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S&DJR ballast brake vans

Notes from an unpublished article about building a pair of S&DJR ballast brake vans, to show that scratch-building in Plastikard isn't so hard if you do it methodically.

An official picture in which the background has been whited out. A pleasing touch is the partly open door.

A service view of a ballast train with two BBVs in use. Torpedo vents have been added on the the roof.

The first constructional view shows how the four sides were constructed on pre-scribed rectangles, identified A1, A2, and B1, B2 to help everything mate up. I've over-written the sizes of Evergreen strip used to build the outside framing.

The second picture shows the body sides nearing completion, together with the ends. The trickiest part was at the end windows where recesses had to be scored in the sides to allow the glazing to fit in. The outer ends were for the veranda; they later received corner posts and arcs to go under the roof. The latter were made by scribing an annulus using a pair of dividers with sharp points, then cut into suitable length portions, an approach I've described in published articles.

The brake vans complete in grey primer. Note the tiny split pins for the horizontal handrails, which will be fitted last. The underframe was made up with etched brass W-irons, whitemetal springs and axleboxes (all MJT), with brass rod and strip for the brake linkages. For the solebar steps I soldered up brass units based on L-section and plain strip with locating pins through the solebar, attached just before painting - this combination gives a firm attachment and strength against handling. The roofs aren't fixed yet and sit on the bodies for the sake of appearance; they will be painted separately.

The pair complete in weathered brown livery.

A close up of one of the vans. Transfers were PC/HMRS Methfix except for the engineers' branding which was custom made Pressfix-style from Dragon Models (still available as I write, but do get an extra set or two as they are a tight fit and harder to apply: spares come in handy; I actually got through several)!

S&DJR standard brake vans: are here.

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