Sunday, 16 January 2022

A brake van for the PW train

I've been trying to work though a couple of unfinished projects. One is this 009 Society kit for a Royal Naval Ordinance Depot brake van, which I actually started back in the summer while demonstrating at the 009 Society stand at the Amberley rail gala. The body went together easily enough though I took time to make sure the corners went together nicely, the frames at the end of each side are fragile. 

The kit has a nice interior too, with benches and a central brake stand, so the roof has been left off to facilitate painting. However, those delicate sides were clearly going to bow inwards and needed support. The kit sprue provided suitable material to cut a couple of sturdy braces from - cut slightly oversize and filed to be a tight fit. 

I fitted the handrails after the exhibition, always a slightly fiddly job but they do look good. That was as far as it got for months, but looking to clear the part-finished jobs from the workbench this looked a quick win. So I fitted the underframe and wheels, and added mounting blocks for the couplings. 

The brake blocks proved more challenging. First, with the wheels in place they couldn't be fitted around the wheels - the flanges prevented them sliding in from behind, and there wasn't space to fit them between the wheels and the floor. So I prised the wheels out and stuck them - but once the wheels were back in they didn't rotate! The wheels touched the supporting part of the brake blocks. The solution was to remove the wheels, cut away part of the brake block support plastic to clear the wheel, and refit again. Fortunately, for the second axle I could trim the brake mouldings first! The final job was to fit the steps, left until last as they might have been vulnerable in construction.

The little brake van will look good as part of the permanent way train on Hexworthy, though the loco looks like it needs dusting. First though, the roof is still loose for painting, the wheels have been removed (again!) as have the couplings, and it is heading for the paint shop. 

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