Its like a stuck record. I can't work out why but I'm still working on building guards vans. And the next question would be; who the hell cares anyway.
I've received in the post this last week another package from Russell at Trackgang (he's the equivalent of my crack dealer, well if I was going to have a crack dealer). 2 pairs of guards van bogies, plus underframes, footsteps and brake cylinders.
I figured it might be easier if I was building on a premade underframe with the bogie pivots already built in. The wheels were the British 6.2mm diameter on 15mm axles. I do prefer these over the slightly smaller US wheels looks wise, but it does mean that I can't add the Markits pinpoint bearings. I drilled out the frames slightly with a 1.5mm drill as previously described in the Nc review. The bogies were then put together by gluing one sideframe to the bolster, putting the wheels in and then gluing the other sideframe on. I had to do a bit of filing in the attachment tab to get the second sideframe to sit in a position where the wheels were parallel. I drilled out the holes in the bogie bolsters and the pivots on the underframe with a 2.5mm drill. I also did a bit of filing so that the bearing surfaces on the bogies were parallel with the wheel axles. Russell tells me that the complete kits are sold with self tapping screws. I used some bolts brought from Dick Smith (M2.5 mixed bolts). I placed a washer or 2 between the bogie and the underframe to get the correct ride height. The plus with using bolts is that the hole is always square (assuming you can hold a drill straight, the self tappers can wander off.) and you can take them apart easily if you so desire. Once attached it all looked like this.
Something didn't look quite right to me here, so I compared it to my 1st guards van.
The bogies here are far further inboard than the earlier frame. Wondering if it was a design change by the time later ones were built I checked the Fred lee plans for the 30' steel van. While I can't reproduce them here, I can confirm that the bogie spacing should be far wider than it actually is on the kit. Mulling this over I can only come to a similar conclusion to Darryl in that the bogies are moved inboard to fit the large coupler boxes. They may also be moved to accomidate the steps. We are not on our own here as I've also seen it perpetuated in the larger scales.
Image from the BOP trackgang site.
(Please drop me a line if I'm incorrect about the bogie spacing, which should be 20 scale feet, or you would rather I didn't use the photo.)
If it is to clear the steps then its a very strange solution. The vans just don't look right, and I'd far rather have a correct bogie wheelbase than steps. My 1889 van doesn't have any, though I'm considering adding them fixed to the bogies to get around this problem.
Oddly enough the real thing had the same problems and here is their solution.