Sunday, March 18, 2012

No 179 Fruit Express

Since the house renovations, I haven't felt like building things which means I didn't much feel like working on the bench work. There's not a lot to do to finish and like all good modellers, I decided to leave it unfinished and move on to another previously started project, my No 179 Fruit Express. This train was a regular D57 class roster in the '30's and being a regular runner, just had to be modelled. When loading was high, they even ran multiple trains, 179a, 179b, etc.
As a project, I'd bought 10 A&R MLV kits to match the one I'd built about 10 years ago.

Here's the one I finished about 10 years ago

Photo's of 179 in the early '30's usually show a delightfully mixed train of various types of MLV's and BLV's. Hopefully, Andian Models will release their BLV kit soon but in the meantime, I'll have to be content with the A&R MLV's plus the truly horrible Redfern MLV's of which I have 2. More on these later. I'll have to scratch build the other variants but that will be in the future.
For the moment, I've removed all the detail from underneath the A&R MLV's in preparation for building all of the underframe detail from scratch as the truss rods etc were not to my liking. I also removed the buffers, removed the cast on hand rails on the sides and drilled all the hand rail and lamp bracket holes. I wish the model makers wouldn't cast detail like hand rails onto models and would instead just leave them off. I guess these days with the quality of the models being produced, we won't see cast on details on the RTR models. That being said, I find it difficult not to change things and improve them.
Anyway, I've removed the detail and begun build up the various detail items on the underframe. I've added Evergreen I beams for the bottoms of the queen posts and have cut and drilled sections of 3/64" rod and glued Detail Associates .019" wire in the ends. To these will be added some Evergreen channel and then brass flat bar to make the truss rods. I've built up the brake gear using brass wire and flat bar as well as Evergreen channel for the brake cylinder mounts. I've also built up the bolster gussets out of 10 thou styrene and the hand brake using styrene, brass wire, Ian Lindsay etched brass brake wheels plus some chain.

Here's how it looks so far

A bit closer for detail

Just have to finish off all of them to this point after which I'll tackle the truss rods, fabricate the hand rails and lamp brackets, build up the  extended buffers and I'll be done. Then a trip to the paint and decal shop, a dunk in some mud and job done.

Easy Peasy........I wish!