One of the many joys of 0n30 modelling is that there’s a prototype for pretty much everything and, if there isn’t, it’s your railway any way! The Rio Florida Logging Company is my friend’s 0n30 layout which I’ve helped to operate various parts of at exhibitions. This is the story of the necessity for and building of a specialist wagon.
The Bouvier’s Peak section has a long climb, where trains often need assistance, and the banking engine sits in a siding at the bottom. The operating sequence required a water tank be left in the siding, for topping up the engine between banking efforts, and all movements of stock have to include a caboose. Efficiency suggests that one wagon would be better than two! Why tie a caboose up all day in a siding?
You probably recognise the parts as being from Slimrails. An email to Simon Chivers with a shopping list of parts from three separate kits was replied to with pricing and, after payment, a parcel fell through the letterbox very soon afterwards.
You may spot that the parts are variously from the short tank car, short caboose and long flat car kits. The model is actually based on two Chivers flatcars grafted together, to create a longer length.
The tank car body and support is built exactly per instructions, for maximum capacity.
At this stage, the caboose body was left loose, to facilitate painting the deck and potentially adding details to the interior. A Grandt Line Pot-belly Stove and seats would be a minimum.
The caboose body has obviously been shortened, both in the sides and the roof, to create little more than a shack on the end. The rationale is that there only needed to be space to brew up, there being plenty of space to sit outside.
The whole model has also been primed with Halfords Satin Black spray paint. This is my standard method of painting rolling stock, giving a dark starting point which looks grimy and weathered once colours are added to the various components.
The bogies, or trucks if you’re from over the pond, were made per the instructions and Kadee HO #5 couplers added at each end. The deck and the caboose have been dry-brushed with appropriate body colour. Details such as hand rails, clutter and decals still need to be added, as well as weight to improve tracking over points.
This has been a fun build, inspired solely by imagination and justified by a genuine requirement in the operating schedule that Brian has developed for the RFLC. All small railways, wherever in the world they were, operated on a tight budget and made such concessions whenever possible.