With mojo fully restored in between going for my Covid jab I cracked on and got the brakes assembled and soldered in place. I left the crankshaft from the brake cylinder loose for the moment just in case I do find a way to fit the brake cylinder.
I made up a couple of adjusters from some telescopic tube, filing the larger pieces into hexagons to represent nuts at each end.
Next up is fit the sand pipes then to work out how best the motor will fit with the body on. The latter should tell me whether I will be able to fit the brake cylinder after all.
The other V1/3 is at a similar state of play. I was going to say what I am struggling with now is a suitable number for this van but just before posting I had another look in Ian Sadler’s North Eastern Brake vans book and on the example shown in there, although the bodyside lettering isn’t visible, the number plate 57916 is so I shall use that as my example.
I have had a few of Dan’s kits over time and one thing that I find odd is that some come with roofs and some come without. Sadly, the road van came without (yet an NER horsebox that I bought at the same time had one). I can only guess that it depends on whether Dan has roof material to hand when he packs the kit.
A suitable piece of sheet was obtained and cut to size. It was just too long for either of my sets of rolling bars so I had to resort to rolling it by hand but I got there in the end.
When built these vans were fitted with sliding roof hatches over the left hand set of doors on each side. Later these were replaced with canvas or just boarded over so lots of permutations are possible depending on the period being modelled. This van was to have roof doors so I cut an offcut of thicker brass sheet to size (my guillotine needed a bit of muscle to cut through it). This time it did go through the rolling bars…
The photos that I have seen with roof hatches had a curved strip across them which is possibly a rainstrip? I represented this with a short length of 1mm square rod.
The roof was still loose at this point.
The kit does provide the runners in the form of whitemetal castings so these were duly soldered on. And finally the roof was soldered on to the body.
I had got this far, then while studying photos noted that there was a turnbuckle in the middle truss rod. I made some up using tube and 14ba nuts and then cut the truss rod to allow them to be eased aside and slipped on.
I forgot to add in the last post that the Couplings, vac and Westinghouse pipes are Laurie Griffin.
The kit comes with nice cast brake cylinders which have cast on mounting brackets. The odd thing is that they come with a separate domed end but you can’t fit them unless you make the mounting brackets longer. I elected to file them off and replace them with brass strip. This makes them sit a bit lower and I had to put a slight bend in the brake rods to get them to pass over the cylinder.
With it being quite a long van, I added some supports for the middle of the roof from scrap etch.
Another two even longer term inhabitants of the work bench from four years ago are two Connoisseur V1/3 Birdcage Brake vans. on a bit of a roll with the V4 I looked at the other two and found that the only things missing from them was buffers.
The reason that I hadn’t finished them initially was because I had read On the late Raymond Walley’s blog that he had replaced the solid buffers supplied with some sprung ones from NMRS. I subsequently bought some from the late Graham Jones at a show.
Fortunately despite not touching them or the V4 van since 2017 I knew exactly where the replacement buffers were so dug them out and soldered on the buffer shanks and then when I went to fit the heads/springs etc. I found that there wasn’t any room for them or indeed access to get the nuts on and tightened.
It is possible to fit sprung buffers, but you need to plan for it and fit them much earlier in the build. In order for them to fit and be able to spring them you need to remove some of the base of the W Iron/spring casting prior to fitting it and adding the wheels brakes etc..
In the end I spent another half an hour removing them and fitting the solid buffers.
Here they are scrubbed up and awaiting paint.
Not wishing to waste a good scrubbing, we had a warm dry day here in North Yorkshire today so I popped out and squirted them and the V4 with etch primer.
Almost before adding much more under frame detail I couldn’t resist trying the bogies underneath it for an idea of how the finished van would look.
The outer truss rods are quite interesting on that they have two rod one on the outside and the second on the inside of the solebar. The instructions have you add these in two pieces I did them in one with a square U bending in the middle. This proved a bit tricky to get sitting right on the front face and I suspect that doing it in two pieces wouldn’t have proved equally tricky.
Moving rapidly on with the Road van body, the instructions suggest that you fit the ends first and once I filed of an offending etching cusp, the ends fit nicely.
My recently acquired RSU has come into its own on this build. Using it allows me to use the probe to hold pieces in place while tacking them. After tinning the edges of the ends, sides and the fold down on the floor pan, tacking it together with the RSU became a breeze. I ran the microflame gently down the joints to join up the dots and hey presto.
It may just be me but it seemed so much easier than my previous efforts with van bodies. In fairness, the kit is well designed and that helps too.
When I got my office and workshop completed last year I placed most of my shelf queens on the window sill in full view so that they are a constant reminder that they need finishing.
One of those is quite a blast from the past, those with long memories will remember my building this NER V4 brake van back in 2017. I got so far with it and for some reason as sometimes happens, it was popped on one side.
With the bit between my teeth, on Friday evening I picked it up and realised that all it needed to complete it was the fitting of the brake gear, guard irons and couplings. I am pleased to say that I knew exactly where the missing bits for it were and a couple of hours last night saw it complete.
It does need a good scrub before it gets painted but it’s now ready for a blast of primer when I do the road van.
Before going any further I took the time to detail the sides while they were flat. One of the features that I love about many North Eastern Railway vans is the doors and their variations of the locking mechanisms.
Much of this detail is provided in the etches and I only added the locking rods and some thin half etched strip to create the staples that the locking rods and lower locking bar fit into.
Once the various grab handles and pins for the drop doors were added they were ready for fitting.
Like many I suffered a bit of a mojo loss recently so I decided to take a short break from loco building to tackle a couple of wagons in the hope that the enthusiasm was rekindled.
The first of these is a D&S Kit for a North Eastern Railway Bogie Road Van. Although I have had one of these kits for about 3 years, this one is for a gent who lives in Scotland who models the North Eastern Railway so I rang Dan Pinnock to enquire as to availability last year. Dan said he could do a kit but he would have to order the etches.
And so, onto the build. I started with the basic floor pan and solebars. Like many kits the floor pan has fold down strips down the long edges. what is unusual is that these are not the solebars. The solebars have a full thickness rear section and a half etched overlay. The rear has a narrow fold along the bottom edge to represent the C section of a steel solebar. When put together the solebars fit into slots behind the fold down strips on the floor pan. To this floor pan is added a pair of queen posts
Next, I made up the bogies, these are simple in design. A pair of really nice brass castings fit onto the ends of a fold up central bolster. Each bolster has a fold up strip on the top which either allows for and aft rocking or side to side.
The brakes are simple affairs which fit nicely between the wheels on each side.