Model Rail (UK)




Broken tie bars on plastic wagon chassis can be a common occurrence, especially when fettling away moulding imperfecti­ons or during handling. Sometimes the parts can be bonded with liquid ploy cement, but the joint will remain a weak spot in future.


If the parts have broken – or if you prefer to upgrade the parts – cut away the tie bars and flatten the lower faces of the axleguards with a needle file. Work very gently and support the axleguard from the rear to avoid distortion.


The Cambrian Models etched fret, within which the brass tie bars are retained, is cleverly designed, allowing the parts to be freed with less risk of distortion. Use the cutting guides to remove pairs of tie bars first, then snip them away individual­ly.


Gently dress the cut ends of the tie bars with a needle file if necessary, ensuring the mating faces are flat and true. Use a cocktail stick to apply a thin bead of glue to the axleguards. Use epoxy or a cyano glue that gives at least a few seconds of working time.


Align the tie bar carefully, ensuring the half-etched rivet heads correspond with the corners of the axleguards, and that it sits level. Gently press it into position, adjust and then set aside to allow it to dry before treating the other side.


The tie bars are available in various packs to suit wagons with 9ft, 9ft 6in, 10ft or 12ft wheelbases. Modifying plastic parts before assembly is easier but fit the tie bars later, to avoid the risk of breaking them off, especially while fitting the wheels.


The tie bars can just as readily be fitted after assembly, as a repair job, as seen here. The same process is followed and, once the glue has cured, the new parts can be painted and weathered to blend with the rest of the chassis.

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