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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

0 Gauge SR 8 Plank Open Wagon

For a bit more character and functionality I wanted to make the wagon with a tarpaulin rail. My research for this resulted in a couple of false starts. Some time ago I made an N gauge model of an early LSWR railed wagon for a LSWR period layout, So, I began by gathering dimensions for my 0 gauge version. Then I realised that it never lasted into the BR period that I am modelling.

I remember seeing a photo of a BR shock wagon with tarpaulin rail so changed tack to research this instead. These wagons had a floating sprung body to protect vulnerable merchandise. But the body does not extend to the end of the chassis. The area behind the bufferstocks is open and would would show the unrealistic (yet novel and effective) buffer spring mechanism of the Peco mineral wagon chassis that I intended to use.

Beginning to think that I might have to abandon this wagon style I stumbled upon a SR development of the LSWR wagon. In fact the LSWR wagon went through several developments into the SR period and a variant without tarpaulin rail made it into the BR period. I still wanted the tarpaulin rail and choose to model the earlier SR variant from the 1930s even though it probably did not last into BR days.

There are plenty of photographs of the non rail SR wagon (the body of which is nearly the same as the railed version) and a drawing of the railed version can be found on the HMRS website. The dimensions are unreadable unless the full size drawing is purchased.

The railed variant is a 12 ton, 8 plank, 9 foot wheelbase, 17 feet 6 inches overall, fitted with a.v.b and built to diagram 1385. SR numbers 36951 - 37050.

The 9 foot wheelbase is important because I could use the Peco 9 foot mineral wagon chassis kit. It needed to be extended in the same manner as my box van previously built and the brake mechanics modified.

Being a.v.b. a vacuum cylinder had to be built and its location in the chassis results in the V hanger being offset from centre and it is asymmetric! This meant more work than I anticipated to modify the Peco model. The manual brake lever also needed modification to fit. The drawing and photograph did not show the arrangement on the other side of the wagon so, it is assumed to be a mirror image, except I know the brake lever is reversed there.

A delight of working in 0 gauge is that the tarpaulin rail can be made to work like the prototype with its roller guide mechanics. Difficult to achieve in 4 mm scale and impossible in 2 mm scale.

The pivot point is a dressmaking pin and the roller is a Hornby track pin that does not roll but retains the rail in the guide as the rail is rotated.

The vacuum pipe was very quick and easy to make being simply a length of 1 mm wire with the hose represented by winding around very thin phosphor bronze wire.

The addition of a tarpaulin gives two wagons for the price of one meaning the wagon can be run with or without it. One idea I have is for part of a goods shed to be positioned close to the edge of the baseboard with the remaining part 'in the backscene'. The wagon would be propelled into the goods shed and through the back scene to the fiddle yard where the tarpaulin would be applied. The wagon is then pulled out of the fiddle yard through the goods shed fully loaded with tarpaulin covering.

The tarpaulin is a canvas texture designed in my graphics editing application and printed on sticky back paper. It is stuck to kitchen aluminium foil, which seems to give it a bit more strength and helps to hold the folds in place.

The eyelets were found among the beads at Hobbycraft, labelled CR SP crimp, 12 in a pack. Pin and needle were used to pierce and enlarge the hole in the tarpaulin and the eyelet superglued into place. The 'rope' is elasticated thread, which aids easy removal and application of the tarpaulin.


paul bartlett 


Peco chassis kit and spoked wheels: £25.40 (incl. postage)
Plastic: £0.5
extras: pennies
Total:  <£27

This wagon is not available from the trade. A Slaters 5 plank shock wagon with tarpaulin bar kit is available at about £32 and a Dapol ready to run 5 plank wagon with tarpaulin bar for about £40.

Next up is a tank wagon.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Loco sound module for under £10

Really? what's the catch?

This solution is remarkably good value for money that gives remote control of sound emitting from the locomotive (actually, a wagon coupled to it).

The catch is you have to manually sync. the sound to your locomotive movement.

This solution requires three elements.

1) An i-Star bluetooth micro speaker.

I bought mine from Amazon for just under £10 including postage. It's a 1" x 1" x 1.1" cube that will fit into 0 and 00 gauge wagons. The device has an on/off switch and a rechargeable battery that is charged up via USB (cable provided). Not, therefore, suitable to put in a locomotive.

2) Phone or Tablet with Bluetooth

Instructions provided with the micro speaker clearly explain how to hook it  up to your device with ease.

3) An App.

Simplest perhaps is a web site that plays sound files. Connect your device to the Internet, open your Browser and load the website. Play a sound. It will emit from the cube speaker instead of your device.

I made my own web page that plays loco sounds for my Dapol 0 gauge locomotive.

The shaky video below is a quick demonstration. Its shaky because I needed three hands. One to hold the camera (mobile phone), one to select and control sound from my iPad and one to operate the DC train controller. Unfortunately I only have two hands!

Friday, 31 May 2019

June Website Cover

Photo shoot of A Model Railway built onto a track mat template.

View the cover here.
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