Scratchbuilt one-planker (2)


I've managed to finish my early GWR one-planker, built mostly from styrene. Just to recap, the prototype is one of the 18ft types with wooden solebars, originally built in the 1870s. We don't hear
much about GWR one-plankers, but there were more than 2300 in service in the early 20th century. They appear to be a bit of minefield with a variety of dimensions, so mine is based on the drawing in "GWR Goods Wagons" by Atkins et al. Details are based on no. 5141, of which a couple of photos exist.



Posted Image

Here she is with a light dusting of grey primer, in preparation for the rivet transfers. It seemed a shame to cover all those nice brass detailing bits, but sooner or later we all loose our shine!



Posted Image

For the rivets I used Archer's resin transfers. I bought the mixed-size sheet as it is a bit difficult to assess beforehand what size you need. There doesn't seem to be many UK stockists, but DCC supplies have them. They are not cheap, but there should be enough here for several jobs.



Posted Image

Pacman? No, rivet transfers. The clever bit is that you can cut out strips of rivets and therefore don't have to add each one individually. But it depends on the prototype of course. In my case I did have to add a lot of them individually to get the right spacing.



Posted Image

The transfers need to be soaked in warm water prior to application. The instructions suggest retaining the backing paper until the rivets are in place, and then sliding it out from under them. I personally found it easier to tease off the backing paper with a brush while in the water, and then simply add the transfer directly to the wagon.


Posted Image

As long as they're wet, the transfers can be gently nudged in place and repositioned as required. Once they dry up they start to harden. As RMwebber Sasquatch advised me, the transfers really do need a coat of primer to stick to if you want good adhesion. As you can see, the transfer film is fairly obvious...



Posted Image

... so as recommended in the instructions I used Microsol on top of the transfers, which interacts with the primer and transfer film so that the latter essentially dissolves.


Posted Image

Train spotting. The transfer film is gone and the rivets are stuck in place. One of the fun things about scratch-building is that you can replicate the idio-synchrasies of a particular wagon. The real no. 5141 also had a rivet head missing on one corner plate, and lacked rivet plates on one end of the solebar. The ribbed buffers are from MJT and this close-up is a little unfair to them.


Posted Image

Another of those little imperfections that I rather like, and that noone else will ever notice! Photos of no. 5141 show the wagon with two different wheel types, one axle with split spokes and the other with solid spokes. I'm sure it wasn't built like that, but something happened along the way. We all know the feeling!





Here she is again after another coat of primer to cover the rivets. The brake is a bit of an enigma. We know that these wagons had a single large wooden brake block, but the details of the arrangement are not clear. The two photos that exist of no. 5141 are from the unbraked side, and the brake is only seen as a ghostly shadow. Photos of other wagons with single brake blocks suggest that there were several different types, so that is not much help. The arrangement seen here is therefore my guesstimate, based on consultations with knowledgeable RMwebbers (any mistakes are entirely my own!).




Then came the question of livery. As discussed elsewhere, my working assumption is that wagon bodies were red right up to 1904. But what about the bits below the solebar - the axleguards etc? Were they red or grey? I tend to think grey, but looking at photos of the real 5141 it does look as if it's the same colour all over. I can't show the prototype photos, so above is a shot of my model instead, taken with the "monchrome" setting on my compact camera. As you can see the wagon is clearly the same colour all over....


Posted Image

...except that it isn't :blum:. This photo was taken immediately after the one above, and to me it indicates just how difficult it can be to tell colours apart in monochrome, even with today's technology. Admittedly, these shots aren't of a very good quality (they were taken with the macro-focus on), and I realize that it is problematic to compare modern photos with those of the 1900s.



Posted Image


No doubt it also depends a lot on the colour shade and lighting: This photo was taken indoors with artificial lighting, after I had given the wagon a second coat in a different shade, and treated it with weathering and varnish. Here you can actually see a colour difference between the axleguards and the body. This may explain why the evidence from prototype photos is so ambigious. In any case, for the time being I'll stick with "red on top, grey underneath" (to paraphrase the old Kerryman joke).





