Next I cleaned up the axlebox castings, drilled them out to take Slater's brass wheel bearings and assembled them. A small coil spring was then glued to the top of each axlebox using cyano adhesive. The wheels (Slater's ref. S9116) were then temporarily fitted to ensure they ran freely.
The brake gear parts provided in the kit are the same as those supplied with the open Pickering cattle wagon kit. This brake gear is common to most T&D goods wagons but not these Midland cattle wagons. However there are no detailed drawings available for the brake gear on these wagons and John opted to use the existing brake gear as it is common to most T&D wagons. Once it is painted black and the wagon is the right way up one hardly notices anyway. Looking at the only clear photo I have found showing any underframe detail for these wagons, the main differences are that the brake handle is to the left rather than the right, when viewed side on and the brake activation rod is dead centre not offset to one end and the activation rod support brackets are an inverted V shape. To give a bit of authenticity I simply reversed the brake gear layout so that the brake handle is on the left and I moved the activation rod nearer the centre of the wagon floor but not dead centre, to avoid the brake rodding fouling the vacuum cylinder.
The dummy springs were glued to the solebars and the brake assemblies were made up from the various cast metal parts. To get the brakes to line up correctly the wheels need to be temporarily put in place. Once I had the brakes correctly aligned, the parts were glued with cyano. The completed brake assemblies were then glued to the floor and 1.5mm brass rod was used to provide the linkages. The operating rod for the handbrake has to be fabricated from a piece of brass scrap.
Wagon No. 68 is completed to this stage, No. 67 has the W irons in place and I am about to carry out the underframe detailing on this one.