the box over the years, which you can see on the lower left on the right hand wagon. I spent some time carefully cleaning the hinge loops, and tidying the doors. The door inner faces were moulded with fine plank detailing, but three enormous ejector marks. I just sanded it all away. There's also fine moulded detail inside the body, all lost in the murk. On the real things, there were various racks and hooks to hang the fresh meat. I fitted each door to its appropriate half body side before gluing things to the floor, as it was easier to manipulate the door onto the hinge loops like that.

 

I'm pleased to report all the doors operate, even the one with the broken hinge. Ready for painting.

 

Brake van next, I think.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking excellent Heather and the education you are giving in rail rolling stock continues - I'm enjoying that. Locally, we have the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway Museum and you can get your hands on the mechanical brake mechanisms of some ancient trucks and vans and see the primitive but effective nature of the bars and locking pins. I used to take my son there when he was small and we both had a great time pulling at all sorts of handles on the engines and rolling stock - not strictly allowed everywhere, of course! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right, let's take a peep at the brake van. Of all the kits, this one has seen the most favour by model railway enthusiasts over the years, mainly because the ready-to-run makers didn't make a decent BR standard brake van until quite recently, and the Airfix kit was pretty much the only way to get one.

 

42383805810_2080495ffb_b.jpg

 

The body sides are cleanly and sharply moulded. The hand and grab rails are moulded integrally. The first thing a serious modeller does is to carefully remove all the moulded handrails. These would be replaced by fine brass wire, which also involves a tricky soldering job where the long handrail meets the upright ones at the ends. 

 

At this point I had hoped I might unearth the last van I did the business on. Sadly, it's not in my 00 stock box, and I rather think it's currently in a friend's collection. We pool our stock for the club layout, and although we mark our own models, sometimes they end up in each other's possession. I don't mind, but it's a nuisance that I can't take a photo of it to show the modifications that can be done.

 

42383806010_f38ea8b520_b.jpg

 

The inner ends of the body have lovely fine plank detail, and socking great ejector pin marks. Why these were arranged on the outside of the parts defeats me. There is nothing for it here, unless you live with them, but to sand or scrape the marks away. If I was dedicated, I would then scribe the planks back. Later brake van builds used plywood for such areas, so that's my excuse this time! Here's a real one, showing plenty of scope for super-detailing.

 

3754757254_72f1d554cc_z.jpg?zz=1

 

There are more handrails in this location, at the outer sides. These represent bars that were hinged and closed off the verandah access. Like this:

 

3753957435_e053085c12_z.jpg?zz=1

 

42383805570_34378a02be_b.jpg

 

The outer ends of the verandahs have nice crisp moulding of the planking, lamp brackets and metal braces. The side lamp brackets would often be removed by the fussy modeller, and replaced with something a little more sturdy. Lamps are provided in the kit, though to a purist they're a little on the undernourished side compared to the real thing.


The uses of lamps in the railway world is an interesting subject in its own right. I have a copy of the BR Rule Book, a volume that all railway staff owned and memorised, which gives chapter and verse at some length on lamps and their uses on the railway.* I'm not going to bore you with an in-depth discourse, just provide a link to a useful PDF provided by Farnham Model Railway Club. Suffice it to say, the use of tail lamps on brake vans was an important part of railway safety. Signalmen would watch for the red lamp at the end of a train as a confirmation the train was still complete. A combination of three lamps was used to indicate various aspects of the train and its position on the lines.

 

* Rule 55 still confuses me, a bit like the offside rule in football, but that's not pertinent to this thread in any way whatsoever!

 

44191495721_c0eb830095_b.jpg

 

Oh dear. Inside the end panels, mahoosive ejector marks. Oh boy.

 

44191495351_c27631ca2d_b.jpg

 

The body doors, again with ejector pins outside. Why?! Some of the door furniture can be replaced with wire here. A sensible toolmaker might have moulded the doors as part of the ends, but since the doors opened outwards Airfix have allowed the modeller to pose a door open if required. It would, however, required sanding down to about a third of its moulded thickness to look half sensible. As moulded, it would be like swinging open an oak church door!

 

42383805890_5a1ce4014a_b.jpg

 

Getting ahead of myself again! An item of note here is the ends of the underframe. To get the overall weight up to the required 20 tons, chiefly required to aid braking force, the ends of the verandahs were cast concrete blocks. These were contained in a metal frame. Airfix has produced moulded handrails, of course. Here's a picture of a real van, to show how the ends look.

