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Discussion Starter · #881 ·
Ballast Wagon Diag P15 (Continued)
Lettering on the ballast wagon has started in earnest using the on CCT's C89 sheet,.
Azure Font Electric blue Technology Pattern


Although delicate, the lettering goes on beautifully and is lovely and fine.! For some reason there is no destination against the 'empty to' on the photo I've seen of No.80697. I'd assume this was whandwritten in chalk during each usage.
Train Wheel Vehicle Rolling Gas

Train Circuit component Wheel Engineering Gas


The above is the first two sides done, so the second pair need completing, then it will be pushed back to the varnishing pile....!

Regards,

Cameron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #882 ·
Diagram O15 OPEN B
Back in FebruaryI started work on a Parkside PC81 kit of a GWR 10T Open. This can be built as an unfitted Diagram O11, or a fitted Diagram O15. I decided on the latter.

The main body components went together pretty smoothly, however like the other Parkside kits which use the same 9ft chassis it doesn't seem to come supplied with any vac pipes, so some MJT/Dart Castings hanging pipes were fitted. The DCIII brakes were also upgraded with my usual approach with the remaining brake rodding, which certainly helps to provide the correct 'spagetti' look under the solebars!
Hand Musical instrument Light Guitar accessory Musical instrument accessory


Painting went on nice and smoothly with the airbrush...!
Gas Metal Wood Composite material Rectangle


The 'GW' lettering came from Fox Transfers. I chose to do the livery in the 'as built' state with 25" lettering.
Circuit component Hardware programmer Wood Electronic component Font


The lettering has continued using some Model Master transfers for load/tare.
Automotive exterior Bumper Engineering Auto part Vehicle


The last remaining operation on the lettering front will be to fit the running numbers (No. 30167). Annoyingly as I've selected the earlier livery I need to do this on the sides and the ends...... so decided to leave it for another day...

Regards,

Cameron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #884 · (Edited)
Diag Z2 10Ton Gunpowder Van (Continued)
Ditto the lettering on the Z2 GPV has progressed in earnest. Whilst I'm generally pretty impressed with the quality of the transfers supplied with the kit, the red 'X' is only juuuuuust big enough to cover the door, and some very careful tweaking of the 'arms' was required to get them to align properly. That said, I am considering overcoating these with some red paint once everything is in place, as the transfers are not as opaque as I'd like...
Train Wheel Automotive tire Rolling stock Mode of transport

(The prominent line at the bottom of the 'GPV' lettering is not actually visable at all, and was just a function of the angle of the lighting...)

Regards,

Cameron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #885 ·
Siphon G (Continued)
Today has consisted of putting together my first set of MJT CCUs, and although a tad fiddly, they seem to have gone together reasonably smoothly.
Wheel Wood Tire Motor vehicle Vehicle


The second bogie also went together reasonably smoothly, which was good!
Automotive tire Tire Line Vehicle Bumper

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Hood

(If you look closely at that photo, you'll see that one of the bogies is fitted with 3-hole discs.... It seems that I hadn't checked 'the stores' properly, so didn't have any.....! They will be swapped out in due course, but didn't want to stop whilst I was on a roll....)

Fixing of the bogies onto the chassis was acheved using the supplied 'press studs', which I'll say appears to be quite an elegant approach.to enabling them to be easily removed! I did 'melt in' the mounting bracket to the floor unit and then secured with some superglue.
Wood Writing implement Pen Office supplies Composite material


The cosmetic sideframes were quite nicely moulded, however I noticed from photos of the Suphon Gs that they were not fitted with tiebars between the axles, so those moulded were chopped off.
Wood Automotive exterior Motor vehicle Auto part Tints and shades


These were then fitted alongside the boulsters, and hangers, and I must admit they look pretty swish!
Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle Bumper


The next bit was to fit some MJT brake shoes, which although definitely subtle, certainly help to 'fill' the area.
Hood Automotive lighting Finger Motor vehicle Automotive tire

Circuit component Gas Electronic component Machine Auto part


This was repeated for the other bogie and the body placed atop for a 'WIP' photo..!
Home appliance Kitchen appliance Office equipment Electronic instrument Wood


I also noticed from these photos that the bogies were fitted with footsteps, which I'll have a dig around the spares box for. After that will be pulling the wheels off and applying some paint. The chassis 'in the middle' will be tackled next. The construction of these Lima bodies do make doing this in 'stages' very easy, which is good!

