Back in November 2010, I was ruminating on how to progress with my rake of detailed and repainted Hornby HAA merry-go-round coal hoppers. Nearly a year later, they were dug out of the limbo of my ‘In Progress’ box and, with a projected date to appear in the pages of Model Rail (Issue162), the final push for completion was soon under way.
My quest has been to recreate a short rake suitable for use in the mid-1970s-1980s, and, with the basic form of HAA not so freely available in recent years, I’ve had to adapt what I could find. Although this situation (typically) has now changed with Hornby backdating its most recent releases, I’ve been converting CDA china clay wagons and removing the top cowlings from HFAs. As I intended to completely repaint each model, the specifics of each donor model was not important. Indeed, one of the main points of this exercise was to see if the Hornby paint finish could be improved by stripping and recovering with Alclad2 cellulose metallic lacquers.
Now that my rake of HAAs is entering service at Maudetown Colliery, I'm left to reflect on the completion of another long term project; one that has been very enjoyable and well worth the effort. See MR162 (on sale 6th October) for a full demonstration of how these wagons have been improved.
The HAA project stalled last year as I pondered whether to replace the incorrect Hornby buffers. I soon realised that this was really a ‘no brainer’, as the factory fitted units are nothing like the real things. It only takes about 30mins to treat each wagon and the results are well worth the effort. Suitable replacement buffers are available from Intercity Models or Fourmost Models/ABS.