Going Loco: Part 7: Another armoured wagon

Having built one armoured wagon, I decided that my armoured train needed a second, different style of armoured wagon to make it complete.

I used the boxcar that came with the train set as the basis of my second armoured wagon.

I removed the wheels (which popped out very easily as usual) …

… and I then used a razor saw to carefully remove the false wheels that were moulded onto the boxcar’s wheel flanges.

Using the moulded line just in front of the double doors and the ventilator on the side of the boxcar as guides, I carefully sawed off part of the boxcar.

I then glued two long pieces of plastic strip inside the open area just above the wheel flanges to strengthen the wagon and to provide something to glue the platform of the armoured wagon to.

Once the glue had cured, I glued two short pieces of plastic strip inside the front of the raised part of the boxcar to provide something to glue the new front of that part to.

Once the glue had cured, I carefully cut two pieces of Plasticard to the right size, and glued them to form the platform of the armoured wagon …

… and the front of the raised part of the armoured wagon.

I then selected a discarded roof from a passenger carriage.

I carefully cut the sides off using a razor saw …

… and trimmed it to the length I required.

I then glued it on top of the roof of the raised part of the boxcar.

I wanted to fit some sort of casemate to the front of my armoured wagon, and I found two sponsons from an Airfix World War I tank in my spares box.

I glued them together …

… and once the glue had cured, I used a razor saw to cut off part of the assembly to form the casemate.

I then trimmed a piece of Plasticard to the right size and shape, and glued it over the holes that were used to locate the original model’s 6-pounder gun mountings.

Another part of the tank model provided a suitable mantlet for the gun that I wanted to fit in the casemate, and after a small amount of trimming, I glued it in place.

Once the glue had cured, I glued the whole assembly onto the armoured wagon’s platform.

Whilst the glue was curing I made the armoured wagon’s armament (a cannon) from two pieces of plastic tube, and when the glue had cured I glued the cannon barrel in place.

The final task was to fit the armoured skirts to the wheel flanges. In this case I chose to give each wheel flange a separate skirt made from Plasticard.

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Going Loco: Part 6: An armoured wagon

Now that I had an armoured locomotive, I needed an armoured wagon to go with it. Because of the raised section on its roof and because I had already used another example to form the basis of my earlier flatbed wagon model, I used one of the passenger carriages that came with the train set as the basis of this armoured wagon.

I removed the wheels (as usual they popped out quite easily) …

… and I then used a razor saw to carefully remove the false wheels that were moulded onto the carriage’s wheel flanges.

Using the moulded line just below the windows and the front of the raised section of the roof as a guide, I carefully sawed part of the top of the carriage away from bottom half.

I then removed the glazing bars from the remaining windows …

.. which I then filled in from the inside with pieces of thin Plasticard.

I then glued two long pieces of plastic strip inside the top of the carriage to strengthen it and to provide something to glue the platform of the armoured wagon to.

Once the glue had cured, I glued two short pieces of plastic strip inside the front of the raised part of the carriage to strengthen it and to provide something to glue the new front of the cabin of the armoured wagon to.

Once the glue had cured, I carefully cut two pieces of Plasticard to the right size, and glued them in place so as to form the platform of the armoured wagon and the front of the wagon’s cabin.

Once the glue had cured, all that remained to complete the model was to glue the wagons armoured skirts in place. These were also made from thin Plasticard.

At this point I had hoped to add a gun turret of some kind to the armoured wagon, but as I had nothing suitable to hand, this will have to wait until I can.


Going Loco: Part 5: An armoured locomotive

Because I intended to hide the locomotive’s running gear behind armoured skirts, I used the tender that came with the train set as the basis of my armoured locomotive.

I removed the wheels (as usual they popped out quite easily) …

… and I then used a razor saw to carefully remove the false wheels that were moulded onto the tender’s wheel flanges.

Using the moulded line just below the lip at the top of the tender as a guide, I carefully sawed the top of the tender off.

I then glued three pieces of plastic strip (two long and one short) inside the top of the tender to strengthen it and to provide something to glue the top and cab of the armoured locomotive to.

Once the glue had cured, I carefully cut a small piece of Plasticard to the right size to fill in the part of the top of the armoured locomotive between its cab and the rear of the locomotive, and then glued it in place.

Once the glue had cured, I glued the locomotive’s cab in place. (This was made from part of a previously re-modelled passenger carriage that I had put to one side for just such an eventuality.)

Once the glue had cured, I carefully cut a larger piece of Plasticard to the right size to fill in the part of the top of the armoured locomotive between its cab and the front of the locomotive, and then glued it in place.

