16mm Projects

Alan Poxon : Lilla and the trouble-free trucks

It happened again. At the Yorkshire Garden Railway Show, I acquired a new loco to join the Accucraft Quarry Hunslet purchased at the same event twelve months earlier. The latest pride-and-joy was a new Roundhouse Lilla that was soon expertly lined out by Graham Pearce  in Penrhyn colours to match Hugh Napier.

As the evenings drew in, I had the urge to build some appropriate rolling stock to run behind Lilla. The rakes of Penrhyn slate rubbish wagons and slate slab wagons that I had built for Hugh Napier would do fine but I was looking for some straight-forward kits of Penrhyn stock to keep me busy. I decided upon fullersite wagons from The Line Side Hut and gravel wagons from PS Models.

The fullersite wagons were the first to arrive. These wagons appeared with a variety of bodywork styles at Penrhyn quarry; with lift-out or drop-down sides and wooden or metal ends. The Line Side Hut produced four variants but I bought five so that I could also model the version seen at the  Heritage Centre at Bala Lake Railway.

Fullersite was powdered slate made from a some of the vast amounts of waste produced in quarrying of the rock for slabs or roofing slates. Mixed with bitumen, fullersite formed a  mastic asphalt for road making and repair. Smaller amounts of fullersite were used as filler in paints, plastics and even cosmetics. Fullersite was transported in sacks from the quarry to Port Penrhyn.

The laser-cut wooden kits went together easily using the comprehensive instructions provided. Very few adjustments were necessary as all the parts were accurately cut and fitted together well. The finished wagons were very lightweight and needed significant amounts of additional weight to help them run smoothly.

Making a start on the first fullersite wagon.

First two fullersite wagons ready for the bodywork

Bodywork and rivet detail added.

Five variants of the fullersite wagons painted in Penrhyn colours

Adjacent to the Penrhyn railway, about halfway between the quarry and Port Penrhyn, was a small gravel quarry. The gravel was mainly use for ballast but found other uses on the wider Penrhyn Estate. The gravel wagons were fabricated in the quarry workshops by fixing together the bodies of two rubbish wagons to increase the carrying capacity to 5 ton, and by adding an end door.

The PS Models gravel wagon laser-cut kits capture the key features of this style of Penrhyn truck that were latterly used to transport coal to the quarry workshops. The kits went together easily with no additional adjustments needed to obtain a good fit. As with other PS Models kits, the axles needed cutting to length and a small amount of additional weight added to each wagon.

Penrhyn gravel wagon components straight out of the bag.

Basic framework complete on the first two gravel wagons.

To represent the rivets and bolt heads, 336 flat-backed, half-round Nail Art pearls were added to the wagons in the locations already marked on the model. A gravel load was fabricated from Woodland Scenics coarse grey gravel, supported on a balsa wood frame within the wagon. The coupling hook is rather low relative to the locomotive but the rake runs well using a match wagon or 'runner' as they were called at Penrhyn.

End doors and rivet detail added.

Painted in Penrhyn colours and gravel load added.

The fullersite wagons and gravel wagons run well with a single link between each wagon and a three link chain to the locomotive. All the models were painted in Penrhyn style with black frames and grey bodywork. The Binnie wheels on both models were painted with Phoenix Paints light rust along with the coupling links and chains. Altogether a set of trouble-free trucks for Lilla.


November 2022


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