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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.

Friday, 24 May 2019

0 Gauge SR 12T Box Van

The Peco chassis kit for a mineral wagon is a close match to the early 9ft wheelbase SR box van. To be more accurate it needs to be extended from 114mm to 122.5mm and the bufferstocks extended to the floor width.

The extensions were fabricated and glued to the solebar, bufferstock and floor at both ends. The 8 wagon side supports on the floor (one shown circled red) are removed since the van body sits on top of the floor and not on these.

Design of body details was very much influenced by this photo of a preserved van on the Watercress Line.

Body sides and roof were designed in CAD and 3D printed. The complex curve of the roof was an interesting design challenge. I design in 3D modelling mode that uses geometric blocks rather than a 2D drawing. The curves were measured from a plan of the van (see references below) and then "drawn" using a variety of cubes and cylinders that are added or subtracted to make the shape.

The body angled iron is formed from paper strips. After fixing they are covered in superglue to stiffen.

I intended to use waterslide transfers for the wagon numbering but found that printing on sticky back paper is unobtrusive for 0 gauge and easier to use.

My goods train is getting longer!


Peco chassis and spoked wheels: £25.75 (Discounted RRP incl. postage)
Plastic: £0.58
Extras: pennies.
Total: <£27.

This wagon is available as a proprietary kit (Parkside about £33)


Wagons of the Southern Standard Box Van - Railway Modeller December 1970.
Wagon Page Southern Vans - Railway Modeller March 1971.
This photo of a preserved van on the Watercress Line.

Next up is an open wagon.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

0 Gauge Southern 25T Brake Van

I thought I saw an 0 gauge brake van chassis kit at Peco but, it was for N gauge. So, I needed to design and make a chassis as well as the body and it all turned out to be the most complex and time consuming of the three wagons built to date. This experience changed my attitude somewhat about the high price of proprietary 0 gauge kit and RTR products. For those who gain pleasure from scratch building and don't care about the time factor then that is fine but if you want to get trains up and running on a layout in short time or prefer the operational side of the hobby then dig deep into your pockets and buy the kits or RTR products.

I have a magazine article about the prototype brake van with basic drawing, notes and photos (see reference at end of posting) but virtually no details of the brake mechanics beneath the chassis. I resorted to the Bachmann 00 gauge model for this detail, which I also have (and hope Bachmann got it right),  although I left some parts off that are not readily seen.

I wanted to adopt the simple yet effective Peco method for sprung buffers but the Southern 25T brake van chassis is very narrow with no room behind the buffers  for any bulk. So, I adapted the method I used on the hut carrier wagon.

Referring to the photo of the buffer parts, the limiter (panel pin) passes through the headstock, buffer and spring and is glued into a hole in the end of the buffer shank (cut from a big round nail). This limits the outward travel of the buffer shank and occupies very little space behind the headstock. The phosphor bronze spring proved ineffective. I think because it is short, compared to its use in the hut carrier wagon arrangement where it works fine. I replaced it with a spring made up from a broken E guitar string, which is springier and performs very well in this arrangement. The plastic parts are 3D printed, as is the entire wagon kit, apart from wheels, 3-link couplings and grab handles.

I wanted a weathered appearance so, painted the chassis using the same method as for the other wagons. For the body I made up a mix of paints that I had to hand to give a faded bauxite finish, with reference to prototype photographs.

The two black lamps in the photo indicate a train with unfitted (non vacuum brake) wagons running on a single line.

I am pleased with the finish on the roof. The weathered look happened almost by chance. It was first painted with Halfords grey primer (off wagon) and then the roof ends over sprayed with the bauxite mix. In doing this some of the bauxite droplets ended up on the roof and torpedo vents giving an impression of rust. I decided to leave this as is and weather the grey roof using black pastel scrapes, which darkened the grey in a blotchy way and covered the spots there. I left the vents as is with their rusty look.

With the brake van I now have my first authentic goods train formation.


Plastic: £1.33
Peco wheel set: £8.03 (discounted RRP incl, postage)
Extras: Pennies

Total: Less than £10.

This brake van is also available as a proprietary kit (Parkside: about £43) and RTR model (Dapol: about £68)

Railway Modeller January 1971: Wagons of the Southern 4 - Standard Goods Brake Van.

Next up is a Southern 12T box van.

Friday, 19 April 2019

0 Gauge 16T Mineral Wagon

This time I opted for a Peco chassis R0-8 since it is designed for the 16T mineral wagon. The body is 3D designed and printed by me. The framing around the doors came out a bit ragged compared to crisp injection moulded parts. Nevertheless it adds to the worn weathered finish.

I am very pleased with the Peco chassis because it has sprung buffers and compensation. Both utilising innovative and simple mechanics with compensation provided by working leaf springs no less! Very impressive. It went together quickly but thought needed to be given to assembly of a couple of parts as the instructions were unclear to me and a referenced diagram was missing from them.

There are many variants of the prototype wagon. I opted for that built to diagram 1/108 - a welded body with double brake arrangement. This avoided the need to show rivets!

It may be of interest to elaborate on the paint finishes that I applied.


Referring to prototype photographs of weathered wagons the underlying colour appears greyish, arguably with a touch of blue. I sprayed the entire chassis (not wheels) with Humbrol matte enamel 144 followed by sponge painting dabs of Humbrol matte 62 for rust here and there.


The weathered look was achieved using the salt chipping technique. Here is a video tutorial. People use rock or table salt. I found table salt worked best for larger areas in particular.

The body was first sprayed overall using Halfords grey primer followed by brush painting Humbrol matte 100 with a splash of matte 160 to give an aged rust look. When dry, masking tape cut to the size of the white diagonal lines was applied. Each body side was then painted with clean water and salt sprinkled on in key areas where rust is to show, with reference to prototype photographs. Quite a deep patch of salt was applied to the large areas of rust. The body was then set aside to dry thoroughly overnight.

I am undecided what payload to fill the wagon with so, left the inside empty and a rust colour. When  I design the model railway layout the most likely mineral payload needed for the scene will be realised.

The wagon (and salt overlay) was sprayed with Humbrol 128 mixed with a large amount of matte white to lighten ('cos that's the only grey I had). When nearly dry the salt was brushed away with a toothbrush except it was hard to remove in places so, scraping gently with a small flat blade screw driver worked well. To my dismay the process had lightened  the dark rust colour,  either due to salt erosion of the paint or, leeching of the thinned grey spray paint. Thinking it was leeching grey paint I used thinners and gently rubbed the rust patches with cotton bud to no avail. Maybe it is not so bad considering it would appear lighter from normal viewing distance. Some miniscule salt particles are embedded in the grey paint here and there giving a nice textured finish.

The masking tape was removed and new tape laid either side of the white lines to be. The white lines were added by lightly sponge painting matte white.

Finally, wagon numbering was designed, printed and placed.


Peco chassis: £16.56 (discounted RRP incl postage)
Peco wheel set: £8.03 (discounted RRP incl postage)
Plastic body: £0.3
Extras: pennies

Total: Less than £25

RTR from the trade then probably around £45 or in kit form £35.


Mineral Wagon Variety: The Model Railway Journal #54
Mineral Wagons: Railway Modeller November 1980.

Next up is a brake van.

Friday, 12 April 2019

0 Gauge 15T Ballast Wagon Hut Carrier

I have trodden the sad road to rivet counting, which I swore I would never entertain because life is too short!

This is my first attempt at scratch building 0 gauge wagons. What can be said about it is yes, greater attention to detail is required than for 00 gauge; I had to remind myself of this being used to 00 gauge modelling. In so doing there are small parts revealed in the analysis that are just as fiddly to create as in 00 gauge! Nevertheless, it has been a rewarding experience since it stretched my design and modelling skills and given insight to another aspect of historical railway practise and vehicles.

The Result (ignore the track. I have not invested in 0 gauge track yet)

Historical Facts

The hut carrying wagon is a SR 15T Ballast Wagon (Diagram 1773) with the drop side doors removed. A few of these converted wagons were deployed by the SR Exmouth Junction concrete works for the conveyance of huts. Most did not carry identification, apart from the number plate fixed to the solebar.

I did not have a drawing of 1773 but I did have a drawing of the steel plated door variant. This has the same overall dimensions and similar chassis. The main differences being buffer style, brake arrangement and four door stops instead of six. This together with several photos of 1773 on the web enabled me to design the wagon. The web photos were of aged wagons showing a distinctly grey weathered finish. I adopted same.

Design (also see modelling referemces at end of posting)

The wagon was deigned as a kit of parts in 3D CAD (FreeCad Application). The image shows the parts for the chassis. Other parts not shown are axlebox, buffer, brake mechanics, door stopper and hut cradle. The parts were 3D printed on my own printer


Since my Terrier locomotive has sprung buffers I decided that the wagon would have them to.

The buffer shank is a panel pin and the spring is made of phosphor bronze wire netting from a wine bottle. I wound the wire around the nail to make the spring!

The photo shows the assembly. The buffer head is glued to the pin head. The buffer is glued to the wagon headstock. The shank passes through both and the travel limiter glued to the shank in a position that gives the outward travel required . The spring is placed over the shank and the container passed over this and glued to the rear of the headstock. The shank passes through the end of the container.

These photos show the operation. (top - closed, bottom - open)


Having gone to that effort I decided to include chassis compensation as well. This employs a cradle with a central rocker that gives 1 mm clearance between cradle and wagon floor. There is also 1mm gap between leaf springs and solebar. The rocker also serves to keep the wheels square to chassis. The central hole was only used for position alignment with the floor. (These macro photos reveal the roughness of the 3D print, Not noticeable at normal viewing distance.)

 Below: Normal alignment and compensating for obstruction.

The tie bar is flattened 0.5mm wire loosely held in the axle box frame to allow independent compensation of fore and aft wheels.

Rivets and Coupling

And so to rivet counting, or how to make them. I tried several "fluids' and found the acrylic matte medium gave the best result (yet another use for this versatile substance). Poke a cocktail stick into the medium to pick some up. Offer the stick vertically to the model and twist about half a turn,  lift off to leave a nice round deposit.

Each link of the 3-link coupling was made by wrapping 1mm wire several times around a rectangular bar and then cutting along the set with a razor saw. The coupling hook is a spare from a proprietary chassis kit (presented in next posting). 

I am not sure if I will get on with this authentic wagon coupling method and will need to devise a shunting pole for easy of manipulating the couplings. If that becomes too difficult/tedious I may install the Alex Jackson coupling method across all the rolling stock.

By the way, angle brackets less than 0.5mm thick, like those on the wooden end panel, were made up from thin card and after applying to the model, coated in cyanoacrylate glue to stiffen the pliable card.

Hut Cradle

There is speculation from an obscure photograph that cement bags were used to protect the corners of the concrete huts from the cradle compression. I choose 'Blue Circle' bags and applied the logo that was in use before 1967.

I suppose I should talk about the cost to make the wagon since 0 gauge proprietary products are notoriously expensive.

Plastic: £0.62
Peco wheel set: £8.03 (discounted RRP)
Extras: pennies

Total: Less than £9.

If such an 0 gauge wagon was available RTR from the trade then probably around £50 or in kit form £35.

What I have not accounted for is the hours and hours gone into the design and build of my model and the overhead costs. Perhaps that can be negated by the pleasure derived from the hobby.


The width of the wagon is about 1.5mm too wide because I used the dimension from the outside of the (unfitted) side doors instead of the inside.

The brake lever is partially on instead of fully off for a moving vehicle.


Concrete PW Huts: The Model Railway Journal #62
Non Hoppered Steel Ballast Wagons: Model Railway Constructor, December 1984
Compensation for 0 Gauge Wagons: Railway Modeller: June 1984
Paul Bartlett's Photographs.


When I get around to a making a model railway layout I have a vision of some prepared ground with a couple of workers peering into the distance awaiting  arrival of the huts. And when they do arrive they will still be peering into the distance awaiting arrival of a travelling crane to lift and position the huts, which may never arrive!

Next up is a Mineral Wagon.

Friday, 5 April 2019

0 Gauge BR(S) Lineside Huts

The first wagon I want to make is a 15T ballast wagon with the drop sides removed as this was used by BR to transport its concrete permanent way and tool huts from their concrete works at Exmouth Junction to all parts of the Souther Region network.

Whilst waiting for some parts to arrive for the wagon I set about designing and building the huts. These were designed in CAD and 3D printed on my own printer. Each hut consists of three parts, these being the main body shell, roof and door.

The PW hut was fitted with window blinds and the chimney placed inside during transportation. Being ex works the finish is pristine. My best guess at the concrete colour is a greyish white, judging from the monochrome photos I have seen.

The 3D print reveals the vertical layers of plastic resulting from the process. These were smoothed to some degree with sand paper for large areas and smaller areas given a coating of acrylic matte medium, which has a gel like consistency. Any imperfections left in the plastic has enhanced the concrete look. The hut is spray painted with Halfords Primer and artist acrylic top coat sponged on, which gives better control than a brush to allow a little of the grey primer to show through (did not want the setup/cleanup time and mess of an air brush). The acrylic top coat was mixed 50:50 with the matte medium to reduce gloss. (Matte medium is proving very versatile and can even be used as a paper glue.)

The plastic model wagon will need some weighty ballast for stability. Rather than weight the wagon I have glued into each hut floor a 1 mm steel sheet. The two huts together weigh 140gms, which I hope will be adequate ballast for the wagon.

The photo shows a 00 gauge hut alongside for scale comparison.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

I've Only Gone and Done It!

I have always looked upon 0 gauge (7mm) rolling stock and layouts with a degree of envy. Can't put my finger on it, perhaps it's the sheer size that appeals to my masculinity. The reason I never worked in this scale is the cost of items and the space required, both being about twice as much as 00 gauge. (More than twice the cost if wanting a tender locomotive and rake of coaches.)

Having seen Arun Quay at the recent Basingstoke show my concerns about space requirements were quashed because here was a 7mm scale layout in only about 7 feet that gives an authentic looking scene with operating potential. I became hooked.

Arun Quay is a shunting layout using the LB&SCR  'Terrier' tank engine and a few wagons. The 'Terrier', or A1x to give it its class name, is an attractive locomotive to the eye. I set about browsing eBay for similar and came across the highly detailed Dapol RTR offering (Arun Quay's is kit construction).

The RRP of the Dapol is £225 but I found and bid on a second hand model (32661) that had a couple of minor cosmetic issues. I won the auction for a price considerably less than the RRP. On its arrival it looked as good as new with very little evidence of use and I quickly fixed the cosmetic problems.

I have no other 7mm items, not even track but, I set up two lengths side by side of old Triang Hornby 00 Series 4 to test the loco, which ran perfectly. (The 2p in the photo is to indicate the scale and not the price I paid!)

The prototype 32661 was allocated to the Hayling Island Branch Line from the 1930s until withdrawl in 1963 and the shed code on the model indicates the home shed to be Eastleigh.

My plan initially is to acquire a small range of wagons. In order to minimise cost they will probably be scratch built. In fact when it comes to track and scenic items then scratch building must be the norm to save on cost.

I have in mind a 16T mineral wagon with coal load, a 15T ballast wagon converted to carry new SR line side huts (Ref: The Model Railway Journal #62), a SR box van and a goods brake van. I expect a few more will follow and maybe a Brake 3rd coach. It all depends on how good my scratch building is.

When I have sufficient to operate a shunting yard I'll turn my attention to a layout. To accommodate this in the railway room one of my other layouts will need to go to make space. The layout location is likely to be fictitious but, influenced by Southern practise and landscape.

I have to admit that it all sounds a bit daunting for me. When I moved from 00 to N I had no qualms but moving up to 0 gauge requires greater emphasis on detailing in order to create an authentic scene like Arun Quay. I'll be disappointed if I cannot achieve that benchmark.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Low Relief Dairy

This 4mm scale building is made from a card kit given away free with the March 19 Hornby Magazine. It is destined for my Grandson's model railway.

The kit makes up into a nice looking, robust model that is 27.8 mm long x 14.4 cm high x 3.3 cm deep. The window frames are not supplied by the magazine so I designed and 3D printed them in white plastic and fixed them to clear acrylic to represent glass.

It required a full day to make, including bespoke windows.

The milk tanker is a Hornby model.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

BNHMRS 36th Exhibition

This is becoming a pilgrimage. It is the 9th successive year I have visited this Basingstoke annual show. I know it's 9 years because my grandson has accompanied us every year since his birth.

We attended shortly after opening on the first day, not the best time because the crowds are horrendous at that time. Thankfully, the three halls of exhibits thinned out as the morning wore on affording better viewing of the layouts. I am in need of inspiration for my next project and hoped the show would reward me in this respect.

The extent of layouts, traders and modelling standards was very high, as usual. The Basingstoke club (who's exhibition it was)  was one of the competitors in 'The Great Model Railway Chalenge' TV programme and their winning layout Santa's Holiday - 00 gauge was on display. If you saw the TV programme you will know the teams were under pressure to build a fully working model railway within a couple of days. Watching the TV programme I was left with the impression that the builds were a rushed job resulting in poor quality modelling and unfinished look. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this layout was well finished and a worthy winner of their heat in the competition.

In choosing a personal best in show it is difficult not to ignore Copenhagen Fields - 2mm scale set in the 1920/30s. It is quite a coup for the Basingstoke club to show this famous layout belonging to The Model Railway Club, a London based club and the oldest in the world, I believe. It is a massive scale model of an urban area near Kings Cross station. London. The standard of modelling is very high. My attention was drawn to the finely detailed road vehicles because I had experience of scratch building 2 mm road vehicles and it ain't easy. Their efforts surpassed mine.

