I have been doing more with the Scrap Tank, but I haven’t managed to take any pictures due to needing flippers outside yesterday. So instead, lets see something else that was on the test etch that I have recently had returned.
This is the early style lookout for the dia 12 Highland Goods Brake. As originally built these lookouts formed by a single slot to the centre of the roof and were fully glazed to the front and back. In use guards complained that they caught their heads on the lip of the roof as they climbed in. To overcome this, many of the vans were rebuilt to include ramped approaches to the centre of the lookout were incorporated, to become what was arguably the signature feature of the Highland’s rolling stock.
Microrail produced a kit for this van 30+ years ago and this included the latter style of lookout. I had a pair of these kits and ended up acquiring a third one and I felt I really could not have another one just like the first two! So I had an inspiration and thought it would be fun to make the early pattern lookout. The old man’s book came out and a scan of the drawing loaded up into the CAD machine. From here it was a relatively simple exercise to draw up the difficult bits, the glazed screens, and the more simple roof.
The components went together easily and do give a very different feel to the Microrail kit as intended. I also made a number of other adjustments, to the footboards and also the panelling, to make the model both different and authentic. The latter, the beaded panelling, is a right pain in the whatsit and took much longer than any other element of the assembly – so don’t to it unless really want to! And this is what it looks like next to the kit as originally intended, with the later style lookout.
I will be making these available via the Miscellany Models site shortly, when I have done enough of the other elements I am working on to do a production run. In the meantime, I do have a pair of very slight seconds (there is a tiny bit of over etching – almost impossible to see, the pictures of my vehicle have the same problem). These are available for the price of the metal; say £2.50, plus postage (which won’t be much). Ordering is via here: http://miscellanymodels.com
And the real thing looks like this:
(C) Bill Steel
Over the break, I have been concentrating on trying to finish things. Like many people, I find it much easier to start a kit or project than it is to get it fully finished. Indeed, do we every truly finish our models – certainly not our layouts!
Back in March 2013, I completed a dia 39 goods break. These were the final Highland Railway break vans and it is not clear that they were actually finished prior to the end of the HR era. Given that I model in the mid 1920’s, I am quite content to do this in LMS grey which to date I have not seen the model depicted in! The main body painting has been completed and the van has been lettered but weathering, the interior and final detailing/glazing is still to be completed. Based on the Lochgorm Models kit with minimal adjustments (a few pipes below the chassis and sprung W irons in lieu of the compensation provided in the kit) this is what it presently looks like:
Also coming through the paint shops are a pair of vans. The first is a Great Central van build from a Mousa Models etched brass kit and the other is a LMS early standard van from an injection plastic moulded kit from Cambrian Models. Both are pretty simple models to build; the Mousa Models one was built as designed and no adjustments were found to be necessary. I only fitted springing to the Cambrian one and got rid of the rather too thick W irons in the process. Again the bulk of the painting is complete, but some dirtying work is definitely still required.
Apologies for the slightly squiffy photos; I left it a bit late in the day to take them and the light was poor. I have made a lot of progress painting the NER hoppers, but the photos of these really did not make it and need to be repeated. Something to post tomorrow I suspect!
The latest completion off the workbench is a goods brake van.
This is a diagram 39 version; which was the Highland’s last brake van design (and there is some speculation that they were not delivered until after the start of the LMS era but if someone has a photograph in HR days, we would be all eyes!). These were quite modern by the Highland’s standards and were the first ones for several decades to do away with the lookout on the top of the roof which was likely to be a retrograde step given all the twists and turns of the Highland’s lines.
It was built from a Lochgorm Models kit; constructed mostly as intended. However, I elected to insert some sprung suspension using Bill Bedford sprung W irons, rather than the designers intention of compensation. I also found that the sides were a little tall, so these needed to be cut down a tad. Other than this, it is was pretty easy. Having bought some of the NBR Models etched builder’s places, this became the first model of mine to be fitted with one – so a small first!