TIM SHACKLETON demonstrates the basics of wagon building using plastic sheet and strip – what’s involved, what to use, how to go about it. Using ordinary hand tools and equally simple techniques, it may be easier than you might think.
GOODS WAGONS are surprisingly easy to build from scratch using nothing more sophisticated than styrene sheet and strip – especially if you take advantage of the many different types of plastic underframe kit which are available. Most freight stock is basically a box on wheels, sometimes with a roof, sometimes without. Making the bodyshell generally involves cutting out a series of matching rectangular shapes using a sharp blade and a straight edge and then joining them together. Vehicles with plain (plywood or steel) sides and ends are fairly simple, while scribing plank lines isn’t exactly hi-tech modelling. Many of the details – strapping, reinforcements, operating gear – can be made from pre-cut styrene strip or rod of the required thickness.