Whilst I’ve been enjoying making my OO gauge microlayout, and running OO gauge trains on my Dad’s garden railway, I’ve recently really had an itch to do a little bit of O gauge.
So for Christmas I asked my Dad to surprise me with an O gauge wagon kit, and he brought me Peco Parkside’s LNER/BR 12 tonne open wagon.
The body of the wagon, chassis, axle boxes and brake assembly are nicely detailed and moulded plastic with metal wheels and axles, sprung metal buffers and metal 3 link couplings; the hooks for which are also metal and sprung.
The body and chassis go together nicely. There was no evidence of warping in the plastic and I didn’t feel the need to use any filler on any of the joints.
I managed to find a dark grey aerosol similar to that shown on the box. I think one of my New Year’s Resolutions will be to get more confident with my airbrush. I know there are model companies that make LNER grey for use in an airbrush which would have been a better option than finding the best match in an aerosol. The airbrush is a really good tool for weathering models too.
The solebars and chassis framework of the wagon were then brush painted black and I added the axles and axle boxes. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the way the axle boxes go together allows for the model to have a working suspension!
Assembling the brakes did take a little bit of research. If I could be critical of one thing on this kit it’s that the instructions for making the brakes were somewhat hazy.
Thankfully there are a lot of photographs of real wagons available on the internet so I was able to figure out how to put it together pretty quickly.
The handbrake lever and ratchet was a fun thing to research and put together. Here’s a really good article explaining how the brakes on goods wagons worked: https://www.igg.org.uk/rail/4-rstock/04arstock2f.htm
The couplings are next. These are ‘3 link’ couplings which comprise of a 3 link chain which loops over a hook to connect two wagons together. On real railways these were common up until the 1970s.
The bars of these are sprung. I assume this is to allow the tension in the coupling to change as the train goes around a corner. My advice would be to paint the bar before putting the couplings together. It’s awkward to do afterwards.
The kit gives you a number of choices for lettering. Both LNER and BR ‘liveries’ are included and there is a big sheet of numbers, both pre-made and individual to number your wagon. These are waterslide transfers which are really high quality and easy to use. In the photo below you can see a bit of the clear film around the numbers. It’s not visible in person.
I brought a 10KG bag of coal really cheaply from B&Q. I crushed a couple of chunks into little bits to use as a load in this wagon. I stuck it with a 50/50 watered down mix of PVA glue.
For weathering I went over the body of the model with a black weathering powder to represent dust from the coal. It didn’t really show, which I guess explains why the LNER used dark grey, it hides the dirt haha!
I added some mid grey weathering powder and some dust around the chassis just to give it a bit of a dirty appearance.
All in all, building this wagon was a really nice introduction to O gauge. I might have to pick up a Dapol ready to run open wagon in the near future to see how they compare.
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By Richard Francis