VANilla - 7mm - ready for painting

Discussion in 'Workbenches, including workshop techniques.' started by 76043, 5 October 2020.

  1. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    Now I've had these Slaters lowmac wheels for getting on for twenty years, purchased for a long abandoned LT District line G stock project.

    So what to do with them? Well, the sensible thing would be to buy the Connoisseur Models Lowmac L kit and learn how to make an etched brass kit. I've long had an adverse reaction to brass kits, so scratchbuilding from styrene a GER lowmac K, which was also built by BR as their diagram 2/244 seems the easier option. Being a member of the GERS meant I happened to have this drawing in the electronic journal archive. The Airfix/Dapol kit in 4mm is the BR version of this wagon.


    So what to do? I do have the recent article in the Modeller on building the Connoisseur Models lowmac, so learning a new skill would be the sensible option.

    Just seen those lowmac wheels are actually Gibson 10 spoke wheels.

    Last edited: 1 November 2020
    Pencarrow likes this.
  2. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Either, or both.

    the connoisseur kit is a good place to start on brass, and builds well.

    I guess whichever takes your fancy, it’s a hobby, not a penance!

    post the pix, either way
  3. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    Yes, I have a picture of the prototype showing a piece of tarpaulin over the edge of the roof at each end. W105006a.jpg
    AJC, ceejaydee, 76043 and 1 other person like this.
  4. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Dohhhh , well it should be and its still nice .
    Cheers Paul
    76043 likes this.
  5. Allen M

    Allen M Western Thunderer

    As has been said the Connoisseur kits go together very well.
    I built a well wagon and been a bit careless one side has a lovely row of indents where there should be 'rivet' heads. I pressed the out the fitted the side 'inside-out' A bit of weathering and nobody knows (unless you read my comments here).
    Allen Morgan
    76043 likes this.
  6. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    Thank you Simon and Allen, I won't tell anyone about the rivets if you won't. I'm re-reading the recent RM article, but at this point am minded to scratch build as Simon is right, it's not a penance.

    I doubt I'll ever build a brass kit for anything else so may as well stick with what I know. Plus the GER built 160+ of these lowmacs, 80+ made it to nationalisation, so possibly less rare than the L version?

  7. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    Thanks for this really nice piece of prototype information.
  8. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    So I decided to scratch build the GER Mac K in styrene and have made a start here.

    It's not a van.

    After I started it I found out D&S models make this wagon as an etched brass kit. I still don't like brass so am "soldering" on... (I'll get my coat)


  9. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    I received the Slater's 71548 BR clasp brake shoe conversion kit today, just a little confused now.


    It seems to suggest that 8 shoe brake gear was used with Morton type levers? I've not seen that combo on Paul Bartlett's website. The BR 8 shoe seems to be used with lifting link levers on the standard vans and variants.

    I don't have my Don Rowland book to hand either, it's in a box somewhere.... Anyone know more?


  10. DougT

    DougT Western Thunderer


    I think the only assistance I can provide is that the drawing that accompanies that pack from Slaters shows it as being a shoc Open wagon from the springs on the sole bar (I think also that BR open wagons had diagonal frame members whereas vans where all square). On Bartlett there are a number of shoc opens that have ‘Morton-style’ long hand brake levers without lifting links, such as this one.

    BR 12t 5 plank shock open merchandise wagon OSV ZGV | B721357 SHOC-BAR @ Hitchin engineers 75-08-10 © Paul Bartlett w

    So I think this pack is correct for converting a shoc open wagon to 8 shoe brake without lifting links, but not necessarily for other BR wagons...

    76043 likes this.
  11. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    That's the LMS pattern 8 shoe brake - the Morton clutch was a feature of that. One of the clues is that there's a set of springs with J hangers attached to the sprue. Now the BR shock opens with this brake gear didn't (all) have those and there was some variation: BR 12t 5 plank shock open merchandise wagon OSV ZGV The one below is mine, shows the clutch and appeared in MRJ. The BR pattern 8 shoe brake gear with the offset vees and lifting links is really very different.


