After creating mock scrap metal loads for a rake of wagons suited to the 1970s period, I've also been adding to my fleet of later British Rail-era vehicles. Using the Bachmann SSA/POA open wagons, plus the odd HEA hopper, a similar approach was followed, using up lots of scraps of plastic to create the payloads.

To add some variety, however, I wanted to try and recreate the look of crushed and baled scrap, which has been much more common over the past few decades. The idea was inspired by a demo in Model Rail magazine, about 10 years ago, by our 'N' gauge expert Ben Ando. He employed brightly coloured foil sweet wrappers, compressed into cubes within a Lego jig. The finished effect looked great, so I wondered if I could do something similar.

Instead of sweet wrappers, I plumped for the paper-backed foil wrappers from Tunnock's chocolate wafer biscuit bars. And I didn't bother with a Lego compression jig, relying on a mixture of brute force and a hammer.

I've used these wrappers for various things in the past, most notably wagon and lorry tarpaulins, so I always save the wrappers in case they're needed. I probably eat too many of these things, but my stock of wrappers is amassed over years, rather than bingeing on them during a single modelling session!!

For the SSA wagons, I created a false floor for the interior from styrene sheet, which is removable, and this allowed the crushed wrappers to sit at a realistic height within the wagon. After securing the baled 'scrap' the whole load was primed and painted with AlcladII metallic paints, using a mix of Steel and Gunmetal shades, applied by airbrush. Acrylics were then harnessed to dry-brush some hints of colour and rust.

It took about 16 wrappers to fill one wagon, so it'll be a while before I have enough material to fill another similar vehicle. You can read more about my scrap wagon loads in the next issue of Model Rail magazine (MR271), on sale February 20th.


  1. What a brill excuse to munch more Tunnocks!

    You might be interested in the remarkable Crossley Scrap layout - https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_04_2018/post-19557-0-98004600-1522940585.jpg (no connection, just an admirer).


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