2mm Adrian's 2mm workbench.

Discussion in '2mm Lounge' started by adrian, 15 April 2015.

  1. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I managed to grab a few hours at the workbench this weekend amongst other chores to make a little progress.

    So first job was to solder the doors into the sides, unfortunately for this there aren't any location tags or steps to hold them in the right position so it was a case of holding them by hand and spot soldering. If it looked right they were soldered in, if not then they were removed and tried again. It usually took two or three attempts to get them looking ok.

    As with the cattle truck the stanchions on the end panels are supposed to be soldered up from 3 laminated pieces. So as before I ignored this and just soldered in some appropriately sized nickel silver strips.

    d33_van - 1.jpg

    Quite a lot of time was taken making sure that the sides and ends were flat and straight. With all the laminations the sides did have a little bow which needed correcting. Once happy with that the sides and ends were then tack soldered together.

    d33_van - 2.jpg

    Again double checking everything was square before soldering all together. Not visible in the photo but there are a couple of floor level gusset plates with 12BA nuts soldered on so that the chassis can be bolted on later, these were fitted after soldering the sides together as they needed a little fettling to fit and I didn't want to distort the sides.

    d33_van - 3.jpg

    Next task was to look at the roof - not a simple roof panel in this case as it has the distinctive sliding door in the roof. On the left hand side are the etches for a fold up frame which locates in slots across the doors. To the inside there is a etched overlay to fit with a half etched slot for the sliding door, on the outside another overlay to provide a support for the outside roof panels. So to the right hand side are the roof panels. two large ones for either side of the doors. and two smaller ones for the roof door but they are different widths. I'm still trying to work out how these fit as the wider door fits neatly in the half etched slot but the narrower one leaves a gap between it and the roof frame.

    d33_van - 4.jpg

    The frame slots neatly into the body sides, this is not soldered in but simply pressed into the slots. I haven't soldered it in yet as I'm still trying to work out how to fit the roof doors, the large side door overlaps the etched slot, i.e. a little too high so I think a little fettling will be needed. Also it looks tricky getting the roof panels when in situ. So rather than soldering it in at this stage I think I will try to fit the roof doors to this sub assembly before fitting it to the van body.

    d33_van - 5.jpg

    I have been very impressed with the fit of all the components considering the size, bear in mind the sides are only 1/2" high the corners have been spot on. Although that view might change after trying to fit the roof doors!!
  2. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    A short update on progress just to show that things are still moving along, albeit rather slowly. The last couple of months have been stupidly busy mainly around work and Scouts, that has tailed off a bit now and I have managed to get back to the workbench. Not all of it quite ready for publishing but small progress on the wagons.

    As suspected the roof doors didn't work out quite as expected, not that it was any consolation but it was nice to see that I wasn't alone struggling with this part of the build - Return of the Sith - Sithlord's Railway Blog: LNWR D33 Covered Goods Van

    The top door fitted fine - but the lower door on the etch just seemed too narrow to fit between the rails.
    So this photo shows the progression from left to right, on the left are the etches as supplied, the lower door being too narrow. Rather than pack out the rails to support the door I decided to cut a new door from some 5thou nickel silver sheet and use a couple of etched strips from the kit to make the ribs along the door as shown in the middle. The right hand photo shows the door unit all soldered up.

    2mm_wagon - 1.jpg

    Three sets later this is the result, fitted to the vans and the end panels fitted as well.

    2mm_wagon - 2.jpg

    With the body essentially complete my attention then turned to the chassis. This more or less follows the usual 2mmFS association style of build with a various overlays however as shown below there are no location holes in the axleboxes on the overlays. The instructions say to solder in a top hat bearing on the main chassis etch and then file it flush before soldering on the overlays. On the first chassis I didn't think this would work as the bearing would be filed down too thin and you would lose the pin point bearing. So on the first etch I soldered on the overlays prior to the bearings and then tried to drill out the holes to accept the bearings. It didn't work!! There was insufficient meat on the overlays and they started to spread after drilling so they needed quite a bit of work to tidy up. The second and third chassis I followed the instructions and filed down the bearings, this worked out much better!! The only tricky bit being that there was nothing to provide a positive location for the overlays so they were just held in position by hand and tack soldered in position. If it looked ok I then soldered them in permanently.

