Combin(ing) a Chivers Way Car with Boulder Valley Models combine sides
Author: John Oxlade, Salfords, Surrey, UK
notes are not a blow-by-blow account of the kitbash, more a collection
of hints-n-tips on how to do it. Some of these tips are things I didn't
do on my conversion which will make life easier should you chose to do
the same. This really is an easy kitbash, a good starting point if you
haven't done anything like this before.
Apart from one Chivers Way Car kit and one set of BVM Combine Sides, you
will need some 0.020" and 0.040" Plasticard sheet and the
usual modelling knifes, liquid glue, ACC, etc. A straight steel rule and
a small engineer's square would be useful. A nice flat surface is
desirable. Either a piece of glass or an off cut of faced chipboard
shelving is good.
You could assemble the sides such that the baggage door was at the far
end of the car. Doing this will leave an unsightly gap in the sill below
the windows. It is easier, though it may not be so typical, to fit the
baggage door in the middle of the car and have a 4-window compartment at
one end and a 2-window compartment at the other. My "excuse"
for doing this is that the smaller compartment is first-class or for the
use of the management and they do not wish to be too close too the
"foul-mouthed workers" at the other end of the car.
Read all of these notes before beginning.
Being careful to keep everything square (follow the groove between 2
boards), trim about 1/4" off of the BVM sides flush with the side
of the baggage door. This is not essential, however it is easier to
disguise a join in the side of the car at a natural "break"
than on a smooth side. It does however make the baggage compartment a
little bit short.
Dry-fit the side-sills (they have the steps on the corners), floor and
sides of the un-modified Chivers kit and mark with a pencil where the
sides come to on the side-sills and floor.
Cut the Chivers floor at one of the grooves between the floor planking.
Score-and-snap works fine.
Cut a piece of 0.040" Plasticard the same width of the floor and
the same length as the BVM sides. IT IS IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE THIS
PANEL IS SQUARE - square at the corners that is, the piece will be
longer than it is wide, so it is not a true square.
Cut the Chivers side-sills approximately in the middle. Cut a piece of
0.040" Plasticard the same dimensions as the side-sills and again,
the same length as the BVM sides.
DRY FIT ALL OF THE FOLLOWING BEFORE USING GLUE TO ENSURE YOUR PENCIL
MARKS COME OUT CORRECTLY WITH YOUR NEW SIDE-SILL EXTENSION. IF THEY
DON'T, CHECK TO SEE WHAT IS TOO LONG/SHORT AND THAT THE PLATFORM LENGTH
AT BOTH ENDS IS THE SAME - ADJUST AS NECESSARY. IT IS IMPORTANT TO GLUE
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING PIECES SQUARE - GET THIS WRONG AND THE WHOLE CAR
WILL LOOK STRANGE. Glue the side-sills to the bottom of the Chivers side
aligning your pencil mark on the sill with the car side. Glue the
extension piece for the side-sill along the bottom of the side. Glue the
BVM side on the sill and the final piece of side-sill (with the other
step) ensuring that everything is straight and square.
DRY FIT THE NEW FLOOR TO ENSURE IT IS THE CORRECT LENGTH ON THE NEW
SIDE-SILLS. If all is OK, glue the new floor together.
Cut the centre-sills in half. Make some extensions the same
cross-section as these sills and the same length as the BVM sides. (I
didn't actually bother doing this - you can't see them from normal
viewing angles anyway).
Assemble the rest of the car much as Chivers intended - but you will
need a new roof.
If you want to, you could move the trucks back from the ends a
little. I didn't, and remember that the further back the trucks are the
more the couplers will swing out on curves. My combine couples fine with
other Chivers and Boulder Valley cars on 14" radius curves - about
the minimum for a Bachmann On30 Shay.
I moved the brake columns on my car outside the end railings. In the
standard position they effectively block one side of the platform.
Carefully slice the brake ratchet and wheel off of the deck trying to
keep it in one piece. Cut a short length of plastic rod or tube to fit
on the end of the chassis. Glue this in place and the ratchet and wheel
on top. Once the glue is thoroughly dry, drill through from below and
fit the brake column and wheel.
I used the non-window ends from the Chivers kit as partitions between
the workers & baggage and baggage & first class sections. These
helps to reinforce the body and keep everything square and it also
provides a visual block so you cannot see down the length of the car.
Cut a piece of 0.020" Plasticard the same width as the old roof and
the length of the old roof added to the length of the BVM sides. The
only tricky part of the conversion is rolling this roof. Find something
hard, like a piece of metal, to roll it round. Spend time on this so
that the curve is smooth and even. If anything, roll it too sharp, then
you can curve it back again - in fact, it will maintain its curve better
if you do over-roll then straighten.
I fitted truss-rods to my combine. The vertical support were made
from short lengths of styrene rod. I used cotton for my rods, though I
will probably replace them with monofilament fishing line as the cotton
is too fuzzy.
[ last updated 28th January 2003 ]