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A type 1221A open wagon with wooden body

The type 1221A open wagon is part of large series of wagons with similar characteristics. These particular wagons were created in a rebuilding program in Belgium during the thirties. The original wagons were closed vans of german origin which were part of the war damage repayment programme from 1919. This concerned numerous G10 and G02 closed vans of Preussian origin. As there was a shortage in coal wagons and closed vans in abundance a smallish 7000 of these wagons were converted into opens. The basic dimensions therefor agree with those of the G10, having an interior length of 7.9 m, width of 2.7 m. The height of the sides was 1.55 m. Contrary to normal practice in Belgium these wagons had only a single door per side instead of two. In common they have the steel reinforcement on top of the sides around the entire circumference. In order to raise the capacity to 20-21 tons the frame was reinforced with a steel triangle below the door. Numerous photos exists of trains which have several of these wagons along. This shows lots of variations, for instance in the strapping being in U-form or L-form. W/o brakes, w/o brake platform, tilting head doors etc.

photo type 1221A BD9808 TSP A very nice photo of Bruno DeDoncker (TSP 9808) exists that gives a side view of such a wagon suited for reproduction as model. Note the absence of brakes, it does have head doors for tilting, this contrary to the wagon seen on the right.

Knowing the origin of the wagon, its internal dimensions and the wheel base this photo allows us to calculate the various dimensions between the steel structural elements. Because of its origin we also know that its going to fit a standard model frame of a G10. This allows us to make some shortcuts by using a rtr wagon frame.

3D drawing of type 1221A A drawing of this wagon was done in 3D for the purpose of using in a 3D printing process. The result was unfortunately not satisfying due various reasons such as resolution of the printer, type of plastic and wall thickness of the model. Therefor conventional techniques were put to good effort again this wagon.


We start with the production of the side panels. For producing planked sides you need an angular board for scribing the planks. These has an angle of 1:10 so that you can easily produce lines with upto 0.05 mm accuracy in spacing. You also need a tool as such on the next photo for making rivetted strapping. Essentially a thin rotary cutting wheel mounted in a handle. This is used in combination with 0.1 mm plastic card and the scribing board for cutting thin parallel strips.

angular board for accurate scribing Home made angular board made to an idea of Geoff Jones of 2mm fame. An improvement is to clad the base with a piece of cutting mat so that knife and base will last longer.

tool for riveting tool for making riveted strapping

Side panels

On this photo we see the sides with scribed planking and the door openings cut out. The basic plasticard material is 0.5mm, only black because it was the piece that came closest to thickness.

sides with door opening Sides with door opening cut out using black plasticard. This latter serves no other purpose then visibility. Now its easy to see the fit by using white plasticard for the rest.

wagons sides with reinforcements The strapping added by Evergreen strips and the doors added from white plastic

4 sides and floor The whole shebang, 4 sides and floor still flat

glued result glued together


frame with lead The frame is from a N wagon with a milled recess filled with lead for weight


completed wagon Buffers, hand rails, shunting hand grips, steps and frame reinforcement added.

completed wagon Paint added but waiting for lettering.

author: Henk Oversloot
date: 9 august 2010