Information and help please

Discussion in 'G3' started by DavidinAus, 22 September 2019.

  1. DavidinAus

    DavidinAus Western Thunderer

    As a fairly new person to G3, I probably need some help.
    My project is to build a garden line (it's Australia, so the weather is better for this, I think). Despite this, my main interest is scale modelling - details and accuracy (I've done S7 until my recent house move)
    I have bought a live-steam engine, even though I have no idea as yet how to run it (Station Road Steam had what looked the ideal loco. for me (<>) although I will probably start off by finding a way to build an L&Y 0-4-0ST (radio-controlled battery-operated) before I get my "Dyak" to run - I'm a bit nervous about boiler explosions .... I am following the L&Y "pug" project on these pages in hope and expectation - but where is it going and how long will it take?
    Anyway, in the meantime I am starting to build wagons - a Mike Williams MR 3-plank kit and a Woodbury Models open wagon also, with a Peter Korzilius flat wagon yet to be started. Perhaps I should do a 'blog comparing (nicely!) the kits - they are just SO different.
    Woodbury wagon partially assembled.JPG
    I've done a little work in S7, but this is very different in some ways. I like working with real wood, for instance! The S7 kits I have done have been straightforward, though challenging at times (see my 8F 'blog elsewhere on WT) but the G3 ones are a new challenge - I have never previously had to decide things like how many sets of brake blocks, etc., and don't really know how to do this - or what type to use. For example, the Woodbury open wagon: I've looked at pictures on the 'net, in Bob Essery's book on Midland wagons, but they all look like they have brake levers and blocks on both sides - yet the written info. on the web suggests they often only had one. Where should I look for this info.? I've only bought one set of brake gear, so far.
    Lettering. Again the 'net only provides so much info., and it's all in B&W of course. Midland wagon grey, I assume, though this seems to be a very variable shade .... I don't have a very steady hand, so the idea of painting lettering on the sides of LMS wagons is daunting. Can I get transfers anywhere? If I want to order them, what font did the Midland or the LMS use (I can't find this info. anywhere), or do I have to scan photographs?
    All help gratefully received. Not many local resources to call on in the Blue Mountains, NSW!
    BrushType4, Ian_T, mswjr and 2 others like this.
  2. Spitfire2865

    Spitfire2865 Western Thunderer

    Welcome to the fun world of Gauge 3.
    Im also in a far off country from most (USA).
    For details on Midland wagons, the best source is Midland Wagons by Bob Essery. Alternatively, theres a good few photos on some websites online with a lot of midland freight photographs. One such is The LMS - Introduction and Background. Plenty of goods yard photos.
    Midland grey starts out as a light grey but darked due to polution, and repairs were painted with "smudge" which was a running batch of greyish paint the works had from all their extra paint.
    Transfers, lucky for you, Slaters does transfers for Midland/LMS in G3. Just shoot him an email and Im sure he can assist.
    But for printing your own....good luck as there isnt really a "font" for older letters. Your best bet is to find the dimensions and cut your own templates which is what Ive done for MR, LNWR, and L&Y wagon lettering.
    Most midland wagons were built with brakes on one side, however due to regulation changes made by RCH, they had to be rebuilt with brakes both sides but a good few slipped through the cracks for years before any works visit.

    And it IS satisfying building wagons with real wood. Though Ive gone further and actually bolt them together like a masochist.

    Sorry if Ive missed something obvious in your comment.
    simond likes this.
  3. lankytank

    lankytank Western Thunderer


    just a quick note in passing (busy day today), MR lettering/transfers - look at Slaters. If you PM me your address I'll get a bit of a pack of info together for you. Lots of good info in Trevor's post above.

  4. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Good to see you here David. Fortunately there is at least one Midland expert ho appears on here,and he is a Gauge 3 modeller too, so he will doubtless pick up any weird questions the rest of us miss.

    Brakes - prior to the early 1900s most wagons had brake side side only and, as Spitfire says, many were later fitted with a second set but it too many, many years. Most photographs were taken relatively recently, which means they show two sets of brakes, but that in no way means that most wagons had two sets - it all depends what period you model.

    Your Dyak is a tried ad proven design which could work well. Get the boiler tested and then you will be fine. You could test it yourself but you need a test rig correctly calibrated, connections and a lot of messing about, so if there is a model engineering society near you get it done - much easier and safer. Steam is a steep learning curve so don't be put off if your first couple of runs don't deliver the performance you want. It os possible to get steam running slowly and reliably.