    I don’t think there were any BR-bodied vans with that gear (apart from vanwides).

    Last edited: 5 November 2020
  12. DougT

    DougT Western Thunderer

    It is the LMS 8 show clasp version that I’ve linked to (good spot Adam :confused:), as highlighted by the use of the J hanger suspension, although there also existed a variation of the same wagon type without the J hanger suspension which appearEd (seemingly) randomly within the Lot2180 build of shoc wagons, which is the one I should have linked to.

    BR 12t 5 plank shock open merchandise wagon OSV ZGV | DB721724 ZGV Shock @ Hoo Junction 78-03-12 © Paul Bartlett w

    I guess the point for Tony, however, is that I don’t think you’ll get the all parts you need to create an 8 shoe clasp braked 12t van from the Slaters 71548 pack. From looking at my 3/4 built Vanwide (I think) it’s etch X706201 that is needed to form the right brake levers and lifting links

    As an aside, I do wish Slaters would do a mix and match option when buying wagons so that you can select the suspension hangers and brake variant for the wagon you want to build.
    Last edited: 5 November 2020
    BrushType4 and 76043 like this.
  13. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    Thank you Adam and Doug, I was hoping the kit it might work for non shoc vans, especially as the saying seems to be "a standard van, but there wasn't much standard about them". Never mind. I have the Palvan kit and the etch X707001 has the correct lifting link levers I think. I'll go back to the drawing board on this, maybe see if I can get the Palvan etch, Ambis alternative or just scratch build the levers, by copying the etched parts in styrene or brass.

  14. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    I think the Slater's Palvan has the BR standard 8 shoe gear (not my scale, of course!) so that would be the one. For a BR Standard type the vans weren't that bad in terms of variation. One major variation in the ends, two different types of side sheeting, only two forms of brakegear, all had plain shoe suspension. I don't count things like buffers and so on because they changed quite often.

    Compare that to the BR Shock Opens (just the planked ones) and crikey - Morton, two types of LMS -style 8 shoe brakes, BR standard 8 shoe, wooden and corrugated ends, shock springs in different places. Even the Pipes had three (sorry, four - I'd forgotten the LNER brake some had...) different underframe styles and numerous minor body variations...

    Last edited: 6 November 2020
    76043 and DougT like this.
  15. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    Thanks Adam, yes, it would be the Palvan etch, so I might call Slater's and get a price next week. I could then use this to make a planked body, ply door standard van.

    Still researching....

  16. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    Back on the GER Mac K at the moment, as I'm awaiting supplies for the other wagons.

    Got the basics glued together, axle journals in and by all accounts square. I'm going to use some old Parkside RCH axleboxes reshaped, to an approximation of the BR lowmac axleboxes, which they may have carried in later life.


    Intercity126 and Allen M like this.
  17. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    Building my GER lowmac, I see the buffer height on the drawing is 3' 2", or around 22mm, but the GOG recommended height is 24.5mm. Being new to O gauge I've no idea if 2.5mm difference in height is going to be a problem. Any thoughts WT please?

    I can't increase the height because the lowmac will look wrong.

  18. isambardme

    isambardme Western Thunderer

    Make sure the bufferheads have a generous dimension top to bottom and you could well be okay. Have you any other stock to test the bufferheads against?

    76043 likes this.
  19. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Well there was some variation on the real thing (and laden and unladen, too - some Lowmacs - Southern ones, for example - had instructions to maintain the buffer height by means of adjustment to the spring hangers; the dimension labelled was 3' 4" in that case which looking at weight diagrams seems common to several designs).

    In other words, I wouldn't worry overmuch about it as the variation in centrelines relative to buffer diameter isn't going to be enough to cause locking.

    76043 and isambardme like this.
  20. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    My Lowmac-L sits a tad low compared with Dapol O gauge wagons and Peco buffer stops, but it's not serious....
    WEB Lowmac A.jpg WEB Lowmac B.jpg WEB Lowmac C.jpg
    Deano747, 76043 and isambardme like this.