Regards,

Cameron
 

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Discussion Starter · #886 ·
K's Sutton Heath Colliery Open(Continued)
As an addendum to the K's Sutton Heath Colliery open wagon build, I've finally managed to get my hands on a set of split-spoke Gibson wheels and given them the 'white wall' treatment. That coupled with overcoating the previous matt varnish finish with some satin I think has really 'lifted' the model, thus I'm now really happy with it!
Rolling stock Motor vehicle freight car Vehicle Automotive tire


Regards,

Cameron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #887 ·
Ballast Wagon Diag P15 (Continued)
The P15 ballast wagon is also now complete, and I'm likewise incredibly happy with how it has turned out...!
Train Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Rolling stock


One thing I wanted to do with this was compare my 2022 attempt with the original two sets I built way-back in 2010...! Ignoring the paint colour difference, looking closely at things I have definitely improved a lot with the quality of building, particuarly with now spending significant time to ensure that things roll very freely and are built square - No.30845 rocks slightly....!
Train Automotive tire Rolling Wheel Engineering

Train Wheel Vehicle Rolling stock Railway


(The ballast load is removable)

Regards,

Cameron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #888 ·
Iron Mink Cattle Wagon [MEX] (Continued)
The unique Iron Cattle wagon is also now complete and suitably 'populated'...!
Train Wheel Rolling Rolling stock Motor vehicle

Train Wheel Rolling stock Railway Track


The cows themselves are some cheap plastic mouldings off eBay which I repainted. As they are contained within the wagon the less refined details on these moulds is less noticable, however they definitely benefitted from the repaint, as they were originally very 'plastically'! They definitely do add to the look showing the wagon being populated. I have fitted 4 in, although am not sure how many would have been loaded into one of these in reality...

Whilst I didn't find any reference photos for this wagon in later liveries, I'm happy that it certainally looks the part!

Marshalled in a rake with the Cooper Craft kits looks the part, although looking closely at these I can definitely see all the problems with those earlier kits (in the same way as I can with the ballast wagons in my previous post...). I do have another one of those sitting 'in the wings' to build at some stage as well...
Train Rolling stock Vehicle Wheel Railway



Regards,

Cameron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #889 ·
The final two updates for today are on the Siphon G and Diag.X2 MICA B.
Siphon G (Continued)
The body of this has recieved a nice coat of satin varnish, which helps to tone-down the overt gloss without flattening the colour too much...!
Automotive tire Grille Bumper Wood Tire


I've currently got some etched steps on order from Dart Castings to fit to the bogies, however the next subject to tackle will be the 'bit in the middle' (i.e. the underframe.). Now the final wheels have been obtained I can see that I'll need to adjust the ride height on the bogies, as they're currently sitting a tad high....

MICA B Diag X2 (Continued)
The body for the MICA has also recieved its final coat of varnish, which looks pretty 'swish'! I have temporarily fitted it back to the original Hornby Dublo chassis as I've not yet got around to ordering a new set of frames for it....
Train Wheel Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive tire


Looking at it after taking the picture, I can see that I have forgotten to paint on the black bar which holds the door shut, so will get that dealt with when I next have the paint out....