  5. DavidinAus

    DavidinAus Western Thunderer

    Please could I have some assistance building my Woodbury Midland wagon (see picture above)?
    I haven't found a scale drawing of the prototype to use. The wagon it quite wide (101mm = 7 foot 6 inch inside width at the top). I purchased a set of Mike Williams W-irons to do the stuff not provided by Woodbury, but these W-irons (which need to be up against the solebars if the leaf-springs are to be in line with the axle boxes), don't allow the solebars to be just inside the side-pieces of the wagon sides. Yet this seems to be the pattern of most wagons. So, should the solebars be a few millimetres inside the wagon sides, or should I have the W-irons further apart, and up against the solebars in what seems to be the characteristic position of solebars looking at drawings of other wagons on the midland railway society website?
    Also the Williams leafsprings mounted on the underneath of the solebars leave no movement for the axle boxes up and down in the W-irons. So should the W-irons be packed with something so that the axle boxes are held down lower, giving more room for up-and-down sprung movement?
    Any advice gratefully received.

  6. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer


    First point. Although I am not familiar with Midland, there were usually wooden packings between the outside face of the solebars and the inner face of the curb rail (that's the wooden strip horizontally below the bottom plank). Typically they will be 1.5in thick.

    All LNWR wagons until c1912ish, and most of the P.O. wagons I've seen drawings of have solebars 5ft 11in apart inside, but I know the Midland was early to adopt 6ft 1in between solebars. I can't remember which W ions you have, but if they are ready bent into a U shape they will be intended for 5ft 11in solebars. The 1in either side shouldn't be too noticeable. I wonder if the solebars provided are scale thickness?

    Will come back later about your other query - vertical movement. Let's get one bit done at a time!

  7. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer


    Here is an LNWR 15ft D9 wagon. The plan view is a half section, but on the right hand half you can see the wooden blocks. They line up with the horizontal bolts through the curb rail. Drawing D9 underframe rotated.jpg
    Keith Phillips and BrushType4 like this.
  8. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Sorry - typo - 15ft should read 16ft.
  9. lankytank

    lankytank Western Thunderer


    Andy Mould (Woodbury Models) doesn't do WT but he does do emails. If you have his address fire one across his bows (if you haven't, I don't think he'll be upset if I supply it). He is helpful. You've already got Mike W in the loop you just need Andy & all bases are covered.
  10. Rob R

    Rob R Western Thunderer

  11. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    David - Please remind me - did you have the Midland oil axleboxes (rectangular with small lettering on the front) or the Ellis type (horizontal bar across the front)?

  12. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer


    Here's a not very clear drawing of a contemporary Midland dropside wagon and on the plan view that too has a gap between the sides and the solebars.


    Attached Files:

  13. DavidinAus

    DavidinAus Western Thunderer

    OK, after some research (which I realise that I should probably have done first), on the Midland Railway Society website (thank you, Rob), there wasn't a D302 drawing, but I found drawings for a D301 (6 plank open) wagon and for the D305 (3 plank) wagon. I assume that given the numbers are close to D302 (5 plank) which is the prototype I am trying to make, the running gear dimensions would be very similar.
    Scaled to 13.5mm = one foot, this means the solebars would be separated by 82mm (6'1" as said by Mike above - I would have saved myself time by simply believing him!). Alternatively I could simply have measured the outside diameter of the W-irons supplied by him, which I have silver-soldered together, 82mm O/D !
    The was some doubt in my mind, though, as the curb rails are 100mm apart! so the sole bars (2.5mm thick) will be 6.5mm inside the curbrails, which seems a lot. Unless D302 was a particularly wide wagon?
    My natural instinct is to think I have made a mistake in the construction, but I can't see where.
    I will attach a couple of pictures.


    As you will see, alas I have cut the w-irons locating plate in half, preparatory to widening them, which now I don't believe is needed, but this is a relatively minor issue. By comparison, taking the sole bars off will require unsticking Araldite.


    Fortunately I am baking bread today, so warming the wagon up to a temperature where the epoxy is soft will be relatively easy.
    This may also give Mike a picture of the axle boxes which I am planning to use (Midland oil ones, I think), and the problem of the height of the W-irons.
    Also, if I unstick the solebars and move them in by about 5mm, there is a significant risk that they will "foul" the buffers. Which are, by the way, the correct width apart (77.1mm).
    Have I made a fundamental error somewhere?

