Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Sleeper Traffic

The main justification for the short Mount Windeatt branch line on Philip's Creek is the Parker Brothers Saw Mill and its supply of sleepers for NSWGR as well as timber products to other markets.

As a consequence, the release of InFront's 18ft sleeper wagon  caught my attention, and I lashed out and purchased ONE at the Thornleigh exhibition some weeks ago.  My intention was to construct this one as a test and then purchase a few more when finances permitted. Unfortunately, the latest version of InFront's website advises that the wagon is now out of stock. Nice plan - fail!

It's a great kit with some fine detail. I thought the instructions included in the kit were basic but the manufacturer's website included additional photos that provided a useful supplement. Unfortunately, now that the model has been 'sold out', these photos have disappeared.

While the assembly of the kit was uncomplicated, I wasn't prepared for the partial disintegration of the Austrains chassis. It seems that everything on the chassis was a press fit and, progressively, both buffer beams came off, closely followed by the brake cables coming adrift. A bit of superglue fixed the problem but getting things back together required younger eyes and more dexterous fingers than my clumsy digits.If I was building another kit, pre-emptive gluing of the chassis components would be a requirement.

I also wasn't that happy with the decals when they were applied but I suspect that it had more to do with my technique than the product as supplied.

The colour photo on the website inspired me to be fairly generous with the rust colourings as part of the weathering. I understand that the wagons had a fairly hard life. However, it's also clear from the photo of the sleeper load that I have more work to do on the timber.

All in all, a nice addition to Philip's Creek!


  1. Phil,

    Looks very nice indeed. I was lucky enough to snare the last 5 kits I believe...due to a mix up at Hobbyland. I have all but completed 1 and will wait until the juices flow enough to finish the remaining 4...but your example may just spur me on.

  2. Rod,

    Thanks. Will look forward to seeing a photo of them in a diorama or traversing Fish River.

    cheers Phil

  3. Phil
    Ladder rungs are fun aren't they !! If you managed to get them straight please do tell ?!

  4. Gary,

    You're right, and have reminded me of an issue that I had forgotten about when I wrote the post. The ladders did provide a challenge and, I'm sorry, I wasn't able to get them straight. I considered drilling oversize holes to allow me some flexibility but thought the webs were too thin. I ended up drilling on an angle that meant that the ladder rungs are not parallel to the end plate. However, the this problem isn't very apparent when viewed from most angles except looking directly downwards.

    The only other way I might try for a future model, if it is rereleased, is to drill from the side closest to the ladder with a long drill and then putty up the holes on the outside web.

    cheers Phil

  5. Phil
    I have been told that these wagons also had separate ladders attached so may be a possibility. Could do ladders out of brass. Would like to see some pics though.
    Yes the helicopter view is not good !

  6. I haven't seen too many photos of this wagon, so can't comment on separate ladders. I wonder if these may have been local later life modifications. Brass would work if you are good with a soldering iron. Unfortunately, I'm not.

    cheers Phil