Parkside BR Vanwide

by Russ Elliott

This Parkside kit was built for CLAG's Green Street layout. Scalefour Society W-irons were used, since these allow putting in just one (horse-shunting) hole on each W-iron leg, rather than the usual two. I'm not sure what size these holes should be exactly, but I use 0.9mm. The moving W-iron was pivoted on a 0.9mm wire held in rocker pockets secured to the floor. I added bridle plates to the W-irons. Wheels (3-hole disc) are Ultrascale. The rest of the kit is more or less as supplied, but with a few refinements: modified ABS F324 hanging vacuum pipes were added, as were lamp irons (I had to guess the position of these a little) plus vacuum pipe stowing pockets. Mike Clark's (Masokits) coupling hooks were used, being spaced off the headstock (because of the 1'8½" buffer length) by an additional 30 thou shaped plastic spacer. Some spare metal Slaters buffer heads replaced the kit's offerings, and I had to modify the buffer shank dimensions slightly to achieve a better look. These heads are 12" in diameter, and are due to be replaced in the future with the more accurate 13" heads (available from MJT).

Triangular horizontal brackets were added between the inside faces of the headstocks and the solebars. The handles on the van doors were replaced by 8 thou wire.

I adopted my now standard method of weighting and sound-insulation for vans: to the top of the floor I fix a layer of foam (chopped up Peco Streamline underlay), then a layer of sheet lead (sized according to the weight I wish to add), and then further layers of foam up the underside of the false roof fixed between the tops of the sides.

There is little room for error on Parkside roofs, as they are moulded very close to the required finished size, but I'm happy about this, being quite keen to get a prototypical dimension in this area – very critical in my view in achieving a 'looks good' feel to a model. A 20 thou strip was added to the underside of the roof ends, to simulate the angled capping plate of the prototype, and a 5 thou rivetted strip replaced the one moulded on the top. Rain strips were added from 10 x 20 thou strip. The roof was supported on its underside by three longitudinal strips: these prevent bowing of the top of the roof and help with a good fit of the roof to the tops of the sides.

The brake shoe assemblies are fixed to a plastic 'wrapper' around the base of each W-iron, and the brake shoes are tied together with 20 thou diameter pull rods. The central brake cross shaft is 30 thou rod. I used a spare brake cylinder from the Parkside Bluespot fish van kits, as these can be fixed direct to the floor. Brake rod safety loops were added from 10 thou brass wire, but this was a fiddly process, being difficult to bend the wire consistently, and then solder them to the inside of the W-iron base.

Another excellent kit from Parkside.

© Russ Elliott

December 1998
updated 8 February 2009