    Last edited: 29 November 2019
  14. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    The important dimension for the model is the distance over the outside faces of the solebars. It sounds like the solebars in the kit are only half the thickness they should be. The scale 4 1/2" solebars should be just over 5mm thick so you should end up with a 2.5mm wide space between the W irons and the inner face of the kit solebars on each side. The side planks (if 2 1/2 inches) should be 2.8125 mm thick but are probably 2.5mm. The curb rail along the bottom of the sides was 4 inches wide but with a rebate for the solebar so there was about an inch between the inner face of the side planks and the outer face of the solebar - over a millimetre on the model, maybe 1.5mm if the sides are thinner than they should be.

    It looks like the solebars need to be moved in, unless you are building a broad gauge Northern Counties Committee version (but then the body would be 6 inches wider as well).
  15. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Think you are right Oversear and David. The solebars are too thin and I'm not sure I'd risk taking them off at this stage. The inner faces can be very close to the buffers and on a model getting a nut on the shank takes out just about all the clearance.

    The front face of the spring bearers (hangers) is often set back from the face of the solebar, sometimes by quite a lot.

    I see from the pictures that I didn't send you the pre-bent W irons but the correct Midland ones with separate crossmembers. Those crossmembers have four fixing holes which tell me that they are 6ft 1in type. They were originally made for Andy Boothman's etchd Midland van kit and should give you 6ft 1in outside.

    When fitting larger axleboxes to older wagons railways sometimes used dropped keeps to give that little extra movement that you need. I assume I sent you straight keeps?

    Make sure you fit the springs to the W irons BEFORE fitting the W irons to the wagon. I don't know what thickness to floor is on the Woodbury kit but there may well be a gap beneath the W iron crossmember and the floor. Locating the springs with the pegs should give more movement and the correct buffer height ... I hope!

    If you need any replacement parts (keeps, crossmember?) please ask. I know you are a long way away from me, but it wouldn't take long to get a set to you.

  16. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Should have added - the wagon is looking very nice!
  17. DavidinAus

    DavidinAus Western Thunderer

    Cracked it!
    Andy Mould very kindly sent me the drawings of the D302. His pictures were a little distorted, but after comparing them with the D301 drawings that I had found on the Midland Society website and some careful measuring, I have found the problem. The D302 has a significantly greater distance between the outside surface of the curb rail and the outside surface of the solebar (it looks obvious when you inspect the two diagrams once you've spotted this - the curbrails look as wide as the solebars). The OD of the curbrails is 106mm, the gap to the outside of the solebars is 7mm and the solebar thickness 5mm (thanks, Overseer), leaving the correct dimension (82mm) between the W-irons.
    So the D302 is a little bit wider than most wagons. Why did it take me so long to work this out!
    Now to remove and refit the solebars ....

    Ian_T, adrian and lankytank like this.
  18. DavidinAus

    DavidinAus Western Thunderer

    A "Progress Note".
    Thank you for all your help, gentlemen (and ladies if there are any).
    Here are some pictures.

    IMG_2068 small.JPG

    I bought some 2mm thick balsa wood. Balsa because I thought that strength was not required for these applications, and balsa is so much easier to cut and carve. 2 mm because that was the width by which I needed to widen the solebars - if you look carefully you can see on the picture above.

    IMG_2070 small.JPG

    Close up, you can see the small cut-outs needed to clear where the buffers mechanism appear inside the headstocks. It's also possible to see the double-thickness (=4mm) spacers glued underneath Mike Williams' crossmembers, to lower the W-irons by the correct amount (remember as I am working, the wagon is upside down). You can still see the cut where I foolishly sawed the crossmember in half - fortunately using a very thin piercing saw. The W-irons' strength comes from the silver-soldering to the crossmember; they are not fixed to the (balsa wood) insides of the solebars.
    Silver-soldering is a new skill for me, by the way, but the added strength compared to soft-soldering is clearly a real benefit. I'm using a standard blowtorch though (Australian, of course). Can anyone recommend a small blowtorch for more delicate work?
    Updated picture:

    IMG_2071 small.JPG

  19. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Look in a kitchen-wares shop. They usually have them for browning creme brûlée or whatever. Avoid the ones with a celebrity chef endorsement, on the grounds of cost.

    Wagon is very nice. Silver soldering is a useful weapon in the armoury.

  20. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Well done David. Very nice.