It's a 16 tonner - but not as we know it

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Overseer, 4 August 2013.

  1. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    This is an unplanned model. Well, it has been on the 'want to build' list for some time but when I got home on Friday evening I had no intention of starting it now. But while looking for another photo amongst my motley collection I came across the photo below.

    NB 16T E729550.jpg
    The note on the back says "AE West R1595 Bedford Midland 25/6/52, 16T Mineral E729550 Cowlairs 1919". I hope Mr West doesn't mind it being shown here, I don't know if it has been published.

    I remembered there was a GA of a similar wagon in Wagons of the LNER - North British by John Hooper so had a look. The GA is not exactly the same, same dimensions but some detail differences. Then I noticed the frontispiece had a wagon side elevation of a wagon almost identical to E729550 at very close to 7mm scale, and on the last page of the book was the matching end elevations. I had to get building. This is a North British Railway Diagram 97, or LNER Diagram 26B 16 ton mineral wagon. They were quite numerous but each batch seems to be different. At 16'3" long it is slightly shorter than a 1923 RCH standard wagon and also lower, having eight 6 inch planks, but having a rated capacity 4 tons higher than the RCH standard. Scottish coal must have been heavy. (Maybe it was just friable and broke into smaller pieces so there was less air space in the load). NB built 18 ton minerals as well.

    The characteristically Scottish cupboard side doors and the end door make these wagons stand out amongst trains of standard mineral wagons. By the 1950s they must have been relatively scarce but it is surprising how often Scottish wagons appear in contemporary photographs, including at cement works on the Medway.

    So a few hours produced the basic box in styrene. An hour or so was spent 'practising' following a misread dimension on the callipers. I thought the sides looked odd after scribing inside and out of both sides and the floor, but before starting assembly. So, not wanting to build a Werrett I started again.

    NB 16T FB1.jpg

    The wartime thin plank repair adds a bit of interest. I don't know whether the other side had similar repairs so left it with full thickness planks. And after a few more hours -

    NB 16T FB.jpg

    Basic strapping and corner plates are in place using 5 thou plasticard and 10 thou for the hinges on the doors. Now that the main structure is there the rest of the detail and bolts can be added when I am in the mood. It is good therapy after work when the brain needs a change. It will probably end up on an Exactoscale sprung underframe unit as I have a couple in stock to try out. The brakes look like they have only a single push rod to each shoe, with a vertical slot in the back of the brake shoe.

    One question - What colours are the planks on E729550? There appears to be the remains of the LNER livery, dirty unpainted planks, recent unpainted planks and at least one other colour on the kerb rail and one plank. Could it be red lead? Also, the wartime planks are painted, would it be grey or black?
  2. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Just a quick update. A couple of pleasant evening sessions spent cutting up 10 thou styrene sheet and sticking them onto the wagon body results in this.
    NB 16T bolts2.jpg NB 16T bolts1.jpg

    Still to add the hinges and catches, plus internal strapping, then the solebars. The Exactoscale one piece underframe has also been assembled, much simpler to do than the instructions imply. I should get some time this weekend to finish this one.
  3. john lewsey

    john lewsey Western Thunderer

    That's a lovely piece of work
  4. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    That's brilliant, lovely to see such an interesting shape being created in front of our eyes and the subject is full of interest and really quite"different" as you say. The repair with thinner wood is intriguing, I've never spotted anything like that before.

    Very well modelled and so quickly done too:eek:

    Thanks for sharing it with us:thumbs:

  5. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Excellent scratch building:thumbs:

  6. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    thanks for such an intriguing post, certainly gets the little grey cells thinking.


    40126 likes this.
  7. 40126

    40126 Western Thunderer

    Hi Overseer :thumbs:

    I too am intriged by this post.

    Have you any pics of your process before the pic below ?.

    Would love to see how you got to this. ;)

    Steve :cool:
  8. Jon Fitness

    Jon Fitness Western Thunderer

    Lovely stuff! Nice and straight too. My past :shit: efforts have always bowed inwards!
    Are the bolt heads punched or added seperately?
    Jon F.
  9. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    I didn't take any photos before the basic box was assembled but can take some pictures of another one to show how to make it easier to get things right. The critical thing is to keep things square. I will do a exposé tomorrow, but nothing ground breaking!

    Jon, the nuts and bolts are squares of 10 thou styrene stuck on. I can explain how I do it as well if people are interested.
  10. iak63

    iak63 Western Thunderer

    Serious wagon making this - bravo :thumbs:
  11. iploffy

    iploffy OC Blue Brigade

    Yes please and plenty of pictures
  12. lancer1027

    lancer1027 Western Thunderer

    I too enjoy scratch building so plenty of pics and descriptions to go with would be very helpful

  13. Dave

    Dave Western Thunderer

    This is proper modelling. :cool:

    Yes, please.
    BrushType4 likes this.
  14. 40126

    40126 Western Thunderer

    Yes please, Even with my limited experience, I would love to try this :thumbs:

    Steve :cool:
  15. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    As requested, a bit of an introduction to wagon building in styrene sheet.