    2mm_wagon - 3.jpg

    The kit as supplied provides three different brake options so I decided to build one of each for a bit of variation so this is where I'm up to. Just buffers, couplings and a little detailing around the corner plates should see them finished for the paint shop.

    2mm_wagon - 4.jpg
    jonte, BCN-Pete, Stumpytrain and 16 others like this.
  3. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    These are looking very nice. I will have to check my books and drawings but I recall the lower roof doors were narrower than the upper doors on these vans with roof doors both sides. The roof doors should match the width of the side doors on each side and there should be a similar edging strip above the door on both sides. It may be the etch doesn't have the parts for the rails for the lower roof door. The way you have built them is plausible for a van with only one roof door, as was quite common on other railways, but again will have to check what the LNWR did - from memory they had vans with side doors on one side only with only one roof door.
  4. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    The LNWR had two similar designs. D32 were 15ft 6in with double sliding doors one side only and a single roof door. The later versions - D33 - were 16ft with double doors both sides but retained the single roof door. The doors either side of the D33 were different sizes, so the relative positions of the side pillars either side of the door and the runners across the roof was different each side.

    Dog Star and Wagonman like this.
  5. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Very interesting aspects of the design - do you have a drawing or some photos to educate us?
  6. AndyB

    AndyB Western Thunderer

    There are drawings and photos aplenty in 'LNWR Wagons Volume 2' published by Wild Swan.
    I'm sure a certain bookshop proprietor who frequents these pages would happily sell you a copy! ;)
    Admittedly it is quite a pricey tome if the LNW is not your core interest - it is only in my collection due to the very good offer from WSP (on their whole list) to subscribers of 'Midland Record' when the latter ceased publication.

  7. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Indeed so Andy, but this is a good starting point and free

    Wagons of the LNWR Photographs

    Scroll down to covered vans and the main types are outlined.

  8. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. My apologies, it was my original description that was at fault for describing it as a lower roof door when in fact there is only a single roof door, the lower panel is just a fixed roof panel. As Mike explains the D32 van started off as a single side door and single roof door. The D33 version then added a smaller side door on the other side. In this photo you can see that the van on the right is showing the smaller door side.
    d33_van - 1 (1).jpg

    In between festivals, holidays and Scout camps etc. I did manage to get a little time at the workbench to finish off these wagons, buffers, end corners plates etc. all added for this final result. They still need a final clean up and wash but hopefully I will chance to get a coat of primer on them this weekend.

    d33_van - 2 (1).jpg
    jonte, chrisb, BCN-Pete and 10 others like this.
  9. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Have you made a decision as to what type of couplings you will be using?
  10. queensquare

    queensquare Western Thunderer

    A lovely job Adrian, these do make up into really attractive wagons.

    If you go for DG couplings, which is my preferred choice, you will probably end up snipping off the coupling hooks. I find they get in the way of the delay latch.

  11. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I was really hoping that nobody would ask that question! :( It one of those decisions I've been putting off, as mentioned by Jerry the majority opinion seems to favour DG within 2mmFS, I think mainly for reliability, robustness and easy of setup, perhaps less so for aesthetics. When you look at a single wagon then they can be slightly obtrusive but I can see the argument that when they are coupled in a rake and amidst the scenery then they become more unobtrusive as Jerry has often demonstrated. But (you could see the but approaching!) the dilemma I have is that Jim Watt has published a neat design for Alex Jackson couplings which are a lot more unobtrusive but are not as robust and probably quite tricky to setup. So I think I'll have to have a little experiment before I decide.
  12. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer


    I'm getting to find my way around a bit now.

    This is a very nice little thread which I'm working my way through. At first glance I do like the brake van comparison picture and you're doing the kind of things with the Nigel Lawton bits that I've been planning for ages now so it's interesting to see your results. Nice work on the etched kits...!

    Keep it up.

