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Models based on the original N Gauge Society ore hopper kit

The conversion discussed below will, eventually, have proper drawings associated with them. I have not yet had time to do the drawings but as I have received several e-mails on the matter I have put up a rough guide for four of the more popular variations on this useful kit. The N Gauge Society ore hopper can be fettled into a range of hopper types, several were used with a tarpaulin cover as discussed below. The kit can also be 'bashed' into a selection of more interesting types, for example if you use it to make an ex LMS ore hopper (breaking up a long rake of society hoppers) the remaining parts can be used to make a BR 13 ton coal/ore hopper (to go with the society 21 ton coal hopper kit).

Simple tarpaulin cover
The basic hopper, as supplied, was used for a range of cargo, some of these such as 'spent grain' (residue from the brewing industry, used for cattle feed) required a tarpaulin cover.

N Gauge Society Hopper with tarpaulin cover

My model is the society kit fitted with a paper tarpaulin, (dark grey with yellow markings). The 'securing ropes' are orange thread, representing the polypropylene ropes used by BR in the later 1960s, life is easier if you position these before adding the tarpaulin.

Covered wagons of this type might travel in short rakes or as singletons in general goods trains.

Chemical traffic hopper
The hopper modified for chemical traffic is based on a single photograph in Dave Larkin's book 'BR Standard Wagons - A Pictorial Survey' published by D Bradford Barton in 1979. The wagon has several modifications, notably twin vacuum cylinders at one end, these are mounted out-board of the central supports under the hopper end.

N Gauge Society Hopper converted for chemical traffic with tarpaulin cover

You can use two kit cylinders or two from Parkwood Models kits, do not mix and match as they are slightly different. Near the top at each end is a platform which should be 2mm deep and extends from the ladder to the opposite side of the hopper end where there is a support attached to the outboard body support. 20 thou card serves well enough for the platform, a scrap of 20x20 thou rod representing the support on the end. Under the platform are two supporting ribs, if you wish to add these use scraps of 20x30 thou strip on edge. Running round the upper body is a rod, welded to the existing support frames on the hopper sides and ends. This can be represented with florist's steel 'rose wire', use two lengths bent into a U shape using the top of the hopper body as a template, these are glued in place with the ends trimmed for a slight (1-2mm) overlap at each end, these can then be glued together. The overlap can be disguised by adding a 'rope' at that position. The tarpaulin is supported on a metal frame, the simple solution is to add a length of Plastruct STFS-10 (7.9 mm x 7.9 mm) tube cut down to about 5mm width and trimmed to fit inside the wagon, glued in place along the centreline. This is then covered by the crumpled paper tarpaulin, however I would suggest adding the 'ropes' from orange thread first.

The LMS ore hopper
This uses the base section of the hopper body, trim the verticals from the ends (and keep), add plain lower hopper sides from 20 thou card and add a rectangular box of 20 thou card to the top. Use 20x30 thou strip on edge to add the 'capping strip' to the hopper top, add triangles of 20 thou card in the underside of the hopper sides and lay a strip of 10x20 thou down from the top of the upper hopper along these triangles. Sand the base flat, fit to the chassis and add the end supports.

N Gauge Society Hopper converted for chemical traffic with tarpaulin cover

BR 13 ton coal/ore hopper
The coal hopper uses the sides from the kit with the end sections of the upper hopper body glued between them and sloping under-sides at each end from 20 thou card. The body has to sit on a rectangle of 30 thou card, raising it slightly, remember to smooth the top of the chassis. Add rectangles of 20 thou card to each end and trim down to represent the hopper supports. Add scraps of 10x20 thou strip at the top of each end support and trim level with the vertical ends, then add U shaped sections of florist's steel 'rose wire' to represent the end hand rails.

N Gauge Society Hopper converted for chemical traffic with tarpaulin cover

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