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YJ Hopper


I have ventured into building models to suit the need of the railway so the following have no prototypes. I have  taken some ideas from prototypes and have adjusted to suit the build. The Hoppers are made to what looks good to me so measurements are to suit the builder! Above Left; Here is the 1st of hopefully many hoppers to enter service on AFR. This one entered service on August 2007. (notice the old AFR logo)  Above Right; 3 more this time with the new Ashrail logo.

These hoppers are made from 100mm (inside diameter) pipe off cuts from work. Above Left; The 1st stage is to cut the pipe to desired length, I have opted for shorty hoopers of 10". Cut out the top & place a jig in to hold pipe in place until a 1" strip of styrene is glued & riveted. Above Middle; General view of slope on the ends. Above Right; Here we see the top & under-side with jig fitted.

Above Left; The hoppers tappered ends have been filled in with 2 strips of 25mmx2mm styrene & joins filled with putty ready to be sanded. The frame is 2, 8mmx2mm strips with a 15mm end plate across the top, the width & lengths depend on the scale you wish to model thats the great thing about freelance!  Above Right; The hopper has been sanded, the centre of the body has been filled in either end after the main frame member has been added. I used wood for this as it is easy to strip down to the required size, you just have to trim the hoppers ends where they come beneath the frame to make this fit. 50mm in from the end is the bogie pivot which is glued & pinned in place.

Above Left; Now it was time to fill in the inside with the ends sloping toward the middle. I had made up a rough template that loosely fits & if 2mm or so needed to be added on the end result it was done when marking out the required piece. The braces have also been fitted on the hungry sides all is held in place with glue & rivets. Above Right; An end view with 4mm x 4mm angle braces added, the head-stocks are fitted & riveted.  The width of these are 94mm, this hooper is a converter so a NZR Chooper Coupling has been fitted at one end with a standard Hook-Loop at the other!   

Above Left; A closer view at the end detail, I use the hungry sides at the top as my finishing height for the train. That is that sometimes you might be a little higher or lower than the last hooper you made so the height of the finished hungry side may vary a millimetre or so! ( which is hardly noticeable) Above Right; The discharge hatches are ready to glue in place, these are made from alot of the off-cuts that get thrown into a spare drawer!!


Above Left; hatches in place , all sealed up ready for painting. Above Right; details have been added. The handrails are welding wire & the ladders & shunters steps are a galv mesh. The hopper is now ready for the paint shop!


  I have used USA Trains Bettendorf trucks and metal wheel sets for the hoppers as they seem to give good running & are a great price. Above; AFRs 1st Yj lined up with the latest heading to the paint shop. Below; Another Yj finished & put into service, the only difference is the shade of the finished paint colour! I use VHT spray cans (not for a while) they have altered the shade so this one is a wee bit darker but adds to the realism. 

Below; You can see the shade difference here!

The Yjs will be an on-going project as I am aiming to have a realistic consist of these hoppers!


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