Well, that ended up being a little bit easier than I expected!
Thanks to a tip-off from a reader I’ve been able to use etched brass bits for the ‘wee beasties’ on the ballast wagon, which I now understand to be tie down cleats which are used to secure wagons like this when they’re being transported on ferries.
There is a 4mm fret produced by 51L Models (available online from Wizard Models) and they’re just the job. Drill, fold and fit – that’s all there is to it. And to think, I’d spent months puzzling how to make these from scratch. I was going to solder four bits of brass strip together, drill two holes at each edge and then try to file them into something resembling a cleat, then re-apply the iron to separate them into four parts. It makes me exhausted just to write it down and I doubt I’d have ended up with anything as neat as these etched cleats.
If you look closely you might also spot that I’ve added the main vacuum brake pipe run where it surfaces and runs beneath the hoppers.
The wagon is sooo close to being finished, just the mesh on the operating platforms to add now.