The layout has been on the exhibition circuit for a long time, reflected by a deep layer of dust that dulled the colours of the models.

I must ignore Copenhagen Fields as my choice for best in show. It has had plenty of  praise heaped on it by others already.

My best in show choice goes to Arun Quay - 7mm scale. I have said before that achieving a high standard of modelling in the larger scales must be a special challenge. Attention to detail cannot be ignored since every missing brick and blade of grass will be noticed. This model is only about 7 feet long (+ small fiddle yard) and yet it appears larger due to the thoughtful placement of objects that give balance to the scene. The track plan is comprehensive offering a wide variety of shunting movements, yet nothing is cluttered. In particular  I liked the treatment of the River Arun. The quay faces the back scene but stops a few inches from it. The river is part of the back scene, all expertly painted. The gap and drop between quay and back scene is a visual trick that gives the river perspective and substance. Building construction is very fine made from foam board covered in clay with each brick scribed on!

It was not until I read the exhibition booklet later that I learned the modellers of Arun Quay were Gordon and Maggie Gravett who created the acclaimed Pempoul that has appeared in magazines and on TV. That explained where the the high standard of modelling for Arun Quay came from.

Seeing the exhibition certainly excited me to want to start another modelling project but what to do I need to think hard about. I'm certainly drawn to 7mm scale having seen Arun Quay and others in this scale but cost and space may be prohibitive. (I already have five layouts in 00 and N!)

Saturday, 2 March 2019

A Diversion from Railways - Corgi 417s Restoration

Nothing much happening on the railway front so my attention was drawn to my old Corgi vehicles in need of restoration. Most of my collection was sold many years ago when in my late teens but, three were held back. These being the Bentley Continental 224 (my favourite); the Hillman Imp (the full size version being my first road car) and the Land Rover 109" W.B. 417s Breakdown Truck, (Too damaged, in my opinion, to sell).

The first photo shows the truck in its damaged state. Actually the only bad thing about it is the broken jib, a common problem for this model. The canopy, hook and chain are also missing. The tyres are in excellent condition. Usually for a model of this age (early 1960s) the tyre rubber perishes.

As a child I had plastered the model with transfers. These were rubbed away using cotton buds and toothpaste, which is a mild abrasive that does not damage the paintwork.

I decided not to repaint the play worn finish but I did want to restore the jib, chain and hook.

The remains of the jib are held to the body with what look like rivets but in fact they are stubs moulded with the body, the ends of which were swagged over with a press. The reddish hue is remnants of the red body paint that also covered the stubs.

To remove the jib the swagged ends of the stubs are destroyed. For replacements I found some rusty nails the heads that were about the same size (shown top left in 2nd photo). However, the nail heads were flat. To round off the edges, like the swagged stub ends, light hammering around the edge of the nail head formed the round. Having rubbed off the rust with wire wool the shiny steel was dulled down by heating the nail head over a gas hob flame.

The swagged stub heads were drilled and filed away taking care not to drill away the entire stub. The third photo shows what remained of the stubs.

The replacement jib and hook were purchased from ACME 3000, an eBay seller (search eBay). These are a good match in style to the original except the rivet detail of the original jib is lost and the white-metal casting is softer than the original.

The new jib was fitted over and held in place temporarily by the stub remnants. 

Fortunately, the diameter of the nail was smaller than the stub diameter so with the jib in place holes for an interference fit were drilled into the stubs taking care not to drill all the way through.

The nail head was then cut from the nail (4th photo) and the end tapered to mimic the drill point since this leaves a tapered base to the hole. There is not a lot of meat on the stub so tapering the end is worthwhile to get full penetration into the hole.

The stubs were then hammered home. (compare the result shown in the 5th photo to the original in photo 2.)

The tight fit was good but it would not take much effort to push the jib and see the nail head rivets pop out. I did not want to use glue but succumbed by dribbling a little Superglue between jib and body for reinforcement.

The original chain was in fact yellow string. All I had to hand (thanks to my wife) was yellow silk thread. This was tied to the winder and hook with double overhand knot.

Now I am on the lookout for a replacement canopy, unless I make one out of a tin can.


The Bentley needed new tyres, spare wheel and rear lights, which were purchased from
Aaron Die-Cast Recoveries.  It still needs a jewelled yellow headlight.

The Hillman Imp needed new tyres and rear window. The tyres were bought off eBay and the rear window home made using transparent acrylic.
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