Under so-called UK lockdown, the opportunity to work upon some of the more challenging kits was seized… the SMJ 2-axle carriages. The etched brass parts will need painting later, so where possible, they will be assembled and fitted with a low-tack adhesive for completion at a later date. Some changes have been made with their identities. SJ C3d 2128 (which would not have previously been from the OKB / East Coast Railway) was intended to be number 1984, but this number is not on the decal sheet (neither is 2128, but this is easier to ’manufacture’). Unfortunately although the C3d is a ‘plåt’ model (metal body), the number transfers are for the timber version, so a spare number 2 will replace the 6 in decal number 2168! SJ C3g 2996 (which would have previously been OKB C3 133) was intended to be number 2994, but this number would also need changing whilst the new number is on the sheet. SJ CF3 3017 (which would have previously been OKB CF 235) was originally believed to be type CD4, but it’s correct identity is on the sheet. The C3d and C3g are standard carriages, the C3d as a standard SJ version, and the C3g is as acquired from the OKB. The CF3 is a former OKB carriage with a luggage compartment. The OKB carriages were taken over by SJ in 1933.
Upon opening the package, it was refreshing to be reminded that the C3d was built and just needed decals (and a few adjustments). The C3g and CF3 are some way behind and it was done in this way so that the C3d could be used as a built sample (having taken a lot longer to build because it involved a dry-run first) and then as reference material for the later two. Unfortunately, we also needed the instruction sheets (but these are in storage), but thankfully, SMJ has them on their website as PDF downloadable sheets, both SJ and OKB versions. (Much appreciated, guys; thanks!) Here’s how it went, not in any particular order (unless stated otherwise, the following applies to both C3g and CF3):
- The wheel-set ‘bolsters’ had their brake mechanisms fitted, and were then fitted to the chassis. The wheels have also been fitted, and both carriages are more freely running than the C3d!
- The battery boxes and gas containers (the latter for the dessous gas lighting) were assembled and fitted to the chassis, and the one-piece compressed air brake with link arms glued into place.
- The coupling mechanisms were assembled and fitted, then a stretcher between the bolsters to hold them straight when on straight track, and thirdly the springs and stretchers for the couplings. However, it was found that two components for the CF3 were missing, so we improvised with the couplings and they work just as well as on the other two models. We were also able to modify an improvisation that had been made on the SJ C3d regarding couplings, and again, the result is pleasing.
- The buffer stocks were filed, trimmed and fitted. The actual buffers will be a last fitting because they are very fine and risk being damaged during construction!
- The weights were glued into place, and now the carriages feel as sturdy as the C3d!
- The appropriate windows were fitted with grilles (luggage areas) or clouded (toilet areas).
- From a little research, we found that the luggage compartment doors on the CF3 should not be the same colour as the body, so our paint has been scraped off, and touched up with a permanent marker!
- The etched brass parts, the end platforms and the steps (including the luggage door steps on the CF3, which had to be made from scratch) have been fitted. The gates have also been fitted, and for this reason, the rooves will remain loose until we have been able to paint them! The platforms on the C3d have been removed and refitted, and are a much better fit.
- The rooves were fitted with their ventilators, and have been loosely fitted (to be painted, later). Using spare parts from these two models, we fitted the roof ventilators to the SJ C3d, thus virtually completing that model (disregarding the decals—still)!
Aside from these carriages, work was done on the träkorg (wooden body) D-lok, which certainly relieved the pressure of the work on the SMJ carriages. Again, there are some parts that will have to wait until later, but here’s how it went:
- Hooters and windscreen wipers were glued into retro-drilled holes. Sun-shades were made from scrap brass strip and glued into place.
- Lamp lenses were glued into their holes, but they’re slightly too small, so will be refitted later with a bit of ‘putty’!
- The Pantographs were fitted into place, but one needed gluing because the screw thread was missing! It took some effort to obtain a drawing of the roof layout for the HT wire, but a source in Sweden procured the perfect image. The pans will need replacing because they are the wrong type!
The end gates with fall plates need painting (they’re etched brass) so they have not been fitted, and there are no handrails, so they will need making from scratch. But, we’re going to need to think of a way of providing the tail light because it is a raised fitting and very different to the inbuilt design used on the steel bodied version of the D-loco, as made by Jeco.
Moving onto relevant model manufacturer news: Dekas is bringing out a model of the SJ Y2 ”Kustpilen” unit available in either original blue/red livery or current (2020) livery. Delivery is planned for 2nd quarter, 2021; and the FLMJ would be interested in one as it represents the end of the epoch modelled (in the same way that the X2000 does). Dekas has also brought out some ‘Hbis’ wagons (types 712 and 731) at very short notice, and they sold out over one weekend. Hopefully, some more will be made.