Regards,

Cameron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #890 · (Edited)
Diag Z2 10Ton Gunpowder Van (Continued)
The Parkside GPV is also now nearing completion, turned metal buffers and roof both now fitted. The final jobs both await me remembering to print some numer & warning plates when I'm next somewhere with a decent printer.....
Train Wheel Truck Automotive tire Vehicle

Train Wheel Vehicle Motor vehicle Rolling stock


Regards,

Cameron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #892 ·
Now that a couple of wagons are nearing completion, it is time to dig the next challenge out of the pile....!
Diagram O19 Open C
A few months ago I managed to get hold of an example of the discontinued Ratio GWR Open C kit for a decent price. I'm aware that there are a couple of issues with this kit, namely the width between the axleboxes and maybe(?) the diagonal strapping.
Urban design Engineering Font Space Design


The mouldings themselves are beautiful and crisp, and fully match with the quality of the other Ratio kits i've tackled so-far.. The floor and interior of the sides do however have the strange quirk of the planking 'poking out' for some reason.... (I seem to recall at least one of Ratio's other kits having the same problem). The floor also comes moulded in two pieces, which I'm not looking forward to having to join together neatly....!
Grey Rectangle Font Composite material Auto part


As a bit of an experiment I thought I'd have a go at going 'ham' with the underframe, and have picked up one of the beautiful Morgan Design etches for one of these.
Circuit component Font Electronic component Gas Electric blue


A word of warning; this etch (and Morgan Underframes in general) are not for the faint of heart.... My biggest criticism of them so-far is the inpenetrable way in which the instructions are written, which makes them extremely hard to follow..... I'm also yet to be convinced by the unusual way in which half the W-Irons are removable to aid the fitment of wheels, as this just appears to me to complicate things for no apparent gain...
Wood Toy Flooring Hardwood Wood stain


That said, I have forged-ahead with the construction, and other than a couple of minor hiccups, things have gone together reasonably smoothly so-far. I've now got a rolling chassis which has a sprung axle, the brake gear started, and everything moving freely...!
Circuit component Machine Auto part Electronic component Electronic engineering


The springing (which is only at one end) is also very different to that which I have used before from Bill Bedford, as it comprises of a pair of cantilever springs fixed to a removable central section which the two bearing carriers sit on top of. As it is only at one end, it would probably be closer to the Mainly Trains 3-legged stool rocking w-iron approach than a fully sprung chassis. The springing feels quite strong, so I'm not currently sure if I'll be able to stuff-in sufficient weight - the Morgan Design kit was intended for the whitemetal David Geen kit, rather than the plastic Ratio body.
Circuit component Motor vehicle Electronic engineering Electronic component Machine


The remaining brake gear and body assembly will be tackled another day, however I couldn't resist temporarily affixing the body sides to the chassis to give a preview of how the finished model would look....!
Automotive tire Wood Wheel Tire Automotive exterior


The prototype I'm tackling for this one will be No.94856 as displayed on pg8 of A Pictorial Record of Great Western Wagons, so will have the 'black rectangle' on the RHS which I have not represented on anything I've built historically. This also appears to almost perfectly match the Ratio kit, with the main 'missing bits' comprising of some lashing rings at the top of the T-irons, and the door securing chain.

Regards,

Cameron.
 

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Some nice modelling there Cameron - well done.

Just some comments on a couple of topics in this thread:

Cambridge Custom Transfers

I have used these in the past and not found them to be particularly good at adhering to models. Like you, I airbrushed varnish over them. In the process, I found that the 'letters' are very susceptible to the formulations of varnishes. In some cases, I found that the 'ink' of the letters was dissolved and in other cases, the letters were dislodged.
In the end, I ended up binning them and buying better transfers such as HMRS.

Parting of W Irons

I note that you mentioned issues with the construction of a brass kit as being unusual to accomodate wheel fitting.
This is actually an issue I come across frequently, having built 100's of wagon kits, both in 4mm and 7mm scales.

