Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Scratchbuilding at the show

At the May show this year I actually planned to get something done. The last few years whilst on the stand I've spent most of my time chatting to new modellers, or catching up with ones I've met before. This year the plan was to begin work on the 'new' version of the 1895 BSV that I've been wanting to do for ages. So armed with jigs and copious quantities of styrene I set myself up on the workbench.

My first thought was that Craig had brought 'everything' the previous day. I shouldn't complain I did have a square foot or so, plenty of room for a cutting mat, glue, jig, and styrene! I set about starting on the wagon ends they are fairly straight forward and I'd scribed styrene with the board spacing I required before hand. I built them with the outer and inner boards so that the air gap for ventilation can be clearly seen. I have thought since that I should have painted the inside of the wall before construction. The two ends built up in no time, the jigs, though simple really did aid the construction time.

Somewhere about now an announcement came over the P.A. system saying 'good afternoon...' Afternoon? Yep 12:30 actually, the day was flying along. I had a short break about now and went for a little shop browsing, and bought some lunch.

Getting back to it I started work on the side of the wagon. In a post along time ago I'd built the first version of this wagon. Since doing that I've had a few ideas of how differently I'd do it next time. Firstly I wasn't happy with the thickness of the side, and how overscale it therefore appeared to be. It also was not as strong as I'd like for longevity of the wagon's life. My solution is to build a styrene outer with a brass inner side. The outer is thinner than last time and the inner holds the bars for the wagon sides and makes it more rigid. When I get to this part I might even be able to solder some of the inner swing doors that divided the wagon to the brass part of the wagon. I have certainly wondered whether an all brass version may be the way to go down the line. However the time to cut and file all the individual pieces would be alot longer that doing it in styrene.

The jig for the sides has made using the thinner styrene alot more user friendly. The sides are the mirror image of each other, so I'm able to turn the side over in the jig and work on the back of it also. I was able to about half finish the wagon side. Not bad for a day at the show.

The day went very quickly, we had a great time meeting Brendan and Greg from a couple of other blogs, you'd know Brendan's work on the 19 class loco he entered at last years May Show, winning first prize. I made a couple of purchases, 4910 from Trainorama (actually if anyone has one, do they come with instructions or warranty cards? as mine had none, just an exploded view of the loco and parts list) 6-lever frame from modratec, for the other side of the layout, and a couple of other bits that I just couldn't live without. One of them was from hanger 13, or whatever the airbrush name is. Several 'bottlebrush' type brushes in various sizes attached on a split ring for all those hard to get at places on your airbrush, a great idea and $5, perfect!

I should stop now as I've the day off and the modelling bench is calling!


  1. Come on Geoff, show us the jigs - they might be rough, but are worth showing everyone. It will give us ideas :o)

    BTW, those wagons are gunna look great based on what you've shown me so far.

  2. Well Pk my camera let me down, battery life zero, so no photos just yet. When I get a second this weekend I'll post a few, Geoff.

  3. Geoff,
    Get that camera recharged man and post some photo's!!! Very keen to see how the BSV looks. It's one of those "must have" vehicles that I'll get to one day so I'd be interested to see your techniques.

    All the best,