Königlich Württembergische Staats-Eisenbahnen
Königlich Württembergische Staats-Eisenbahn (Württemberg) passenger coaches
As mentioned on my page on Märklin Minex Württemberg passenger coaches, the model is not an accurate reproduction of any prototype. I have therefore decided to convert a number of the Märklin models by scratchbuilding new sides for them to more closely resemble the various prototypes that the K.W.St.E. built.
The model is somewhat underscale and is too short for any of the K.W.St.E. prototypes, so at a minimum it is necessary to make new sides. The height is tolerable and by making new sides and a roof the width can be corrected at that stage. Note that the Märklin windows are not the correct proportions so simply splicing two body shells together doesn't result in an accurate model either.
Even with new sides the model will still be somewhat of a compromise but there is very little alternative if you want Württemberg passenger carriages.
Märklin presumably shortened the coach to allow it to run around their standard curves. In order to make it more prototypical (however you do it) you end up with a longer carriage which could cause problems on sharper model curves - the prototypes had swiveling axles for exactly the same reason. See further notes in the article below.
Spieth used to make an accurate, scale model of the short, 4-window KBi coach in brass but these were built in small quantities and are very scarce.
Prototype information and conversion hints
Walter Brück took some outstanding detail photographs of these coaches in 1986. See: http://www.arcor.de/palb/thumbs_shared_fremd.jsp?albumID=3859813
Converting the Märklin Minex carriage to be more prototypical
All of the conversions use the end platforms and a lengthened frame from the Märklin model - and not much else. The sides, ends and roof are all new. Although the sides vary, the method of conversion is the same for all of them - except the KB4i bogie coach.
For my first conversion I chose one of the long, 5-window, 2-axle carriages (KBi 19). Here is the model shortly after assembly of the sides and is shown next to an out-of-the-box Minex carriage to show how much longer it is. I was fortunate to acquire a Minex carriage with a damaged body for a good price so that I didn't have to cut up a perfectly good model for my first attempt.
I have done tests with two Peco 0e turnouts back-to-back and this carriage will negotiate the reverse curve. It looks a little bit silly, but it does work. Even so, I would recommend curves of not less than 600mm radius on a layout.
Here are the sides, ends and floor prior to assembly; there are still a lot of additional parts to make: window frames, roof, seats, under-floor details (truss-rods, etc.).
One "problem" with this carriage is that you need more seats than come from the "donor" Minex carriage (5 seating bays rather than 4). Unless you have spare Minex carriages you will need to buy or make new seats. I got mine from Addie Modell.
Curving the roof smoothly is a bit of a challenge as any kinks will be obvious; especially as we tend to view models from above.
My attempts to roll the polystyrene roof were not very good, so it needs to be heated and held in place while it cools - polystyrene gets soft at around 90° C. I use two inexpensive, steel, cylindrical toilet roll holders which are almost exactly the right diameter. Being split down one side it is also easy to adjust the radius slightly.
The heat forming process may distort the polystyrene slightly so cut a piece OVERSIZE and trim it later.
Place the styrene between the two steel tubes, clamp it tight and put in an oven at 90° C for 30 minutes.
90° C is not so hot that it melts the polystyrene, it just softens it, so there should not be any smell in the oven.
The finished roof before trimming.
H.P. Schramm's website (www.schmalspureisenbahnen.de/schmspbw.php) is an excellent source of information on narrow gauge railways in Baden Württemberg.
There is some information (in German) and photos of these and other 750mm gauge rolling stock on the Thema Schmalspurbahn website (www.thema-schmalspurbahn.de).
There are some excellent detail photos of these carriages at: http://www.schmalspuralbum.de/thumbnails.php?album=2
Copyright © John Oxlade, 2009-2010 | Site last updated: 3rd July 2011 | This page last updated 3rd July 2011