Thursday, January 13, 2011


A very good friend of mine, Andrew Lee, and myself have been working on some etched brass models to add to our Railway collections. Some of which had been produced some time ago and are no longer available. Andrew first drew up drawings of the NSWGR LWW Well Wagon from the one currently preserved by the Dorrigo Railway Museum.
After seeing Andrew's first sample I suggested that we look at etching the 5000 Gallon Turret tender as used on the 50, 53 and 55 classes. Most of the photos I have collected for my Muswellbrook and Merriwa Layout used these turret tenders on the standard goods locos and as the model was no longer available reproducing the tender was a must for me. Andrew began Drawing up the tender body ready for etching with the LWW. We then decided that we should make these available to the model railway fraternity by producing these as kits.

LWW Well Wagon

We opted for single layer etching to not only reduce production costs but also to make drawing and designing these kits easier.  The LWW is perhaps the most difficult of the two to assemble. Experience in soldering is essential as there is quite a bit of laminated and Butt soldered joins required. The detail is superb, though care was needed to solder on the legible number plates and hold down brackets. The LWW will be the first of our kits available hopefully early this year. They will however be produced in limited numbers. They will be sold with everything to complete the model excluding paint and solder. The LWW will have Ian Lindsay Models brass archbar bogie's and Steam Era RP25/88 spoked wheels, Brass wire, decals, KD couplers, Grooved Styrene for the well floor and comprehensive assembly instruction.

At this stage we have had to make a couple minor changes to the drawing. These have been sent to our etcher and we are awaiting the finished etches. Below are some photo's of the Prototype LWW from Ron Prestons' Day Of The Goods Train' book, the etch as it will be produced and the unpainted LWW pilot model I have assembled. I have not fitted the floor or KD's at this stage. We have not established prices for any of the models at this stage.

Click on the photos to enlarge.

Commonwealth Railways 5000 Gallon Turret Tender.

The first sample etch for the turret tender was done at the same time as the Well Wagon. The first drawing was taken from the Greg Edwards data sheet drawings and an old Lloyd's Kit and subsequently had quite a few faults but looked very promising. A trip to Dorrigo to measure the Turret Tender behind 5353 soon fixed several of the issues with the drawing. The tender body construction differs from the normal brass kits with its folded corners. We opted to laminate the separate body sides to an inner liner. This avoids the 'rounded' corners unlike the prototype and also strengthens the tender body. The inner liner has tabs that locate the body assembly nicely into the tender chassis that is folded up prior to the body's construction. We have also added an appropriately sized hole in the tender floor so as to fit a 23mm high bass speaker and enclosure. There is also just enough room to fit a 1000 series Soundtrax Tsunami. The front panel has a hole etched so as decoder wires can pass through into the tender from the loco. The rear ladder is made 'the hard way' by soldering short lengths of brass wire into the two ladders styles. We have added a soldering jig within the etch to aid in this process.
At this stage several more changes are needed to the drawing along with confirmation on the bogie's and castings that we intend to use before the drawings can be finalised.
Below are the photos of 5353's tender at Dorrigo, the Etched sheet from the second set of drawings and the pilot model from the same etch with some of the handrail and pipe detail added.

Apart from the above models Andrew had also played around with 3D CAD drawings for the NSWGR SL heavy load wagon. The SL pictured below is the first sample of 3D printing technology from Andrews drawing. The detail is very fine but reproduction using this technology is very expensive and would not be viable for kit production. We have the etches ready for the side stanchions.
Although this model was not initially intended for resale we have been looking into having this cast in urethane although there is some concern about casting the extremely fine 0.4mm holes for stanchions and side beams. We hope to resolve this and make the model available to others.
We are chasing photos of the swivel bolster used with these wagons. One each was used on two of these wagons when carrying longer loads. Here are the photos of the prototype, from Ron Preston's 'Day Of The Goods Train' book and of the pilot model:

OK, 'So what else are you doing' you ask. We have plans to etch both two and three lever lever frames based on the standard NSWGR design. To compliment these we will have a small selection of cranks, compensator's and pulleys along with roding chairs. They will be similar to the ones once produced by IR Models. The first etch samples are with the well wagon drawings at our etcher.
I have also discussed with Andrew about producing the 4 wheel water gin. Again these were used on the Muswelbrook line, along with many others and is a must have for my railway. Actually they had one based at Muswellbrook. See below: Take note of the markings on the tender.
Photo courtesy of Graham H on the 1972 RTM Tour to Muswellbrook. Photo from flickr.
I have started an email list so we can send out updates of the above models and future projects. If you wish to be added to this list you can email me at . I will also have updates posted on my blog as well. If you have any questions about the models or can help with info or photos you can also forward these to the above email.
That's all for now.
AndIan Models


  1. Hi Ian,

    Great work there on the projects, and the e-mail news letter was very well done too.

    The Turret Tender looks excellent, and making it "sound ready" is a nice touch. I'm very keen to get one for my 3531 which had one of these tenders in later life.

    The 3D printing is showing itself to be very capable if not a little expensive at the moment, but like all things the price should reduce over time.

    The NSWGR SL heavy load wagon is an interesting piece of rolling stock though and I imagine that it would have quite some interest if for no other reason than it's something a bit different.


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