Diagram 124 Wagons

How to do it, advice sought and offered.
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Alan K
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by Alan K »

This is how far I've got with my task of building 4 of these for the transportation of boilers from what I've now called 'Lancefield Boilerworks'!
This is the prototype
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Fairly ordinary styrene construction, with 2, maybe 3 'tricky' bits. OK maybe 4 if you include the larger springs which I had to find a way to make...!
Firstly, I tried to reproduce the appearance of the pressed steel buffer beam by making the beam as a laminate, with thinner, 0.5mm strip at the front and using 0.25mm strip to form the pressed edges, which could be suitably rounded. You can probably just make that in the photos. But I abandoned that idea for the next and subsequent wagons in favour of a laminate with the outer layer 0.5mm brass in order to make the whole thing a bit more robust! I used a former to hold the edge strip in place while soldering as here:-
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The next picture shows the finished beam after rounding the edges
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The brass outer beam is then superglued onto the styrene beam between the solebars as shown here on the second wagon:
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The nut heads on the corner plates are still to be finished, and that comes to the second 'tricky' bit: how to form these wretched nuts in line. Because there are so many close together, your eye (or at least my eye!) gets drawn to the slightest departure from either vertical or horizontal alignment. But I've reached the picture limit, so that will have to await the next post!

Alan
Alan K
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by Alan K »

The way I do all the ironwork (ie strapping, angles & corner plates) now is using 0.25mm styrene sheet or strip, and drill holes for nut head fixings before gluing them in place. This is what I use:-
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The drill guide with the 4 holes is produced using my rivet embossing tool and drilling out the embossed 'rivets'. This ensures that the holes are all precisely in line, but with care and patience it could be done from scratch. The 'holder' at the bottom doesn't look much, but it was very carefully prepared, using brass channel soldered to a piece of PCB so that all the pieces are at right angles to one another. The width between the 2 parallel edges is the width of the corner plate. The assortment of little pieces of brass are spacers which are used in conjunction with the drilling guide to hold it tightly in place while drilling the holes. The finished corner plate with all 16 holes drilled is on the right. That now has to be scored on the back to make the corner before fixing in place.
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This photo shows the arrangement for the first set of holes. The styrene blank is underneath, with the drilling guide and a spacer to hold it tightly against the left hand side of the holder. You can just about make out the 4 holes, but someone has embossed 'True Line Models' on the scrap brass I used for the drill guide!!
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The corner plate has now been fixed in place. I found superglue better than solvent when fixing thin styrene in place. The next task is to drill out the holes through the wagon sides and insert a small length of 0.4mm styrene rod with a dab of superglue into each hole. At this stage I feel obliged to warn that the Laws of Ping apply. I won't go into too much detail, but the First Law of Ping says that if you grip a small object with eg tweezers and there is little surface area of contact, then said obect will (unless care is taken) 'ping' off, sometimes never to be found again! One of the later Laws says that spit is a useful tool for controlling the object before gripping...
After fully hardened, the projecting styrene rods can be filed down to finish as shown here:
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I apologise for the fuzzy picture, but the camera's auto-focus refused completely to focus on the rivets! But I think you can see that they are all in line...
Using my little holder and a different drilling guide (with the holes closer to the edge) and different spacers, I can readily drill the holes in the centre of the 1mm wide styrene strip which I use for strapping. All it needs is a spacer to hold the styrene strip tightly against the left side, and another spacer to do the same thing for the drilling guide. So I can churn out all the straps needed in minutes.....

Alan
Dave John
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:42 am

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by Dave John »

They are looking the part Alan.
Alan K
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by Alan K »

I haven't been very productive with these wagons this year, but there has been some progress.
This is the short truss arrangement, attached to the V hanger and with spacers to hold everything in line under the truss rod.
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I used a wooden jig to allow me to hold the various bits in place with aluminium clips while soldering, as here
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It might seem a tricky soldering job but it's fairly straightforward - the number one rule is to protect the joints already soldered with heat shunts while each joint is done in turn, with a little flux (I use 12% phosphoric acid) and tiny amounts of 145 solder. The number two rule is to take the iron off quickly as soon as the solder runs (or even when you hear the flux hissing!)
This is the truss epoxy-ed in place to the back of the solebar.
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I had to make the V-hanger, as I couldn't find one which was deep enough for the very long brake push rods and the geometry of getting the brake blocks to line up with the wheels properly. These photos were taken a while ago now - I subsequently decided that the V-hangers were a bit too chunky, and refined them. Further pictures to come - springs next!

