Thursday, 22 May 2014

Back Conversion - the consequence of being a pedant

I have always been something of  a pedant when it comes to things historic and I am usually frustrated about the inaccurate portrayal of history or equipment that was not in use during the events depicted. However, in my younger days, I was a bit more relaxed about such inconsistencies in the rolling stock used on Philip's Creek, but as I am getting older, and possibly acquiring a bit more knowledge,  the pedantry is becoming pronounced.

Although I broadened my modelling time period to about six years to allow me to run a greater range of locomotives through Philip's Creek, I have set the end of the steam in NSW as the right hand boundary of my interest. As a consequence , I recently found myself 'hoisted on my own petard' and had to address the issue of rolling stock that was not in service in the late 60s/early 70s.

Over the last few years, I have been gradually upgrading my Powerline and Lima passenger coaches. Interiors were added several years early, but recently, I have been concentrating on external elements, specifically, roof detail and hand rails. The last wagon to be upgraded was a Powerline KB Parcel Van shown opposite. Although I was aware that these KBs had been modified from surplus MHO guards vans, some preliminary research determined that the conversions occurred in the early 1970s, possibly around 1973-74. I decided that it was better to give myself some certainty and so the KB van should be returned to its earlier form as a MHO guards van. And, if I have got my understanding of the timings incorrect, I have just added a MHO to the fleet at the expense of a KB parcel van.

The conversion itself was not difficult, with the roof treatment again using masking tape to simulate the malthoid strips and new torpedo vents fitted once the strips had been set in place. As an aside, I have tried both techniques suggested in recent AMRM articles, teabags and masking tape, as a means of creating the malthoid roof. I think teabags provide a marginally better surface but the masking tape strips are much easier to apply. I also apply a thin film of PVA glue to the finished roof to help seal the work. The photo opposite shows the body as well as the roof before the addition of the torpedo vents.

I purchased an Ian Lindsay under-body kit and used some left over MHG doors and louvre panels for the guard's doors and the coffin/animal compartments. To date, the van has been painted, and weathering to the chassis and roof has also been completed. I am waiting to purchase suitable decals possibly at the Thornleigh exhibition, if not before.

The final photo is a similar but updated version of the first, now with the newly converted MHO immediately behind the 48. The changes only seem minor from this distance, but at least now, it can pass a steam locomotive at Philip's Creek without incurring the frustration of this pedant.



  1. Hi Phil.Another project coming along nicely.For the tanker domes try might have some luck if you don't let me know and i'll see what I can come up with.All for now Peter

  2. Peter,

    Thanks for your comment and the address. I'll send a quick email off today.
    Hope the leg continues to mend.

    cheers Phil