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GSWR 6w Bk3rd from a SSM kit

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Although my main interest is the Midland I found it hard to resist at least a couple of GSWR 6 wheelers for a 4mm broad gauge layout if I ever get round to building one. The coaches were released as a set of 5 coaches about 20 years ago when the business was owned by Paul Greene an S Scale modeller Kilbrandon is based on Killorglin on the Valencia Branch. http://www.s-scale.org.uk/gallery15.htm.

The 6w brake 3rd caught my eye with its gas lighting, birdcage look out and skylight lasting in service into the late 1950s, most of the GSWR  3rd class coaches seem to have been converted to carry turf during the emergency with the slightly more spacious 1st & 2nd class coaches remaining in services into the CIE era, the slightly more modern and spacious MGWR 5 compartment 3rds replacing the 6 compartment GSWR 3rds on branch line and suburban trains even in deepest GSWR territory.

I started the assembly saga on my Tales from the Carriage Shop thread but though building these coaches was worth a separate thread, with relatively few modellers apparently prepared  to assemble a metal kit or attempt a scratchbuild.

These coaches are a fairly advanced design and relatively easy to assemble compared with a high proportion of the etched brass coaches produced by UK manufacturers. The SSM coach kits are available complete with wheels and are basically designed for slot and both together construction, I use solder for joining the majority of components and sub assemblies as its faster and stronger than epoxy or superglue. I used an 18 Watt Antex iron with 145 degree solder and a citrus based flux available from DCC Concepts for most of the assembly work on this coach. I wash the sub assemblies in warm water to remove flux residue after soldering and store in an ice cream container as the combination of acetic acid (citrus) and heat during soldering tarnishes the brass and leads to verdigris. 


Hinges are represented by strips that slot through from inside the coach, much simpler than fixing individual hinges supplied with some kits.


Hinge strips soldered in place, end steps fitted in a similar manner. 


Hinges fitted, guards lookout or ducket before fixing, the ducket sides have tabs that slot into the side of the coach.


Ducket sides soldered in position. I flux the joint and pick up a very small bead of solder on the iron to minimise the clean up needed.IMG_2055.thumb.JPG.d9f5a64590816649d5d4cf6b60b8811a.JPG

Reverse rod formed in ducket side by rolling around a piece of brass or steel rod (handle of hand vice!)IMG_2056.thumb.JPG.0e0c8a2a8f9e5e98729bbcd9d6c8bfba.JPG

Strip of waste brass clamped to inside of ducket with stainless steel clip for soldering, hand vice on right.


Rear of ducket with reinforcing strips/spacing strips fitted. I kept the strips a min of .4mm back from the edge to provide a seating on the ducket edges.


Ducket tacked in place.



Ducket secured at bottom  with solder. Detailing to side is nearly complete window droplights and side lamps to be fitted. I will add the door handles and grabrails after the model is painted

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With the majority of the soldering complete I neutralised any flux residue by dunking the kit sub assemblies in boiling water, dried off with a lint free cloth then cleaned off the majority of the tarnish with a combination of a fine abrasive block and a fibre glass brush


Body mounted on chassis although the majority of the components are soldered in place the vents over the doors & springs are fixed with Medium Zap (CA glue)


1½ Bogie Chassis from below, I need to replace the 28mm pin point axles with plain 26mm axles to allow the bogies to articulate fully


Chassis from above on 3' radius curved track


Body sub-assemblies. The middle hole in the top plate is for bolting the completed body assembly to the chassis


Sides and ends bolted together with 12BA bolts


¾ view of coach very little cleaning up of solder required with steps, hinges slotted through from inside the coach.


Possible mid-late 1950s passenger train, 4w luggage vans were regularly used with 6w stock on  branch line and secondary workings.

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Wonderful work looking fabulous. Filled with nostalgia looking at the subjects and the brass workmanship.

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Now to put a roof on it! The roof is supplied flat and can be formed by forming/rolling back and forth with a suitably sized dowel, piece piece of metalrod or broom handle on a resilient surface, towels , or even foam camping mat/track underlay or rolling bars if you are into metalwork.


I got these for forming roofs for the tin vans, also use them for rolling loco boilers and anything curved.


Test for fit, the secret is to form the curve gradually and test as you go, I use a special bending jig in conjunction with the rollers for forming roofs on modernish stock with compound curves.


The birdcage look out and skylight in the luggage area gives these vans a lot of character, the outline of the skylight is half etched on the roof and the designer has thoughtfully provided holes in the corners for starting a saw cut.


The piercing saw with a fine toothed blade is one of the traditional tools used in scratchbuilding locos and rolling stock.


I use a piece of MDF to support my work and cut on the upstroke while using a piercing saw, I use a fine toothed blade for cutting thin material like etched or sheet brass to minimise the risk of the material snagging on the blade. Good practice is to cut inside the line then finish off with a fine file, but I do not always have the patience🙄


Cut out formed in roof now to tidy up with a file.



The rectangular piece of brass forms the base for the birdcage and hides the cut edge of the opening


Assembly of the birdcage is simple slot and tab construction everything fits together accurately, I use plenty of flux and the minimum of solder between the base and birdcage frame, the stainless steel clamp is to hold the frame in position while soldering.


Starting to look like a coach, I started the skylight in the same discussion the disaster struck with these tiny pieces of brass capatulting across the room when I tried to solder the skylight frame together, but that's another days work


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