V2 4 wheel parcel van

michael mott

Western Thunderer
Inspired by Mike's early GWR carriages in G3 and then seeing his work in 1/32 and having a simple dog-bone garden layout with no points I thought I would have a go building a panel parcel van in card as accurately as i can without the aid of CNC (I stopped at hand operated machines) and not having read Jenkingson's work about Carriage building I started some experiments with some letter size cardstock that i can print on.

First task was to begin drawing the Basic details of the van in my old Autocad Lt 2000. I still have an XP machine that runs it. In the meantime I made up a new silver steel punch to pop out the corners first. then punched holes in card and some 16 thou styrene.

My thinking was about how the real panelling might have been fabricated using long strips and small sections for the radius parts. Economically a better way than cutting out of sheet on the full sized van.
The fist picture shows the very first tests with an existing .25" punch notching some 20 thou styrene strip to create the corner sections, which would facilitate using the various plastic strips made by a number of companies, I happen to have loads of evergreen strip in dozens of sizes, from my commercial modelmaking days.


The punch worked well making the half circle cutouts but was more difficult punching a full hole, so the test on the left was done with the teas box. and worked very well.


Next I printed up the end panel to test my methods the letter cardstock is .0085" or .22mm. The new punch is .07" diameter I use the pick to remove the button of card each time, 2 taps of the mallet seem to be the right cadence for me.


Next I decided to chop out the middle section as a single piece, I was thinking about what Mike said about having a solid about of material behind the cutter, often the same principle hold with hand work.


The hole was trimmed out to the edges. and the corresponding openings for the outside panels and window areas were trimmed.


Next working from the outside edge so that the rule was clamping the delicate extensions I cut the next line with three strokes of the knife trying not to curl the piece I was cutting.

It was successful and I stopped the blade after each cut (well it worked for the old time barbers) Next I picked up the piece with the beeswax stick and placed them into the opening.


I followed the same process for the three strips in the middle.


Then placed them.


Time for a cup of coffee. and think about next steps. by being able to print up 4 copies I can lay the cut parts over the full print.


michael mott

Western Thunderer
The first phase of the test idea is done here are the rest of the steps.

The panel strips glued to the full print.

The backing for this was a bit more complex that it probably needs to be, this was the test module to see how it would work out.

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These were laminated together with lepages carpenters glue watered down about 50% the parts are stacked with the top being the lowest level.
I made the second layer below the top cut out to accept a piece of thin clear styrene for the glazing.

after the layers has set enough I added a couple of strips of yellow cedar to shape the tumble home.

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I used some 4B graphite to aide with the profiling.

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Checking the glazing for fit.


Ready to prime


The prime coat can be a brutal reminder to be more careful with everything.



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Overall I am happy with the method, I found the gluing of smaller pieces to be easier than struggling with the full sheet of panel lines, I just need to be more careful and take my time lining things up. I did harden up the edges with some CA glue. I will also use this panel for the colour testing after its cleaned up a bit. The top 2 layers 16 thou overhangs the support structure by about 20 thou, so I can test the way the corners go together.



Western Thunderer

this is coming out very nicely.

If you have not read David Jenkinson’s book on coach construction, I’m sure you'd find it interesting. His approach is to create a “doily” or lace of plasticard, for the beading for the whole side. I was never convinced I’d have the patience to make one that I’d be proud of, so I never tried. I’m sure that a Silhouette would undoubtedly make up for any deficiencies in my learning curve, but I haven’t got round to buying one.


Western Thunderer

I admire your patience and skill in cutting out the panels. Mention has been made of the Jenkinson book on coach construction, I think you you find it useful.
A tip on painting panels, spray the whole coach brown, then with thinned cream, paint the inside panels run the paint up to the bead and you will find it flows to a sharp edge, you will need two coats to cover the brown.


michael mott

Western Thunderer
Simon Thanks, The Silhouette does sound interesting, but I cannot justify the cost at this time. I have ordered a copy of David Jenkingson's Book, I am looking forward to receiving it. Simon your mention of the "doily" brought back memories of visiting a cousins grandmother in the early fifties in Manchester her sideboard was covered with starched white crocheted Doilies. Thanks for that.

Mike Thanks for your kind words, and the tip about painting the panels, and as noted I will no doubt find a great deal of valuable information in it. Just like this forum full of valuable information from far more knowledgeable people than me on many aspects of this great hobby. I do like working with styrene sheet and strip so I might try some tests with it as well, and as you pointed out on your thread about the G3 carriages gluing is a breeze.


michael mott

Western Thunderer
I did some further testing while waiting for my used copy of David Jenkingson's book to arrive, This time i wanted to see what the possibilities with styrene were like. First i set up my home made rivet punch to accept the hole punch and set up some guides with some larger Evergreen strips.

This allowed me to produce some scalloped strip.


Which I snipped with the polished blade of the exacto #11 and laid over the drawing with some wax paper ( I am thinking that some cling wrap might have been better) I placed the corner bits with some liquid glue to hold them in place.

The end result of this test was questionable as a method but i was able to then glue the test to a bit of .010" styrene sheet, give it a light sanding with some 400 wet and dry then brushed on a thin coat of Tamiya Red brown paint.

While that was drying I decided to make a new "doily" of the end panel this time being much more careful with punching the holes, I found that holding the punch that it was slippery and so today I am going to address that by adding something to the punch to reduce the slipperiness while holding it.