    The materials are cheap and readily available. I use styrene from a number of sources. I suggest starting with Slaters Plastikard as it is consistent and has a nice matt surface on both sides, and comes in convenient sizes. If you are planning mass production, large sheets of styrene are available from vacuum forming companies and other suppliers but depending on the specification they often have one high gloss surface, can be more variable in thickness and can have surface defects. The thicknesses used for this wagon were 60 thou (1.5mm), 10 thou (0.25mm) and 5 thou (0.13mm), plus a few scraps of 20 thou (0.5mm) and 40 thou (1.0mm). 1.5mm is very close to being exact scale thickness for 2 1/2" planks in 7mm scale, a common thickness. 5 thou is only readily available from Evergreen Styrene, it is usually on their display stand in most hobby shops, and a packet will last a long time as it is only used for corner plates and the thinner strapping (such as the diagonals). Slaters Mek Pak is good to stick it all together, but I used MEK as it was on the desk.

    Few tools are needed. Below are all the tools used to build this wagon body (except for a couple of larger drills and pin chuck used to drill the buffer holes, and one other item which will be revealed very shortly).
    NB 16T tools.jpg

    Not a lot and most modellers will have them already. Starting at the top - 1. Olfa P cutter used for scribing the plank lines, 2. A scrap of coarse wet and dry paper for adding texture to the inside of the body, 3. A small engineer's square, 4. An Archimedian drill for drilling small holes (usually just used as a pin vice with styrene so a pin vice will be fine), 5. Vernier callipers, a basic one of reasonable quality - it is mainly used for marking out parts so it is easier to work with without fancy digital read outs, 6. A No. 1 paint brush for applying the solvent, 7. A Swann-Morton 5A handle with a No. 11 blade for cutting the styrene (doesn't have to be a 5A handle but the traditional scalpel handles leave you with a groove in the end of your finger), 8. A 12 inch steel rule, doesn't really need dimensions on it just has to be straight and not too flimsy, 9. Some needle files, 10. A largish file, not too coarse - this one is a Millsaw Bastard but it is not critical, nice and sharp helps so it is best to keep it away from brass, steel and some resins, and finally 11. A cutting mat of whatever size suits you.

    The other tool is one that you will have to assemble. It is not absolutely required, you can just use a larger engineers square, but this tool makes cutting and scribing parallel lines very easy. It reduces the chance of slipping and making errors, and generally speeds things up.
    FB square.jpg

    This is simply a piece of plywood with a cheap square screwed to it. Size is not critical, it just needs to be wide enough to fit the length of the wagon you want to build. The piece of aluminium angle helps keep things aligned. I can't remember whose idea this is, the first one I made was while studying architecture in the '80s - it was made from two aluminium rulers screwed to a board and was borrowed by so often in the studio that it wore out. To use it slide the length of plastic or card under the horizontal straight edge, hold against the right hand guide, position the knife or scriber to the left side and cut across to the right. If you are left handed make it with the guide on the left side.
    FB square1.jpg

    A wagon floor in position to scribe the plank lines (this one is already scribed, if it were really in process the lines below the horizontal wouldn't be there yet). The paper beneath the styrene is there to pack the styrene up against the underside of the straight edge to avoid problems with angling the blade, usually I have different thickness pieces of cardboard for the job instead of cut up advertising brochures. That reminds me, one of the reasons for using a cheap square is they are usually thinner - you only need clearance for the thickest styrene you are likely to use, probably 2mm.

    So that is all you need, apart from a good drawing, to get started.

    I haven't put together a blow by blow how-to yet but will do when I get a chance. In the meantime the wagon now has solebars and nearly all its bolts in place, still missing hinges and catches.
    NB 16T sole1.jpg

    And sitting on its underframe-
    NB 16T sole.jpg
  16. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    I should have added that I took some photos of bolts being applied so I may as well post them now.

    First cut a thin strip from the edge of a sheet of 10 thou (0.25mm) styrene, the width of the bolt heads or nuts needed. With small sections like this the usual score and snap method is a bit difficult so I usually make a few extra passes with the scalpel and cut all the way through. The strip will have a curve in it but this doesn't matter as the next step is to cut it up into lots of square pieces. Plenty of light helps. Cut plenty as they won't all be as square as they should be and they tend to ping into oblivion. Once you have a little pile of squares carefully pick up one at a time with the point of the scalpel - use just enough force to lift it, too much and you will cut the square in half.
    FB bolt1.jpg

    Then carry the square to its intended location on the wagon-
    FB bolt2.jpg

    and hold it in place with the point while applying solvent with a fine brush held in the other hand. Wait until the solvent has softened the styrene enough to hold the bolt head and lift the scalpel.
    FB bolt3.jpg
    I ran out of hands so you will have to imagine both the scalpel and brush being in the same photo.

    The process requires some concentration but is not difficult and after a bit of practise it doesn't take very long to add all the nuts to a wagon side. They always look better from a distance.
  17. charles

    charles Guest

    aaaah the good old coach screw I have used plenty of them and the square head coach bolt
    nice bit of building I require a rake of those to hang behind my Vulcan , thumbnail on left
    don't worry about the the nuts not being exactly the same , cut nuts always had a bit of discrepancy and some were downright terrible that's why they were always done up with adjustable rench,,
  18. Dave

    Dave Western Thunderer

    How did you make the semi-circular crown plates?
  19. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    They are a bit rough. A sheet of 10 thou styrene was placed on top of a scale drawing and traced around with the scalpel, just one pass, then snapped out of the sheet and cleaned up with needle files. I keep thinking about making a punch but crown plates are not one size fits all, there was a lot of variety in size and shape, so haven't got round to actually making one.
    Michael Osborne likes this.
  20. 7mmMick

    7mmMick Western Thunderer

    Hi Overseer,

    I've just caught up on this thread and what a cracking one it is. A lovely build which is right up my street, a path I intend to follow when I have more time. Thoroughly inspiring stuff and I'm looking forward to more,

    ATB Mick