Friday, July 29, 2011

V Class Kit

The V class Mikado 2-8-2 locomotive kit


The prototype:

The V class locomotive was the last mainline heavy freight locomotive built for the WAGR in 1954-6. They were the most powerful non-articulated locomotive on the WAGR system and were extremely efficient and popular with crews. They lasted until the end of steam in 1972 and were relatively young (16 years) for steam locomotives when they were written off. Twenty four locomotives were built and they first entered service in 1955. They were numbered 1201-1224. Upon their arrival an exhibition at the garden dock of the Perth railway station was held by the WAGR to publicise their newest steam locomotive The V class was displayed along-side a diminutive 1985 A class steam locomotive (#11). Detailed information on the locomotive can be found in Gunsburg, A. (1984) History of WAGR Steam Locomotives (ARHS, WA) Four of the V class are preserved. One (1213) is in private hands, others are preserved at Bellarine, Victoria and Collie in WA and one (1220) can be seen at the ARHS Railway museum in Bassendean, WA.

The magnificent V1220 preserved at Bassendean

The Model:

This modelling project was first mooted at the 2009 AMRA (WA) Model Railway Exhibition by Gary Gray who detected an interest in the V class from a number of modellers from the AMRA S scale special interest group. Gary then organised a committee of enthusiasts to make an S scale kit of the V class utilising a Bachmann Berkshire chassis as the basis for the running gear. Meetings were held in December 2009 and subsequent meetings were held in early 2010. Don Moir and Graham Watson supplied the drawings, Neil Blinco supplied the stack, John Hatch volunteered to make the sand box and the turret, Stuart Mackay, the tender and cab, and Gary Gray volunteered to make the boiler. Lynton Englund and Graham Watson provided valued advice and Neil made his scratch-built V class available as an aid to construction. Other urethane parts were made by Gary and Stuart so that by the end of May patterns and castings had been made and a basic kit was assembled for display at the 2010 AMRA Model Railway Exhibition. The kit also involves metal parts from North Yard of NZ, Railwest Models and Cullengatty castings. Graham Watson made moulds of the styrene patterns made by John, Gary and Stuart. Supplying the final package fell on Gary and Stuart who were determined to see the difficult project through. This is certainly not a perfect representation of the prototype as the Berkshire had slightly different valve gear. It does however provide the opportunity for enthusiastic modellers to own a smooth running S scale model of the V class without having to scratch-build one, which is the usual and only alternative.

Some of the mystery is lost in this partially assembled and unpainted view of the model.

This is not a kit for the inexperienced modeller. It is a kit is for a modeller with experience in assembling similar WAGR loco kits such as the Railwest Pm and S class locomotives, or the X-Class models U class kit. The kit requires a sound knowledge of the V class locomotive prototype, experience in kit assembly and ingenuity in building a realistic and presentable S scale model. There is considerable detailing which can be done and the degree to which this detailing is done will depend on the skill and preferences of the modeller. Readers should refer to Neil Blinco’s article on his super-detailed scratch-built model of V1213 elsewhere on this Blog if they really want to knock themselves out.

Author’s model of V1207, with Westland Models decals, resting on his home layout.

Modellers are expected to supply their own Bachmann Berkshire proprietary chassis. The Bachmann model requires dismantling and some modification (cutting and grinding) to the metal underside of the firebox, the front metal platform and the bogies. There is a quite a lot of work to do but the end result is well worth it and the modeller will be happy in the knowledge that he is one of the very few to own a working S scale model of the WAGR V class. And now, the bad news. All 23 kits have been allocated to members of the AMRA (WA) special interest group who expressed an interest in obtaining one. This group of modellers meets on the second Monday of every month at the AMRA clubrooms 24 Moojebing st Bayswater WA at 8pm. Visitors and new members are always welcome. A small second run is possible but Gary and Stuart have moved on to building other models and kits of West Australian prototypes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Suggested Paint Colours for WAGR Modellers

ColourApplicationPaint Brand and ReferenceComments
Locomotives and Rolling Stock
Red/brownFreight wagonsHumbrol H70 "Matt Brick Red"
Revell R37
Floquil* "Boxcar Red"
Floquil* 60% "Boxcar Red"
40% "Red Oxide"
Exact ratio not critical due to prototype colour variation.
Holts Red PrimerIn spraycan
GreenPassenger CoachesHumbrol 76 "Matt Uniform Green"
Revell R48
GreenSteam LocosHumbrol H3 Gloss "Brunswick Green"Also railcars
Humbrol H105 "Matt Marine Green"
Humbrol H101 "Matt Mid Green"
Revell SM 364Semi-matt. Possibly too light?
Floquil* "Depot Olive"
CreamPassenger CoachesModel Master "Panzer Interior Buff"
WhiteSuburban Coaches and RailcarsHumbrol 22 "Gloss White"
SandCoach RoofsHumbrol 63 "Matt Sand"
SandWagon RoofsHumbrol 94 "Matt Brown Yellow"
CreamWagon and Coach RoofsHumbrol 102???"
Humbrol H110 "Matt Natural Wood"
Floquil* "Depot Buff"
RedEarly Passenger CoachesRevell SM331 (Semi-matt)Similar to historic coach at East Perth Terminal
BlackUnderframes/bogiesRevell R9 "Anthracite"Shows detail more than pure black.
Humbrol H33 "Matt Black"
Humbrol H67 "Matt Tank Grey"Slightly lighter still than R9.
BlackSteam locosRevell R9 "Anthracite"Shows detail more than pure black.
Floquil* "Dirty Black"
Floquil* "Engine Black"Satin finish.
Steam Era Models "Engine Black"
Tamiya TS-6 "Matt Black"In spraycan (also in bottles).
RedLoco Buffer BeamsHumbrol H19 "Gloss Bright Red"
Floquil* "Caboose Red"
YellowHandrails on Guard's Vans/DieselsHumbrol H69 "Gloss Yellow"
Humbrol H24 "Trainer Yellow"
OrangeLocos Westrail Era c1980 onRevell R30
OrangeLocos ARG "original" schemeHumbrol 50% H18 "Gloss Orange"
50% H82 "Matt Orange Lining"
Mix gives satin finish
BlackLocos ARG "original" schemeHumbrol H85 "Satin Coal Black"
YellowLocos ARG "original" schemeModel Master "Blue Angel Yellow"
YellowWagons Westrail Era c1980 onHumbrol H154 "Insignia Yellow"also Shunting Tractors and distant signal arms
SilverFurniture containers, ADE railcarsHumbrol H11 "Metallic Silver"
SilverEnds of Governor railcarsHumbrol H191 "Chrome Silver"Not too shiny
Dark pinkBrake hosesHumbrol H73 "Matt Wine"
Buildings and Lineside Equipment
CreamStation BuildingsModel Master "Radome Tan"
WhiteSignal PostsHumbrol H34 "Matt White"
Undercoats and Clear Coats
GreyUndercoatHolts grey primter"In spraycan
Tamiya Surface Primer LLight grey
ClearVarnishEstapol Matt Clear VarnishIn spraycan
Testors DullcoteIn spraycan
Humbrol 35 "Gloss Clear Poly"Ideal prior to decal application
Humbrol 49 "Matt Varnish"Final coat after decalling
Humbrol 135 "Satin Varnish"Final coat after decalling
MRWA Rolling Stock
Blue/greyFreight wagons and guard's cansHumbrol H79 "Matt Blue Grey"
Humbrol H96 "Matt RAF Blue"
Humbrol H144 "Matt Intermediate Blue"Possibly too light
RedCoachesHumbrol H107May no longer be available.

1. Paints are matt unless stated otherwise.
2. All colours are subjective so evaluate alternatives yourself before making final choice.

* Observe safety directions for Floquil paints due to different chemical composition from most hobby paints.
Older Floquil paints (pre 1995-2000) can attack plastics and may require a "barrier" coat first to prevent crazing.
Floquil colours are also available in non-toxic "Polly S" range.
The information in this table was originally published on my Marbelup Valley Railway web site in February 2010, and was based on input from several Sn3½ modellers. I have copied the information to the blog to make it more accessible. In time, I will remove this information from my web site and just include a reference to the blog page. If anyone wishes to contribute any further colour suggestions, I can add the information to the table.

Please also let me know if the table doesn't display correctly in your browser, as I simply copied the HTML code from my web site without alteration, other than adjusting the table width.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

WAGR "S 548" Gardner

In 1943 the WAGR placed into service the first 3 of 10, S class steam locomotives designed by Frederick Mills and built at the Midland Workshops.
These 4-8-2 "Mountain" type locos were designed for mixed traffic use, weighing 119t in working order with a 13t axle loading which limited them to use on lines with 60lb rail, seeing them used mostly in the Eastern and South Western areas of WA. They were regarded by the crews to be free steaming and reliable machines which saw them last in service till the cessation of steam operations in 1972.
In 2007 Railwest Models released its kit of the "small tender" S class utilising a Mehano models "Mountain" steam locomotive for the mechanism.
The kit contains all main body parts cast in urethane, with mostly brass detailing parts as can be seen in this view below showing the model prior to painting. Construction of the kit took several months and was completed in May 2008 in time for the AMRA Model Railway Show where it ran well on Murray Hartzers "Parkerville" layout.

As with most of my models, the kit has been superdetailed to the best of my ability, fitted with all pipework, washout plugs, injectors, shaped cylinders, realistic tender coal load and footplate crew. Paint used was humbrol 76 green and 33 black with revell 93 for the visible brass fittings (safety valves) which have then been washed in a black watered down with turps. Pickups are fitted to all wheels except the pony trucks. It is fitted with DCC and more recently a sound chip has been added. It is a good runner and has been seen hauling realistic loads when in use on the exhibition layouts.

These locomotives were all named by the WAGR after mountains in WA and I chose to do 548 Gardner as there were good detailing photos available in existing books etc and to have one of the less obvious choices such as the 3 preserved locomotives.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

JGH 8726 Hydrochloric Tank Wagon

Whilst assisting in the preparation of  Serpentine for the June exhibition, Graham placed a very unique tank wagon into the test train consist which immediately drew my attention. This was a model of JGH 8726, a Hydrochloric tank wagon which in 1:1 scale only one was ever built in this format .

Details of the prototype and model of the wagon can be found in the April 1999 and August 2000 editions of the AMRM respectively and are still available as a back order so we won't go into fine detail here. More prototype information is available from Andy's web site located at

Basically the underframe was built using Railwest Models GS open wagon kit and the tank was modified from a Triang "TT" tank wagon. The lettering was provided by Roger Palmer who with the aid of his computer and Coreldraw produced a bright red with white lettering wrap to fit around the tank. 

The end result is very impressive indeed.