A Silk Purse from a Sows Ear (Building and old Cambrian Wagon Kit)
I first tried to build the old Cambrian Seacow/Lion/Walrus kit about 25 years ago. It was supposed to be State of the Art according to the modelling magazines of the time but in truth I thought it was a disaster. Self assembly bogies, Plastic wheels and the fit of some parts left a lot to be desired. I seem to remember throwing it in the bin..and left it at that.
A few months ago I bought a job-lot of wagon kits and included were 2 of these kits and i remembered through the mists of time i had attempted one before. I had just finished a conversion of a more modern Cambrian Walrus to a Seacow, so the 2 old kits went into the kit stash box for a later date. Last weekend that later date arrived and i opened one of the kits and looked at the parts laid out on my bench.
The story was just the same. Same brown plastic body parts. Same Bogies and wheels. The Bogies were immediately binned and replace with Cambrian One Piece Bogies with Romford Bearings and Wheels. At the same time NEM Pockets and Slimline couplings were also fitted.
The fit of the hopper parts was terrible and after a lot of filing and shaping its still not right but since this wagon will sit in a rake of 10 is now not noticeable.
The wagon was weighted with Self adhesive wheel weights obtained online to 20 grams which keep the model stable and then the wagon was shunted up and down the layout and run at various positions in the rake and found to run reliably and true.
The bulkheads for the hand wheel columns were not included in the kit so 2 rectangles of Plastic sheet were measured, cut and glued into position.
Handrails and wheel columns from plastic rod were also made up and fitted and the wagon assembly completed with hood stanchions from fuse wire and plastic sheet squares for the hoods.
The livery for the model was always going to be Dutch so the ides of the hopper were sprayed with Humbrol Trainer Yellow.
The yellow strip was masked with Pounland Masking Tape (We like Poundland). The whole model was sprayed with Halfords Grey Plastic Primer (Acrylic) and when dry the masking tape removed.
A quick pass with Matt varnish to protect the paint already applied and the the bottom of the body and masked off and sprayed Matt black together with the bogies
When dry and the masking removed the handrails and hand wheels were brush painted Matt white and the 2 plastic sheet hoods were applied.
After applying transfers from Model Masters and Fox the whole model was treated t a couple of passes of Matt varnish (Poundland).and the wheels and couplings reinstalled.
The wagon does sit well in the rake and for the price i paid was well worth upgrading with new bogies and wheels.