Thursday, December 4, 2008

Brake Vans - You Can't Have Too Many!

The long term goal for the layout is to be able to replicate the prototype NSWGR train movements through Gunnedah. This will mean multiple goods trains consisting of bulk wheat and coal, as well as livestock and mixed goods consists.

As the era I am modelling required each train to have a brake (or guards) van, one will be needed for each consist of wagons and hoppers. I figure a bare minimum of around eight to ten will be needed to fulfil this task.

Trainorama have produced some beautiful NSWGR brake vans, but I was able to get a set of four Hanovale Model Castings produced NSWGR GHG brake van kits for a very reasonable price, and have begun building one of them.

These are quite a nicely detailed kit, and with some added detail hopefully will not be too far below the good looking RTR Trainorama units, one of which I have and plan on buying a few more.

Like always, as I was about half way through building the first GHG, I noticed that the roof casting does not have the strapping across the roof of the prototype or the Trainorama GHG models. I pondered whether this would be all that noticeable, but then decided that if I didn't try to replicate it I would regret it later.

The strapping is only about 1mm wide and about 0.1mm high in model form, so I would need some very fine material to make the straps from. As luck would have it, only a few weeks prior I had bought from the local News Agency a roll of very thin completely clear acrylic/plastic sheet as I thought it may come in handy for making window glass from. Running the vernier calipers across it, it measured about 0.1mm thick, perfect for my intended use.

It was easy enought to cut a 1mm strip of it, cutting in the same direction as it is rolled so it will naturally want to follow the curved roof profile. I made a template showing the location of the straps which I taped to the side of the Brake Van to give me the locations.

Wit a few tiny dabs of super glue, it was pulled tightly across the roof, and once the glue set the ends where trimmed fluch with the gutter. Once all strips were done, another light coat of primer was sprayed over the top, and the result was in my opionion very worthwhile.


BEK said...


Congrats on the getting the blog up and running! You'll find it's not only a good way to share ideas with others, but as you look back, a great way to keep track of your progress.

Cool to see another modeler of the same general section of railroad! The North-West rules!

That Hanovale guard van looks pretty nice--not a bad set of castings, eh?

Darren said...

Hi Bek.

Yeah I'm hoping that the blog will not only allow me to show what I'm up too a little easier, but also keep me motivated and moving forwards so I have something to put on the blog!

I'm pretty happy with the Hanovale vans, I just hope my modelling skills do them justice. The next step is learning to use the air brush!

Thanks for the kind words anyway, and I look forward to watching your layout progress as well.