Alan
Jim Summers
Posts: 888
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by Jim Summers »

Great stuff, Alan.
Except that I had forgotten your earlier postings about the wonderfully neat corner plates and the associated jig.

Forgotten that is until this very evening when, after going cross-eyed with the traditional method of wee bits of Plastikard rivets, I sought solace in seeing what was new on the Forum.

I am afraid to go back and look at mine now, which incidentally are on a scratch-built 6-wheel runner for a CR 15ton breakdown crane, which in turn is a D&S kit bought several decades ago.

JimS
lindsay_g
Posts: 400
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:43 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by lindsay_g »

All good work, very neat. I do approve of using mixing materials when building models - plastic, metal, wood and beyond, can all have a place on the same wagon. Another fan of Bedford sprung W-irons, I see?

Actually, seeing your model with the number plate added has reminded me that I need to look out a bagful of oval plates except I've no idea where they are. I used an oval nail (of appropriate size) sawn square and filed smooth and punched a barrowload of them out into a sheet of lead. Great timesaver - but not if the bag (and nail) can't now be uncovered.

Lindsay
Alan K
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by Alan K »

The heavy duty springs on these wagons can be seen in closeup on p44 of the Wagon Book - there are 12 leaves! I couldn't find anything suitable, so had to resort to making them from scratch. I decided eventually that the only way would be to make up a series of laminations from styrene strip (thank goodness for Evergreen!). Trouble is that I can't get material which is thin enough to make a laminate of 12 which is anything near the scale size of the spring, so I'm forced to compromise with 0.25mm strip. I found a suitable size former (which turned out to be 27mm diameter), and fixed the 'top' leaf with blue tack and then added the rest of the leaves one at a time with solvent to hold them in place. The photo shows the process better:-
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From the left, the cut to size leaves ready to attach, the former with a complete set of leaves finished and ready to remove when hardened, and an assortment of springs at various stages of clean-up. The most important thing I learnt was that it's critical that all the leaves are precisely centred, and I marked a centre line on each leaf to make sure the finished spring is symmetrical. I ended up re-doing the first wagon, as its springs were a bit too chunky. These are the replacement ones - all the springs on all 4 wagons are now identical.
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I did find a way of adding more texture to the face of the spring (to make it look like there are more leaves) using the edge of a Swiss file with an action which follows the curve of the spring. It's not easy to capture this with a photo, but you can see it on the spring which is second from the left. Hopefully this will still show after painting!
Incidentally, this method of making springs would work if you wanted to build either of the two engines photographed on p11 of the latest True Line (144): look how uneven the spring leaves are!

This last photo shows the underside of the final version. The brass parts have been blackened beforehand, and the shaft is temporarily fixed on with plastic tubing so that it can be removed for painting. I wish I had blackened all the brass before fixing in place - I hate to see the glint of brass from places I haven't been able to reach when painting!
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Yes, Bill Bedford sprung W-irons are great! The only part that I get annoyed about is that until the wheels are in place, the spring carriers keep popping out! If you look closely at the last photo, you can see my latest remedy, which is to spear a tiny piece of plastic onto each end of the wire. This stops the carrier from sliding out most of the time!

Alan
lindsay_g
Posts: 400
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:43 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by lindsay_g »

The addition to the spring wire - I did think there was something in a previous image but reckoned it was just my eyesight or the image. I know where you are coming from - that spring wire can be a pain to get in to place but can slip out with absolute ease.

