Dimboola station. This great photo was taken by my son Craig

Monday, 15 June 2015


At the recent Adelaide Model Railway show, I purchased a Strath Models kit of the AN AQEY twin pack container wagon. These were modified in 1988, by converting to ABEX louvre vans to twin pack container wagons. The first were converted from VEX wagons (built 1966 by Commonwealth Engineering in WA), with the remaining units from LEX/ALEX wagons (built 1967 by Commonwealth Engineering in Qld). The twin pack has a length over headstocks of 26.7m. (This figure becomes important). Each deck is able to carry a 40' plus container.

The kit looked straight forward, even after the warning from fellow modellers, who had tackled Strath Kits before. I cleaned by the excess 'flash' and added the few detail parts. Then, on referring to some photos, I soon noticed that each deck was too short! A search on the ARTC website for rolling stock info, come up with with a length of 27.6m over pull points, which made the model 17mm too short in scale.
Shows one modified and one un-modified unit.
The error seemed to be at the cut out opening end of the wagon, so I cut at where the 3D printed coupling mount was, and added a 9mm section, built up of plastic card, all supa-glued in position.
It was then all clean up of the filler and paint the primer. I also used a half inch screw for the centre bogie (drilled straight through), as the shorter screw supplied would not bite the 3D print to hold.
Unit in primer grey, awaiting final livery.
The above photo shows how the wagon looks when loaded with a 40' container.

Above, is a RQEY loaded with a 40' container, clearly showing the gap a the end of the deck, which if you built the kit as was, the 40' container sit on the whole deck with no gap.
More photos: unloaded from Malleeroute flickr site.

And another loaded shot from Wagonfreaks blog.


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