The first project for 2013 is the construction of two Tralee and Dingle Railway, covered cattle wagons. These are John Campbell kits and were purchased in July 2011.
The kits consist of laser etched plywood for the bodywork, etched brass parts for the strapping detail and some other fittings, the remainder of the detail parts are white metal castings. The W irons for the axleguards are made from etched nickel silver.
The body sides are built up in 3 layers, two identical pieces are glued back to back to represent the planking on the inside and outside of the wagon. A third piece of ply is then applied to the outside representing the external framing of the wagon body. Both sides and both ends are assembled in this way and then they are glued together at the corners around the floor.
Once the bodies are complete the strapping and door hinges are carefully removed from the etched sheet with the help of a cutting disc in a hobby drill and are applied to the body using cyano glue. The instructions provided with the kit on a CD also include step by step photos of the construction, which is very useful. I also have a drawing of this type of wagon which provides a quick and easy reference guide to show where the various bits go.
Final detailing of the body includes the addition of the rails above the side openings (brass rod), some dummy hinges on the door fittings, I used short pieces of 1.2mm plastic rod and door handles (fabricated from a paper clip).
The instructions state that the roof should be fitted at this stage but as I want to leave the interior in its natural wood state, I feel it is easier to mask the interior prior to spray painting, if the roof is left off. I will fit the roofs once the bodywork and underframes are painted.
The next step is to glue the buffer beams and solebars to the underside of the floor. I pre-drilled the W iron fixing holes in the solebars before glueing these in place.