4mm Starting out in pre 1971 kit building!

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by AdeMoore, 24 August 2018.

  1. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    So into the lions den!
    This is modelling as rough and ready as you can get. 00 first attempts and learning as I go, but would like a record of it online so here it is.
    Hopefully this is the right section to post in.
    This is not how to or advice just me hoping something will turn out half decent.
    So I won 3 kits cheap on everyone’s favourite auction site.
    All at least 47 years old pre decimalisation.


    1st up the meat van.


    Made a start on this one on holiday first week of July in the heatwave in north Devon.


    So back home still mid heat wave only place cool enough to model was under the living room ceiling fan!
    Found the kit was missing buffer beams and a buffer! While in Bideford located a lovely little model shop and bought some plastikard to scratch a couple of those.



    Now how many of you model in your lunch hour? I used to take off for a walk but the heat back then was to much so taken to parking down the road in the shade and setting up!
    Kitchen book stand bought cheap £6 and a slice of aluminium and some clamps.


    Finished a rough representation of the buffer beams ready for paint.
    Painted inside one coat as it maybe seen one day as the doors open.
    Superglued some lead inside for a bit ‘o’ weight. Cemented the roof on.
    Made a buffer out of spare sprue.


    Needed some decent metal wheels tried our favourite auction site for those but turned out plastic with metal axles, where’s the best place was looking on MSE Wizard last night. Getting on £4.50 a wagon is up there considering the kit only cost £2.90!
    Well that’s it for now didn’t know where to put this quite as it’s on the bottom rung of modelling so to speak.
    I looked at the workshop topic but with lathed sprung buffers and all that kind of fantastic stuff this couldn’t go there.
    I’ll get something up with the Jane scratch build soon, just in here I reckon? Area 51.
    Until next time

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 25 August 2018
    Jordan, 3 LINK, 40126 and 7 others like this.
  2. Stubby47

    Stubby47 Western Thunderer

    I have a box full of those old Airfix kits, even one for a Pug.

    Looks good so far.
    AdeMoore likes this.
  3. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    Hello @AdeMoore
    Good stuff. Nowt wrong with a bit of vintage (says a very vintage chap). I do wonder why they made the Meat Van red.. was it to hide the blood, do you think? And the Two Bob Mineral will never age; I like them, and there’s enough twinkly bits out ther to render the chunky bits more finessed.

    For me, Area 51 is a place where those that don’t genuflect toward Swindon can roam the pixelated savannah without fear :) It’s the Public Bar :) and is dog friendly.

    I believe I’m right in thinking that your thread can be moved by Those With The Knowledge if you require it.


    Last edited: 24 August 2018
    AdeMoore, iak63 and jonte like this.
  4. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    I used to build these kits at work in the 1960s - on the evening shift in a recording channel way down the back of BBC Glasgow - out of sight, out of mind. :):):)

    3 LINK, AdeMoore and Lyndhurstman like this.
  5. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    I made one last year, but put it on the relatively rare Hornby Dublo plastic wagon chassis. The body and chassis are not glued, but have a single screw holding them together. The colour should be crimson, but I was trying to match Dublo's red plastic colour of their horsebox. A Dublo standard 12T van is behind it. I'm also building a Kitmaster/Airfix/Dapol Prairie onto to a heavily machined Dublo 2-6-4 chassis.

    I bought a Westdale B set kit and Thompson 52'6" CL non-corridor kit for peanuts recently on ebay. I think I've got a vintage kit disorder.

    All very "plastically incorrect" for today's day and age, but I have O gauge to fall back on when I need some finescale.

    It's all fun and part of the rich tapestry of our hobby, apparently... ;)



    Last edited: 24 August 2018
  6. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Ok found some cheap metal wheels on eBay £13.90 for 10. Thought that was ok.

    Plastic kit wheels below.

    Tough going to force them out but the Tamiya glue is up to the rough handling.


    Then in with the new ones very tight fit, in fact to tight.


    The old and the new.

    There she is but she does’nt roll the back to backs are actually narrower than the kits plastic wheels not sure over the pins though did’nt have my verniers on me.
    So do I put some bearings in? I can scratch out the point holes deeper a bit. The wheel set is making the axle boxes lean out a bit under pressure from the wheel set, so folks what’s the best course of action?
  7. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    While I was waiting for the wheels to show up. I started the next one a cattle wagon. Slightly more difficult proposition with the extra doors.


    Decided to follow the instructions and paint the underframe matt Black this time.

    The instructions not bad at all really, well proof enough a duffer like me can follow them.

    Sides cut off sprue ready for cleaning up.

    Which I did that lunch time, but that’s it for now.
    Until next time.
    Arty, 3 LINK, Michael Osborne and 2 others like this.
  8. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    The problem with wheels is the modern stuff prefers a pinpoint bearing cup. The Dapol moulds have this modification so a replacement wheel set is easy to pop in. Also, the Airfix wheels have a shorter overall axle length, with the result that you can’t simply drop a new wheel set in without drilling out the axle box deeper. That, I’m afraid will be hard to do with the underframe assembled. :(


    Here are some I did earlier, for a Classic Airfix group build on the Britmodeller forum. The brake van and meat van are built more or less as Airfix intended, with no extras apart from Dapol replacement wheels and sole bars on the brake. The cement wagons are finished with extras and metal wheels for use on a club layout. They’ll be weathered properly when I get some time.

