A Four Wheel Double Bolster Wagon. PDF version
Bill Parker's kit (he was the original manufacturer of these kits) for the Macaw "A" is very similar to his kit for the Signal Post Wagon and so construction is both simple and relatively easy. It arrives in the usual flat pack with the usual bag of bits and pieces and comprehensive instructions.
As usual I did as much in the flat as possible, which meant all external and internal strapping, spacers and rivet punching, etc.: so you see here all the parts for the basic body ready to be assembled and then in assembled form. All the parts folded well and all fitted, as usual.
My method differs when it comes to the bolsters. These are a simple fold-up that neatly fits in slots in the floor of the body. I found it useful once they had been soldered in to run an abrasive disk in the mini-drill over the slightly protruding tabs so that they would not prevent the under frame from being a close fit.
The instructions suggest 0.9mm wire for the stanchions. For once I disagree with Bill and think they would be far too thin. Back to Top
Scaling from the only photo I have of a Macaw A (but checking it with other stanchions on other vehicles) suggests that they should be around 1.6mm and so used some suitable rod. I soldered some very narrow sections of brass tube to prevent them going in too far. A small block of wood was fitted inside each bolster and drilled through the opened out holes at 1.6mm to ensure the stanchions stayed upright. Now I had removable stanchions al lá the Macaw B and the next thing to do was drill a hole through the stanchion just above the stop.
Into this was fitted a small brass ring linked to some fine chain, which was then fitted to a spit pin soldered into the side of the bolster. Every bolster wagon I have seen pictures of has the stanchions chained to the wagon. The stanchions were then cut to length to clear the floor.
The under frame follows Bill's standard practice and presents no problems. Once completed it was soldered to the underside of the floor and is now ready to go to Ian Hopkins's paint shop.
These wagons came out in 1902 so I can get away with one or two for my period. The problem is finding out what colour they would have been. My understanding is that grey did not come in until the new 5 planks were built. Back to Top
It might therefore be possible that they were red. Any views on this will be welcome.
A well designed kit of a useful prototype I'd recommend it to anyone with a little experience of etched kit building. As you can see Ian has worked his magic. It is painted in almost "as new" condition since they did not see the light of day until 1902 and my period is 1900ish.
A good excuse for an ex works wagon. There may be some doubt about the colour but grey did not come in until the five plank wagons were built and so these wagons predate them; if anyone can produce hard evidence it should be grey I will change it.