Tuesday, 14 February 2012

FEELING BULLISH

Hornby Bullcroft Main wagon enters NCB fleet.


The privately owned fleet of mineral wagons belonging to the National Coal Board, Maudetown Area Division, has been bolstered by a new arrival. Formerly owned by the Bullcroft Main colliery, this wagon was absorbed into BR's stocks upon Nationalisation, being treated to a 'P' prefixed number. However, it found itself stored surplus to requirements in the late 1950s until being serviced and put into traffic by the NCB.
As BR seldom repainted these old P.O. wagons, simply replacing the odd timber here and there (and leaving the wood unfinished), the original livery and markings are just visible beneath the various layers of filth and revised markings. Indeed, wagon No.39 has been working at other NCB installations for at least a decade before finding its way to Maudetown. The on-site repair staff have just applied some fresh white paint over the 'internal user' cross, diagonal stripe denoting the end door and brake handle, to meet the local safety regs. What they haven't got round to doing yet, is to fit a new coupling and drawhook, hence why the wagon is being shunted into the servicing siding.

.... well, that's the imaginary story behind this model. As described in earlier postings, this is one of a number of Hornby and Dapol RTR wagons that I've been upgrading for my fictional NCB layout. As the bodyshells are moulded and finished to a high standard, I've sought to make the most of them by adding kit-built underframes from Parkside Dundas, with a bit of scratch-building and scrap-box-raiding thrown in for good measure. New cast metal buffers complete the job and transform these cheap and cheerful wagons into authentic-looking scale models. Not only are they cheap to complete, but the modest nature of the job makes them ideal evening projects, especially at this time of year.

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