Sunday, May 2, 2010

Learn to Love your Louvres

While waiting for the printer ribbons to arrive, I realised there wasn't much happening in the carriage works. Sure, there's about 14 or so 12 wheelers that need buffers, drawgear and bogie detail to be added but I have to buy the wheels and couplings. Then there's the EAM underframes, again waiting for wheels and couplings as well as the Trainorama S's and K's also waiting for new wheels.  And hanging over my head is the order for some LFX's from Mike McCormac so I'm being particularly frugal at the moment as the Capital Review Board won't release any extra funds.
With the that all in mind, I thought I'd start on the wagons for my No179 fruit express. I've got all the bits and pieces on hand including 10 x AR Kit MLV's and 2 Redfern Models MLV's (ex BCV). If you look at photo's of 179 Fruit Express in the '30's, there's a wonderful hotchpotch of bogie louvre vans making up the train including Thow BLV's, and cantilever underframe MLV's as well as the standard MLV's and ex BCV, MLV's. So, there will be some scratchbuilding required to make the louvre vans that aren't available commercially. Anyone got any ideas on how to scratchbuild louvres?
Anyway, I made a start on detailing the underframes of the AR MLV's

All original detail removed and new queen posts and brake cylinder supports added

10 MLV's ready for more detail

 Each queen post has 13 parts so there's a lot of fabrication to happen here which I'm about 2/3rds the way through. Maybe I should have made 1 and made some moulds and learnt how to do casting. I made 1 MLV about 10 years ago and I fabricated the queen posts for it so I'm following the same procedure.

And here it is, warts and all

The Redfern MLV will be a challenge but I think the bones of the model are OK. Well at least that's what I'm telling myself. Mind you the model is advertised as being caveat emptor so I shouldn't be too critical. You be the judge.

This is going to be fun?

Next week, I'll continue with the MLV's and I might even have a shot at some track work. Elscotto also said he will pop around this week to pick up his D's and a brake lever jig I made for him so we can have a night talking about long as he doesn't point out any deficiencies in my handywork ;-)


  1. G'day Robert :o)

    Nice to see your fine models 'in person' today at the Early Days convention. I think AMRM will be printing a very nice Gallery in the October issue! I just read your post mentioning the Redfern/Powerline MLV. I recently finished one of those myself. You may find my notes of use: It's down towards the bottom of the page.

    James McInerney

  2. Wow, thanks heaps James, really appreciate it. I've had your websites in my favourites for a long time now and your models have long been a source of inspiration for me. Funnily enough the sight of your MLV was the reason I bought a version myself. I'd bought a Redfern E wagon but was not impressed at all. In fact, I would have been better scratchbuilding it so to see how your MLV turned out, convinced me to get a MLV as well.

    Thanks again James,