I have had a go at building a snow plough in the past, but found it hard to achieve the distinctive wedge shape that deflects the snow to the side of the track. I noticed recently that Swift Sixteen produce a cast resin plough and I purchased one. The plough has a cut out section at the rear to clear centre buffer couplings, enabling it to be attached temporarily to a wagon or loco without too much alteration to the host vehicle. I decided however to build it as a complete self contained unit. To speed up production I decided to use an Accucraft Welshpool and Llanfair brake van; I purchased the bauxite livery version sold exclusively by Trackshack.
The brake van was to be permanently attached to the plough, so I removed the chopper coupling, safety chains and wagon strapping from the appropriate end of the van. Being a solid lump of resin, the plough unit is heavy, it weighs approx 1.1kg. I therefore had to counter balance this weight in the van. I carefully removed the roof and fixed a partition inside the van behind the balance point, I then filled this to window height with concrete. I attached the plough to the van by drilling four holes in the end of the van and four matching holes in the back of the plough. The two parts were joined together with four self tapping screws.
Once attached, I found the weight of the plough still tipped the van up, even with the concrete counter weight. I then realised that I could move the balance point towards the plough by relocating the relevant set of wheels. The axleguards are easily removed, together with the brake shoes, but the axleguards are set into a recess in the floor in their correct position (for the brake van). To enable me to mount them further forwards, I had to cut off the floor mounting part of the axleguards. I was then able to glue them to the inside of the solebars in their new position, making sure the wheels were in place first. Refitting the brake shoes would have been a bit of a fiddle so I left these off; the rear wheels only are braked. I re-used the brake shoes on my bolster wagons (see previous post).
With the wheels moved towards the plough, all four wheels were now on the track but the rear of the vehicle was still a bit light. I added a big lump of lead to the top of the concrete ballast, positioning this as far back as possible, and then smothered the interior with exterior grade PVA glue; this not only held the lead weight in place but also sealed in the concrete to prevent bits of gravel loosening and rattling round inside the body.
I spray painted the plough in red oxide primer from a rattle can and painted the roof of the plough and the van in acrylic matt black. I painted the wood floor of the balcony and the running boards in a light tan and then weathered this with some thinned matt black.
The whole thing weighs in excess of 3kg and will crush anything in its path! I only wish I had built this before extending the railway, as I might have made my loading gauge a bit more generous to accommodate it. Most of my stock scales out at between 6 feet and 6 feet 6 ins wide in 15mm scale, but the width of the plough is in excess of 8 scale feet; as some of my curves are a bit tight, and due to the plough's overhang on these, it needs a little bit of help (manual intervention) to get round some parts of the layout.