Once the glue had cured, I attached a short Plasticard tube in place to be the locomotive’s funnel and a small block of Plasticard between the funnel and the cab to represent the locomotive’s armoured pressure dome.

Once the glue had cured, all that remained to complete the model was to glue the locomotive’s armoured skirts in place. These were also made from thin Plasticard.

The armoured locomotive was now ready to be painted.


Nugget 276

Whilst Sue and I were away over Christmas, the editor of THE NUGGET sent me the draft of the latest issue. I have printed the original copy this afternoon and plan to take it to the printer on Monday. This should mean that I will be able to collect it from them on Friday and I should then be able to post it out to members of Wargame Developments next weekend.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the third issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2014-2015 subscription year, and that members who have not already re-subscribed should do so as soon as possible. This can be done by visiting the relevant page on the Wargame Developments website.

The password to open the online PDF version of THE NUGGET and THE NUGGET COLOUR SUPPLEMENT will be sent by post and email to members when they re-subscribe.


Windows installed new updates

This phrase is one that I dread to see when I sit down at my personal computer. What it always seems to mean is that some ‘bug’ (or ‘bugs’) in the operating system have been ‘fixed’ … as a result of which my computer will work even slower than it did previously, and a program or two that are already installed will no longer work in the way I have come to expect.

My computer is over five years old, and runs on Windows 7. Over time the speed at which it does things has slowed to such an extent that I sometimes have to wait several minutes for it to fulfil a request, and its ability to do more than one thing at a time has become seriously impaired. I have tried to speed things up by deleting programs that I no longer use and by transferring old files to a removable, back-up hard drive … but this does not seem to have had much impact at all.

I am coming to the conclusion that I am going to have to buy a new computer … which is a great pity as there is basically nothing wrong with the one that I have. Its only failing seems to be that its processing chip can no longer cope with the increasing complexity and size of the programs that I have installed … and the recent ‘new upgrades’ seem to have been the final straw.

Luckily the post-Christmas/New Year sales will soon be upon us, and it might be a good time to think about buying a replacement computer … but therein lies another dilemma. Do I stick with a computer that runs on a Windows operating system, or do I go with Apple?

Now that is a difficult conundrum to sort out … and one that I need to seriously think about before making a purchase.


Merry Christmas!

May I wish a
Merry Christmas
and a
Happy New Year
to all my regular blog readers


The forgotten battleships: The Royal Navy’s R-class battleships

After designing and building the Queen Elizabeth-class fast battleships, the British Admiralty built the R-class battleships. Although they were just as well armed as the Queen Elizabeths (and had a secondary armament that was located in a far better position), they were slower and never, ever seemed to enjoy the reputation of their faster sisters.

Whilst the Queen Elizabeths were reconstructed during the 1930s and – as a result – retained their front-line role, the R-class were updated with better anti-aircraft armament and little else. With the exception of HMS Royal Oak (which had the distinction of being the most modern of the R-class and which may well have played a fairly active role during the Second World War had she not been torpedoed with heavy loss of life in Scapa Flow) the R-class served in secondary roles for most of the war.

HMS Royal Sovereign survived the War (and the rest of her sister ships) because she was transferred to the Soviet Navy in August 1944. She served with the Soviet Baltic Fleet as Arkhangelsk until she was returned to the UK in February 1949, after which she was almost immediately scrapped.

Three of the R-class were allocated to be part of Operation Catherine, Churchill’s plan to force the Narrows and send a British fleet into the Baltic Sea … but in the end this came to nothing. If they had been used, the R-class ships would have been modified so as to make them very difficult to sink … but at the possible cost of a much reduced main armament and very slow speed. (The ships were intended to have caissons attached to either side of the hull, which would have reduced their draught by 9 feet and enabled them to pass through a 26-foot deep channel. This would have increased their beam to 140 feet and reduced their speed to 14 knots. Additional deck armour and anti-aircraft guns were also to be added, and one plan shows two of the main turrets removed to make way for additional anti-aircraft guns.)

It has always struck me that these ships could have played a much more active, front-line role in the Royal Navy if money had been available to reconstruct them during the 1930s. Using other reconstructions as a guide, the following changes should have been possible:

  • New boilers
  • New turbines
  • Improved anti-torpedo bulges
  • Removal of the existing 6-inch secondary armament, plating in their casemates, and extending the deck over the newly plated-in area
  • Increasing the anti-aircraft armament to 8 x 2 4-inch guns
  • Re-modelling of the superstructure and bridge
  • Improvements to the bow to reduce spray from head seas

The resulting ships might have looked something like this: