have ventured into building models to suit the need of the railway
so the following have no prototypes. I have taken some ideas from prototypes and have adjusted to suit the
The Hoppers are made to what looks good to me so
measurements are to suit the builder! Above
Left; Here is the 1st of hopefully many hoppers to enter
service on AFR. This
one entered service on August 2007.
(notice the old AFR logo) Above
Right; 3 more this time with the new Ashrail logo.
are made from 100mm (inside diameter) pipe off cuts from work. Above
Left; The 1st stage is to cut the pipe to desired length, I
have opted for shorty hoopers of 10". Cut out the top &
place a jig in to hold pipe in place until a 1" strip of
styrene is glued & riveted. Above Middle; General view
of slope on the ends. Above Right; Here we see the top
& under-side with jig fitted.
Left; The hoppers tappered ends have been filled in with 2
strips of 25mmx2mm styrene & joins filled with putty ready to
be sanded. The frame is 2, 8mmx2mm strips with a 15mm end plate
across the top, the width & lengths depend on the scale you
wish to model thats the great thing about freelance! Above Right;
The hopper has been sanded, the centre of the body has been filled
in either end after the main frame member has been added. I used
wood for this as it is easy to strip down to the required size,
you just have to trim the hoppers ends where they come beneath the
frame to make this fit. 50mm in from the end is the bogie pivot
which is glued & pinned in place.
Left; Now it was time to fill in the inside with the ends
sloping toward the middle. I had made up a rough template that
loosely fits & if 2mm or so needed to be added on the end
result it was done when marking out the required piece. The braces
have also been fitted on the hungry sides all is held in place
with glue & rivets. Above Right; An end view with 4mm x
4mm angle braces added, the head-stocks are fitted &
riveted. The width of these are 94mm, this hooper is a
converter so a NZR Chooper Coupling has been fitted at one end
with a standard Hook-Loop at the other!
A closer view at the end detail, I use the hungry sides at the top
as my finishing height for the train. That is that sometimes you
might be a little higher or lower than the last hooper you made so
the height of the finished hungry side may vary a millimetre or
so! ( which is hardly noticeable) Above Right; The
discharge hatches are ready to glue in place, these are made from
alot of the off-cuts that get thrown into a spare drawer!!
Left; hatches in place , all sealed up ready for painting. Above
Right; details have been added. The handrails are welding wire
& the ladders & shunters steps are a galv mesh. The hopper is now ready for the paint shop!
have used USA Trains Bettendorf trucks and
metal wheel sets for the hoppers as they seem to give good running
& are a great price. Above; AFRs 1st Yj lined up with the latest heading to the
paint shop. Below; Another Yj finished & put into
service, the only difference is the shade of the finished paint
colour! I use VHT spray cans (not for a while) they have altered
the shade so this one is a wee bit darker but adds to the realism.
You can see the shade difference here!
The Yjs will
be an on-going project as I am aiming to have a realistic consist
of these hoppers!