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Building an LNWR Picnic Saloon

Started by Nick, Nov 21 2021 17:06

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Assembling the brake gear was tricky because everything gets in the way of everything else. That's just how the prototype was. Basically, you start at the bottom (with the chassis inverted) and work upwards. It was easier to use the rivets supplied in the kit as joiners this time. I did a temporary assembly. Initially I hoped that I could do a, if not complete then partially complete, assembly and still remove the wheels for painting, but it was not to be. The whole lot will have to come apart again for painting.

I turned up some little washers to go over the outer ends of the brake bars. They are definitely visible and should improve the looks. I will fit them after painting.

Back to the headstocks, Mike clarified for me the various parts of the vac pipes, but I decided not to fit them yet because they are attached to the chassis and the body, so I'll wait until those two parts are attached and then I can judge the final size of the vac pipe accurately. Now I glued the buffer bodies in place with 24hr epoxy.



The body is etched brass, inner and outer sides and inner and outer ends. The etches are first class. The definition of the framing and window surrounds could not be better, and everything fits together precisely.

The inner sides are curved below the waist, and I didn't find that as easy as the instructions suggested it should be. The engineer in me said that rolling bars would be the best solution, but mine weren't long enough. Had I known about it when I made them ... 20/20 hindsight again. I tried various solutions like bending by hand which seemed it could go wrong too easily, or pressing down with a roller on a thick pad of bubblewrap, but I'm not heavy or strong enough to make much impression. Finally I clamped the side in the vice between two cylinders, the important one being a surplus piece of waste pipe I'd been hoarding for just this purpose, and pushed hard with a steel rod.

Flanges at top and bottom were then bent by clamping between two pieces of hardwood.

This is the inner side finished. It has lines half-etched on the inside where it is curved, and these show up on the outside surface because it doesn't bend into a continuous curve, but something more like a set of flats. I ran a file over it just to show them up and to check that the bending was reasonably uniform both up and down and along the side. The finish doesn't actually matter because it is all covered by the outer layer.

I feel a bit ambivalent about the choice of etched brass for the sides. On the plus side, the finish of the outer sides is superb. On the minus side, the curving of the inner sides wasn't that easy. An easier-to-work material or a precurved part would be nice, but I wouldn't want to compromise the definition of the outer sides.



I didn't attempt to pre-curve the outer layers of the sides, but instead soldered them above the waistline where it's flat before assembly, then clamped the lower edges to make the curve and seamed the join. Worked just fine.

There wasn't much in the way of detailing - a lot of it is better left until after painting. The handrails at one end are not the usual round section, but half round (again, why?) and of course bent on the diameter, the difficult way. For just two handrails I decided it wasn't worth the trouble of making some fancy tooling, so I clamped it to the bench and bent it around a piece of material of suitable size, all the while pressing down hard.

Inevitably there was some twist but eventually the shape came out right. It was then cut to length, the ends bent over and filed to round to fit the holes in the body.

And here is a trial assembly of the chassis, body and roof, which isn't quite right yet. The roof is a resin casting, nicely finished but rather flexible, and I might have to think how to make it keep its shape properly. But it's starting to look like a coach now!


The roof is attached to the body by three screws along the centreline. Because of the flexibility of the resin casting of the roof, to get it sitting down properly on the sides and ends it was necessary to pull up the screws considerably, and that caused the ridge line to go into a ridge and furrow. That can be seen in the photo of the trial assembly in the previous post.

The solution was to glue a steel strip on the inside of the roof. That made it a lot more rigid and it now sits properly on the body.

It's now ready for the paintshop, and after that the final body details and the interior.