Workshop – Ballast Hopper

A recent trip on the ACT Historical Society Royalla picnic train, pulled by the famous 1210 loco, gave me some inspiration in the form a ballast hopper which i though might look good on the SC&MR and might just be within my capabilities for scratch building, so here goes...
Loco #3 pulls the new ballast hopper. it's a bit of a heavy load and sometimes causes wheelspin, which is always fun! This combo makes the first "all metal wheel" train which sounds nice clanking over the regular rail breaks.

The prototype which inspired me. I especially like the paint work which i will duplicate on the finished model!

The hopper has been mounted in a somewhat wonky manner! I'll refit it before fixing the ballast load. i might even include some of the grafitti from the prototype on the model?
Assembled and painted with ballast load included. The shorter wheelbase helps the wagon traverse the small radius curves and keeps it in line with the other wagons on the SC&MR.

Component pieces all finished and ready for painting. The hopper now has details around the rim and support ribs and will be fixed to the chassis with the bent bar and threaded rods. The ballast load will be filled in once the whole set is assembled.

I'm still thinking on whether, and how, to paint the wheels.

Looking somewhat more complete now! Details added to chassis and nuts used to secure axle box studs through frame. The hopper itself needs some added detail, such as supporting ribs and maybe a top edge strip.
I thought the use of actual ballast in the hopper would make sense too, although it is a little heavy now!

This view shows how the hopper extends below the chassis as on the prototype. This is the second construction made. The first was neatly built but the wrong size! The angles used to extend the bin downwards were incorrectly calculated by the engineering draftsman resulting in the template used to mark-up the sheet brass being grossly inaccurate.

It was all good practice and filled in the day!

The axle boxes are positioned with studs up through the chassis. They will be secured with small nuts once everything is finished and painted.
The assembly seems to run nice and smooth on the rails, with no wobble!
Chassis now in place. A simple butt joined rectangle, but I did take some care to get it all square, drilling the holes through both sides simultainiously before assembly, to keep the axles square also.

All four finished and placed under a mock-up chassis to see how they might look. The wheels I bought on ebay as a set of four (two axles), if they work well i may get some more as the priced seemed ok.

I have yet to finalise how they will be attached to the chassis when it is built. There are small locating holes designed into the frames which can locate studs up through the chassis. I'm designing as i go, such is my style and limited knowledge of what will actually work!

I like how metal projects look in their raw state. Seems a pity to paint them sometimes.

First version of the axle boxes. This pic doesn't reveal the inaccuracies of my technique. i hope the final result won't either!

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