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

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Strath Hobbies HB hopper

Infrastructure trains rarely seemed to be modeled, (on our layouts, track never is in need of repair in a miniature prospective). I have always wished to have a consist of ARTC AHWX wagons, which all originate from the SAR H/HB hopper.
In the early days of ARTC, these wagons ran in their AN livery, till they were refurbished with hydraulic operated discharge doors and were painted in ARTC yellow. When they were release from the maintenance shop, they were permanently coupled as a continuous rake, till one day a derailment happened outside of Whyalla, and all the wagons ended in the dirt, as they were all couples together. Since the repair they now all have their own couplers, but technically run in pairs as a A and B units.

In converting the Strath Hobbies kit, extra work is required, as their is a good deal more pipe work, and air tanks. Also, it should be noted that almost none are the same, where they have different ladders, tanks, brake wheels, or even bogies (often of mixed type).
My first unit was modeled on  AHWX 48K, which has a Victorian style brake wheel and bogies, with original ladder arrangement. It is painted in VR wagon yellow from Steam Era, and looks about right (a bit washed out in the photos, due to the flash). The logo is a from  a side on photograph scaled down to fit.
PS: the black air hoses are from North American Railcar Corp, and are High Performance Magnalook air hoses (series one), so when I have more units, these will couple together. They have a tiny magnet on the end of the rubber hose. Their series two hoses, now have a round magnet, instead of the square ones.

The bogies included in the kit are of no use if modeling a more modern unit. I also will not be using the load, (would have been better if this was available as extra part, as when I test fitted the load sit really high). Plus, around the discharge door casting, I ground back the casting to remove unwanted material, as I was not using the manual door operating wheels.
Just another eleven units to go, plus a ballast plough and for somebody to produce some decals for the ARTC era..