LSWR open wagon

Discussion in 'G3' started by Jon Nazareth, 6 January 2018.

  1. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer

    I've made a start on the LSWR 'wooden' open wagon as supplied by Mike Williams. I want to make it as representing an earlier version and so am following a drawing that I have which shows it with a single wooden brake block and slightly longer and more slender buffer housings. This picture shows the new housings that I've machined up with the supplied buffer heads turned down to a scale 12". The 16BA nuts and studs were silver soldered from the back and then returned to the lathe to have the surplus solder machined away. They were then placed in an acid bath to clean them which has given them a 'cast' look.


  2. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer

    This is me patting myself on the back for spending most of the afternoon threading tiny chains onto tiny rings in order to make up that which you see in the picture. I've never done this sort of thing before so, I suppose that I've raised the bar a bit for all future rolling stock that I make that need this sort of detail :D

    P.S. I didn't notice that piece of styrene swarf to the left of the pin, I'll just go and remove it.

    IMG_1858.JPG IMG_1862.JPG
    Len Cattley, mswjr, Mike W and 12 others like this.
  3. jamiepage

    jamiepage Western Thunderer

    Excellent, Jon.
  4. Spitfire2865

    Spitfire2865 Western Thunderer

    Very nice! I find making those pins a real pain, but the effort makes a huge difference.
  5. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer

    Here's my version of the LSWR 'wooden wagon' kit from Mike Williams. It's loosely based on a drawing that I have dated 18th June 1877. I made up new longer buffer housings and turned down the existing buffers to, I think, 12". I've added safety chains and five link couplings. I chose copper for the links as it was easier to bend for the smaller links and I've left them un soldered. I was going to silver solder them but thought that they would end up as a small heap of bonded links. The reason for not soft soldering was because I didn't think that the solder would take the blackening which I shall apply at a later date. The link wire looks a little large but is to scale and I can only think they look thicker is because of the copper. The hooks were of the open variety and these were plugged with a piece of brass which was silver soldered in place and then cleaned back. My drawing doesn't show washer or crown plates but simply bolts and this is what I've done here. The wood for the brake is Box, can't quite remember the latin but it's Buxus something or other. It will now be set aside until the warm weather gets here when I can paint it.


    IMG_1893.JPG IMG_1894.JPG IMG_1897.JPG
  6. Arty

    Arty Western Thunderer

    Impressive, I have one of these kits in stock, you've inspired me to make a start,
    but I have too many G3 projects on the go at the moment.
  7. jamiepage

    jamiepage Western Thunderer

    That really does look very good indeed, Jon.
  8. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer

    thank you, Jamie, but yours is the benchmark.

  9. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer


    Here it is in it's top coat awaiting transfers. It doesn't look very glossy but, I did use gloss paint. This side isn't too bad but I flooded the other side a bit with paint, without getting a run, and one of the diagonal straps has come out a bit 'rounded'.
    I have a set of transfers, some Micro Sol and some Micro Set and I'll add here that I've never used either before. As some off you may know, I shy away from applying transfers as I've never had much luck with them but I will give this wagon a go.
    Can anyone please tell me, do I need to use the Sol and the Set or can I use just the Sol?

    Rob Pulham and Yorkshire Dave like this.
  10. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Hi Jon,

    Both MicroSet and MicroSol can be used.

    ....and apologies in advance for the use of my US photos to illustrate my technique :oops:... which I trust may assist.

    Micro Set is a weak acetic acid solution (smells a bit like vinegar) and is used to remove any surface tension and aid with the positioning of decals. On flat surfaces you can get away with only using this.

    Micro Sol is a softening and drawing solution and this softens and draws the decals over any irregularities e.g. panels, planking, strapping etc.

    My approach is to wet the area to receive the decals with Micro Set then apply the decals. Once I'm satisfied with the position and, rather than dab the decal as this may disturb it, I use a corner of kitchen roll to remove excess solution by capillary action.

    After this I, with a watercolour paint brush, apply some Micro Sol and leave to dry. Don't panic if the decal creases slightly as it is part of the softening, stretching and drawing process after which the decal dries flat.

    Do not flood the MicroSol as the decals will move out of position. This has happened to me on several occasions and I never learn from each episode. In this case I soak up the excess and reposition the decal, however I act quickly before the MicroSol softens the decal giving it a high propensity to deform and tear.

    After drying and if the decal hasn't been drawn into the plank grooves, I use a scalpel to cut the decal and re-apply some MicroSol to draw it into the grooves. This is what I did with the decals over the door panels my P48 SSW GP9.

    Decal detail.jpg

    The HYDRA-CUSHION decals were applied in the manner above and the MicroSol has drawn the decal over the rivets. On large decals such as these I tend to randomly prick/puncture the decal letters with the tip of the scalpel blade to ensure the MicroSol reaches all areas of the underside of the decal.
    SSW insulated 17.jpg

    These are Microscale decals and have feathered edges on the carrier film so the decal edges are not obvious.

