Model Rail (UK)
STEP BY STEP
The Parkside Iron Mink kit is a close match for the prototypes at Machynlleth and the plastic parts are easy to modify before assembly. With a stout blade, the suspension and brake gear was cut away below the solebar.
The roof was secured and clamped, and the bodies left to cure fully. To discern the correct height for the headstocks, the bodies were placed onto a length of track and the buffer height of rolling stock marked onto the end.
Once happy with the alignment, the bufferbeams were secured with a full application of liquid poly cement and allowed to cure.
Offcuts of flat-bottom rail were cut and fixed to the top of the sleepers on my yard sidings. These were also painted and weathered before the vans were fixed in position, glued to the rail heads with cyanoacrylate.
The lower faces of the solebars could then be flattened and smoothed with a flat file and sanding sticks. As the van bodies will sit atop the rails, the lower edges will be visible, so it’s worth taking the time to get them right.
The depth of the headstocks was measured and marked in relation to the buffer height centre line and sections cut out of the ribs with a scalpel. The headstocks were cut from a scrap wagon chassis.
The slots for the drawhooks were formed by drilling three holes in a vertical line in the centre of the bufferbeam. The holes were then cut into slots with the tip of a scalpel. The hooks were secured with cyanoacrylate.
The bodies were assembled as per the instructions, but the floor was installed upside down (to avoid the need to cut away the raised fittings). Check the corners are square before applying the liquid poly cement from inside.
The bufferbeams were tacked into position with a tiny amount of poly cement and quickly checked against rolling stock. Any adjustments could then be made.
To meet the deadline for this issue, I painted the van bodies quickly with a variety of aerosol primers. A full coat of black was followed by misted coats of brown, grey and red oxide. Finesse was added with an airbrush later.