“Anybody know the best place to get some Farish Battery boxes … ?” was the question back in December 2011 on the N Gauge Forum. Queston one might ask? Question? More like a battle cry to those of us who have been waiting for certain replacements for out of stock, out of production, original Farish parts.
Fast forward to September 2014 and the battle cry, sorry, question, was brought to the fore once more. Cue Mr Sprue!
Mr Sprue is handy when it comes to resins and casts and being a Farish fan, and having cast his own parts in the past for no-longer available Farish and Minitrix parts, he took up the challenge of the class 47 battery box. The sigh of relief up and down the length of Britain (well, the N Gauge Forum at least) was audible. Gone would be the days of blu tak on snapped boxes, or making do with the later Bachmann variety, again requiring that most technical of fixing agents, blu tak.
Mr Sprue set about the task with gusto. Having space in an existing spin caster, he added a plate with four boxes. He used a black resin so that the boxes wouldn’t need painting afterwards. Below you can see the plate with the four boxes in it.
So, the resin had been set, and Mr Sprue was well on the way to providing us with something many of us had been waiting for. After this test batch one critique was that the boxes were slightly brittle and the clips might snap after a period of time. Off to Ireland it was then (well, not literally) for a batch of Resin. The Irish resin proved to be stronger and more pliable – perfect for a second run of the boxes. Here’s what followed …
Happier with the quality of the material, now was the time for modifications. The clips on the original Farish battery boxes were known to snap off – perhaps why there’s none left in stock and perhaps why many an ebay’d class 47 comes sans box! So, two adjusments were made. The first was to thicken the side walls. This had nothing to do with the clips snapping but was required due to shrinkage of the box during the resin curing process, since the material is under pressure. The second adjustment, and the grand daddy of them all, the master-stroke of Mr Sprue’s work, was the designing out of the weak battery box clips. To do this he added a shoulder on the bottom of the clip, thus strengthening the clip. Given that the plastic used was more pliable than original boxes, the problem of snapping battery boxes appears to be overcome. You can see below how the shoulders were built up …
And to finish off, we see Mr Sprue’s example next to an original, and also the end product gracing a Parcels class 47. You can see a mould line, which is visible versus the originals, but honestly, the pictures do not do the end product justice. The boxes are more of a matt finish compared to the originals, and in some ways this makes them look more authentic on the underside of a diesel. I don’t recall seeing shiny boxes on the real thing!
Should you be interested in acquiring some of these boxes then please use the contact form on this site and your requests shall be passed on.