Sunday, June 17, 2012

AZ 435 – A Variation

The choice to produce a model of AZ 435 was brought about by a desire to make a variation on my original AZ model described in a previous article on this blog.

 The requirements of the variation were that the coach needed to have survived in original car body form retaining all of its crown light windows and matchboard sides to enable use of the existing AZ kit without having to make too many changes. The next requirement was that it should have survived to the end of the steam era and be in the Green and Cream livery with Flettner Vents on the roof. The last criteria was that hopefully I would find a picture of such an AZ with a later version “Half Stable Type” centre door that would make it different to my previous model. That picture was found in the WAGR Carriage Bible in the form of AZ 435 as seen here in this picture from the Murray Rowe/Geoff Blee Collection.

And so armed with evidence and keen to add another carriage to my fleet, I set about building the WestOzModels AZ body kit, achieving body completion in a relatively short time.

During construction there would be a need to "kit bash" the centre door to achieve the Half Stable type door variant from the original door as seen in picture A below. This was achieved by carefully cutting away the centre panel and the frame at the top of the panelling between the frames of the door as can be seen in picture B. The next job was to gently file away the remainder of the beading to achieve a smooth door frame. Next a new middle frame section for the doors was cut to size from 20 thou styrene sheet and inserted in the correct position between the frames and then a section of strip styrene was added to show the separation of the two door sections as can be seen in picture C. A section of styrene was then cut to size to fill the gap in the lower door as seen in picture D. Picture E shows the finished result.

A “first” for me on construction of this carriage, was use of a styrene roof which I am pleased to say worked really well. This involved cutting a section of 20 Thou styrene, slightly larger than the size required for the roof, and then I grabbed my metal vacuum cleaner pipe and tightly bound the styrene sheet to the outside of the pipe with black electrical tape as seen in the picture below (left top). I then stood the pipe in the kitchen sink and carefully poured 2-3 full kettles of boiling water through the pipe. This action heats the metal pipe and the heat is transferred to the styrene plastic causing it to take the shape of the pipe. After removal from the pipe the styrene has held its curved shape. After matching the styrene to the coach and trimming to size, the roof material was held in place on the carriage simply using some masking tape and glued in place. The ends then had strip bargeboard added under the roof material and then the excess roof length was filed back to match the bargeboard.

With these jobs done it was onto the detail work under the floor which has some battery boxes, water tanks, a transformer box and of course the required brake equipment of Vacuum cylinders and V hangers, and the supporting taution bars as can be seen in this picture. Other detail including Concertinas, Flettner vents on the roof and end detail was also applied.

With all the major work done its onto the paint to really bring the model to life . The carriage is sprayed using a Holts auto spray grey primer and Humbrol paints (sprayed). Decals were then applied and the body finished with a Wattyl Estapol Matt spray. Windows were then applied using Micromark MicroGlaze.

And so here is the finished product built from a WestOzModels AZ bodykit using detailing parts fromWestOzModels and Railwest

The real AZ 435 (pictured near top of page) entered service on the WAGR on 29/9/1928 working as a first class sleeping car on the long distance expresses. After cessation of the overnight express services in the early 70’s, the car saw use on tour trains before being written off in March 1984 and was sold to a private owner for use with Hotham Valley Tourist Railway where it remains today.

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