 

3754757130_bc17313ebe_z.jpg?zz=1

 

44191494361_f0b676c7ae_b.jpg

 

The van underframe, that's the ladder-like structure, is moulded as a separate part to the floor. The fit is good, and only needs a little cement or solvent to be run around it to hold firm. Next, you attach the brake shoes to the solebars. There are supposed to be tiny locating pins on the solebar, but on the Dapol replacement parts I was using (remember the Airfix parts had been bent and broken) many were missing. I had to guess where things went, but for a 00 gauge model near enough is good enough. If I were to be building this model to one of the dead accurate gauges, I would have to pay more attention to location. 

 

The vacuum cylinder fits on a small branch of the framework. The final act of this section is to fit the headstocks and associated buffers, couplings and hoses. The same basic modifications to the headstocks apply here as they did to the meat vans. 

 

The long step boards are fitted, and the instructions recommend the sole bars and so on be painted before doing this. I did as instructed, though I'm not bothering to paint everything, especially if it won't be visible under normal circumstances. Oddly, though there are pins for every step bracket, not all had the associated hole in the solebar. A dedicated modeller would be adding extra detail to the brake rigging, and various features associated with the underframe. The only part you'd really be able to see clearly would be the V-shaped yoke that joins the brake shoes together across the chassis, and even then only the outer pair would be easily seen.

 

44191493851_32eb0abe9e_b.jpg

 

Boom! A finished brake van! I have merrily skipped over the section where I spilled MEK solvent all over the bench. :doh: My cutting mat now has a bald patch where the grid was dissolved, but happily I managed to save the various parts that got a dunking. No major harm done, although I was pretty high from the fumes for a while. :frantic: Remember, kids, to work in a well-ventilated area when using solvents, and preferably use a stand or tray to stop you knocking bottles over. :blush:

 

Assembly of the body is fairly straightforward. Airfix give you alignment dimples on the floor, with associated bumps on the bottom of the body sides. It's a simple job to glue the parts together. At this stage, I've left the verandah ends loose, and not fitted the roof, as it will make painting inside the ends easier. 

 

As things are about ready for the paint shop foreman to get a couple of gangs in, I will begin preparing to build the tank wagons. As a little taster, here's one I bashed about earlier (about 25 years earlier):

 

43453237544_50716f725b_b.jpg

Edited by Heather Kay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have dabbled a little into model railways so I am no expert so your detail about each vehicle has been an education into the various components of railway engineering.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge !

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had "one of those days" today. I fiddled about with odds and ends, and made little progress on things I ought to have been working on. Instead, I ended up painting the brake and meat vans.

 

42395294350_9145e25e6a_b.jpg

 

A little persuasion helping the roof glue on the van. The Dapol transfers broke up when I tried to get them off the backing sheet. With nothing left to lose, I dug out the 50 year old Airfix transfers. They needed a fair soak, but they only bloomin' worked! Once the roof is dry, I'll retouch here and there, then set this aside for the other things to catch up before I get the airbrush out and satin varnish everything.

 

It might be fun to discuss liveries at this point. The different colours used on freight stock meant things. Essentially, goods wagons were divided into two main types: those with only a handbrake and those with an automatic train brake. The latter used a system that worked by vacuum pressure, which I'll describe in a bit. Handbraked vehicles were known as "unfitted" - they weren't fitted with vacuum braking - and were generally painted a sort of battleship grey colour. "Fitted", in other words those vehicles with vacuum braking, were painted a red oxide or bauxite red, a sort of orangey brownish red colour. Exceptions to this basic rule were vehicles for special jobs. So, for example, engineering department vehicles were painted black. Insulated vehicles were painted white, and for some reason no-one can work out, the ventilated meat vans were painted in passenger coach maroon. Another exception was a so-called "piped" vehicle, where it had been fitted with a vacuum brake pipe that ran through without actually acting on the brakes. These were painted in the bauxite livery, but the pipes were painted in white rather than red. The pipework meant such vehicles could be coupled in between braked vehicles without stopping the vacuum from working. :penguin: 

 

43484997874_485a9682a2_b.jpg

 

Nice, isn't it? I actually used Midland Railway crimson lake. I think, in reality, the official colour was a lot redder than this. None of the current "authentic" paint suppliers do the early bright red, insisting the right colour is close to what I've used. I'm not old enough to have seen such colours in real life, so who am I to argue?

