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SSM 42' Flat Assembly Guide

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I've done a few, so here's the alternative to weshty's instructions - it's useful if you have more that one to do. Here goes....


What you'll need..




A stanley knife you're willing to have its blade ruined, a scalpel, a flat file, a tweezers, a nail scissors, ZAP glue ( it sticks brass )a cocktail stick (shown in red..ahem), and mini clamps - gardening clamps or clothes pegs.




These are the main parts of the kit, and though scary at first, it's not at all - so shall we get going?



When you buy an airfix kit, they force you to do the cockpit first, hardest bloody bit, so that everything afterward is easy. Same logic here. Let's tidy up the whitemetal parts first.




There are a few lumps and bumps from the manufacturing process that need to be removed. Whitemetal dust is poisonous, so only file it in a way that won't lead to your death please. (don't lick the dust)




File the buffer plates to remove this seam.




Using a stanley knife, lob off the excess, leaving about 2mm of a shank sticking out. Use a file to remove any burrs. But don't lick the dust.




Grab the bogie sides and run them against a flat file to get a smooth face. This will help them adhere to the bogie sides...




'nuff said. Now clean your bench with domestos, and wipe it dry. Find the replacement etch as shown below.




Remove the parts with the Stanley, and set aside the two rectangular pieces on the left hand side.




Always fold the brass parts toward the seam so you end up with parts like so. - file down any burrs you find.




Grab the buffer plate as shown.




Force the brass into a 90 degree shape as shown.




There is a triple etched piece which houses the coupling - bend it like this.




As you cut out the pieces with the nail scissors, there will be brass dangleberries which need to be removed. That's how ^


Once these parts are assembled, it's time to proceed. Remove the large piece as shown and file off the edges.



Grab the central part as shown and using your fingers, bend the brass slowly...



  • Informative 1
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Bend in the upper part of the cage..




And bend in the top piece



When done it should be pretty tight - there are teeth on each side of the etch so it should marry pretty nicely.



Glue each seam and hold in place with clothes pegs or garden clamps.



While that's drying, locate the main frame on the etch.



There are four fold down tabs designed to assist in the placement of the solebars. Push them forward, then back, and repeat until they snap off. They are of no use whatsoever. (sorry des) Shown here in black.





Then there are the container lugs themselves - Some flats had many, some had few. I've chosen the prototype for the weedspray, so I've marked out the ones I don't need and lobbed them off.




Hold the "still flat" etch against the side of the bench and run a file in a downward motion only until you remove the burrs.




Once you are happy with the prototype deck, run a rib of superglue along the top of the cage sides and attach as shown above. Take your goddamned time with this, as its placement affects everything.




Once glued, grab the bufferbeam upstand tab like so and holding with thumb and forefinger, bend it to shape. Repeat with the other end.




Grab a cocktail stick and insert it through the bufferbeam openings. The folded plates you did earlier are handed left and right, so slot them on to the cocktail stick ensuring the etches are sat with their edges sitting to the very outer edge.




Repeat with the opposite edge and get the bufferbeam to hand.




Glue the turned bufferbeam to the end panel, ensuring that the buffer openings are true.




Once complete, and this might require some trimming with the file, insert the coupling housing cover as shown. At this point in the build it would be advantageous to "dry" fit a 40' container or similar, and to file off any excess brass that may obstruct placement of the container.

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Brilliant detail there! :tumbsup:


Once you are happy with the prototype deck, run a rib of superglue along the top of the cage sides and attach as shown above. Take your goddamned time with this, as its placement affects everything.


Is there something to guide you when joining these two parts, or is it just a careful eye?

Edited by aclass007
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As Airfix would have you know, the worst is over. It's a run in from here.


Find the cosmetic coupling hooks, and insert a piece of wire between two. Glue or Solder to laminate the two. Leave a few mm of wire either side - I'll explain later.




I've made a load of red marks to indicate the cut points on the remainder of the etch. Unneccesary methinks. Cut out those parts and trim off the burz.




There's a specific way of folding them. with a flat pliers, hold the main middle V and bend the outer piece inward. Once done, bend the smally bit in.



Repeat 9 times.



Apparently there is a methodology to these which still escapes me. Prototype says the first two are facing away from the buffer, and the central one is a mixed bag. Do whatever you want here, I'm blue in the face from trying to figure it out - you won't ever see it on a layout.




Slot them in like this, making sure the burzz are gone.



I've red marked the splasher solebar on the etch as shown. I've tried and failed to make this a few times, so for this build I've gone for the upper solebar - the azy one.




This is the pair of the clipped out and the ends turned.




Attach them to the centre of the underframe first and work outward, glueing/soldering as you go. At this point leave the chassis overnight if glueing with ZAP.




Take your previously worked buffers and insert them into the opes - there may be some work required to trim off excess whitemetal. Again, licking the stuff is not recommended. it's not crystal meth.




The vac pipes are really delicate - like a meth addict - don't try and force them any which way, just pop them in the opening and glue them home.




Once the buffers are on proper, lash plenty glue in under the bufferbeam - it'll never be seen, and this is the one part of the model likely for things to fall off.




Cut out the "container lug support trays" and fold them upward. Then take a break, 'cos that's what I'm doing, and I've ingested far too much *whitemetal dust than is possibly good for me.


*whitemetal dust = guinness



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Richie, fair dues sir. That's a great photo aid, couldn't be clearer. Truly a picture paints a thousand words. Must review that underside bracing piece construction with you. The cocktail stick bit is tidy, and delighted to see the re-etch is doing it's job as expected.


Those less gifted might want those solebar-tabs though ;)


I have a wadgeload of etches on order and should be restocked by late November. If any of you want some do let me know now as even these are getting allocated.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Just started my 42' Flats and found Richie's Guide very easy to follow, thought you need to keep an eye on the SSM instructions as well, (Richie does not cut out the sections on the spine to allow the waggon to run on a layout).