So here she is in more or less finished condition. I say more or less because the prototype photos of no. 5141 show her with broad gauge-style incised lettering on the solebars, and a variety of chalk markings on the sides. I must admit I am at a loss on how to reproduce these, especially the incised letters, so I might have to compromise and leave it off. As for the shade of the red colour, I wanted to try out something a little more worn and toned down that on my other wagons. Experimenting is half the fun of modelling, I think.



 Lady in red. Not much to look at really, and quite labour intensive. But she's all mine!


Edit August 2015: I recently came across a photo on the web which I think may show one of these wagons. There aren't a lot of photos of them around and I have never seen this photo mentioned before in the literature. Note especially the enlargement available in the r/h column:  http://www.dudleymal...ak/roundoak.htm

Comments

  1. What an enjoyable read! A masterclass in scratch building! And a lovely model. The rivets are great. Must get some.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Chas, thanks, yes I was satisfied with the rivets too. I can see all sorts of uses for them now. Although I suppose I had better restrain myself, or my family will start asking why there are little rivets stuck all over the house! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. A beautiful model, with great character and believability. It actually looks as if it is built of wood, iron and steel. Those transfers are a great innovation...now we can all become rivet counters! I agree, it is most satisfactory to emulate a chosen prototype even down to the missing rivets...(but don't tell anyone I agreed with you!)
    I would concur with Chas, too...every one of your blog posts is a masterclass...very inspirational.

    ReplyDelete
  4. How refreshing to see the art of scratch buildings is alive and kicking. It's far more satisfying than opening a box and you end up with a lovely unique model such as yours.

    Whilst I have heard of those rivets I had never seen them or read of such an interesting account of using them. They certainly look more user friendly and uniform than cubes of microstrip.

    Geoff

    ReplyDelete
  5. A timely post as I've just taken delivery of some Archers rivets, now I see that I need some Microsol as well.
    The wagon looks superb as well, and I do note that you've added the internal ironwork, a little touch that most kit and RTR manufactorers ignore but finishes the model off nicely.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks very much gents!

    Iain, I'm glad you think it has a wooden look to it. I worked a bit on distressing the styrene to give it a bit of the wooden feel. Another problem was that the styrene stuck together too well at the joins, so I had to open up the gaps with a scalpel.

    Geoff, I agree, scratchbuilding stock etc is a real pleasure. But time consuming! I have plans for a two-planker as well, but I think I need to do something else first!

    Paul, yes I do think the Microsol is quite important. I didtry without forst, but had problems with the rivets dropping off afterwards!

    BTW, I'm informed by a comment over on RMweb that my use of the term "rivets" is technically wrong here, they are actually nuts. We live and learn.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mikkel, the term rivets is wrong - but what you have used is rivets! Strictly speaking, you should use them on the inside of a wagon to represent dome headed bolts because on the outside would be a square headed nut - or later hexagonal type. While I do get fussy about things like that, I have to say that if you decide it upsets you I will give you an address in Australia to send the wagon to!
    On another matter, post might be a bit of an issue with the cake. If you decide to come to Australia at sometime though, we will be most hospitable.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Craig, yes I have enlarged a photo of the prototype and if I look *very* closely I can see they are nuts, apparently hexagonal ones. So there's a lesson learnt.

    Too bad about the cake, but I will keep your kind invitation in mind. Especially if I can time it with a cake session :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mikkel, Wow. Just wow! That wagon is uttely gorgeous, and like others have mentioned, those rivets really do make a difference. I can see their worth in making plate girder bridges... Oh man I wish I had some spare modelling time. Thanks for another great post!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks, I'm happy with the wagon as it's my first scratchbuilt one and was fun to do :-)

    I'd like to see you do some girder bridges, they would no doubt turn out superb with your skills!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment