Friday, 7 September 2012

A Rake of CCHs

Well, not quite yet!

About a month ago, I found two Trax CCH kits in my local hobby shop at a price that seemed reasonable (that said, I have since seen similar kits on Ebay for a lot less). I am still a bit puzzled by the marketing of these because I thought that Trax as a brand of model railway products had ceased quite a while ago.

The kits are very basic and consistent with the AMRM review back in 1981, so it really does seem like a time warp. However, I had a few spare wheel sets and thought that these kits could be the start of a rake of CCH/LCHs that would supplement the transport of coal out of the Philip's Creek mine.  

I assembled them without difficulty adding a few extra details including buffers from my collection of spares. Unfortunately, I found that I needed 25mm wheel sets and I had 26 mm. However, I fitted them but plan to replace them as soon as I get the opportunity. I also have to source some brake shoes.

After I had constructed the first one, I realised the interior was very smooth and not consistent with a timber surface.For the second wagon, I scored the inside in an attempt to get a timber grain finish and deeper groves to simulate individual planks. I'll get a better idea of how it works once the wagon is painted and weathered.

I also tried two widths of styrene for the centre spreader bars. I think I will standardise on the thinner version.

Finally, not surprisingly, the wagons are very light. I have added weight to the bottom of the hopper and in the four locations shown on the photo below.Time will tell if it is sufficient.

Now for the painting and weathering and I will also need to acquire some appropriate decals.

There are a few articles on weathering the CCH.  James McInerney's blog entry early last year is probably the most recent that I can recall. However, coincidentally, the August issue of the Australian Railway History has a great photo of a CCH taken in 1971 on its cover. All of this information will be a great help when I start this activity.