In my opinion, many kit manufacturers give poor advice on constructing chassis. Most advise to build the chassis and then prise the W irons apart to force-fit the wheels.
Personally, I think this is really bad advice.
My approach is to build the chassis of all rolling stock by fitting the solebars and W irons to the 'base plate' and at the same time, fitting the wheels as one side solebar is fitted. This means that there is no bending of W irons and the W irons stay as a tight fit, preventing sideplay in wheels sets. Using this approach also ensures that the chassis is square and the the wheels sit on the rails with no wobble. You have to get this bit right otherwise a model will never run well.
Too many kits advise building the body first and attaching the chassis to it. This is too late! Once the body is twisted, a chassis can never be square and a model can never run well unless the kit is particularly well manufactured.

I suspect that a lot of this also originates from the RTR manufacturers who mould their models and then prise W irons apart to fit wheels. As a result, many RTR models have a lot of side-play. Dare I say it, Dapol 7mm wagons are particularly bad in this respect.

Keep up the good work!
 

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...I suspect that a lot of this also originates from the RTR manufacturers who mould their models and then prise W irons apart to fit wheels. As a result, many RTR models have a lot of side-play.
Good points. Cannot speak about 7mm, but praise where due for current RTR OO models.

Since I started buying Bachmann's 4W wagons in bulk from late 2019 - at last scale models of common vehicles that were to expert kit builder and painter standard! - they have been free of the W irons going slack, or serious wear in the axle dimples. (At one time I was religiously 'rotating' wagons in the freights, five at a time from the rear to the front, to even out the effect of the side drag in trains of 50 to 60 wagons. This was an old time technique from my teens in the hobby. But I ran one train 'unrotated' for a decade as a test, and no problems, so have given up 'rotating'.)

Same has applied to date on the relatively few Hornby wagons. Wait and see on the products of Accurascale, Hattons, Oxford Rail, much too early to assess. Oxford Rail, the pinpoint axles are typically in tight on the few I have so far purchased, (a fault on the right side) and a quick squeeze over the axleboxes transfers them from the 'nearly no roll' to 'minimum acceptable free running' category

All examples of the useful Airfix GMR vehicles which I have bought s/h as available - with the sole exception of the lowmac which has a very different construction - have necessarily had their chassis replaced due to a combination of excessive wear and splaying of the W irons. (I don't wait for it to happen on mint specimens, I believe the chassis moulding material degrades with elapsed time and now wears faster; it is forty-some years after last production.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #895 ·
Some nice modelling there Cameron - well done.

Just some comments on a couple of topics in this thread:

Cambridge Custom Transfers

I have used these in the past and not found them to be particularly good at adhering to models. Like you, I airbrushed varnish over them. In the process, I found that the 'letters' are very susceptible to the formulations of varnishes. In some cases, I found that the 'ink' of the letters was dissolved and in other cases, the letters were dislodged.
In the end, I ended up binning them and buying better transfers such as HMRS.
...
Thanks Graham!

Fortunately I've not experienced any issues with the printing dissolving on these to-date, and I have used both the more conventional Phoenix Precision enamel varnish and the Mr Colour GX 100 SuperClear III. Both of these were applied through the airbrush using a 'mist-then-wet' technique'. - Additionally; the latter is definitely significantly more agressive in its solvents, and would greatly reccomend proper ventilation and breathing protection!. Whilst I didn't have any issues with the automotive grey paint, the Diag. X2 MICA B that was painted using Halfords rattle can enamel did slightly 'craze' its surface when applying the Mr Colour varnish, which I have put down to being too agressive with the 'wet' coat as I didn't have that issue on the Siphon (PP enamels).

My biggest criticism of the CCT transfers is the set I have has a couple of printing faults where there are small gaps (see below). That and the colour is more translucent than ideal, which is pronounced more by those faults.
Train Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Rolling stock


The biggest thing I find them useful for is where CCT fills in the 'gaps' in lettering left by other manufacturers. - I probably have a complete set of GWR HMRS/Fox/Modelmaster/Railtec transfers now as well, so swap between them a fair amount (sometimes within the same model, lol)!

