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Goods vehicles

A train of “Lollypop” vehicles departs Butterknowle behind Dill.

The HLR's goods vehicles currently comprises the following:

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Drop-side 4-plank open

The first (and only for quite a while) goods vehicle was this kit from Brandbright (GS6). Getting the drop sides to work properly was a bit fiddly, but worth it in the end. (The packing cases in the picture were home made by gluing thin wood veneer - from a delaminated tea-chest which had been standing in the rain for too long! - to a solid block of wood.)

Painted with acrylics in ‘standard HLR grey’ with black metalwork and lightly weathered. I like nice pristine carriages (though I think a nearly matt finish looks best), but goods vehicles are another matter! The lettering was done before weathering with a cheap white ‘gel’ pen and a lettering stencil; dead easy!

One day, back in January (2004), the weather forecast threatened snow. Knowing that in these temperate climes any snow we get usually lasts but a day or two, I was galvanised into making a snow plough; something that had crossed my mind every winter - when it was too late. It was easiest and quickest to attach it to a wagon, rather than to a loco, and when the snow did arrive (for a single day!), it was ready for action. A separate article about the snow plough gives construction details and some pictures of it in action.

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4-plank opens

A couple of I.P. Engineering wagon kits added to the complement. They're a little narrower than the 4-plank above which looks just a little too wide to my eyes. One of these wagons is usually sheeted, mainly to avoid having to find anything to put in it. I had five minutes of fun simulating some broken strapping when I discovered that one of the whitemetal castings wasn't formed properly and I couldn't be bothered to send it back. They're painted to match the previous wagon.

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Treacle tankers

The HLR was in need of some tanker wagons. The full story, and how a couple of I.P. Engineering tanker kits came to be transformed into something far more interesting, is explained in a separate topic.

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Bogie bolsters

A pair of bogie bolsters from Binnie Engineering. They spend their entire lives moving the same three logs around. A short length of rail with a loop of wire soldered to each end makes a rigid coupling bar to keep them a suitable distance apart.

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PW department wagon

In the middle of February (2004), we received a rather late(!) Christmas present from some friends in France; half a dozen scented candles in a small wooden tray. Allowing my wife to have the candles, I - seeing it's potential - made off with the wooden tray. This tray, disregarding its lurid green colour, was about the right size for a small low sided wagon. Just what the PW department needed. I first, not entirely successfully, wiped the tray thoroughly with white spirit in an attempt to get rid of the altogether inappropriate smell. Then I attached solebars and buffer beams, and gave the whole thing a couple of coats of acrylic in ‘standard HLR grey’. Corner strapping was made from the thick foil of a tomato purée tube with bolts embossed from the back. The slightly rounded, non-business, end of a 1mm drill does the trick for the latter. Buffers, wheels and axleboxes from Binnie Engineering finished it off and the PW department was the proud owner of a new wagon made in no time at all and at minimal cost.

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Small goods wagons

To complement coaches No. 1-3, these are a couple of I.P. Engineering ‘Lollypop Farm’ open wagon kits. Apart from scribing the planking on the plywood sides before assembly, end stanchions and some extra ironwork were added to make them look a little less ‘plain’. Strapping, as usual, made from my favourite tomato purée tube, with rivets embossed from the back. Usual HLR grey livery with black ironwork, plus some judicious grubbiness and a hint of rust, in appropriate places.

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Small guards van

The I.P. Engineering ‘Lollypop Farm’ guards van is just the right size for the wagons above but, to my mind, needs some extra work to make it plausible. The main problem is the lack of an end wall on the enclosed section, with just a bench seat across the van - which presumably the poor guard has to climb over to get inside! So, the bench had to go, and a new wall made. This was cut to the same size as the other end and a door frame added with strip wood. A door handle was made from copper wire, partly flattened and shaped appropriately, with a small disk behind it.

The other thing I didn't like about the kit was the sliding doors, which it's assumed will be glued in place. They had to slide! The doors slide inside the fixed walls. Bottom runners and outside top runners were made from strip wood. The inside runner at the top was made from a piece of stiff, plastic-coated, steel wire - the sort used by florists. A short length of coating was removed from each end and the wire glued into holes in the end walls, giving the whole structure some rigidity. Once the roof is glued on, the doors are prevented from moving upwards. Door handles were added; made from brass wire.

Footboards were made from lollypop sticks - just the right length (is that why they're called ‘Lollypop’ wagons?!) - with brackets from thick copper wire, bent over at the end and flattened. The brake standard is a cocktail stick with brackets from the trusty tomato paste tube and topped with a brake wheel from a Cambrian Models moulding. Finished off with a lamp bracket from P & J Models on the end. Once again, usual HLR light grey livery plus a modicum of weathering.