When you would like a wagon and none are available RTR, there is only one way to get one (or more), you have to build them. The first thing I usually do is to look at what is available RTR and what bits are usable. Luckily the PAA is very much like the Hornby PGA, the main difference being the PAA has a moveable hood for loading. After loading the hood is closed and the sand is discharged from hopper doors beneath the wagon.
A trip to Ely to photograph the wagons then followed, plus a good rummage through photographs on the web. Not many shots of the hood or the mechanism from above were found, but just enough to have a good stab at the hood. After measuring the Hornby model I made my first prototype hood out of plastic card. It looked good, but further prototypes followed until I was happy with the fit and the general overall appearance.
I then made a mould and cast eight tops to convert the PGA. There were other small cosmetic details that needed to be done, these were done as individual items, to be fitted separately. The production line was ready and after a couple of nights work they were ready. After under coating the overall colour scheme was applied. The transfers were home made and applied on to a coat of gloss varnish. The whole model was then matt varnished and lightly weathered.
The rake was then fitted with fixed 3mm sprat and winkle couplings and loops as internal couplings, with an instanter on the end with a tail lamp and a modified tension lock on the ‘hauled’ end. The sprats close couple nicely and are less obtrusive then other options, see photographs below.
Well there you are, something a bit different, for a reasonable cost, well it was when I made them over ten years ago.
Compared to modern standards they are a bit average, but again it was a good project from a reasonable base model.