The Ghost of DB returns.
I'm alive! And back in Godzone for a while. Which always make me want to play trains.
Mr 0-4-4-0 is making some nice Q wagons and modules at the moment, so why not join in, as who doesn't love the West Coast in late-steam days? And besides, I remember seeing Q hoppers on a DJ hauled train leaving Greymouth in 1981so I can use them behind those locos as well.
So... I found four 10 foot Peco chassis with spoked wheels and threw them along with my modeling knife and a random selection of styrene bits into suitcase for the trip to the Capital.
Colonel Druff lent me a variety of Q plans this afternoon, and the first that caught my eye was one of the steel hoppered ones with the straight sides. Measuring up the wheelbase and converting to NZ120, the Peco is exactly right, so make one of those first I will. If you're not familiar with it, the NZ Railways Rolling Stock Lists site is a goldmine for numbers, dates, trivia and pictures for almost everything that ran on the rails in NZ.
My first task was to remove the extraneous detail from the Peco chassis - the protrusions above the flat top surface, the handbrake and brake-shoe details. I've also slimmed down the couplers as I intend to use them (shock horror) instead of splashing out on anything more realistic, or expensive. All was done here with a sharp blade in my 35 year old modeling knife which I haven't used in about two years but seems to be still up to doing the job. This little shard of firewood and a paper bag to catch the offcuts might not make EB's "Great Workbenches of the World" series, but it's doing the job.
Once this was done, I laid a flat piece of thin plasticard on top. In hindsight I should have cut a rectangular hole in it to make the top half of the hopper look like it's sitting in a real hole, but what can you do now. Other notable details on these series of early Qs are the coil spring pockets above each axlebox -yes I know these Pecos are leaf sprung, but I figured removing those might be a bit messy. I made these pockets with their distinctive circular holes by twirling a hole in plasticard with the knife point and then cutting squares out around these and gluing them in place.
A pair of headstocks and a fake handbrake lever and we're almost done. I don't have any handrail wire with me but that will come, and I'll need to add some weight to these as well.
More in the next episode... in about two years, if history is anything to go by....