I also decided to leave all the parts that were to be removed in place as I continued to cut along all the straight and curved lines you can see there are a few holes that were not perfectly aligned and I will attribute that to the gripping difficulties of the shiny smooth punch. After each line cut I re stropped the blade on the little stop block (a small block of wood with some smooth leather and red jewellers rouge for the compound)

After finishing the cuts I picked up the "doily" and gave a little shake and all the pieces fell out. (well nearly all) .


I think that for hand working the letter sized printable card stock from the local stationery supplier to be easier than the styrene. so will probably continue along this line.


michael mott

Western Thunderer
Hopefully Davids book will get here within the week or so, So I finished drawing up the other end and the sides, I want to wait to see how David Jenkingson glued up the "doilies" because the side panels are quite large. The slippery punch was solved with some blue masking tape wrapped around.
This made positioning the punch on the drawing a lot easier.

And the opposite end drawn up.


I read the thread about the Mansell wheels especially found the conversation around the wood inserts and veneers informative. There is a part of me that wants to build up the wheels with the sixteen pieces of wood with the grain running in the correct orientation, and the other part saying stick veneers onto a turned wheel. I have the material to do it either way.

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michael mott

Western Thunderer
A drawing for the wheels sorry about the thickness of the lines but my printer and my old autocad don't seem to be able to print anything finer. I used three different Drawings that are on the Internet the one in Russell's book is virtually impossible to read the numbers on the image.
mansell wheel.jpg

Interesting that scale 5 inches in 1/32 is .156" reading about the standards and also having some of Mark Wood"s wheels for a (Gauge 1) 10mm scale Dee live steam and some Slater's (Gauge 1) 1/32 wagon wheels they are 5mm which is wider than 5 inches at true scale. and since i am unlikely to be running anything on other people's tracks I will make the wheels scale. I have to 1 1/2 ' seamless steel heavy wall tube to machine the rims from and I will go that route.

Some shots of the side "doily" with some Boxwood profile sliced off with the jewellers saw the cut edge with the saw is pretty smooth so it only needed a couple of swipes on the shooting board to clean up after each cut.




The corner pieces are square in order to add the profile on each side, and the middle ones are about 1/16th thick. they still need to be planed on the cut side.


Time for Coffee with Judy.


michael mott

Western Thunderer
A few more trials I decided to see if the cardstock would glue to the styrene with the liquid Tamiya cement and it glues well enough that after the glue has set the paper tears off in a layer leaving some paper on the plastic.

Capture 4517.jpg

For me this is good news as I think the hand cutting of the printable letter size card stock is much easier than cutting out a "doily" in styrene.

Sheet on the left is some .030" sheet with a bevel along the bottom. I ran a line of sharpie pen right along the edge, then with the marked edge right at the edge of the table I used the small block plane with the throat set very narrow planed a bevel approximating the angle at the bottom of the tumblehome. The width of the bevel shows up nicely leaving a sharp line demarking where the bevel is.

I also have been working on the drawing of the axleboxes, Using the information in Russell's book and what I could find on the web. The photographs in the book are quite helpful but it would be nice to have a proper drawing to work from that is readable.

A shot of the .005" styrene "doily" It was just possible to see through the sheet so I laid it over the print and punched out the corners first but I an not happy with the process or the final result.


I glued the paper one to the .020" sheet after cutting out the hole for the door window. The end of the exacto knife handle worked well as a gentle burnisher over the card stencil and after it was all glued on I set a sheet of glass on top and added the plane as a bit of weight. Tomorrow I will be able to set it on the back sheet and see how it glues up.




I am looking forward to getting my copy of David Jenkingson's book it has been shipped from the UK so should get here in the next week.


michael mott

Western Thunderer
Mike, thanks for your kind remark and observation. I went back to Russell's book to see your point and discovered that GWR were inconsistent sometimes with this condition. The two photographs on pages 54 55 show the parcel van and passenger coach both are different. The subtle differences in so many areas do really become challenging when trying to make a model of something from the past. And at the same time we are so lucky that many authors have done sterling work documenting the subjects that we model in our hobby.

Looking again at your lattice the small rounded bumps make sense now as the areas where the looping handle is bolted.


michael mott

Western Thunderer
Today I glued the outer and inner panels together first the bottom edges then once that was set for an hour I glued the rest and again set it under glass to cure for a while.


While that was happening i began cutting out the bolections for the actual model this time using a straight edge to be a bit more accurate.


Also gave the test side a shot of some commercial rattle can brown that I had, not a great paint job but it eventually flattened out a little. I made a trip to the hobby shop to get some better paint for the actual model.

The test next to the new bolection layer.

I did not prim e the test which would have sealed the paper layer on top of the styrene a bit better. and the test standing up.


I am generally pleased overall with the test and know that with a bit more practice will improve. Now the real test is adding the cream.



New Member
Wheels & Boxes...
I scanned the Mansell drawing from my copy of the 1898 Churchward Lecture that Russell reprinted, but even at 1200ppi the dimensions were mostly illegible. However, Sidney Stone came up trumps:

I have higher res scans if needed.

Now the real test is adding the cream.


On one of his threads, @LarryG mentioned using a ruling pen to paint fiddly things like droplights. It works a treat, and can also be applied to flood-filling panels.

Pete S.

michael mott

Western Thunderer
It arrived today I love the way David usurped a phrase from Orwell "all details are equal while some details are more equal than others" Just about sums up the hobby in General.
Soi I am dipping my toe into his methodology because I do not have the modern CNC type tooling. I still will continue experimenting with the card styrene combinations though.




More tomorrow.

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