Thursday, 8 June 2017

Getting the Roof Right

At the recent Modelling the Railways of NSW Conference, I purchased a 4 wheeled lourve van kit from Casula Hobbies. This particular kit was a model of the longer 11ft 6in wheel base version of the LV coded wagons. A few years ago, I had purchased an IDR 10ft wheel base van and the difference between the two versions can be seen in this photo of a wagon from the Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway website (  photographer unknown) shows the longer wheel base van sitting on top of a 10ft chassis.

Conceptually, both kits are the same, a cast body and a separate chassis. Details such as handrails can be added to the model. The main difference between the kits was that the Casula kit has a separate CGI roof. I understand that some wagons had the CGI removed but I elected to construct the van with the separate CGI roof.  The Casula kit included two CGI roofs from the GSV that needed to be cut to size, joined and then fixed to the body. My problem with this arrangement was that the battens were in the wrong locations and whole arrangement seemed too thick.

 I decided to create the roof from a commercial CGI product but the main challenge was to determine how this would be fitted to the van body. My research uncovered a few images that led me to deduce that the roof was supported by a number of ribs supporting the CGI sheet sandwiched between thing battens. I fashioned several strips of styrene to match this and fixed the roof to these.

The photos below show a side and end images of the van. The side image appears to be to be a reasonable representation of the prototype and compares reasonably with the IDR model of the10ft version. The photo from the end also seemed to match other photos from the same angle which I had found.

So, thinking it was completed, I started the painting with the usual coat of primer. Concurrently,  I also started to put together a few thoughts for this post. As I went searching for the Oberon Heritage Railway site to get the reference correct, I located a few of Keiran Ryan's photos ( ). These clearly showed that I had misinterpreted the support arrangements for the roof with independent brackets used to support the CGI and supporting battens. While the image from the side still seemed to work, the ends should show the individual supports rather than a continuous rib that I had built.  With a few choice words that cannot be printed, the roof came off, the outside ribs were removed and replaced with individual supports under the battens. The final version before painting is shown below.

Fortunately, I was able to correct this error but it makes me wonder how many others have fallen through the cracked. Probably quite a few I suspect!

Postscript. It never rails but it pours! During a visit to the great Epping Model Railway Club exhibition at Thornleigh on the weekend, I purchased an Austrains LV pack on special, so now I have five of these wagons plus the smaller IDR version.