Lindsay
Alan K
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by Alan K »

I omitted some details for the last photo. I only had to make the V hangers and the extra long push-rods, but the rest of the ironwork is readily available: the brake blocks are white metal and cannibalised from 51L 9' brake shoes (and half lapped and epoxy-ed to the push rods); the brake levers and lever guards were bog standard (and cannibalised from the True Line 8' 6" Morton Brake set) and the safety loops were from 51L also, but bent differently so that they come out 'flat' instead of J-hanger style. I was puzzled by the unusual position of the lever guards - ie to the inside of the wheel - but I'm pretty sure that it's done that way so the a 'standard' length brake lever can be used instead of a non-standard extra long one. And the bonus is that it doesn't need a 'joggle' to allow it to pass over the axle-box!
The other piece of detail is the loop on the inside for the securing chain shackle, which can be seen in this photo
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It can be seen on the inside of the faraway side at axle centre line position, and sadly not quite in focus, thanks to the unpredictable nature of the auto-focus on the camera. I had to make little brass U-shaped pieces for each mounting point which project through the side to form the fixing bolts.
Lastly, you might think this last picture a rather shameless and gratuitous indulgence, but it at least shows that there actually are 4 wagons in total!

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Painting next and then (finally) some Lancashire boilers!

Alan
Alan K
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by Alan K »

The end is now in sight! But first I need to set the scene re the paintwork. These wagons missed the cut for a repaint job in Caley days and the next one would inevitably be in LMS colours (we're talking late twenties/early thirties here). So the condition I'm trying to capture is a rather grubby, shabby one - all trace of any japanned ironwork has all been overtaken by rust I'm afraid!
What seems a long time ago, Jim P asked if I could give more details of my painting methods. So what follows is a summary. It isn't anything special - all that I've learnt has been cribbed from other sources, but here goes!

First job is the inside. I dry-brushed using Lifecolor acrylics from the Weathered Wood set. I'm not all that convinced that they work well in 4mm - I think they would be more suited to 7mm or larger. I ended up applying an AK Interactive (enamel) wash called 'Dark Wash for Wood Deck' and I think this had the biggest effect although I suppose the acrylic does shine through.
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For the outside, I used Phoenix Freight Wagon Oxide. My tin is coming to an end, but there was enough to get a single coat on each wagon. I added a bit of white to get a faded effect, but not quite pink.
I then picked out the ironwork using Lifecolor Rust Dark Shadow acrylic, which I think gives a good dark rust affect
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The transfers had been applied by the time I took this photo, HMRS Pressfix - not my favourite job, expletives etc etc! I used my home-made stencils for the CR's, using white acrylic in a Rotring type pen. I deliberately didn't try to get an even application in order to get that distressed look. I was prepared to abrade some of it off, but in the end left it as it was.
I used Lifecolor Frame Dirt mostly for the below-solebar metalwork, with some Lifecolor Burnt Black on axleboxes (these are oil boxes). I find that acrylics are great for these metal parts and the Lifecolor range has some very subtle shades: I use these here in preference to enamels.
The problem I have at this stage is that it's too clean looking. I could airbrush a light mist of 'dirt', but to my eye that makes it too uniform, and I haven't got enough advanced airbrush technique to improve on that. So my preferred method is (once all previous paintwork has been allowed to harden) to apply neat white spirit thinners to a whole side panel at a time and then apply a very thin runny 'dirty' enamel mix (my current favourite is Revell no. 9 Charcoal with a little Humbrol 62). Hopefully, this will flash into joints etc, but may have to be encouraged with the brush. Too much paint can be easily removed while it's still very runny. The ideal is to get a grubby appearance, with a degree of blotchiness to be encouraged - the opposite of the airbrushed look! This is the appearance I want:-
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I've added a few attempts at simulating chalk markings with the acrylic pen. I didn't take enough care when I applied the varnish to make the wretched Pressfix transfers stick, so I ended up having to apply some brushing Dullcote over each side.
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So these are the finished wagons - another shameless indulgence that I can't resist!

The final part of the project is to make a couple of Lancashire boilers for the 2 wagons which will be loaded.
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The bodies have been harvested from 28mm curtain rail in two rooms (which was 'slightly too long' !) The plan is to clad these with thin styrene which has been suitably embossed to simulate the numerous rivets (I take off my hat to anyone who wants to undertake that with Archer rivets!!)

