First-sprung COV AB

For a while now I’ve been accumulating some of those nice Bachmann air braked wagons.  At some point in the future I might even build a layout on which to run them, but for now they are gathering dust.

With my planned move to P4, I thought it would be a good idea to have a go at springing one of these just to get a feel for how the Bill Bedford spring units work and maybe add a few other detail improvements too.  The Bachmann axleguard units are screwed in place, so are easily removed leaving a clear flat floor to mount the replacement units on.  The spring units folded up easily, I changed the spring wire provided for some 0.3mm phoshor bronze wire.  The Brassmasters axle spacing gauge came in handy for getting everything corrective aligned.  The wheels (these are Gibson EM ones) were fitted with brake discs by S Kits (from Nairnshire Modelling Supplies).  The bearings are left overs from Chivers MDV kits.

The buffers were also replaced using sprung 18″ Oleo buffers from 51L, which I fitted at our modelling night last week.

After touching in the paint on the buffers, fitting some brake pipes and a light weathering, here is the end result:

Technically it’s slightly too modern to put in an appearance on Foundry Lane, but I think it will find its way into the stock box for the next exhibition.

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A trio of ex-LMS vans

I’m currently having a bit of a sort out and trying to clear a few unfinished projects from my workbench so I can focus on my new layout.  Two of these vans have been hanging around my workbench since before the dawn of time, the third is a more recent addition which was built just because I liked the prototype (and because it will fill a gap for unfitted van stock in the branch goods on New Haden).

They are, in no particular order, a Cambrian Kits LMS D1830 unfitted steel bodied van, a Parkside Dundas BR dia 1/230 fitted fruit van and a Ratio LMS van, tweaked to represent a BR dia 1/204 (or at least I think that is what I was doing with it).

The D1830 was built largely as intended, the the exception of buffers (some tasty castings from Lanarkshire Model Supplies) and brakes (having exhausted my stock of ABS 9′ unfitted brake gear these are from 51L – and very nice they are too).  As you can see below it has received its first weathering coat, although some variation in the colour and a perhaps a little light rusting remains to be added.  At this stage the poorly fitting roof  is still in need of attention.  Couplings are likely to be three link at one end and AJ at the other, so it can perform as a converter between locos and my other three link fitted stock on New Haden.

The diagram 1/230 fruit van has similar additions to its buffers and brake gear.  Unfortunately I can’t remember where the (sprung) buffers came from although they may be Gibson.  The brakes are from the Mainly Trains LMS AVB set in etched brass – a bit fiddly in my clumsy fingers, but well worth the effort.  This one really is finished except for lettering and weathering, so quite why it has remained in this state for over two years now is anybody’s guess – its even already got some varnish where the transfers need to go!

Finally and with the most work remaining (but dormant from almost as long) is the Ratio kit bash.  The underframe is Parkside and will receive the same etched brass brake bits as the Fruit did.  If memory serves correctly the (cast) buffers on this one came from Genesis Kits, the vacuum pipe from MJT and the axle boxes from 51L.  Not shown in the picture is an extra rivet strip added to the ends to match whichever prototype I was modelling at the time (I really must find that photo).

So there you have it; proof that I do, sometimes, do some modelling…………..