Slaters LNER Brake Van

My order from Metalsmith arrived this week so I moved back onto the Slaters brake van build.
The order from Metalsmith was chiefly for 4mm x 2mm angle which I have used to make replacement stepboards in brass.

Replacement stepboards

The reasons for this are twofold, they will be more resilient to handling and I can solder them to the cast brass stepboard supports provided in the kit.
Conversely I have swapped the cast brass buffer stocks in the kit for some spare Parkside ones of the same style which I can glue more easily to the plastic headstocks.

I aslo cut out and cleaned up the axles boxes and springs ready for fitting and ran in to a little problem.

Slaters LNER Brake Van – Buffers and Springs

I had previously fitted some triangular (well almost) etched corner plates to the underside of the headstock/solebars. as you can see from the photos these now prevent the spring hangers from sitting flat under the sole bars. A look at the GA reveals that the spring hangers have been cut to allow the plates to be fitted but I feel that I may have fitted them in the wrong orientation and plan to remove one of them to check how it fits with the plate turned through 45 degrees.

An LNER Stove at last

As many will know Slaters do a really nice casting for a brake van stove. The problem with them is that they are based on an LMS(Midland?) design and although I have used them myself on other builds I have always hoped that someone would do an LNER version.
For this build having got a drawing for the stove, (thanks Dave) I thought I would have a bash at making one.
I am quite pleased with the results and I should have taken a shot with a 5p piece to show how big it isn’t…

LNER Brake van Stove and Hearth

I will have to straighten the jaunty chimney angle before final fitting though

LNER Brake van Stove and Hearth
LNER Brake van Stove and Hearth
LNER Brake van Stove and Hearth

Finally a couple more shots of the interior as it is at the moment.

Slaters LNER Brake van with scratch built interior

The Door it is hung

Although I have been busy in the workshop all day I have been distracted by fitting buffers to a good number of part finished models. I did manage to get the door on the brake van hung though and it does open and close.

LNER Brake Van – Opening Door
LNER Brake Van – Opening Door
LNER Brake van interior – Hearth
LNER Brake Van interior

Finally a better shot of the internals than I managed last night.

LNER Brake van interior – Seat lockers1024

Styrene at last…

Firstly my appologies for the crap photos’s I haven’t anywhere set up to take them at the minute so I had to do with poor lighting and try to make up for it with software but it isn’t up to much.
I managed to get my hands on some styrene so the last couple of days while it has been raining I cleared a space and set up the cutter. First I cut the parts for the new door and the internal lockers/benches etc. 
Sadly it didn’t go without incident and on the very last cut it moved out of registration and scrapped them all. Undeterred I cut them again and they came out okay. 
I glued the layers for the door together and laid them between two sheets of glass to dry and it was only when I was rubbing the edges down to remove the layering that I realised that I had a few layers too many – the completed door was a scale 4″ thick. I must have been thinking I was building a bullion van or something…
So third time lucky as the saying goes we have the new door sorted. And after all that I forgot to take any photos of it.
While the door was drying I made up the lockers and from the drawing added hinges, and hasp and staple to each locker area. The drawing also says that the guard was to be issued one padlock, so only one of them has a padlock.

Scratch built interior fittings for Slaters LNER Brake Van

Having added the lining detail to the interior I set about making the Guard’s vacuum gauge and the automatic van valve etc.

Scratch built interior fittings for Slaters LNER Brake Van

All made from styrene rod and tube of various sizes. I have just realised that I have missed of the guard’s handle I will add that before final fitting.
Here are a few shots of things just resting in place.

Scratch built interior fittings for Slaters LNER Brake Van
Scratch built interior fittings for Slaters LNER Brake Van
Scratch built interior fittings for Slaters LNER Brake Van

Just ready for the stove when I finish drawing and cutting it…

Scratch built interior fittings for Slaters LNER Brake Van
Scratch built interior fittings for Slaters LNER Brake Van

Running Rail and hooks, that’s what the GA says…

While waiting for the glue to dry on the first pair of W Irons I was studying the GA’s and noted that in the cain fastened to the roof is what is described as a “Running Rail with Hooks” So I thought what better to get me back into making the little details than this. I also noted that there are a couple of coat hooks too.

LNER Brake Van Running Rail and Coat hooks

And finally one with the obligatory coin to give an idea of scale.

LNER Brake van Running Rail and Coat hooks with 5p

Roof canvas in place

Although progress is steady because I keep getting distracted with photography the BV is moving forward.
The roof now has canvas and the etched end plates have the rivets pressed out and ready to fit as is the other veranda but that won’t be done until I make the door.

Slaters LNER Brake Van
Slaters LNER Brake Van

I did wonder if I would need to remove the rainstrips in order to get the canvas to sit down bt a bit of patient smoothing with a bit of spare plastic sprue saw it cover very nicely indeed.

One step forward and two back, or that’s what it seems like

Another day spent mostly drawing up the internals. I have now finished them apart from drawing up a stove and oven – more on that later.
I have moved all the drawings from their original files/layers to fit on to two drawings each with a single layer for cutting. The first will be cut from 10 thou styrene and the second 20 thou.