Alan
Alan K
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by Alan K »

Google shows lots of photos of Lancashire boilers, mostly lying rusty and abandoned. The most useful site I could find was here: http://www.dhtcollections.com/item/Bran ... 776_1.html. It turns out that each section is a full circumference of the boiler diameter, with a short jointing plate rivetted over the joint, and the joints in each section staggered.
My first attempt involved making each section from 10thou styrene and fixed onto the former with double-sided tape. The rivets at the overlaps and at the joints were embossed using a rivet tool normally used to make rivets in the likes of brass smokeboxes. With some care (limiting the drop weight height to avoid just making a hole instead of a rivet), it can readily be used on styrene sheet to produce the same effect. The drawback of attaching 10 thou styrene directly to the (curtain rail) former is that it shows up any undulations of the former surface, so for the second version I made a one piece cover for the entire boiler from 20 thou styrene, partially heat formed to shape and fixed onto the former with contact adhesive. Then the 10 thou wrappers for the 3 embossed sections were attached with MEK.
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The blanked-off ports along the top are where the various items like safety valves, pressure gauges etc will be fitted when the boiler is installed. There is a blow-off cock/ drain port on the bottom, which I think dictates how the boilers were loaded onto rail wagons - I've seen lots of photos where the boiler is inclined to one side so that this port is safely out of harm's way when lowering it onto the wagon. There's also pictorial evidence that the boilers were not always transported with the fancy fire doors fitted in place, which let me off the hook trying to represent those...!
Once finished and ready for shipment, each boiler would get a nice coat of glossy black paint:
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And that's as far as I've got - to finish, it needs chains and shackles to tension the chains.
jasp
Posts: 482
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:40 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by jasp »

Alan
Great looking boilers!
Limonene is often more user-friendly than MEK if you need something a bit less aggressive, slower setting.
I have also sent you a pm.
Jim P
Jim Summers
Posts: 888
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by Jim Summers »

I'm looking forward to your rendering of those chains and shackles, Alan.
Great stuff so far, of course.

JimS
Alan K
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by Alan K »

Thanks for the comments.
I do use Limonene but not this time as I was trying to bond the overlay progressively round the body, and I needed something with quick
'grab' !
As to chains and shackles, I found that what was on offer on-line for 'miniature chain' turned out to be grossly over-scale for 4mm/ft. The problem is usually with the wire diameter of the links - anything over 0.3mm is way too thick. And the chain itself should be equivalent to about 20 links per inch...! However I found this from Ambis for both chain and shackles which to my eye is just right and I can't recommend it highly enough:
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Re how the chain is tensioned with the shackle, I found this wonderful picture here https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploa ... 598194.jpg from RMweb. I've always thought of 'left-handed thread' as a strange seldom seen occurrence, but here is a practical example - the 2 parts of the vertical rod are of the opposite thread so that turning the lever tightens in both directions!
Here is a close-up view of the chains fitted:
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And finally the two loaded wagons together:
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As a result of what I found about the construction of the boilers (ie that each plate has to be a full boiler circumference long), I'm thinking that the two empty wagons might be needed for delivery of plate which would be about 22ft long, but essentially that completes the project!

Thanks for looking

Alan
jasp
Posts: 482
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:40 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by jasp »

Great result Alan
The Ambis chain and shackles do the trick.
The shackles are, of course, similar to screw couplings ie opposite handed screw threads
Jim P
iainkirk
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:56 am

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by iainkirk »

Very tasty...
May we have the clarity to see our work, the courage to embrace it, and the capacity to discharge it.
Robert Fripp
Jim Summers
Posts: 888
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Diagram 124 Wagons

Post by Jim Summers »

Lovely work in all respects, Alan.
The Ambis chain does the job beautifully.
Oddly enough I was admiring their whole range of chain at Scalefour North this year and thinking what wonderful pieces of work they were and how lucky we are to have such products.

You thank us for looking, but thank you for posting.

JimS
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