...
Parting of W Irons

I note that you mentioned issues with the construction of a brass kit as being unusual to accomodate wheel fitting.
This is actually an issue I come across frequently, having built 100's of wagon kits, both in 4mm and 7mm scales.

In my opinion, many kit manufacturers give poor advice on constructing chassis. Most advise to build the chassis and then prise the W irons apart to force-fit the wheels.
Personally, I think this is really bad advice.
My approach is to build the chassis of all rolling stock by fitting the solebars and W irons to the 'base plate' and at the same time, fitting the wheels as one side solebar is fitted. This means that there is no bending of W irons and the W irons stay as a tight fit, preventing sideplay in wheels sets. Using this approach also ensures that the chassis is square and the the wheels sit on the rails with no wobble. You have to get this bit right otherwise a model will never run well.
Too many kits advise building the body first and attaching the chassis to it. This is too late! Once the body is twisted, a chassis can never be square and a model can never run well unless the kit is particularly well manufactured.

I suspect that a lot of this also originates from the RTR manufacturers who mould their models and then prise W irons apart to fit wheels. As a result, many RTR models have a lot of side-play. Dare I say it, Dapol 7mm wagons are particularly bad in this respect.

Keep up the good work!
I realised it is always a bit is a bit of a contrivertial subject around W-Irons and the fitment of wheels into them. I can't comment much on 7mm approach having not tackled it personally, likewise I've had surprisingly little experience with modern RTR rolling stock (the only one being an Oxford Rail tanker), as the vaaaast majority of my stock has been kit built!

From what I have seen, there are the following main approaches for (modern) kits.
  • Plastic kits with axleguards that spring apart to enable wheel fitment (with, or without pinpoint bearings).
  • Brass kits/underframes with axleguards that spring apart to enable wheel fitment (e.g. MJT, Bill Bedford)
  • Inside bearings (MJT, most locomotive/tender kits)
  • Removable W-irons (Morgan Design)
(I'm aware of the historic usage of parallel and rounded axles, however both are a completely different ballgame when it comes to removing wheels!).

Agreed completely on the importance of ensuring the chassis is square and free-running. To expand-out on your approach with plastic kits, I try to do the following:
  1. Prepare the floor & solebars, cleaning off flash etc.
  2. Fit all the pinpoint bearings into their respective axleboxes using some butanone/plastic cement (this holds them well enough, but doesn't prevent them from being removed if required).
  3. Fit one of the solebars to the underframe floor and allow the glue to completely dry/set, ensuring that it remains totally square. - This provides a stable platform for the second one and wheels to be set out from.
  4. Fit the wheels into the axleboxes whilst holding the second solebar/axleguard with your fingers (I apply a slight bit of pressure to lightly flex the axleguards inwards). Then using some more butanone I flash a small amount between the solebar and floor. That finger pressure is held in place for a couple of minutes to enable the glue to set reasonably - this is one of the reason I like butanone as it evaporates quickly.
  5. Once things have again dried thoroughly I flood in a tad more butanone around the second solebar/floor connection to encorage the bond to 'mate' thoroughly.
  6. If the W-irons ended up tilting inwards to do this, I have in the past fitted some 0.25 or 0.5mm shim washers under the 'top hat' to bring the 'points' inwards.

The MJT/Bedford type of brass W-Irons I file in a small 'V' to the bearing face to minimise the amount of 'forcing apart' required when fitting/removing the wheels as-per the following diagram from the CLAG website:
White Black Art Font Material property


I've also had to do this on some of the 'tighter' plastic kits such as the Cambrian T12 sleeper wagon or Loriot W where you cannot flex the axleboxes outwards much.

My criticism/confusion between the MJT/Bill Bedford approach to that of Morgan Design is simply that it adds in so many more points of fiddle/adjustment compared to the single-piece fold-up approach of the others. My view may be coloured in-part with the inpenetrability of the instructions, however it doesn't follow the 'KISS' principal in my book. That said, I can't fault the quality of the end product, and have a couple more underframes stashed 'in the wings' to tackle in future....!

