Hartland conversions on the WGLR

By Mel

As mentioned in the introduction, these Hartland wagons represent pretty much unbeatable value for money and make great "kitbashing fodder". I bought mine a couple of years ago, but have only just got around to converting the open wagons to something a little more appropriate for a British based railway.

The new bodywork was made entirely of wooden coffee stirrers, the ones I had "in stock" just happened to be exactly the same length as the bed of the Hartland wagon ......... which was nice. The individual components were glued together with PVA.

First off the production line was a 6 plank wagon, it's pictured here with a wagon fitted with the original Hartland open body.

Next came a 4 plank wagon built in exactly the same way.

Both wagons were sprayed with light grey Halfords primer. I wanted to model the 4 plank as being pretty battered with the previous owner's name appearing through the flaking paint. I copied the Cambrian Railways lettering and logo (Prince of Wales Feathers) from an internet picture. This was hand painted using acrylic white. The whole wagon was then dry brushed with Tamiya matt dark grey acrylic to represent the old and tired paintwork.

Turning back to the 6 plank, the "ironwork" was painted with Humbrol matt black and WGLR decals were applied (made for me by a very, very nice man).

This wagon was going to be laden with coal. First job is to shape some polystyrene into a mound using a junior hacksaw. TOP TIP - DON'T do this in the best front parlour!! It makes one heck of a mess!!

The polystyrene was sprayed matt black using an airbrush. Another TOP TIP - use only water based glue (PVA) and paint (acrylics) on polystyrene, otherwise you'll end up with a horrible melted blob. As the airbrush was out, the wagon was given a light weathering with the same Tamiya NATO black.

The painted polystyrene mound was then covered in PVA and covered in crushed real coal.

The load in the 4 plank is a little more varied. The sheeted crates are Hornby OO models, the barrels were made for me by Big Jack and the real wooden crate was also made for me by my good friend Fred.

These wagons are very much built to the 6 foot rule (usually viewed from at least 6 foot away and therefore not highly detailed), but more detailing may be done in the future such as fastenings for the sides complete with chains etc.

Finally, some pictures of the "new" wagons in a train with my earlier Hartland conversions - well, almost - the first van is based on an LGB Feldbahn coach.

Bringing up the rear are a bare Hartland chassis carrying a stationary engine made from a Back2Bay6 kit, then a tanker in the colours of Regent Oils and finally a brake van made in much the same way as JSJ's, except based on the later Welshpool & Llanfair design without balconies.

Next wagon to get the coffee stirrer treatment is a livestock carrier. Based (very loosely) on the sheep wagons used by the W&LLR - some of you will remember I made one of these a while ago based on an Accucraft W&L flat.
This version was made as a complete seperate module including a new floor. Apart from the coffee stirrers, the only other things used in the construction were dress maker's pins, passed through drilled holes, super glued in place and then snipped off flush (ish) on the inside of the wagon to represent rivets and a few pieces of wire and some thin tube to make the door catch and hinge.

The module fits directly on top of the Hartland bare chassis. On the grounds that I still haven't found any decent model sheep in 1/22.5 - 1/24 scale, the load is made up of 7 Schleich bullock calves. Some of the black and white ones were re-painted to look a little more like Friesiens.

As mentioned earlier, I managed to make little hinges and a catch so that the loading ramp/door works. Expect some more posed pictures in the future.

The livestock wagon has now been painted. The base coat is Halfords grey primer, light weathering with Tamiya dark grey and khaki acrylics via the airbrush. "Straw" bedding is finely chopped hay laid onto a layer of PVA glue.

The livestock wagon parked up where you'd expect it - next to the cattle dock in Wetton yard.

Next comes the Hartland tanker. To me this looked a little bit errrr, "plain". I didn't really know what I wanted to do to modify the basic model ..... . then I looked in the latest (April) issue of Garden Rail and there was the answer - a rather nice Gauge 1 standard gauge tank wagon. So I decided to use this as inspiration.

The horizontal beams are made from 2 different size of stripwood. The uprights are fabricated from plastic card and the stay wires are garden wire threaded through angled holes in the beams (tricky to drill). Rivets are Cambrian plastic rivet heads (hope I've used the right number lol). Yes, gluing these in place is a boring as it sounds!!

The painted and (more or less) finished tanker.

Next wagon off the production line is another 6 plank coal truck. To add a little something different I decided to paint this one as a private owner wagon owned by the Cockshutt Coal & Coke Company. The colour scheme is bright red with black "ironwork" and white (hand) lettering. However, a couple of minutes with the airbrush toned this down somewhat.

Making this wagon used up the last Hartland chassis that I had. In fact this chassis was originally used for the brake van, but that has been replaced by the IP version described elsewhere. Also, the train made up from these conversions is already too big for the loops on my railway. But this doesn't neccasarily mean I won't do any more. After all, longer trains are often suitable when visiting other railways.

Peter (Whatlep) took this photo of the goods train conversions when visiting his wonderful railway last weekend.