Rolling Stock


This category is for any help relating to rolling stock.

For example:

  • Kit construction
  • Scratch building
  • Painting
  • Electronic products for rolling stock

Making Wagon Loads

Written by Glenn. Posted in Rolling Stock

When ore wagons and the like are obtained often they are empty. While this maybe a real situation for part of their lives often they are loaded to the brim with ore or coal etc. This tip came from The Buffer Stop hobby shop in Preston.

Modelling Ore/Coal Loads

{timg title:="The new empty wagon." thumb:="" img:="" gal:="wagon-load" }

The wagon as out of the box. It is a BHP Billiton Ore Car made by Bachmann and was bought from The Buffer Stop in Preston.
Without a load the wagon is quite bland and it could do with some weathering too. There are some supplied ladders that are yet to be fitted.

{timg title:="The balsa wood load platform." thumb:="" img:="" gal:="wagon-load" }

First a balsa wood platform is made so that the top sits about 5mm below the top of the wagon. The platform needs to fit as close as possible to the edges, otherwise the material will fall into the wagon.

{timg title:="Underneath the balsa wood platform." thumb:="" img:="" gal:="wagon-load" }

Underneath the platform I glued a nail to facilitate the removal of the load with a magnet. I found that a normal magnet was not strong enough however. Unless you have access to a powerful magnet the nail can be left out; although the extra weight is handy to have.


{timg title:="Gluing down the load." thumb:="" img:="" gal:="wagon-load" }
  1. Firstly to prevent the glue from messing up the wagon it is a good idea to place plastic cling wrap inside the wagon, ensuring that it clings to the bottom, sides and ends. It does not matter if it creases on the corners or elsewhere.
  2. Place the platform into the wagon ensuring that it fits correctly and that it is positioned on the floor of the wagon.
  3. Next pour a small amount of coarse ballast onto the platform. As real loads are made by a chute for realism create a small heap that runs from end to end as shown.
  4. When satisfied with the shape of your heaped load use an eye dropper to drip diluted PVA (white wood working glue) onto the load. Do this one drop at a time. It is important to only wet the load to the point it looks like breakfast cereal in milk (like Cocoa Pops in this case!). A few drops of dish washing detergent will help the glue "wet" to the ballast/ore/coal.
  5. Leave the wagon to dry overnight.
{timg title:="The completed load." thumb:="" img:="" gal:="wagon-load" }

After several hours the PVA glue dries clear just leaving your ore load. Using the cling wrap gently remove the load and place it somewhere safe.


{timg title:="The completed load adding realism to the wagon." thumb:="" img:="" gal:="wagon-load" }

Remove the cling wrap from the dried load. Do this gently as PVA sticks to plastic quite well (but not as good as wood!) . Place the load back into your wagon and the job is complete.

With a load the wagon looks more realistic as it has some purpose.

XPT comparison of HO & OO examples

Written by David Head. Posted in Rolling Stock

 Note: This page has no connection with any manufacturer, nor judges them.

The XPT kit by Hanovale Model Castings. 

Seen here is a close up of the nose. It is a two part casting.
The XPT coach kit by Hanovale Model Castings.
The POWERLINE Link Line mechanical - has potential I think! I was going to use this to power this XPT but have had second thoughts. It will be useful in another project I am working on...

(The photo does not clearly show the see through tubing acting as drive-shafts.)
Comparing the front of both models. While they are basically the same in theory, I think you can spot the differences!
A side comparison. From the photo it is hard to see the casting's roof where it ends , and the Lima roof behind.....
The top comparison shows the size better.
Compare the side panels. The casting ends where the door starts at the cab, so compare just the panels....
A Coach comparison.
The top view I'm afraid does not show enough roof detail, just the size.


When I have built the models , and they are well down the list it will be interesting to compare them again. But no doubt someone more energetic will build and show us in due course.

Meanwhile I am still happy with my Lima XPT. It has provided a modern train that has excited many a spectator at an exhibition.

Powerline flat & log wagon saga

Written by David Head. Posted in Rolling Stock

Due to unforeseen errors, the current crop (March 2007) of Powerline wagons need some work to get operating. Something for Powerline to correct so they can compete with the RTR rolling-stock from other manufacturers.

As purchased the wagons do not come with couplers at all. What follows is my method to correct the wagons.





Step 1

Open the box to remove the wagon. If it is the log wagon, do take care! In the box you will find a small plastic sachet with the coupler lid and screws.

Keep the foam the wagon comes in as you will use it as a cradle for this conversion. 

Step 2

If doing the log wagon place it upside down on the foam it came with. Remove the bogies by unscrewing them

Step 3

Grind/file flat the lip in the coupler pocket, back down flush with the underfloor. I used a small grinding/engraving bit in my motor tool to do most of the filing, then finishing with a small file. Ensure you have really got the lip flush completely. This is important to insure the coupler will be as high as possible.


Step 4

Drill the coupler hole out a bit, using a drill bit roughly same size as the existing hole. Be careful not to go through the top.

