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One of the first items that I built was a grounded van body based on a set of drawings for a LSWR 12ton box van, this was fitted out as a workshop as a starting point to try the scale combinations. All the interior details are scratch built or made utilizing some of our castings.

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The chassis was built up out of sections timber 20mm x 12mm all glued and clamped to form a square solid base.

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The sides were built up on a frame and covered in 4mm ply that had been cut down into 12mm planks, then cross braces were added to complete the framework

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As this was a grounded workshop a window was cut in one end to let in some light over a workbench

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The roof was designed to lift off so a sturdy frame was built up and with roof spars added

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This was then planked with thin 1mm ply strips and finally covered with a cut up pillow case soaked in PVA to represent a canvas roof

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During this stage the doors were built and hung on our hinges along with developing the working door catch

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Dummy bolts and the cut off remains of the couplings were added to the chassis

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The whole body was masked off on the inside and sprayed in Red oxide primer to give a good base coat for the lettering and weathering. (The paint spray can gives a good idea of the size of this van body)

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The whole body was given several washes of grime and in between the sides were rubbed down with wire wool to degrade the paintwork further once this had been done the lettering was applied, this came from a set of 16mm scale L&B wagon transfers and was fixed in place with Decalset to get them to blend into the woodgrain, these were then aged by scratching away at the lettering to show how the paint had cracked with sunlight

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Then it was time to turn attention to the interior …


The sides were clad in 1mm ply sheet cut to a scale 8x4 painted white and given a grimy wash

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A workbench was fabricated along with a set of wooden shelves to go on the back wall above the workbench is a set of shelves for boxes of screws etc. and bolted onto the bench is one of our bench vices along with a host of detail parts made from a variety of items...  


The detail parts on the shelves were fabricated from plasticard, modified 4mm building parts, including scrap items from the kitchen  part of a pumper soap bottle, including the remains of a shaver, old N gauge loco parts such as part of a armature, toy cars parts all these were then given a rusty paint finish, the cylinder head gaskets hanging up were made from a plastic packaging box with the holes drilled or punched in for the cylinder heads.

The tool chest on the bench came from a set of Lego with the top covered in 10thou plasticard a drawer left open and filled with 7mm scale whitemetal spanners

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The pictures below show how the detail parts where created largely out of Lego and Plasticard

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Once the boxes had been completed they were given a coat of a matt earth colour and labels added from a set of H0 wagon documentation – the font was too small to read without a magnifying glass so gave the right representation

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The pictures above show the process to make tool boxes using Lego bricks, the parts trays a simply a 8 block with the inside section machined out with an end mill cutter in the pillar drill and then plasticard glued inside for the base, this is then filled with mix of cut down veneer pins for bolts or scrap plastic rod, tubes all again given a wash over with grimy black / grey

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A search on the internet found a suitable old Meddings pillar drill to model this was fabricated up from plasticard, Lego, and brass tube a snapped off 10BA drill was inserted into the chuck to complete.


The various components for this build are shown above before final assembly and painting, this was fitted between the shelf unit and the workbench inside the box van 

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The final item fitted on the end of the boxvan was a nesting box; I found a set of drawings on the RSPCB web site and fabricated up my own for Blue Tits this is tiny at 12mm high and 6mm wide

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The picture above gives some idea of the size of 7/8ths with an N gauge 03 on the workbench – this pretty much represents a 5” gauge model loco

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