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SSM Ammonia Wagon - Assembly Guide

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I'm told there are boxes of these lying on shelves the length and breadth of workbenches, so no better time to do this. I built one of six a few months ago, all glued, and promptly lost the instructions, so to build the remaining 5 I did it based on experience. I've done a few things assways as I went along, but I think this is the most straightforward method.


Also, I'm a brass novice, but I found that none of the scary items like resistance soldering gear and complex jigs are required for the job. A standard issue soldering iron, plumbers flux, and a roll of solder do perfectly fine, and I'd encourage anyone eager to try brass kits to give it a go on this one, as many of the joints and welds will be hidden under the tank. Only you'll know they are there :)


Superglue can be used on this kit also, same process as below. And for folding things, always fold into the etch side. :tumbsup:




First things first, a clean bench, some choons on, and a drop of Modeller's Elbow.




Oh and the main etch for the kit of course. Like airfix kits that get you to make up the awkward stuff first, and then do the easy bits, that's how this should be approached. Remove the buffer beam pieces (2) and fold up the top flange only. The lower etch is decorative only.




Next remove the components for the battery box housing. The outer doors have to be folded 45 degrees like so .




There are 2 webbed pieces that fit into that outer door, and the main box folds up like so. The enclosure is the same size as the completed door cover, so a bit of tweaking is required to get the door cover to fit over and align with the holes. (There are 6 different versions of this box on the wagons I'm doing, a wee bit confusing!)




Remove the release wheel supports. Note that they are handed right and left to match on either side of the wagon, and bend up the top piece.




There are four coupling hooks. Remove and just tidy up the hook end, don't worry about extras at the rear. Pro-tip here :P My brother in-law is a cattle farmer who gave me a present of this veterinary clamp, a vet left after her. I'd recommend getting one, preferrably a new one via an online shop ;) Anyway, clamp two of the hooks together, give it a light coating of flux... and with a small bit of solder on the tip of the iron, just run it over the surface. Repeat with the other two hooks.




The buffers next - take the four out and either by rubbing on a bit of wet and dry sandpaper or a file, remove the seam lines on the outside of the plate and any large lumps or bumps. Check by passing them through the bufferbeam for a not too tight, not too loose fit.




Remove the vacuum release levers and trim off the excess.




There are two little solebar wheels and four larger release wheels needed. Find the appropriate brass rod and do like this.






Clip off the excess..and a tiny bit of flux on the centre. Hold the wheel in place with a tweezers also, otherwise the solder on the tip will suck it up.




Turn the rod around and repeat. Then cut in half for the smaller wheels. For the larger ones, only attach one wheel until it's fitted to the wagon.


Remove the main panel from the etch, and using a file, file back the areas shown in red by about 0.5mm. This is so that the solebars don't foul the buffer beam which would result in the buffers pointing down at the track.






Now, let's get it looking like a wagon now ;) Make sure you have it the right way up - the piece with the SSM copyright text should be facing up, and bend up the bufferbeams.




Part II Shortly.

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There are two options for aligning the holes in the buffer beam. One is a straightforward clamp








A light coat of flux on the underside where the two brass plates meet and run the tip of the soldering iron across it. You also see how the filing back of the red parts ^ will help keep the bufferbeam square.




There are holes beneath the buffer opening for a sort of handle/step type thing. There are no corresponding holes behind it and I broke a bit trying to drill it :mad: so you can just glue or solder some bent wire underneath. Might try staples later, already folded after all.....




using a ruler fold up the tank cradles.




Do the same with the cylinder support plates (4) Take care as these are double etched.




You should now have something that looks like this. (Clean your glasses...)







Insert the brackets you made earlier being sure that the correct pairs are used, and solder away from the solebar etch as shown.






She should look like this now.






Now for the boxes that are slung underneath, insert the tabs into the slots and pull them toward the outside of the wagon.




Shear off the protruding brass (this cuts down on the amount of solder, heat and messing) and add a lick of flux.




Load the tip with solder and just like a fairy's wand zapping a frog into human form, do similar to the joint with the soldering iron.




Next, fold the four upright plates like shown. These shelves will be the support trays for the vacuum cylinders.




PART III Shortly

Edited by Glenderg
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Flux the brass plate and the whitemetal, and using the fairy wand approach zap that sucker. Or four.




resulting in this....




Now I don't have a photo of the bogie support cradle, but fold it up, drop and solder a bolt into the centre pointing away from the tabs. You can see the two of them here after being inserted with the small bolt thread to go into the bogie.




Get a small bit of card and cut a notch out of it, about 1.5mm thick and place it over the wheel hole on the solebar as such.




Long finger and thumbnails don't conduct as much heat as bare skin, so hold the wheel in place while you solder from the rear. Once done, remove as much excess bar as possible, otherwise it will make a mess of folding up the solebars.




To tidy off the bufferbeam assembly. Locate the coupling bar cover and place it like so. A thin rib of solder at the bottom should do it.




Pop in your fat coupling hook and solder from the rear




Now put the buffers on. Align them as closely as possible and apply heat to the rear.




Bend the solebars ever so slightly to expose where the etch is on the opposite side.




There are two small brackets that fold up and need to be placed about 2mm in from the fold, half way between the boxes and the cylinders.




Insert the larger wheel and tube, add the outer wheel, solder as before and trim off the excess.


I lost the brass tubes that came with the kit, so I used a piece of 1.6mm styrene rod, and put the cylinder levers onto it like below. How that blob of solder got on the solebar, I've no idea. :((




I secured the rods with superglue to the supports and got the levers in approximately the right position. A drizzle of solder connects the levers to the cylinders.




There are identification plates to go on to the solebar.




They can be soldered on, actually they have to. They will fall off if glued on, guaranteed.




Don't worry too much as they won't really be seen when cylinder is added. But if the weld looks like a teenagers face, file it down a bit before you fold it up.




More to come later in the week.... Richie.

Edited by Glenderg
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  • 3 years later...

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