The plan was to cut them this morning but that’s gone by the wayside after discovering that the pack of styrene sheet that I have with me only contains the stuff that is too thick to go through the cutter… I have lots of it in storage so I am not going to buy any more, I will just crack on with other things until I can go out again.
I did get the veranda end fitted last night though so the next job is to add the canvas to the roof.

You may be getting overloaded with photos showing minute levels of progress. This is because I am also taking the opportunity to play about with my new camera and it’s ability to be remote controlled via wifi.
Finally for this post, a return the stove and oven discussion. 
Slaters do a really nice cast pot bellied type stove which I have used in a few of my builds but it’s to an LMS design (I think). The LNER stoves are completely different being flat planes – see the snip below.

While having an online discussion with a friend he mentioned that he had GA’s for the LNER stove and oven should I have a desire to make one. He duly sent them over and now has come the time to at least draw one up. I will probably do it in Inkscape but it might even be the push needed to get me to learn to draw in 3D so that I could print a master for subsequent casting.

Patience is rewarded

This is a bit of an instructional post so for some readers it may be granny and eggs but if not I hope that it helps at some point.

In my experiences with plastic wagon kits from such as Slaters and Parkside (Peco) the way that they do the corners sometimes leaves a little to be desired (or more realistically fettled). The designer attempts to make not only the corner timbers marry up but also the corner strapping where fitted too. When making my own design of wagons via the Silhouette cutter I always make the iron work as 10 thou overlays.

I digress, having got as far as fitting the first of the outer Veranda partitions at first try there was a gap of around half a mil or more.

That shown above is the other end which is still to fettle. This is the end that I have done and it does fitt cleanly when pushed into place it was just difficult to get it perfectly in place and take a photo of it.

To achieve this snug fit I had to file scrape and otherwise nibble away at the two bits highlighted on both edges of the partition.

Annotated Outer end

The body taking shape

I had most of the day at the bench today and to be honest there doesn’t look much to show for it at present. I have progressed the drawings for the internals quite a bit though.

Locker tops and hearth

I spent some time measuring and scribing the planking on the floor and also on the underside of the roof – yes I know that you can see it unless you turn it upside down but I know it’s there….
I did manage to get the inner ends and one side on the cabin after dressing the sides with duckets, lamp and grab rails.

Slaters LNER Brake Van Cabin partially assembled
Slaters LNER Brake Van Cabin partially assembled

Where was I?

So where was I,  ahh yes the door carving.
First I removed the door on one cabin end.

Then I cut the lower panel that I removed to fit in the space where the window had been on the other end.

Then I drew up the parts for the replacement opening door to cut on the Silhouette.

I also completed the drawing of the insides of the ends.

Lastly I made a start on adding the lamp irons to the out ends.

Cut and Shut

This build has slowed down a little because when reviewing the two GA’s that I have and some photos that I took of an LNER brake van at Grosmont on the NYMR a few years ago, all of them have fully timber panelled doors whereas the Slaters kit depicts a 4 paned window in the door. At first I was going to just cut out the framing and fit a panel in the upper part of the door (and I will do that at one end) but being me I decided that I would have a door at one end open so I am just about to start carving the door out of one of the ends.

Drawing up an interior

In between cleaning rust of my modelling tools I have done a little more at the drawing and will add a little more explanation.

First I will give the key to the line colours. You can draw the lines in any colour you want, it makes no difference as long as you know what you want from each line. The colours control the cut once you import the drawing into Silhouette Studio but more on that when we get there.
Crimson Red lines are lines that I will cut all the way through.
Dark Red lines will also be cut all the way through but ensure that the cutter blade makes a separate cut for these lines rather then them being a continuation of the crimson lines – in this case they are the tops and bottoms of the window cut outs. If you draw the windows as a square/rectangle they will cut fine most times but occasionally the cut tries to go go around the corner and you get some rounding so when I remember I do it long hand with four separate lines to make up the rectangle or square. As long as they are the same size you one need to do the one as you can select all the four sides and duplicate them to create more window openings without having to redraw them.
Green lines are score lines which will only be cut deep enough to show them as plank lines etc.
I also use dashed blue lines for marking where things are to be placed (such as strapping or end posts on wagons) but I don’t need any on this particular drawing.
Also note that Slaters have glazing in the upper half of the door whereas the GA has it planked so I will need to modify that when I start the build.

Slaters LNER Diagram 61 20 ton Brake Van

Finally the prospect of getting a workbench up and running looms. Hopefully by the end of next week i should be seriously thinking about getting a temporary workbench set up. With the current lockdown extended it’s probably going to be a garden bistro table with a makeshift plywood top and a garden chair to sit on but it’s better than nothing.

I have a limited number of potential victims to hand to get back into the swing of things. It’s a toss up between this and one of Jim’s LNER Bogie Brick wagons. I won’t be able to make a final decision on what I can build until I dig in the depths of the shed and see what modeling tools I managed to bring with me.

What I know I don’t have, is access to my library. But I do have digital general arrangement drawings for the D61 brake van but only a couple of photos of the brick wagon so if I have glue etc. I am leaning towards the Brake van.

In anticipation, this evening I opened the box and scanned the sides and cabin ends so that I can use the GA drawings to draw up and cut an interior with the Silhouette cutter. That should keep me out of mischief for a few nights until I get the WB in action.

Progress will be posted as it happens.