Thursday 2 May 2024

Tank and banana wagons

I've acquired a couple of unusual tank wagon kits which will add some interesting variation to Loctern Quay. Both are from the Meridian range and based on the Bagnall wagon chassis, but sadly are not currently available. 

The first is this distinctive round tank. I am a little confused with this one. There are three protrusions on top, two large and one small, three filler caps (all the same size), and three levers in different positions. The line drawing in the instructions shows the smaller protrusion with a smaller cap, I presume a vent. I'm not sure what the levers are supposed to do, I'd guess they latch the filler caps as I can't think what valve they could control? Also, the instructions list an outlet tap, but my kit doesn't seem to have one. 

The second recreates the side pannier tanks of the WD Baldwin locos which were sometimes carried on a wagon as a tender to improve the stability of the locos on rough tracks. The whitemetal tank castings will make this a heavy wagon! This kit includes two taps, handrail knobs and wire, but no brake stand (i.e. it's an unbraked wagon). I'm thinking of modelling this as a weedkiller wagon, it could then serve on Hexworthy as well as Loctern Quay. 

In assembling the chassis I used a new tool - the "axle reamer" by DCC concepts. This is popped in place of the axle, and rotating while gently applying pressure to the axle boxes opens them to a point. The axle then spins nice and freely, this is a tool that seems to work well!. There are two reamers in the pack with different shaped grips. I also used my back-to-back gauge to set the wheels correctly, these older Dundas wheels are usually too tight back-to-back causing them to bump through pointwork. 

That's the two chassis done, one unbraked and one braked (the brake stand will go on the end platform). The next job is to fit couplings, then on with the bodies.

At Narrow Gauge South last Saturday I was tempted by this Peco banana van on the 009 sales stand. Of course it is a joke for a narrow gauge van, but it will make an interesting visual addition to the shunting puzzle on Loctern Quay. It will need a little work first, hopefully I can fit Microtrains couplings in place of the Peco ones. Joke or not, I don't think I can live with the dayglow orange roof (what were Peco thinking of?) so that will get painted, and a little weathering will make it feel more at home, perhaps as though painted for fun by the railway staff. 

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