    In instances where I have cut the decals from a sheet I now feather the edges by lightly sanding then with a fine emery paper stick. This is something I should have done with the Champ Decals COTTON BELT decals here. The edges are just visible around BELT and again the MicroSol has drawn the decal over the rivets.
    SSW insulated 15.jpg
  11. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer

    Thank you for answering. In the first Cotton belt picture, the transfers look perfect. Did you spray over them with a matt varnish and if yes, which sort? I carried out an experiment this morning by applying a spare transfer, leaving it to dry and then sprayed over it with Humbrol Matt Varnish, oil based. The transfer wrinkled/crinkled and I shan't be using that varnish again. Next is to try some Humbrol acrylic, my nearest shop only sells that, and see how that works. I'll also try the sanding technique as I did notice that the edge was still visible.

  12. Spitfire2865

    Spitfire2865 Western Thunderer

    I only ever use Microsol, and I find little issue. However I have had bad experience with the "brush microsol on and let dry"technique as it has dried crinkled for me, so I let it soak into the decal and then with a slightly damp and smooth cotton bud, I lightly press the decal into the irregularities making sure to not drag or twist the decal. The key is to not keep messing with it after about a minute or two as it will become so soft it easily tears or folds over itself.
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  13. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    In this case I used Alclad II matt varnish applied with an airbrush after sealing the decal with acrylic varnish. I believe Alclad II is cellulose based.

    For the Cotton Belt boxcar I used Vallejo acrylic matt varnish - again applied with an airbrush.

    I now exclusively use acrylic paints (and generally seal decals with an acrylic varnish) on my models which when dry forms an inert layer before applying any oil/cellulose based varnishes such as Alclad II.

    As alluded to in your other post about undercoats I've never suffered any misting when applying matt varnishes, however, I found this useful tip on
    International Scale Modeller forum about these:

    When applying, hold your model up so that you can see the shine reflecting and spray on the varnish. Stop spraying when the shine just disappears. This will stop the misting/snowy effect you get from over applying a matte varnish.

    And finally, having had good results with Vallejo acrylic and Alclad varnishes I shy away from other brands.
    Jon Nazareth likes this.
  14. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Useful tip, now plaigarised and added to my armoury.
    Spitfire2865 likes this.
  15. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Humbrol is usually fine over decals - what did you stick the transfer to? It should go on to gloss paint - anything else would not be considered when the adhesive was selected. Another potential problem is that you might have left the decal too long in the water:
    Luke warm water
    Dunk decal and fish it out again (i.e. don't leave it in the water!)
    Put on blotting paper or kitchen paper until it slides easily
    Do as Dave says(!!)

  16. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer

    IMG_2002.JPG IMG_2003.JPG IMG_2004.JPG

    Here are my attempts at applying transfers with Microsol only. I think that they have come out not too bad except that I was a bit forceful with the brush on the letter W and the transfer split. I shall paint it back in with white enamel before varnishing. Someone mentioned that if copious amounts of Microsol are applied, the backing film will eventually disappear. I've been trying this method but with several coats yesterday evening and two coats this morning but, as you can see, the film hasn't quite gone yet. It may go/be masked with the application of the varnish.
    Talking of which, I've been doing quite a few tests with the spray varnish from Humbrol in rattle cans both oil based and water based, none are 100% successful. I thought that I'd cracked it with the last test but a white film/mist was left over the paintwork. I'm going to have another go with Humbrol acrylic and report here later. I've also ordered a rattle can of Vallejo matt acrylic varnish as a comparison.
    Expensive things these transfers :rolleyes:

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  17. Ian_C

    Ian_C Western Thunderer

    Technically glossy surfaces are best but I often apply decals over matt finishes. Seems to work OK. Washing off too much of the adhesive on the back of the decal doesn't help. I don't dunk waterslide decals in water. Just cut round them with a very sharp scalpel, place them on a clean area of cutting mat and apply a drop of water with at the end of a cocktail stick. The decal curls up initially then flattens out when the backing paper is soaked through. You don't need any more water than required to wet the backing paper. Leave them to soak for a minute or two to loosen the adhesive. A gentle prod with a blunt cocktail stick will tell you when the decal's unstuck from the backing paper and ready to slide. Position on the model with a minimum of re-wetting and sliding and press down with a tiny pad of kitchen roll. Soften with Microsol and leave to dry. I always protect with matt varnish of some kind. It's usually been Humbrol Matt Cote, but latterly very impressed with some of the acrylic matt finishes. Current favourite is AK Interactive Ultra Matt Varnish.
  18. Spitfire2865

    Spitfire2865 Western Thunderer

    I think the W looks pretty good broken along the joint. Almost implies a little bit of shrinkage or damage to the door.
  19. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    I do pretty much as Trevor describes except I use Microset initially and then Microsol smoothing and easing into crease lines with a cotton bud dampened with Microsol. I also use Microsol instead of meths for Methfix transfers and it does two jos in one.
  20. Jon Nazareth

    Jon Nazareth Western Thunderer


    Both samples were sprayed with a gloss and looked the same to begin with. The one on the left, 1408, was sprayed with enamel Humbrol yesterday at some point and the one on the right, top 7401, sprayed with the same varnish but in the evening. I could go with the finish on the left but not the right but, they were both sprayed from the same can and whose to say that the wagon will turn out like the one on the right? The sample on the right, lower section 7401, was sprayed with Humbrol acrylic and looks terrible. There is also something going on with the surface to the left making it look like very ancient paintwork. What a dilemma!!!!:(

    Ian_T likes this.