Best Regards,

Cameron.
 

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And concerning metal wagon kits, quite likely you may run into the late Adrian Swain's 'ABS' range of whitemetal wagons. These are 'different', the 4W wagon sides are cast complete with the running gear; and (low-melt) soldering of two sides and two ends delivered a running open wagon. The casting quality was the best I have ever seen in whitemetal, the only satisfactory whitemetal cast wagons I have ever had. (Definitely to avoid: K's, McGowan, whitemetal wagon kits!) The ABS kits always built true if assembled on plate glass used as a surface plane. It was necessary to file flush all feeds and vents - typically very little of this to do - and to drill out the axle holes to take brass pinpoint bearings of choice before assembly, ideally using a small drill press. The wheelsets went in with the second side positioned and supported and the side was then soldered on.

These were incredibly quick to build by soldering, once the parts were fettled I could completely assemble fully fitted opens at a ten per hour rate. Subsequent painting and transfers took all the time! I have about thirty built for myself still running as well as ever on the layout. Sadly when the club sold the wagons I had taken part in building, I was inconveniently the other side of the pond so lost the chance to acquire more...

Top tips: paint the wheelsets, inside of the W irons, brake shoes and brake yokes and sole bars before assembly, but of course keeping any soldering points paint free, (you'll work it out) leave the floor out of open wagons until the underframe and brake tackle are finish painted after whitemetal assembly is complete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #897 ·
And concerning metal wagon kits, quite likely you may run into the late Adrian Swain's 'ABS' range of whitemetal wagons. These are 'different', the 4W wagon sides are cast complete with the running gear; and (low-melt) soldering of two sides and two ends delivered a running open wagon. The casting quality was the best I have ever seen in whitemetal, the only satisfactory whitemetal cast wagons I have ever had. (Definitely to avoid: K's, McGowan, whitemetal wagon kits!) The ABS kits always built true if assembled on plate glass used as a surface plane. It was necessary to file flush all feeds and vents - typically very little of this to do - and to drill out the axle holes to take brass pinpoint bearings of choice before assembly, ideally using a small drill press. The wheelsets went in with the second side positioned and supported and the side was then soldered on.

These were incredibly quick to build by soldering, once the parts were fettled I could completely assemble fully fitted opens at a ten per hour rate. Subsequent painting and transfers took all the time! I have about thirty built for myself still running as well as ever on the layout. Sadly when the club sold the wagons I had taken part in building, I was inconveniently the other side of the pond so lost the chance to acquire more...

Top tips: paint the wheelsets, inside of the W irons, brake shoes and brake yokes and sole bars before assembly, but of course keeping any soldering points paint free, (you'll work it out) leave the floor out of open wagons until the underframe and brake tackle are finish painted after whitemetal assembly is complete.

I would certainly love to have a go at tackling one of the ABS kits if they become available again. Unfortunately since the loss of Adrian the price of them on the likes of eBay has been ludicrous...!

To-date the only whitemetal kit I've built up from the start is the South Eastern Finecast FW005 Tar Wagon that I started building in July last year. That said, I chickened out, and it is glued construction rather than soldering.... From what I remember it also went together reasonably square, which was nice, although I did add in a separate plastic floor to enable the better fitting of brake gear (the kit as supplied intends for the brake gear to be affixed to moulded 'pips' attached to one solebar which I wasn't overly keen on...

It has been sitting awaiting lettering basically since then as I've got a custom design which I need to actually get printed eventually.....
Photograph Motor vehicle Automotive tire White Wheel

Automotive tire Wheel Motor vehicle Rolling Toy

Train Wheel Vehicle Rolling Engineering


Eventually the lettering is planned to look like this (livery is entirely 'freelance', so don't be surprised when you can't find reference to any prototype...!):
Automotive tire Wheel Tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle


Anyway back to the original subject; with a similar 'V' slot filed in the whitemetal W-irons I was able to again gently 'snap in' the wheels with it leaving only the barest minimum of 'slop' once installed. I do prefer to be able to remove wheels during painting as they do massively get in the way! I have in the past couple of months however been fitting a wheelless axle to each during painting to keep the pinpoints clear of paint. I used to use Maskol or Blutac to keep them clear, however got heartily sick of digging it out afterwards...!

