A priori, the setting of bundles on the wagons poses no difficulty. The delicate point is to set lashing — realistically if possible. In reality, these lashings are attached to rings arranged around the wagon. It is rare to have functional rings at 1:87 scale. So, it will be necessary to find a trick to imitate the actual device.
At the beginning I thought I would find a removable solution, but I gave it up because of bad behaviour.
In order to imitate lashing belts, very thin and narrow strips (of about 0.5 mm) are needed. They must also be taut. This last point is difficult to obtain with non-elastic materials. Then I thought of the elastic thread E Z Line (pronounced Easy Line), which I bought at Apogée Vapeur to “wire” my Griffet crane. For this one, I was disappointed, because I imagined that this thread was round, whereas it is actually flat. But for the lashing belts, it’s perfect!
Here again, to ensure the load alignment on the wagons, and also to facilitate the setting, I made a template. It is a cradle that will receive the bundles, and then the wagon upside down.
This template consists of a 10 mm plywood base with extruded polystyrene cradles fitted with V-notches that will receive the pipes without damaging the paint. The spacing of cradles must be such that it does not interfere with the passage of the lashing belts.
To facilitate assembly, the bogies are removed. The stakes are placed in the road position. The bundles, with their planks coated with a little Kristal Klear glue, are placed on the floor, centred by means of extruded polystyrene 3 mm wide blocks arranged along the stakes. After drying and removing the XPS wedges, the assembly is turned over on the template and held by rubber bands.
Vitrains wagons must receive a lashing belt at a place where there is a marking plate. It will therefore be necessary to drill a hole, as discreet as possible — ø 0.6 for me — to let the thread pass through. This hole must be oblique to avoid the metal ballast which is behind the wall.
The E Z Line thread is cut into segments of approximately 80 mm. It is glued under the chassis, near the edge, at a location corresponding to a lashing ring, with very little cyanoacrylate glue. It is then passed under the load, avoiding twisting it, for aesthetic reasons. Then it is glued to the other side, held by self-supporting tweezers themselves held by a “third hand”. The gluing time is very short, as the cyano seems very reactive on the E Z Line thread. It remains to cut the excess thread (razor blade).
The elastic thread should only be slightly taut. To make the load removable, I first tried to hold the belts with Patafix, then with thin double-sided adhesive. But the E Z Line thread, even if slightly taut, always ended up by escaping.
The template, first made on insufficiently rigid cardboard, was then stapled on plywood. It has positioning marks for belts according to the type of wagon (R8.01 or R8.02), because the rings are not located in the same places.
Here is the result.
Reel of 30 metres heavy dark grey
€12 - price 2014
Ref. 90362C at Apogée Vapeur