 

Anyway, that's were we are. 

 

Right, vacuum braking: what's that all about then? 

 

Early railways had no braking at all, even locomotives often only had a rudimentary hand brake. After several fatal accidents, it was decreed some kind of automatic braking system needed to be developed and fitted. The simplest method seemed to be to generate a vacuum by using the steam loco's own power. A cylinder was installed on each braked vehicle, and everything connected by pipework to the loco. When no vacuum was present, the brakes were defaulted to "on", meaning if for any reason a brake pipe failed the train should come to a stand. As long as the loco created a vacuum, brakes were "off". The train driver applied the loco steam brake and the train vacuum brake to control things. Later on, the loco brake was combined with the vacuum system, so one brake application worked both systems. Nowadays, modern trains use compressed air to brake, but the principle is similar in that should a pipe fail the train will be brought to a stand automatically. 

 

Educational, this model making game, isn't it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

Educational, this model making game, isn't it!

You are right and all your railway knowledge is absolutely fascinating so many thanks for spending the time. The local rail museum we have here is actually the Scottish Railway  Preservation Society Museum which runs alongside the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway, which has working locomotives, link here: http://www.srpsmuseum.org.uk/index.htm. They have a Brake Van which they have kitted out with a waxwork Guard, who springs into life (audio conversation about his hard day riding in the GV) when you trip a movement sensor. It scared the living daylights out of my son and I as it was a quiet afternoon when we went and there was no-one else around! They also have a bright yellow 'Saxa Salt' van but the one which I remember as treasuring from my Triang-Hornby 00 days was the 'Ice Blue Fish Van'. Loving this build! Cheers Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I began to contemplate the tank wagons. Before I got really stuck in, though, I got out my 1955 copy of the British Railways Rule Book. This was the absolute Bible for all railway staff. It can make a fascinating read if the way our railways used to work is of interest. The following are the pertinent rules (119 to 124) covering the use of head, side and tail lamps.

 

43327475895_aa0aa6fba5_b.jpg

 

43327475735_0f52bebc3e_b.jpg

 

The phrase "after sunset, or during fog or falling snow" occurs with monotonous regularity throughout the Rule Book. When you recall that these rules had been drawn up from bitter experience over almost a century of the development of our railways, they make sense. They were to ensure the safety of the railway workers and the paying passengers. Safety first at all times.

 

Now, to these tank wagons...

 

43327476015_e86e2185cc_b.jpg

 

I got to thinking it might be fun to do the works on them. In other words, do all the stuff I would do if I intended to use the models on an exhibition layout. How much would it entail, and what parts would be required? 

 

I've still got my small stock of 4mm scale (1/76th) detail parts - ever the hoarder! - so I dug it out of a box and looked at what I had. I found I had sufficient metal wagon wheels, enough brass screw couplings, accurate cast white metal buffers, some brass wire vacuum pipes and, of course, both kits. The photo shows the raw materials for one wagon. Looking promising, though I will need to scratch some brake rigging and extra pipework.

 

Closer inspection of photos of the real thing show the walkways on the tank top, and the access ladders, are quite fine. The moulded plastic ones are, well let's be charitable, a bit chunky. It might be possible to thin the ladders down with some dedicated sanding, but there is always the risk of breakage. Not having suitable replacements in my Bits Box, I did a quick stroll round the various model railway forums to see what other folk do.

 

It seems the Airfix/Dapol 35 ton Class B tank wagons are still popular. :like:

 

It turns out there is a set of PE ladders and walkways available. :thumbsup:

 

It also turns out there are aftermarket decal sets that include the data panels on the wagon solebars. :yahoo:

 

For a modest outlay, I could really do the business on these wagons. The question, to which I already know the answer, is should I? 

 

There may be a small delay while I order and wait for delivery various upgrade items. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gawd these are fairly nipping along!!

 

Nice (and speedy!) work! 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

For a modest outlay, I could really do the business on these wagons. The question, to which I already know the answer, is should I?

:nodding:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

should I? 

 

Ye-e-es! (please)

 

Regards,

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happily I’d already made my decision, so the PE and transfers have been ordered. I shall consider what I can do to the plastic parts and what needs scratchbuilding before everything else gets here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...