Step 5

Time to get the Kadee #148 out. As the coupler box is too high you have to do something, the coupler has to be held up for coupler height. One way would be to grind this box down, or as I have done which is to pack the box with spacers. You could make these packers out of plastic with a hole. In my case I used a insulated Kadee washers and a ground metal washer to pack the coupler pocket.

Step 6

Put the coupler in, the packer, then screw on the lid with the supplied lid&screw.

Step 7

Time to put the bogies back on. the wagon as supplied by Powerline sits too low on the wagon, allowing the wheels to scrap onto he underfloor, bad for curves ! Put a washer between the body & bogie, screw bogie to wagon. Test check on the gauge. If gauge is slightly low put another washer under the bogie (you may have to find a new longer screw to do this).

If the height is still too low , check the coupler, it should not have and slop, you may have to repack the coupler pocket.


That is hopefully it. In my case I wish to weather them a bit. 




I got a flat wagon well before these log wagons came into my fleet. I decided to grind away the entire coupler pocket, and the lip. Then fitted the Kadee under-set couplers. Bogies as per step 7. Unfortunately it took a lot of abuse and some detail has been broken off. Still it can now enter service!

Think I'll add some weight under the wagons, in the centre still. Or make some loads! They are very light on their feet.

RQZY Container Wagons Kit

Written by David Head. Posted in Rolling Stock


 This page is about the BGB RQZY 5-pack container wagons that were released in March 2004.

I am just showing you them as purchased. I have no connection with the makers in any way , except as a customer.



The kit. The decals will be included in the main run, I got my kit too early !

A closer look at the decals.
The kit includes: Decals, the main plastic wagon bodies, the bogies, the screw/ permenant couplers, brass etching details, instructions.
A look at the misc packet with detail, screws etc.
A closer look at one end of a wagon and the brass etching.
I found it too hard to photograph the wagons, they are very shiny !!
A macro shot of the etching.

Line 'em up, on my test track.



The Kit does not include Kadees or compatible couplers, paint, glue.

I may update this page as I do this kit, but it is in a long queue of kits to be done, so don't hold your breath ! The other stuff has been there a while, perhaps I should start this one..

It other modellers wish to show their kits, email me and I'll add your photos to this page! 


Powerline GJX Grain Wagon

Written by David Head. Posted in Rolling Stock

This page is about the new Powerline GJX grain wagon.

This is a model of the Victorian GJX grain wagon that was one of 100 built in an initial batch. Made from aluminum these wagons are still in service today. The variant I purchased was in the silver colours with the large VR logo. At the moment what was available was VR small logo, VR large logo, and VR large logo with weathering. I am told more colours will come in future batch's.

Both Powerline and Auscision Models have produced these wagons, with Auscision's being mailed out en mass at the time of writing. Powerline had a surprise shipment that were delivered to Trainworld, and I were a very lucky recipient. I even press-ganged two friends to buy 3 each. I bought 5. Also today I took delivery by post of two packs of the Auscision Freight Australia with large logo and modern pneumatic opening top loaders, and one undecorated and similar modern pack. So I had a sort of ideal first impression.

I must stress however that this is a weird and unfair comparison. Why? Well the versions I compare are not exact, I hope to see the Auscision's version. So I'm not comparing to prototype or each other. You will find on this page photos of both, for I intend to concentrate on the Powerline version.


The Powerline version comes in the normal red & black box secured in a foam insert. As purchased the wagons do not come with couplers at all. It does give you the cover-plate and screws to mount a coupler though.

On opening I have found the wagons largely complete, one wagon had the handbrake lever loose, easily glued back together. I found the bogies were not free rolling, like the flat wagons they will need a washer added. This may affect the coupler you wish to fit. As I write this I have not tried to fit couplers. I'll state that I was told that no.5's should fit, and under-set coupler may work best - I'll update this later on when I do a coupler fitting

The other item I found of concern was the walkways on top, were, basically warped. gluing them may not work.

That is all for now. I'll report back in a day or two (other things to do).































Initial impression; at the moment the Auscision Models product had the edge on Powerline. However I think you should add some of these to your fleet so you get a decent variation in wagons. How often do we want to get our wagons similar but how many want some slight variation.

Perhaps at the moment I think the Auscision models are in a different category, they are truly 'Ready-To-Run'. The Powerline are cheaper and built to a slightly different standard.

See Part 2 below.









Auscision model on the left. Powerline model on the right.


Took my new grain wagons to the club last night (Eltham Model Railway Club), and the Powerline grain wagon I took was not rejected outright. This was because I think that the grill-work on the top was a metal etch material and not the plastic stuff, as on the Auscision counterpart. Since we spend a lot of time looking down, this was an interesting observation.

Another member had the older versions so a better comparison was made. Apart from the walkway issue the Auscision model had the edge, but not as bad as compared to my modern versions.

When I find time (probably on the weekend) I'll be fiddling with the bogies, and fitting couplers.


To be continued...


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