A set of three baseplates to align etched, sprung axleguards from the Bill Bedford range. This one is for axleguards BBWF001-4 "1907 RCH sprung W irons - 4mm" and wagons of wheelbase of 9' 6". The axleguards themselves are not included.
The Bedford etches are a well-established solution for upgrading rolling stock, but they can only work to best advantage if properly aligned. This printed base aligns the axleguards in all three planes, giving the correct wheelbase. The 0.5mm thickness of the base under the axleguards gives the packing to get correct buffer-height for typical plastic kits. The thin sections between the axleguards support and align the brake gear and are designed to work with printed brakes sold separately this shop.
Instructions for use
Fold up the axleguards but leave the "bridge" connecting each pair of axleguard completely flat; don't fold up the sides of the bridge. If you want to spray-paint the axleguards, or to blacken them chemically, do it now as it will be harder to do when they are mounted. Don't fit the wheels yet as they would be in the way at the next step.
Open out the two 1mm-diameter holes on the bridge of each axleguard-pair until they just fit over the pegs on the printed base. A cutting broach is the best tool for this. Press the axleguards onto the pegs. If you have not over-widened the hole, friction should hold the axleguards in place for the next step. Once mounted, it's probably impossible to remove the axleguards from the base without breaking the pegs, but you shouldn't need to do so.
Now fit the springs and wheels and confirm the buffer height. For models where the bottom of the wagon floor is level with the top of the headstock, typical of plastic kits and scratch-built stock, the height should automatically be right. For other arrangements you might need extra packing. If you find you need less packing than the 0.5mm built into the baseplate then this design may not be suitable for your needs; you could try mounting the baseplate the other way up sothat it is below the axleguard bridges when in the wagon.
When satisfied that you can get the buffer height right, glue the axleguards to the base. The pegs aren't strong enough to hold them permanently. I fix them by letting cyanoacrylate glue into the big hole at the centre of each axleguards bridge.
Printed brake shoe/hanger/push-rod assemblies (sold separately in this shop) can now be clipped onto the pegs at the side of the baseplate. Please take care to get them the right way round; if you put them on back-to-front the push rods would be in the wrong positions. Slide the brakes over the pegs to align them with the wheels. It should be possible to get good alignment in any of P4, EM or OO gauges.
Alternatively, if you want to fit etched, cast or moulded brake-assemblies, remove the pegs and adjust the height of the brake shoes to account for the thickness of the baseplate: it is 0.5mm thick where the brakes are mounted.
The baseplates tend to curl slightly such that the axleguards tilt towards each other. When gluing the baseplate into the wagon you will need to hold down the ends to couteract the curl. It is important that the baseplate is flat again the wagon floor under the axleguards.