Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Converting a Ministery of War Transport 16t Mineral Wagon

First off with a blow-by-blow account is a conversion of a Bachmann 16ton Ministry of War Transport mineral wagon. Now that nice Bill Bedford collared me and thrust one of his etched chassis kits into my hands and told me to try it and see. The shiney, shiney metal gleamed and glistened and I was instructed to let him know what I thought, which I did in due course.

I've sort of become Bill Bedford's unofficial test etch assembler. I think on the basis that I'm about at the lowest level of skill you can be, without having any skill at all i.e: I build kits, but I'm not exceptionally good and I make really dumb mistakes. However, mistakes are good, because one only really learns from making mistakes. By the time you can make something without making a mistake, one is rather skilled, and people ask you for your opinion and all.

The first picture shows the etch denuded of its treasure. I immediately told Bill that the inner chassis would with some minor fettling fit under a Bachmann wooden PO mineral wagon. So he has made a version for people to do this too, which is I think is a great thing to have.

The second picture shows the folded up solebar tray. A really neat idea. I had to file the holes a little bit, as Bachmann moulding tolerances cause some minor variations. Small file three, or four strokes of the file through the hole kind of level.

The third picture shows the inner chassis screwed into the solebar tray. Not much more to say really. Nice and easy to fold up. I ran solder into the etch lines to add strength, but to be brutally honest you could super glue this baby together.

The fourth picture shows one of the axlebox mouldings placed on the w-iron just for effect. Hence it being slightly off center and all. I'll get round to doing the other three axleboxes and spring in due course.

I've also persuaded Bill Bedford to offer the mineral wagon with the brakes on both sides, as a little bit of research showed that one in five BR minerals had bottom doors, and pretty much all the precursor steel mineral wagons from the LNER and the LMS also had bottom doors.

The final picture shows the finished wagon, well for definitions of finished that don't include painted and weathered, but you get my drift I hope?

Wanton wagons keeps calling me to my doom.


  1. You think YOU'RE the lowest level? Ha! I actually stuffed up one of Bill's really clever trays on Sunday night by putting a knife through the side panel. And before you ask, I was using the knife to trim back the spigot on the MJT buffer casting because I hadn't thought through the assembly, and found that the newly-Araldited buffers wouldn't allow the chassis to sit in the tray. It wouldn't be so bad if I could buy JUST another tray, but I don't want all the extras (and can't REALLY justify the £9.50 the fret costs). Experience can be costly.

    So. Relax. You have NOTHING on me. I am way ahead of you in the Modelling Muppet Stakes.

    Ah well. Keep at it. Good Luck!

  2. Thanks for that feedback. I think the only way to learn is to make mistakes. As for the cost, while a tenner is a chunk of change, just think of all the money you could be wasting on cheap booze etc. Hold that thought, cheap booze is what one needs when one has made a mistake. :-)