Regards,

Cameron.
 

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I've described my 7mm experiences of side-play here: Building the Parkside PO Mineral Wagon Kit - Model Railways On-Line
and here: Review of the Lionheart 7mm scale BR(WR) B Set - Model Railways On-Line

I can't say I have had a problem with any Bachmann wagons with W irons splaying out or bearings wearing out.
I have plenty of Airfix/GMR too and haven't had a problem with them either.

But all of them are manufactured to have the wheels post fitted. That's the way they are.

With kits, it is a different situation. Generally, the W irons are much more fragile than RTR which is why I recommend constructing chassis and fitting the wheels at the same time as the solebars are glued to the base plate so that the W irons don't need bending apart to fit the wheels later - your [Cameron's] step 4. I would add that once the glue has partially set, I do check for squareness and sitting flat on rails/glass sheet before I allow it to set fully. I dry run fit to ensure that I don't have W irons tilting inwards or outwards - sadly, this is quite a big problem on Parkside 7mm kits.

I too had issues with CCT transfers having printing faults, including the 'ink' becoming detatched from the backing before the transfers were even applied.
Agreed that they fill the gaps where other suppliers don't, but they don't feature very high on my list of choices.

My experience of Adrian/ABS kits is with this 7mm kit: ABS 12T Goods Van Kit - Model Railways On-Line
This one has an all-brass body and cast white-metal chassis. It is solid and quite heavy.

I am a big advocate of kit building wagons and would encourage everyone to have a go. We are blessed with so much variety from Dapol, Parkside, Cambrian, Ratio/Peco and many others. They are a quick and cheap way to build up a fleet very quickly which is also different to RTR products. Some of mine:

https://modelrailways.online/Pages/Vu/BuildingtheDapolMeatVanKit
https://modelrailways.online/Pages/Vu/BuildingtheParksideBRFruitVanKit
https://modelrailways.online/Pages/Vu/BuildingtheParksideBRStandardVanKit
https://modelrailways.online/Pages/Vu/BuildingtheParksideGWRMinkGKit
https://modelrailways.online/Pages/Vu/Weathering16TMineralWagons
 

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Just a further comment on chassis squareness: in 4mm scale we generally just make sure that the axles are perpendicular to the rails and the wheels sit firmly on the rail heads with no rocking and provided this is sorted, you're good to go. In 7mm, you begin to understand the issues of the prototype because if you don't build a chassis squarely, the effects of the prototype start to come into play. For example, if you don't get the axles dead-perpendicular to the rails, a vehicle will 'hunt' (move sideways) from one side to the other as it changes direction and will appear 'out of line' with other vehicles in a train. This of course, does depend on what your wheel/rail standards are, but in current 'finescale' 7mm, there is sideplay between wheels and rails, just as there is in 4mm. In 7mm, the coning of wheels also comes into play. On the prototype, this is compensated with sprung suspension, but it highlights a need for some form of compensation in 7mm - if you don't have it, a vehicle can rock due to the wheel tread coning. Assembling on a level glass sheet (using flanges as a means of determining rocking) is a reliable tool, but you do need to check sitting on rails as well.
Just some observational thoughts!
 

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Further to which, the coning of the tyres is effective in 4mm. Dapol accidentally supplied the proof by (some dozen years past) putting a batch of wheels with parallel tyres in some of their wagons (the one I particularly recall was the 6 wheel milk tank) which would randomly derail as a result. Changing these wheels for any other conventionally coned tyred wheelset fixed the problem completely.
 
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