    I’ve got a pair of Esso tankers that were supposed to be in this set, but I wanted to do the proper upgrade work on them. There’s a nice etched detail set available, and proper transfers from Cambridge Custom Transfers, happily now in the same box with the kits.

    Hijack over! It’s nice to see the old kits getting some love. They’re not at all bad with a bit of work.
    Last edited: 21 September 2018
    chrisb, 3 LINK, fenman and 8 others like this.
  9. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    Hello @AdeMoore

    You need one of these:
    Trade - (4mm) Knowle Wagon Works - 2mm Brass Bearing Tool

    Knowle Wagon Works - Smaller Suppliers


    AdeMoore likes this.
  10. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Given the Airfix kits were produced in the 1960's they can still hold their own, as shown above, compared to some of today's offerings.

    Not bad for 50 year old kits. It's just the wear and tear on the moulds over the years which takes it's toll.
    AdeMoore and Lyndhurstman like this.
  11. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Agreed Dave as Heather has highlighted above.
    Thanks Jan just the thing, the thread mentions Gibson 2mm bushes is that the best source?
  12. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Right what did I say above an old duffer following instructions! See post #7! Spoke to soon started sticking the ends on and adjoining sides, missing out the doors leaving for a later addition. Oh dear how I fought to get them in later!

    D6A8FF46-1704-4C5E-8A4E-642C11E0E9F5.jpeg 424D5496-3162-4805-AE63-EDC7B7C59EE2.jpeg

    I didn’t notice this amateur again, the sole bar was out of line which pushed the side out leaving a gap between the floor and the side. I prised the side off and trimmed the plastic back where it mates with the side. See gap below. I’m hoping it’s not enough to ruin the running.

    Cleaned up pared back and glued back on.
    2FF81A9E-C521-43C2-9F73-C12133B7CE24.jpeg EC7CE712-BF5B-4A4C-A27C-466012E3F6D7.jpeg

    See evidence of trouble below, opened out pin hole for bottom door only to find it was the gap between pin and door timber. Pared down the thickness of the pin loop to make fit. Snapped pin on left! More fettling required.


    Glue spill! Oh dear the camera does point out all your faults.

    Back on track soon I hope learned a lot there.
    Until next time

    Attached Files:

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  13. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Doors should have also been fitted as I went not after! But I got there with some filing!
    Anyway my Heath Robinson way of reaming out the axle boxes to make the metal wheels fit and fit and free run they did.
    So slow running I’m hoping they will run ok. Should I lubricant the boxes I’m thinking I should to cut down on friction heat. Gibson bearings will be the way to go if this fails as mentioned above.
    Photos show my perfectly sized screwdriver used as a reamer!

    3917C232-464C-42E7-9B32-72D20125C95E.jpeg A23B18F3-6551-425D-AB84-BF410D4280B2.jpeg CEEEEAE2-D646-4E75-B4E2-925C1876BE55.jpeg

    Bit of lead inside stuck on the floor next and some internal painting before the roof gets stuck on.
    Until next time.
    john lewsey, cmax, Arty and 3 others like this.
  14. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Like the builds so far. Love the use of the screwdriver/reamer; it's a brilliant response to the fetishisation of expensive tools.
    AJC, AdeMoore and Peter Cross like this.
  15. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    What @Neil said. Perhaps the most useful tool on my bench is a broken (and subsequently sharpened), jeweller's screwdriver which get's employed for more or less everything...

    AdeMoore likes this.
  16. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Lead stuck in with super glue, slightly off centre! Inside painted and another coat after the photo.
    Roof cleaned up and glued on.



    Should of painted the inside of the roof and cleaned up the circular moulds! Still won’t normally be seen and after all this is just an exercise in getting my modelling skills up to an acceptable level.
    Next more painting vacuum pipes buffers and couplings then perhaps some weathering.
    Until next time
    john lewsey likes this.
  17. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Two steps forward two steps back!
    But to start great advert for Humbrol enamels these not been used for 17 years at a guess when I was last modelling. Just dabbling you understand. Painted roof first coat.

    Next repair the hinge I broke.

    Started thinning down the overscale hinges. Bad fit doors and glue over spill, accidental filing of the vertical and bottom brace evident in the unkind close ups!

    More filing up to sort items mentioned above. Even adding small bits of sprue where required on the hinges. Dropped the van roof pinged off all else fine luckily.

    First coat of 17 year old humbrol on missed the new hinge pin!

    So roof off second chance to sort the mouldings out. Fibre pencil not abrasive enough.
    Filed it but wrong choice of file. Learning..

    Bit to go but almost there.
    Terribly slow progress I know, but I’m enjoying myself and getting into modelling and building some skills.
    Until next time.
    Jordan, oldravendale, chrisb and 2 others like this.
  18. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    Hello @AdeMoore
    Nicely done. It’s looking good. Maybe a scraper would work better than a file here?


  19. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Thanks Jan,
    Ok scraper tell me more? I’m only familiar with paint scrapers! Must be something in the model world I don’t know about?
  20. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer