Sleeper Wagons

Recently was able to find a small slot in work bench schedule and do something rather different - build something for myself !
Purchased these at Thornleigh from Aaron Denning (InFront Models) and am glad I did as they are now out of stock till more Austrains chassis become available.
The cradle is a one piece casting which required very little flash removal at all, none at all in some instances, and drilling out of 0.4 mm holes to insert ladder rungs and hand rails cut from supplied wire stock. Drilling these rung holes proved a challenge, even with the dimples quite clear I found it difficult to drill them straight and as a consequence some of the rungs look a little 'how ya goin' ! Now whilst this could be put down to 'in service abuse' it still messed with my head not being able to work out how get the drill bit in there properly, I'm sure it can be done. An etched brass fret contains the stanchions to hold the sleepers in place and these are glued into 0.4 mm holes drilled into the ends of the bolsters. Take care that they are facing the correct direction and don't be too stingy with the glue or they will fall out with a little handling.
Removal of the weight from the chassis comes next. Take care handling these chassis' as the detail, whilst quite strongly built, has a propensity to un-attach itself and disappear into the black hole under the work bench ! The weight is consigned to the bits box for future use.
The kit comes supplied with two sleeper load castings which have nice definition and the sleepers appear to be just about in scale. Some flash needs removal and I gave mine a going over with a stainless steel toothbrush sized wire brush to add a bit more texture. I then sanded the base of each casting on a block to ensure it would sit flat in the cradle.
Washing time, this is where you will find out how well you glued the stanchions in ! Usual warm soapy water and dry well. I stuck mine under the bench lamp for a few hours to make sure. Etch prime everything then a coat of Tamiya German grey for the chassis and cradle and Tamiya flesh for the sleeper loads. I brush detailed the loads using Tamiya flat brown and hull red in small amounts.
Finish off, a day or two later, with a wash of Mr Kelly's patented isocol and black Raven oil. I measured out 1ml of isocol into a medicine cup and added 1 drop of Raven oil. You can always add more coats !
Decals supplied with this kit, for these less than perfect eyes, bordered on micro surgery. Why are white lettering decals printed on white paper ?? Aaron has provided many options for decaling but oh so close together on the sheet ! I used embroidery scissors combined with my normal glasses plus the magnifier of my bench light to cut out the required numbers, depot and the standard lettering for these wagons. There are two little oops' with the decals, the first is "Ways and Works" should be "Way and Works" and the other is the printing for "Werris Ck". Have a look under the magnifier and you will see what I mean !
Add plenty of rust and dust the wagon, I also lightly dust the sleeper loads as well, this may not show in the pic, and finish with your fav flat finish. The instructions advise gluing the loads in place and I doubt they would run empty due to the lack of weight but I am going to try a small dot or two of blue tack to hold them in so I can unload them in situ for future photo ops.
Very nice kit and satisfied my bent for unusual wagons. Three down and three to go.
In Yettobenamed perway siding on Werris Ck. Pic courtesy of Ray Pilgrim.


  1. Gaz,

    Nice job on the wagons...I have 5 kits here on hand and have almost completed 1...so a bit of inspiration is a good thing. I actually asked the crew at Hobbyland to leave out the cast loads as my plan is to utilise timber ( of course ) ...I am now thinking I made a mistake as with the chassis weight removed it is a struggle to get the weight up. After building one I am thinking I should have built the 5 as an assembly line project to maintain the creative juices. One other thing...are we to assume you have used the Raven Oil mix to weather the cast load???. If I have this fact correct then you are certainly a trail blazer and have unearthed another use for this stuff as I have only ever used it on timber.
    Well done and nice to see a post on your progress.
    Rod Kelly

  2. Hi Rod
    You would be 'pushin it uphill' to get the weight up with timber sleepers. Perhaps glue the sleepers together as a block then hollow them out and add lead ?? I did think of you when I was contemplating the loads but the weight was the decider.
    The Raven oil worked more as a definer rather than a weatherer in this case. It does adhere to the acrylics in the cracks and crevices quite well.