Looking forward to seeing the rest of the instructions please Richie and thanks again for making the assemble so easy to follow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll address those issues below K.


To carry on from where I left off, turn the almost complete chassis upside down and with the L shaped pieces above, place them such that the short part of the L shape sits up against the solebar and the end sits on top of the central spine cage sides. A little blob of glue to either and leave to dry for a minute. Approx location shown here in blue - these appear to differ on the prototype.




Next thing is to locate the container lug surrounds themselves. Cut, trim and fold each.




If you cut off some of the openings earlier, give yourself a wee pat on the back. You've less to make up! Drop them into their locations and a little drop of glue should secure them.




All that's left is the makers plate, which you can add on once the chassis is painted, if you'd like to add the yellow chevron etc.




Now to the bogies and coupling, and I apologise to the brass/soldering guru's here. Not in my skillset, but I had to give it a go.


The first thing I had to find was a tweezer/screwdriver that held the brass bolts. (Fiddlier than a fiddler at the fiddlers green festival)




Sometimes a bit of PVA on a screwdriver tip acts as a pickup if needed. Drop the bolt into opening in the cage. I secured it temporarily with a little drop of Zap superglue.




Repeat on the other side. Then add the washer (s) as required. There are two large and two small with a leg which you may need for clearance between the solebar and the top of the bogie sideframe.




Bend the bogie cage into shape.




These were attached with superglue, and it's only temporary. Any harsh drop, bang or shunting might cause the sideframes to fall off, so get the soldering iron out.




I got some plumbers flux, and rubbed it along the edges to be soldered with a cotton bud - not sure if it's the right approach but it works! "Tin" the edges like so, and attach the bogies, aligning the holes in the whitemetal with the holes in the brass.




Fabric shops sell these mini clothes pegs, which come in handy. Basically I run the soldering iron along the tinned portion to melt it, and edge it toward the whitemetal.




The clothes peg helps angle the melted solder toward the whitemetal, and it's done.


Now the coupling. There are two bars with a half etch. This bar can be folder over and a piece of wire or a staple can be used to connect the wagons for a fixed rake. Fine for the home user, but a bit of nuisance for club and exhibition runners. There is an alternative. Bend the bar once more creating a pocket into which an NEM plastic pocket can fit, like so.




Solder the bar onto the bogie..




Do a test fit of the bogie on its mount.




When you are happy, drop the nut on, and gently turn until the bogie swivels freely.


(Richie does not cut out the sections on the spine to allow the waggon to run on a layout).


There is no need to cut out the sections as the bogie sideframe is limited in it's rotation by the last "V" truss as shown above, but by all means chop and fold if it improves running.


I've run finished wagons on the shortest radius points, which I believe to be the tightest curves on RTR track and there is plenty rotation, but again, test on your own setup as you go.




Lastly, some thoughts on the build process having completed 7 so far.


- I'm using aftermarket washers for the bogie mounts - I just find them that bit more fluid.

- Paint and detail the bogies separately prior to assembly of the wagon.

- I bow in admiration to those that put this together with a soldering iron.


That's all :) Richie.

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Richie, love the latest addition.


Soldering the bogie sides makes complete sense and your approach will ensure that nothing gets melted, that shouldn't get melted.

I didn't design the coupling bar to be bent over or be used in quite that fashion but hell, it works....really well!


Frankly, I'm amazed that you didn't have to cut out the V trusses for clearance, just be careful out there...


"Fiddlier than a fiddler at the fiddlers green festival", yup, that's a 1/8" 10BA cheesehead screw for yah.


Overall a super addition to resources to help construct the 42'. Nice one.

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I need to tidy off this thread by answering a few queries raised.


Nelson - please don't leave the railway world you currently inhabit to model 70's freight. Far less weathering challenges, and we all need a bit GNR/NCC/BCDR in our lives. That's something my I wish my county down missus would say so me..... sob...


Aclass007 - alignment of the central spine is by eye only, but having something like a slow setting glue, like SLO-ZAP, would give you plenty time to get her right.


Kirley - thanks for pointing out the whole purpose of this wagon - running! Easily forgotten when in ones bubble.


Eamonn and Noel - no doubt versions will be seen on layouts in the new year, i'm looking forward to the variations that arrive - barrier wagon anyone?.... :-)


Scah - i'll email you tomorrow


Mulitvac, Red, Dive, and NIR - Looking forward to seeing what comes forth, again I hope it was of use.


Weshty - there's a slight detail on the solebar I'm not mad abou.........


Oh, I knew there was a purpose to this post! Nothing to do with whitemetal dust or the like - there are 3 spare tail lamp hangers, one brake wheel, four brake support brackets, and two entire bufferbeam assemblies when finished. After christmas, I'll put up a tutorial on how to turn a hornby freightliner.

Into something that passes as a 47'6" liner wagon using them spare parts and a bit of madness :-)




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I've enjoyed this Richie very concise and easy to follow. I'm trawling the internet trying to find a Freightliner Ridemaster bogie to make the non sole bar splasher wagon. Had a look at Colin Craigs but they would need some surgery to produce our type. I doubt Bachmann will make their FFA FGA bogies available and these would also need the same amount of work as the Colin Craig bogies to resemble ours.



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Decals for 42' Flats Can any one advise on where the decals go on the SSM kit? Besides the Serial Number' date=' there seems to be 3 other numbers, GRLK No., ULT No. & a DLT No.[/quote']


Photo taken yesterday Kieran hope it's of some help to you





P.S-there are not too many ex works/refurbished 42' wagons around only 47',if I see a 42'ill post the photo here.

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