For the next selection from the LNWR wagons I decided to try batch building so from the stack of etches I selected the D33 van, this being the prototype Wagons of the LNWR – Diagram 33 Covered Goods Van. The design is a similar to the D32 van in that there is a large pair of sliding doors on one side with a single sliding roof panel, however the D33 van then had a slightly smaller set of sliding doors on the other side.
So once again very clean sharp etches with barely any waste etch at all.
A start was made on the body sides which are built up again from 3 layers, so 3 layers per side, 2 sides and 3 vans meant a pile of overlays for soldering together. On these vans on one side is a small door and on the other side the door is larger. So the layers on the left hand side are for the large door, the layers on the right for the small door. To help soldering alignment the layers for the small door are in the large door side, this is all soldered together and then the small door is removed from the side – if that makes sense!
As before a pin jig is drilled to locate the layers. When I started I was slightly miffed that the frame location pins were different for each side so I needed one jig for one side and another one for the other. However on reflection I decided this was a good thing as it meant that there was now way I could mix up the layers.
The larger door is made up separately from 3 layers.
To help with the alignment for the door layers when soldering I used the pins for the frame jig to hold them straight.
Finally all 6 sides and 6 doors soldered up and cleaned up.
The next job was to solder the doors into the sides, unfortunately for this step there aren’t any location tags or steps to hold them in the right position so it was a case of holding them in place by hand and tack soldering them. If it looked right they were soldered in, if not quite right then they were removed and tried again. It usually took two or three attempts to get them looking ok.
The next step is to make up the end panels before tackling the roof, which as it has a sliding door panel is going to be interesting. As with the cattle truck the stanchions on the end panels are supposed to be soldered up from 3 laminated pieces. So as before I ignored this and just soldered in some appropriately sized nickel silver strips.
Quite a lot of time was then taken to make sure that the sides and ends were flat and straight. With all the laminations the sides did have a little bow which needed correcting. Once happy with that the sides and ends were then tack soldered together.
Again double checking everything was square before soldering all together. Not visible in the photo but there are a couple of floor level gusset plates with 12BA nuts soldered on so that the chassis can be bolted on later, these were fitted after soldering the sides together as they needed a little fettling to fit and I didn’t want to distort the sides.
Next task was to look at the roof – not a simple roof panel in this case as it has the distinctive sliding door in the roof. On the left hand side are the etches for a fold up frame which locates in slots across the doors. To the inside there is a etched overlay to fit with a half etched slot for the sliding door, on the outside another overlay to provide a support for the outside roof panels. So to the right hand side are the roof panels. two large ones for either side of the doors. and two smaller ones for the roof door but they are different widths. I’m still trying to work out how these fit as the wider door fits neatly in the half etched slot but the narrower one leaves a gap between it and the roof frame.
The frame slots neatly into the body sides, this is not soldered in but simply pressed into the slots. I haven’t soldered it in yet as I’m still trying to work out how to fit the roof doors, the large side door overlaps the etched slot, i.e. a little too high so I think a little fettling will be needed. Also it looks tricky getting the roof panels when in situ. So rather than soldering it in at this stage I think I will try to fit the roof doors to this sub assembly before fitting it to the van body.
I have been very impressed with the fit of all the components considering the size, bear in mind the sides are only 1/2″ high the corners have been spot on. Although that view might change after trying to fit the roof doors!!
As suspected the roof doors didn’t work out quite as expected, not that it was any consolation but it was nice to see that I wasn’t alone struggling with this part of the build – Return of the Sith – Sithlord’s Railway Blog: LNWR D33 Covered Goods Van
The top door fitted fine – but the lower door on the etch just seemed too narrow to fit between the rails.
So this photo shows the progression from left to right, on the left are the etches as supplied, the lower door being too narrow. Rather than pack out the rails to support the door I decided to cut a new door from some 5thou nickel silver sheet and use a couple of etched strips from the kit to make the ribs along the door as shown in the middle. The right hand photo shows the door unit all soldered up.
Three sets later this is the result, fitted to the vans and the end panels fitted as well.
With the body essentially complete my attention then turned to the chassis. This more or less follows the usual 2mmFS association style of build with a various overlays however as shown below there are no location holes in the axleboxes on the overlays. The instructions say to solder in a top hat bearing on the main chassis etch and then file it flush before soldering on the overlays. On the first chassis I didn’t think this would work as the bearing would be filed down too thin and you would lose the pin point bearing. So on the first etch I soldered on the overlays prior to the bearings and then tried to drill out the holes to accept the bearings. It didn’t work!! There was insufficient meat on the overlays and they started to spread after drilling so they needed quite a bit of work to tidy up. The second and third chassis I followed the instructions and filed down the bearings, this worked out much better!! The only tricky bit being that there was nothing to provide a positive location for the overlays so they were just held in position by hand and tack soldered in position. If it looked ok I then soldered them in permanently.
The kit as supplied provides three different brake options so I decided to build one of each for a bit of variation. Final finishing including some end plates, buffers and coupling hooks. A little bit of cleaning up to do and then they’ll be ready for the paint shop.