  13. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Many thanks for the feedback.:oops:

    As you may have noticed I've been slightly reticent fitting couplings, I've got some etches for the DG couplings. I know they are very popular and robust but they seemed rather bulky for 2mm and my first attempts weren't that successful with the top latch not pivoting very freely. So I was considering AJ's looking at Jim Watt's work but realise they are quite delicate and require careful setting up.

    I got the latest 2mm magazine yesterday and on reading the newsletter bit it mentioned
    which piqued my interest. A little research and I found the youtube video for making them but I have a couple of questions, how critical are they for setting up, ride height and position? They don't seem as critical as AJ's for setting up, they also seem to be more compact under the chassis. So where do you get a jig from? I couldn't see one in the 2mm stores. Or is it a case of making one from a set of drawings?

  14. Obblygobbly

    Obblygobbly Active Member

    One snag with the Electras is the shunting shuffle - a bit like KDs. You have to move slightly back over the uncoupler to uncouple before you can move forwards again to deposit wagons in a siding. Otherwise they are very neat and far more robust than AJs.

    Mick Simpson is the contact for jigs, but I don't think he keeps them as a stock item.
    adrian likes this.
  15. Ian Smith

    Ian Smith Western Thunderer


    There were some articles on the Electra coupling in the 2mm mag in 2014/15 - Apr & Oct 2014 and Feb 2015. If you don't have copies of these mags let me know, and I'll scan the relevant articles for you.

  16. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer

    Adrian, and anyone else with an interest.

    There is a double shuffle involved in uncoupling with delay and the comparison with Kadees is a good one.

    Like most auto couplings they need a degree of care in the construction and mounting but using a jig Electras are no more fiddly than any of the commercial items available.

    I'm in Scotland at the moment so I'm trying an upload from my phone. This is a pdf of the original John Whitehead article in the 2mm Magazine from 1979. This will give you the dimensions of the old design, long defunct but the more recent articles show the change in design and how to make them with the jig. This in conjunction with the YouTube video.

    I do have a couple of jigs available which I get made by Alan Smith. If you want more info I'll PM you tonight when I get back home. I can also offer a pdf drawing if anyone wants to DIY it.

    If the pdf upload doesn't work I'll do that tonight too.


    Attached Files:

  17. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Many thanks for the offer - I do have the magazines buried away but just used the 2mm online archives to have a flick through the articles. Definitely interested in the design.
  18. Obblygobbly

    Obblygobbly Active Member

    Sorry for going slightly off topic, but I was just wondering how suitable Electras might be for other scales?
  19. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer

    It's still model railways. I have supplied the drawings to people who have tried them and I know of at least one who has them working in 'OO'. I don't think there is a need to directly scale the dimensions up, it's just a matter of experimenting - trial and error...!

  20. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    In my usual inimitable way I'm flitting from project to project - the problem is trying to remember which is the relevant thread to post in.

    Having spent a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday at the Wigan show having the pleasure of operating St. Ruth I returned home with the intention of finishing a project. In this case it was these 2mm vans - has it really been 2yrs!!

    Anyway I spotted Express paints were doing cellulose touchup paints in 60cc bottles for £6.60
    Touch Up Pot & Brush (Cellulose)

    So I ordered a few different colours for this and other projects.
    2mm_van - 1 (1).jpg

    I used this grey with a good dollop of black and sprayed on after a coat of etch primer.

    Then it was on with the transfers, I decided to cover a range of liveries one of which was LMS. The LMS on the van is very compact to fit in between the bracing, most of the transfers I have are too wide to fit however I had a sheet of Railtec transfers of different sizes which could be trimmed to fit.

    All the other transfers had been applied with the aid of "Micro-set" but for some reason the Railtec transfers had an adverse reaction and started curling quite badly.

    2mm_van - 1.jpg

    Fortunately the slightly milder "Micro-sol" didn't cause any problems. So after pushing some ridiculously small numbers around with a brush I've ended up with the following result.

    2mm_van - 2.jpg

    2mm_van - 3.jpg

    So just a little satin varnish to seal and a bit of weathering to finish - so check back here in another 2 years. :rolleyes: