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Longchap
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Clifton Downs auto set

Since the 1970s I’ve been a fan of the Ratio four wheel coach kits, simply because, way back then, they offered the detail not available from the RTR guys and I still have a rake I made all those years ago, together with a quantity of unbuilt kits. They also lend themselves to the pastime of ‘cut and shunt’ and one can shuffle the panels to model a number of different diagrams, provided the correct source documents are to hand.

John Lewis’ Great Western Auto Trailers Vol 1, has many excellent photographs and drawings to help get the right detail, as does Russell’s Great Western Coaches Part 2, but I was inspired to carry out this project by Nick Wood of Much Murkle fame, who has made this delightfully different two car ‘Clifton Downs’ auto trailer set which I’ve seen in action a couple of times at exhibitions. Nick also kindly provided a copy of John Ely’s Model Railway Constructor article on the conversion from1979 and once I’d sourced two pairs of Dean 8’6” bogies, I thought I’d make a start.

So here’s a brief summary of progress to date, comprising much and enjoyable research followed by a couple of modelling sessions.

An important note on tools before butchery commences. You absolutely need a firm working platform, very good light and most importantly, a good quality model making mitre block and razor saw. Following the principle of the firm platform, I clamped my aluminium mitre box into a laptop work-mate device. This means that as much risk of a coach side moving and therefore ruining it while cutting was minimised.

I started on the more complex driving car first and show the six part left hand side laid out on a glass plate below.




I need to fit a new grab rail to the right of the driver’s door and probably reduce the width of the front panel a little. This is an amalgam of two kits, a Third Brake and an All Third and the photo below shows all that is left for the spares box. Note how much a coach kit cost around the time as the MRC article!




I’m pleased enough with the results so far, although I’m still pondering on how much detail to attempt, following close study of prototype photography. I’d like to try the guard lookout windows, which should be an interesting challenge, particularly with restriction from the thickness of the plastic sides. I suspect the Roxely Mouldings etched brass kit has these off pat, so my thinking cap is on.




I’m off to the UK tomorrow for a week, so my apologies in advance until the next post.

Take care and have fun,

Bill





Last edited on Sun Feb 18th, 2018 04:01 am by Longchap

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Hi Bill

I'm really pleased to see you made a start on this project. I found it a really enjoyable and satisfying exercise when I kitbashed mine some time ago and the set runs frequently in Much Murkle's exhibition sequence. I often get asked about these coaches as they are not well known even amongst GWR modellers.

You enjoy the rest of the build and I'll enjoy watching you make a better job than I did of it  :thumbs

 

Last edited on Sun Feb 18th, 2018 03:39 am by pnwood

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Looking very complicated Bill - I'd probably get all the bits in the wrong order.................... :oops:

Enjoy UK. :thumbs

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I'm just returned from the UK with a stinking cold, more plasticard, extra thin liquid poly (thought I'd try attaching soleplate rivets) and a pair of those new Peco bullhead points and a box of track. They look so much better than previous offerings, but I digress.

So am back to the cutting mat today and hope to post an update over the weekend.

First though, a thank you to all who looked at the opening post and also to Nick and Peter for your comments. Your conversion Nick, showed me what is possible using Ratio sides and I hope to do the job justice, so we’ll see soon enough.
As for you, young Peter, if you’re able to line up several glasses of good French wine in the correct order to best enjoy them, then cutting and shuffling the Ratio sides into shape will seem an easy game for you!

Interestingly, while researching, I came across a photo of a clerestory auto trailer which I’d like to follow up and probably use some of the Triang clerestory stock to produce a reasonable model.

So back to the cutting room .  .  .  .

Bill

 

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Glad you're back home Bill but I do hope your cold isn't like mine - it's already 6 weeks old and still going strong !!!

Re the glasses vs Ratio coach bodies - the main difference is, after the first 3 glasses, the remaining order is totally unimportant ......................  :cheers

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Hey Peter, that's some serious cold. So sorry and best wishes for your recovery and yep, after those first three glasses, who cares. Good point !

The previous session had the left hand side of the driving trailer cut, panels shunted and lined up on the glass, so now I’ve done the same with the right side (at the top of the second photo below). A little more confident from the first one, I departed from the John Ely order and used the All Third side intact. This then nicely butted up against the guard lookout to easily hide that joint. It also staggers the joint with the other side to aid overall strength of the completed unit. I just need to par off the beading from the end of the All Third at the lookout position and fill the small gap near the soleplate.






I overcut two of the panels to retain moulded door hinge details and will file back carefully later, but I’ve only just noticed, while loading these photos, that I’ve cut the single solid panel to the left of the double luggage doors, with the beading to the right, not left as required. The next photo is cruel at this degree of enlargement!





The fix is easy enough with a sharp blade and styrene strip and will be good practice for the next error I make. While looking at this enlarged photo, note the end panel in front of the driver’s door. The John Ely model has a plain styrene panel here and at first, all the photos I saw in my reference books had one with panels matching the rest of the carriage. I therefore used a similar panel from the Ratio kit, but again when loading the photos, saw a unit with this plain panel. Look at the first photo of this post to see what I mean. I need to carry out more research to determine exactly which driving trailer I wish to represent and insert an appropriate panel.

I ended today’s (Saturday) session by cutting out the front end in 30 thou sheet, together with a buffer beam cut from the unused Ratio end. I’ll mark and cut out the windows tomorrow and model the basic details, but leave the finer stuff until the unit is assembled to avoid damage.

More soon,

Bill







Last edited on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 02:42 pm by Longchap

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Hi Bill,

What is the kerf on the saw? By the look of things you have 3 cuts on one side, 5 on the other. You might need to adjust the length of the longer side to get it square with the other (bin there, dun that).

Do you have a gong for the end? PM me if you don't, I have some spares you can have if you want a couple. Ratio seating strips are available for these carriages.

Nigel

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Hi Nigel,

Five cuts per side and the kerf is less than 1mm. I have panels on both sides to reduce to their correct shut lines, using very fine abrasive paper stuck to a flat plate and I'll be assembling the sides over longitudinal reinforcing strips, so have the ability to place the panels for overal dinensional accuracy. 

This is my first cut and shunt, so I hope my method overcomes any initial cutting inaccuracies. The trailer car should be much easier with two cuts per side and while I know I should of started there, I fancied the challenge!

I have some Ratio seat packs and although I aquired a spares auto coach with the last Dart Castings detail kit from ebay, it had its gong missing, so I'll most gratefully accept your kind offer and send a PM over.

I'm looking forward to the detailing stage and have some extra thin poly solvent to hopefully get neat 10 thou cube rivets and reinforcing plates in the right places. Now that will be a challenge!

Best,

Bill


Last edited on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 04:28 pm by Longchap

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Apart from the buffer beam, the driving end is scratch built, so care was taken and with the words of my sadly departed father-in-law, once a carpenter and joiner, of ‘measure twice and cut once’ affectionately ringing in my ears, I took up my tools and began.

The photos speak for themselves. The end being cut from 30 thou styrene sheet.







These enlarged images make the job seem straightforward, which it is really, except the workpiece is rather small, the following photo giving some scale from the pin vices.




The thing is that I was not using my usual big illuminated magnifier and I thought the window openings were cut out to an acceptable tolerance, until of course, I just saw these photos!

The 3 foot rule will almost certainly save me though, provided the bolections when secured to the yet to be added window frames, hide the hideous file work! If not, it’s out with the magnifier and finer files.

I need to stay in for a delivery tomorrow, so not sure when I’ll get back to the work room, but will add window frames and bolections, then prepare the sides for gluing.

Cheers,

Bill


Last edited on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 09:17 pm by Longchap

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Hi Bill,

Those Windows are a lot of work. I gave up in plastic and went to brass sheet when I had a go at these (I also used the old clerestory coaches as donors and used the bogies). Easier to get the radius in the corners and of course to solder on the frames. One trick is to draw it up on the computer, print, then glue to the inside of the styrene (or brass).

The pictures in Russell show it with the ends plated over in sheet metal. When the original coaches were modified to auto trailers I think they still had the end wood mouldings and framing. You could use the Ratio ends for either the smooth or framed end versions. They then match the sides

What paint scheme are you going for?

Nigel

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It was cold in the work room today, really cold, it being well below freezing outside, so a shorter stint of modelling until my fingers turned numb!

Yes Nigel, I think brass is certainly the way to go for the driving end, although now I’ve got the styrene end almost good enough, I’ll stick with it.

The Russell book shows plated over ends and leading side panels, while Lewis also has examples with overall panelled construction and as the front is plated, I’ll now make up replacement plain short side panels to match the driving end.

Regarding paint schemes. I’m slowly assembling stock rosters for both 1920 and 1930 periods (rail and road traffic) and ideally would have two Clifton down sets and may well make another in future. This one however, will carry the simplified 1930s livery.

Here is today’s progress:



I cut out a 30 thou styrene floor and two sets of 3.2mm angles for the soleplates and footboards, but the I’m not particularly happy with the fragility of the floor, so will investigate something stronger. I thought of using brass and I also have both 50 and 70 thou plasicard. Seats and partitions will help stiffen the structure if plastic is used. Some experimentation will be required tomorrow.

I don’t however have any brass sections for soleplate or footboards, so would have to see how successful fixing plastic to brass might be. Any thoughts?

Stay warm,

Bill

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Hi Bill,

Plastic to brass - plastic-compatible CA with some screws just to make sure, Roughen up both surfaces and use slow setting type.Thread the brass, use I beams with the screws on the inside. Thin coat of epoxy with screws works as well.

I think the windows on the end need to be higher that the ones on the sides, and the guards door windows need to be lower to match the compartment windows. One of the issue around using the Ratio kits. Minor details, that is looking really good so far.

Simplified scheme. Phew, I thought for a minute you were going for the 2-tone panels. There is a technique for that (one I never mastered but tried many, many times). 1920's would allow crimson lake (lake 1912) up to about 1930.. Ignore the lining out of the panels though.

Nigel

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Hi Bill

It looks to be progressing nicely. In the last photo the end looks really good, I would like to see a close up of it please. I bought a Silhouette cutter a little while ago and if I were building this set again now I would use that to produce the driving end. It will cut 10 and 20 thou styrene from CAD drawings done on the supplied software and would cut the windows with the radius accurately. If you need it thicker then you just cut the required number to make the right thickness and laminate them together.

I like the idea of having two sets in different era liveries but I'm not sure of the dates that these sets were converted. I have the necessary reference books to check but they are packed away for the next few weeks whilst we redecorate the house.

I would stay with plastic for the floor personally. If you use a fairly thick sheet, once the solebars and sides are in place then it should be rigid enough. It also has the benefit of using the same glue throughout.

 

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1913-1916. Eight conversions of Diagram E58 to autotrailer driving cars. Probably in utility Brown for some of them.

Nigel

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Thanks Nigel. I could remember there were eight sets converted but not the dates. All over brown would be an interesting, and easier variant.

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Not much modelling today, as the bride’s caught my cold and as I’m feeling slightly better than she is, I tucked her up and stayed nearby most of the day, serving cold remedies, tea and sympathy.

Thanks Nigel for the plastic to brass glue tip. I’ll be adding it to my notebook as I’m sure I’ll be needing it. You are quite right about the height of those end windows. Annoyingly I knew it, but fell into the mistake of wanting to get on and not checking how it looked against the sides as I went along. The quick and easy fix was to add a narrow strip to the bottom and cut a lower roof line. Simple but as I was looking through prototype photos, I became increasingly unhappy that the front just didn’t capture the look of the real thing.

I didn’t shy away from the 1920s panelled livery, sans lining, with my 35 year old previous effort on a rake of Ratio 4 wheelers. I should fish them out and put them alongside the Clifton Downs set when ready and see if they’re still creditable. If so, then I’ll try my hand again with the next coach bash.

Nick, I’ll not be using the front end from previous posts, but there’s a photo of it against the part built replacement below. If I like it when I get the window frames in, I’ll use it, otherwise, Mk3!

I like the idea of a Silhouette cutter and can see some good uses for it, such as not only a 30 thou front end, but also the 10 thou panelling to stick onto it. It would need to be worked hard enough to earn its keep however.

This photo is very much work in progress and cruel in the way close-ups are, but shows the Mk1 end alongside the possible replacement.



Bear in mind the original is a quarter size of the photo and when the openings are trimmed and the window frames fitted, they'll seem much smaller. I'll hopefully find time to do this tomorrow, then we'll see whether Mk3 is required.

Hmm, that reminds me of our conversation at the Eastleigh exhibition Nick, when I envisaged the possibility of making several front driving ends! Be careful what you wish for !!!

More soon,

Bill

Last edited on Wed Feb 28th, 2018 02:04 am by Longchap

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CONTINUING DIVERSION SLOWS PROGRESS

The bride and I have still been sharing the family cold this past week, previously all mine, but it’s good to share and we've hunkered down indoors to enjoy only the sight of snow, as we’ve been content to mainly rest indoors, but alas away from my work room.

Today however was an interesting model railway day. Following earlier email exchanges with Hattons, regarding an overdue Dean Goods loco and a promise of a replacement after a further wait, the original arrived this morning, as did a special gift from another railway enthusiast.

Oxford Rail’s unlined green Dean Goods is a great looker and I was very impressed with the highly detailed cab interior and very fine small details. Unfortunately, so fine that the distinctive tender fire irons hook was broken and rather than send me a couple of replacements, I need to return the loco, accept repayment and then pay again for new one. An unusual system, but as I’ve waited over two years for this one, I can jump through some hoops and wait a little while longer for a perfect example.

I did manage to escape for 20 minutes to the work room this afternoon for some fettling on the Clifton Downs driving end. Emery boards soon had the openings to an acceptable standard and I got half the window frames in. The icing on the cake though, was an offered-up warning gong, received from Nigel and it looks, well, perfect really. You have brownie points Nigel and the bride joins me in offering sincere thanks for your kindness.

I’ll do some more tomorrow and make a further report soon.

Bill

Last edited on Sat Mar 3rd, 2018 11:15 pm by Longchap

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So I told the bride I would be half an hour in my work room, then got stuck in cutting and fitting the trickier sections of the window frames and time was forgotten. I spent a whole hour getting just two 10thou frame sections tightly butted up against their neighbours.

I didn't want to see as much as a gnats whiskers gap, so just hope they look okay when dry and I get my magnifier out!

More soon,

Bill

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I'm watching this interest Bill.  A great project for a unique coach.  I see you were struggling with the driving end.  I might try making it composite by gluing it together in several pieces.  That way you can get your lines straight.  Perhaps some 0.5mm card at the back for reinforcement.

John

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Not so much struggling John, but more a case of me setting myself high standards, combined with first time scratch building such an important element of rolling stock!

It's great fun and I'm not rushing it, but hope to make better progress next week. Forming the bolections with 5 Amp fuse wire is next and should be even more fun.

Bill

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Well I get myself into a tizz sometimes with trying to set high standards.  It is a good thing to raise our individual bars.

John

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I'm in total agreement with you there John and it can only be good for our modelling.

After pouring over the various prototype photos in Russell and Harris, I've only just spotted what appears to be a smoke deflector on the end of the trailer car next to the loco. It takes the shape of a slim curved upstand above the roof at the end, so will be added in due course.

Bill

Last edited on Mon Mar 5th, 2018 12:28 am by Longchap

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Speaking of photos, I've been finding that if I type the thing I want into Google, it will come up with a load of images.  I've been pleasantly surprised at what's there even though a lot are unrelated.

John

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I got the window frames in today and am happy to accept Mk2 and will press on when the glue has dried.




The Mk2 version is a vast improvement on Mk1 and will progress to the next round!

Meanwhile, while the drying commenced, I started gluing the side panels together and cut new front leading panels from 40 thou styrene to represent the steel plating which covered the driving end and the two side panels either side of it.

After my concerns with the rigidity of the floor, I've decided to thicken it and replace the angle sections with ‘I’ beams, which should arrive via Ebay on Friday and hopefully a few other goodies I found on line.

More soon, hopefully a bit more of more next time.

Bill

Last edited on Fri Mar 9th, 2018 10:57 pm by Longchap

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A few hours here and there this week saw the completion of the sides, all for a bit of filling, as soon as I find the filler.


Hi tech modelling this isn’t!



It seems to have taken an age to get the sides glued up, but I think I’ve the panels all in the right order! There are two 30thou reinforcement strips glued top and bottom to keep everything in place while handling. I thought I’d model the driving compartment with the driver’s window open. In fact, I was originally going to have several windows open throughout the carriage, but having spent at least an hour, well probably two on this single window, I’ll only run the set in cold weather!




I tried to be careful when cutting and fettling all the panels in an attempt to have both sides the same length and they finished up within 1mm. However, the end panel looks a tad wide, so I must consult reference photos again and re-fettle as necessary.

I’ve removed the rain strips and gas lamps from both donor roofs and sanded everything down, ready for cutting, but this will only be done when I’ve assembled and braced the body, to ensure the roof will be cut to the appropriate length.

After collecting a few goodies from the post box today in the form of cast gas lamps (I did remove all moulded plastic ones intact, but wanted a little more definition), etches for varies length grab rails and two pair of buffer beams, oh and April’s Railway Modeller, I remembered that I’ve a set of etched brass ends for the Ratio 4 wheelers in the parts bin. That’s just two ends and I need three for both trailers, so I think another order to Dart Castings will be required. Just as well I’m working away next week, as the extra ends may be here when I get home next Friday.  

I don’t think I’ll get too much done over the weekend, but if I can find a few hours, I’d like to fit the end window bolections. They’re very fiddly, but 10 Amp fuse wire looks much better than the 5 Amp and will be easier to accomplish. ‘Easier’ by the way, is a relative term, as it will be a pain and I need to start it early in the day, before the close work makes the old eyes tired!

Enjoy the weekend everyone,

Bill






Last edited on Sat Mar 10th, 2018 01:48 am by Longchap

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Looking great Bill. :thumbs Really enjoying this thread.


Terry

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Thanks Terry, I'm afraid it will be quiet this next week, as I'm working away with a colleague until Friday night.

Parts ordered from Dart Castings though, so next weekend should be productive.

Bill

Last edited on Fri Mar 16th, 2018 08:26 pm by Longchap

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Looking good Bill.

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Thanks Nick. It's slow but steady progress and we've been just so busy since I got home on Friday, that I only got into my work room for an hour this afternoon!

I've been putting off the window bolections for a while, but want to get them done now, with a some other basic detail so I can assemble the body, so .  .  .


The fuse wire is bent up an superglued, first with a blob of super thick CA in the corner to stop it behaving like a shopping trolley with a broken wheel, then super thin and runny stuff to fix it well and good. I'm very pleased with the results so far and you can hardly see the join. I'll finish them just as soon as and get the shell assembled.

I've received notification from Hattons that my replacement Dean Goods has been dispatched together with a pre-ordered Collet Goods and they'll make a contrasting pair over my two modelling time periods.

Regarding the Clifton Downs set though, I rather fancy the weathered shirt-button 48xx will look the job.

More soon,

Bill

Last edited on Mon Mar 19th, 2018 01:18 am by Longchap

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bolections looking good so far Bill. The tricky bit is getting the other half cut to the right lengths so that there is no gaps, but I'm sure you'll do just fine.
Regarding the motive power for these sets, I can only recall seeing photos with them coupled to a 64xx pannier. I'd be interested to see evidence of a 48xx in use with these as I would like to have some basis to run mine sandwiched between the Clifton Downs and the A30 Autocoach but I'm thinking it would be stretching credibility a little.

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I've photos with them with Metro tanks Nick and as this loco was widely replaced with the 48xx, it having auto gear, it seems natural to assume a good marriage between the two. However, I'll look specifically at this and let you know what I find.

Yes, they are fiddly, but I'll not be defeated, as I have plenty of fuse wire and patience.

Cheers,

Bill

Last edited on Mon Mar 19th, 2018 02:38 am by Longchap

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Just a quick update, as I'm off to my French lesson in a mo and I managed a little modelling time this morning, when I folded up an etched brass coach end:




A great improvement on the Ratio version. It has emergency brake rodding and lamp irons to add, although the instructions for the brake rodding is at best vague, although I have some decent photos to follow.

The window bolections at the other end are almost there and hopefully will be finished during the next session.

More soon,
à bientôt,

Bill

Last edited on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 12:48 am by Longchap

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Just an hour today to get something done and I managed to finish those bolections. Some clean up to do once the glue has completely set.

There's a couple of spots needing a little tidying with a tad of filler, plus a windscreen wiper will distract from the fix to the big gap above the driver's window.

I also managed to fold up a buffer beam and then spent an hour and more on the net, trying to find some Dean oval coach buffers, but they seem to be a rare beast in 4mm, so I'll just have to cheat.

A bit more detail to both ends, then it'll begin to look more like a carriage as the bodywork gets joined together.

Bill

Last edited on Thu Mar 22nd, 2018 09:42 am by Longchap

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Hi Bill,

I have some Dean loco buffers (Kean Maygib), not what you need (round head). Try emardee.org.uk if they are still in business, they have GWR Dean long tapered coach buffers (die 1244). Contact is hubert@emardee.org.uk

Nigel

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Hi Nigel,

Thanks for your post and I was looking at the Emardee website the other day. Unfortunately, die 1244 appears to have round heads, as when you click through to the detail panel, it talks of these buffers been used universally on Clerestory types and also with oval heads for some later coaches. 

However, when searching yesterday, I found and ordered a packet of 20 etch oval overlays with Peters Spares and also some 24" GWR coach buffers from Dart Castings to take them. I hope they'll pass muster.

Fortunately, Dart post to France at moderate cost, although the same cannot be said for Peters Spares, so my chum Brian is bringing them out in a week or so when he comes to visit.

Plenty to do in the meantime though, including our winter maintenance schedule, just started. Fortunately, I have help with most of the heavy work!

Thanks as usual,

Bill

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Another very quick update, as I dream of spending a whole day modelling instead of snatched moments.

Regulator plate, gong and destination board brackets added to the driver's end:

The gong is removable for painting the bodywork, but will be later glued in place. Again, looking at these enlarged photos shows all the mistakes and I really should replace a couple of rivets half a gnat's whisker to the right!

Having built one half of the ATC gear from scraps, I checked my prototype photo to see that it wasn't fitted to my chosen trailer! So, except for drilling fixing holes for steps, lamp irons and grab handles and forming the tumblehome, the end is ready for joining to the sides.

Next time; body assembly.

Bill




Last edited on Sat Mar 24th, 2018 09:49 pm by Longchap

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Quote, "Next time; body assembly." .  .  .

Yes, almost there, but I needed to drill those holes and trial fit grab rails, etc, so have done so and as I have to go wine tasting this afternoon to a small vineyard I can see from the window, run by a new couple (all work here as usual), then work permitting, I'll start gluing the body together tomorrow.

Here's a snatched pic from earlier this morning:

There's now additional rails below those above and between the windows and I'll straighten everything up when I glue them in.

Speak soon,

Bill


Last edited on Wed Mar 28th, 2018 03:17 pm by Longchap

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pnwood wrote: bolections looking good so far Bill. The tricky bit is getting the other half cut to the right lengths so that there is no gaps, but I'm sure you'll do just fine.
Regarding the motive power for these sets, I can only recall seeing photos with them coupled to a 64xx pannier. I'd be interested to see evidence of a 48xx in use with these as I would like to have some basis to run mine sandwiched between the Clifton Downs and the A30 Autocoach but I'm thinking it would be stretching credibility a little.

Hello again Nick,

I looked through my books and have not found specific reference to these sets being coupled to 48xx locos, despite me wanting to find it so! I have plenty of photos with the 0-4-2 Class 517 tanks and I'm aware of the use of the 64xx. As the 64xx was only introduced in 1936, I may need a metro tank for my 1920s service.

I seem to recall an Airfix/Hornby 14xx bashed into a 517 tank somewhere, so will investigate further, plus of course, I'll now need to acquire a 64xx in appropriate livery!

If anyone can shed further light on motive power for these sets, I'd be curious to hear more.

Cheers,

Bill

Edit: found the 517 conversion here http://www.gwr.org.uk/pro517.html

It will be essential to have really good photos, but it looks like a fun project, although maybe easier with a DJM loco.

Last edited on Thu Mar 29th, 2018 08:39 am by Longchap

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Hi Bill,

Shapeways has closed and open cabs. Not so much fun as bashing an old Airfix or Hornby body. The bash or 3D print is I think a tad longer than it should be. The alternative is an old K's white metal kit which is almost the right length. I was going to convert the one I have, never got around to it.

Nigel

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Hi Nigel,

Pheonix Precision also do a 455/3500 Metro tank 2-4-0 at:

https://www.phoenix-paints.co.uk/products/deansidings/deansidings-gwrkits/ds453a

I'm not too sure on resin bodies yet, but having seen a line drawing of a 517 overlaid on a 14xx, the differences (late rebuild) are minimal enough to make me want to have a bash, so one of my pair of Airfix 14xxs is in the queue for surgery!

See post 14 at: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/92797-george-armstrongs-masterpiece/ for the above mentioned drawing.

Back to the Clifton Downs set and I cut an additional floor laminate and the partitions this morning and will next fit the floor to strengthen the shell and then start on the chassis.



Above was the commencement of the shell assembly yesterday.

More soon,

Bill



Last edited on Fri Mar 30th, 2018 06:39 pm by Longchap

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Hi Bill,

i was going to add that you need to do the conversion with an old Airfix or Keyser model, the Hornby one is not amenable to hackery and butchery unless you want that big lump of a motor/chassis visible.The Phoenix kit at £80 is way beyond my zero-cost Keyser kit. I went through the differences in dimensions a few years ago when I was thinking about doing a conversion, the couple of mm difference is modelers license.

That engineer's square might be a tad heavy as a floor, and the MOW folks might have a few words to say on track clearances.

Nigel

 

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You're doing a lovely job with this kitbash so far, very nice work!

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I saw a Keyser kit for the 517 just the other day on ebay. It went up to £28 as I kept reminding myself I already have a pair of Airfixes, so kept it an arm's distant, as the 14xx conversion will be easy and much fun.

Quite right Nigel, engineer's squares pack a lot of weight for their size, which is why they are such reliable assistants despite demolishing the loading gauge!

Thanks for your kind words Brendan. I'm enjoying this bash muchly, as it's required a fair amount of research, as well as modelling.

A major reconfiguration of very large kitchen furniture continues tomorrow, so progress is severely limited. Today, I just glued a strip of 30thou styrene to the lower inside part of the driving end. This will enable me to safely sand the tumblehome, as I chickened out of bending the end for fear of breaking it.

Bye for now,

Bill 

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Regarding 517 options mentioned above. Besides the Keyser kit which sold for a modest £28 on ebay last week, there was also a secondhand Shapeways bodyshell listed, which I was watching on the same auction site. I had a maximum bid set at £26, as a new one sells for just 30€, although needs finishing work and a new white metal dome.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/173215159122?_trksid=p2471758.m4704

The ebay item, which had been painted in BR black over GWR green, needed a good few days soaking in brake fluid to get it back ready for detailing and painting. Ebay madness struck pretty hard, as some uninformed modeler paid a staggering £53 for it.

There is certainly one born every minute!

Enjoy the modelling chaps and buy wisely. 

Bill

Last edited on Tue Apr 3rd, 2018 01:30 am by Longchap

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Gods, that drives me batty sometimes. How people will steamroller-outbid everyone with a crazy max bid like that because they're so fixated on winning, even when the item isn't worth that much and/or there are several perfectly good "Buy it Now" listings they could have gone for if they were willing to drop that much money.

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Little and often seems to sum up my modelling recently, but I got the sides, end and floor together today.







I’ve left the rear end off until last, as it’s brass and needs careful fitting with superglue and plastic angle.

I’ve just noticed, as often happens with these close ups, that some bolection sections are loose, so it’s out with the CA again in the morning! 

Cheers,

Bill

Last edited on Wed Apr 4th, 2018 01:15 am by Longchap

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Nothing worse than loose bolections !  :roll:       ;-)    coming along nicely sir  :thumbs  how close are you to the first coat of primer ?
Cheers

Matt

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Isn't that always the way?

Still, nice work. This is inspiring me to get back to my own autocoach project

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Yes Matt, primer isn't far away, just as soon as I get the partitions in so the solvent can do it's thing with the styrene. Then it will look a whole lot better, or worse, depending on the panel fits!

I remember your autocoach project Brendan and good luck with that. I also have a clerestory version in mind myself using old Triang stock.

Bill

Last edited on Wed Apr 4th, 2018 03:09 pm by Longchap

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All 7 internal partitions were adjusted and fitted today, with the exception of that to the driving compartment, to allow a little more room for fitting some interior detail, besides the driver.





I trial fitted the roof with every partition to ensure the body shell retained its correct width. This is not normally a big issue with a straightforward kit build, but since the sides are an amalgam of several panels, it’s essential to keep them on the straight and narrow!

I need to find some blue-tac in the morning to hold two really tiny brackets in place though fixing holes in the rear panel while I glue them from behind, then I can fit the end and give the body a careful wash, ready for primer.

Oh and we had our hottest day of the year so far and enjoyed a lovely lunch outside on the river bank of fresh asparagus, fish with baby spinach and strawberries. Roll on summer!

Cheers,

Bill

Last edited on Fri Apr 6th, 2018 10:39 pm by Longchap

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Hi Bill
My apologies for not commenting before.  One could rightly say I was speechless....:lol: I am so impressed with your patience and attention to detail.

It will look splendid and of course quite unique........it makes my out of the box autocoaches look very run of the mill.

Not sure if I am quite so impressed with your description of lunch......its rather wet here:lol:

Best wishes

John



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Getting closer and closer.. They'll be painted and glazed before you know it!

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Thanks for your kind words John. I’ve taken my time to minimise errors, although have still made a few, but learned well from the experience and am looking forward to the next builds.
 
I got some fine filler into some body gaps today, attached the brass rear end and prepared the underside of the floor for the front buffer, also a brass etch. Once this are fixed, it will be time for primer.
 
I did notice however, that the 3rd Class seating is a little tight for space and that the glazing will take a while to fit, as there are 17 separate pieces to fit and I better use Glue and Glaze.
 
The paint and glazing may however take a little while longer though Brendan, as I need to do more work away next week. I just hope the weather’s good enough for exterior decorating!
 
Bill

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I had a dreadful night’s sleep last night with chronic indigestion keeping me up to 04h30. All my own fault due to just one last roast beef sarnie before bedtime! Anyway, I needed to snooze this morning and never made it out to buy Blu-tac, so no primer, so instead mainly cut and fettled seats for a while this afternoon.

I fished out some packs of the old Ratio seat extrusions and smiled at the price tag from a few years back!



This is where a mitre block is the essential assistant to Mr Jack the Razor, to avoid ill-fitting seats. I commented yesterday on the cosiness of GWR 3rd Class accommodation, well this is where those seats need to undergo liposuction, the half millimetre per seat giving a valuable extra 3” between kneecaps in the cheap seats, although the real reason for reducing the thickness is to prevent seeing too much of the backrest through the windows and particularly the space behind the curvature of the seat back showing.



The left hand seat is straight from the pack, while the one on the right is in post-operative care. With ten seats to cut, file, shape and notch round the coach reinforcing strips, it takes a good ten minutes a seat, so like ballasting, it’s best to do it in more than one session!

In finishing, here’s a photo from yesterday, with the rear end firmly attached, detailing to be added later.



I'll finish the seats tomorrow, but am heading north for a couple of days on Wednesday, so may be unable to post until the weekend.

Cheers,

Bill




Last edited on Sat Apr 14th, 2018 04:41 pm by Longchap

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It’s good to be back from up North and thanks to delivery of the long awaited buffers from Dart Castings this morning, I spent a useful couple of hours trial fitting them to the buffer beams.

Moving on, I’ve started on the fragile emergency brake gear to the rear end of the coach. I lost one and broke two of four tiny brass brackets holding the high horizontal bar in place, so with one successfully fixed to the coach, I’ll attach one of the damaged brackets to the rod etch, modify the vertical section to fit and then glue the whole thing into place, supported with strategically place blu-tac as temporary support. Someone at Shirescenes thoughtfully provided extra brackets on the etch!

That will be the task for tomorrow, as my eyes have had enough close work for today, so fingers crossed and I’ll hopefully have a photo to show by the end of the weekend.

Cheers,

Bill

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A change in order saw the detailing of the front end today, not the rear, as I thought it a little more robust than the other, so easier to protect when I do the rear.





I've customised some more steps for the front and will fix these, lamp irons and vacuum pipes before priming. The two roofs were chopped and joined into one and very loosely posed together with the buffer beam, less the buffers, as they don't go in until I have the correct oval heads, hopefully delivered soon.

I opened the 'new old stock' K's bogies which need to be fixed soon and was unimpressed with their crudeness, so will revisit a pair of 3D prints in the parts bin and then make a decision, as I need them fitted to set the ride height.

More soon,

Bill

 

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Lots of intricate looking stuff on there Bill - you've got to be pleased with that. :thumbs

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Hi Bill. Speaking of bogies, does your kit have Bogies or just four wheels? And how about the chassis and underfame, have you done that yet. It looks like a nice kit but does not seem available . Best wishes. Kevin

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Very pleased thanks Peter, and I'm particularly enjoying the detailing process, although fettling and fitting such small parts is tiring on the eyes.

Yes, there are bogies Kevin, as mentioned in my last post above and if you have the time to read through the thread, you'll see how this driving trailer is produced from a couple of Ratio 4 wheelers. There is also a matching intermediate trailer and is a much simpler build.

Here's a photo of the Dean bogies.



They don't have step boards yet and I'm not sure whether to use them or a set from a 3D print. The bogies are bolted through the floor, while the solebars are added, together with vacuum gear, brake linkages, etc to the underside.

Today I fitted the gas lamps and as this set will be in the 1930's simplified livery, I fitted the later two pipe system for gas and pilot lights.



The pipes are fed up to the roof from the guard's compartment via the off centre cover made by removing the lamp top from the white metal casting.



Then came the rather tedious process of the pipe clamps, holding the pipework to the roof. I made these from microstrip which is well over 30 years old and had an anoying habit of breaking once solvent was introduced and even a small amount of pressure applied, so many replacements were necessary.  The eagle eyed will notice some pipe clamps still need fixing down on one side. Gluing each clamp in a two-stage process seemed more successful against snapping, but took much longer.

Just rain strips to add and after some cleaning up with 1000 grade abrasive paper, a coat of primer will greatly improve the scrappy appearance.

Bill
 

Last edited on Thu Apr 19th, 2018 12:36 pm by Longchap

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Hi Bill. Thank you for your reply. Very good indeed. The patience of a saint. That 1000 grade paper( glass/ sand? ) is that the one that once was called “ Flour “? Is that aluminium that you are fitting just behind the cab? Speaking of eBay? I have purchased a lot of stuff, not all model railway, but the auction lead me to paying more than I intended to pay plus the postage and packing, and of course the waiting. The bogies look like a pair that came with an eBay early Triang Clerestory , but mine, if they are the same? are already assembled and the wheels seem to be “ locked in “ by the assembly. But i’m Sure your ones must be better. Keep up the good work. Best wishes.  Kevin

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I picked up the 1000 grade abrasive paper from Halfords a while back Kevin, together with a couple of always useful cans of grey primer. The aluminium coloured components behind the driving cab will be the white metal roof mounted gas lamps, sourced from Dart Castings.

Some progress today and as it’s my birthday, I was allowed some time off from weeding and generally tidying the gardens in readiness for our first guests next month. This was a good time to try and complete detailing the ends, so the front received a gong mounting plate and foot-steps, still leaving the lamp irons, vacuum pipe and windscreen wiper to fit. The rear end as always, will follow along soon.



The unusual angle of the above photo is a result of suspending the body vertically from a partition on a steel rule. This facilitated the fixing of the steps, precariously positioned with the aid of small dollops of ‘White-tac’ while the superglue set. One is not upsidedown however, it's just the way Swindon did things!

I used some scraps to make a regulator arm and brake column for the driving compartment and then built a sub-frame with a rear cab wall, scribed to represent horizontal timber cladding and added a folding seat and a door to the luggage compartment. I’ve selected a driver from numerous candidates, who is currently under the butcher’s knife for height and arm adjustments in order to reach all the controls, then he’ll do just fine.




Next up were soleplates and step boards. After considering several options, I finally settled on two vertically staggered back to back angle extrusions. The 3.2mm angles best capture the prototype and the upper angle was glued to the underside of the floor and holes drilled in the floor for the bogies. I’ll be taking measurements from these holes, then fitting reinforcing plates to the lower angle (step board) while on the cutting mat, before fitting them.

Having looked again at the K’s bogies, the old castings from a generation ago are hardly crisp and additionally needed step boards adding, so I dug out a pair of 3D printed Dean 8’6’’ bogies with step boards from Shapeways and with a set of pin-point bearings and wheel sets popped into place, they look and roll just great and will answer nicely.




I’m back to work tomorrow, but will try and squeeze in a visit to the railway room.

Bill





Last edited on Sun Apr 22nd, 2018 11:32 pm by Longchap

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Hi Bill.  Excellent.  The Shapeways Bogies for your project are they very good? or just okay. “ I don’t  think if I stayed in the hobby for all the years that I was doing other things “ I could reach your standard. You ended with the phrase      “ I ‘m back to work tomorrow “ ,  me, I am not fit for work, that is why I gave up my plot, and the garden is like a jungle.    Best wishes.  Kevin.     PS When I was driving , admittedly for LT/ TFL, all the trains had driving seats on the left, likewise BR

Last edited on Mon Apr 23rd, 2018 09:31 am by Passed Driver

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Firstly Bill - Happy Birthday !!!

Secondly, your "day off" was very well spent - the results look brilliant.  You have my permission to crack a celebratory bottle now - only to keep the dust down you'll understand.

Hot and humid here today - did you have the same ?

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Very kind words and thank you Kevin. I think the Shapeways’ bogies will probably work very well, as they already roll through a pair of facing points smoothly with just a gentle push and with little resistance.

Bearing in mind the trailer is graduly becoming of good weight as the build progresses, I really think it will run rather well. I hope the 3D printing ‘grain’ is not very noticeable when painted. The only downside is the Shapeways’ units at over 6€ each, are not inexpensive. I will order another set though for the matching intermediate trailer, so they all look the same.

247 Developments are out of sock of these units, but I’ll try a pair for a future project to see how much better they are than my old K’s ones.

Like yourself, I’ve also only recently returned to railway modelling following a long break due to proper work! However, all business activities are now carried out from home, so escaping to the railway room is always a possibility.

Bill

Last edited on Mon Apr 23rd, 2018 12:51 am by Longchap

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Petermac wrote: Firstly Bill - Happy Birthday !!!

Secondly, your "day off" was very well spent - the results look brilliant.  You have my permission to crack a celebratory bottle now - only to keep the dust down you'll understand.

Hot and humid here today - did you have the same ?

Bonsoir et merci Peter,

We had a lie-in and then strolled hand in hand up to the market to buy fillet steak and enjoy a meeting of like minded souls for wine and nibbles. The steak was helped by an excellent local red to banish those last traces of dust and poly solvent!

Hot, but thankfully not as humid as of late today and next week should be fun.

Best,

Bill

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I would guess the molds for the K's bogies were rather worn by the time yours were made. A lot of (relatively) newer Airfix kits also have issues with fit and sharpness.

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Hi All.   Fifty odd years ago , I purchased a new Airfix Loco Shed ,on my return to model railways , I purchased the same “ type “ of shed sold with Dapol packaging , that too has suffered the same plight . Best wishes. Kevin

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Hi Bill , bearing mind my lack of ability to complete a kit, and considering my love for Southern and BR ( S ) I will rest on my Laurels, and that may put a spring in my step. When I returned to model railways , an early purchase was aHornby Push Pull Set, no doubt that has critics, but for me, for the time being I will see if I could run it, as a “workers special” on a plank, a bit far fetched?  But I could build a fiddle yard or something of the ilk?   Best wishes  Kevin

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I have that same Airfix kit Kevin, bought, built and painted 40 years ago and it still looks good today, just not very Great Western, so it remains a happy reminder of my youth.

It is your railway, so set yourself achievable goals and enjoy the hobby in a way which suits you and you alone.

Remember . . . it's good to run trains, as it brings smiles to lads of all ages.

Best,

Bill


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Joined: Thu Feb 19th, 2015
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Hi Bill.  Thank you for the words of encouragement . The Dapol version of the Loco Shed , is well at ground level, but just under the “ eaves “ the height of one wall isn’t up to standard , calls for a bodge up?  Best wishes. Kevin

Longchap
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Joined: Wed Mar 25th, 2015
Location:  Saumur, France
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Just a little work today in chopping up and reassembling a driver. The unlucky chap was a crudely painted Bachmann figure, facing front and centre, so just right for an auto-car driver. He was cut off just below the waist, then lost both arms and then a good few mm in height from the bottom of the torso and his feet. When he could see through the window, he was positioned on the cab sub-assembly to get the correct length of arms to reach both brake and regulator.





A fuse wire armature was used to locate the left arm, as it has such a small contact area for glue, while the right was shortened and glued at the elbow to the body, with filler added to reconstruct an upper arm. I just need to snip off the excess fuse wire from his left arm, add a little filler, then paint before he can take his place at the helm.

The roof was finished today and is now ready for painting.



I decided not to add destination board backets, as the roof detail is full enough already and these brackets had been removed from many trailers. Grey paint should blend the detail, particularly the rain strips, into the structure.

Other detail parts arrive with my friend on Wednesday, including the oval buffer heads and a lining device I found on-line, which I hope should improve my chances of achieving a decent finish in the painting stage, which is not far off now.

I’m only going to finish off the driver and roof painting before taking a week off, switching from trains to cars, as we fit a newly rebuilt engine into an old Austin 7 and fettle away until it hopefully goes well enough.

See you soon(ish).

Bill

Last edited on Mon Apr 30th, 2018 04:19 pm by Longchap

Longchap
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Goodness, no modelling for just over three weeks! State of play as of today, is that all detailing has been fitted and now ready for painting. However, we have been very busy with our holiday cottages, gardens and pool, as imminent visitors are on their way this weekend and then we are fully booked for all of June and July.

So I carefully packed the driving trailer in a bubble lined box and methodically put materials, adhesives and tools away in readiness fof further modelling towards the end of the season.

A little more research today however, solved the mystery, to me anyway, of the white stripes often seem on GWR and BR Western Region autocoach driver’s front and sometimes side droplight windows. 

These were to alert loco crews to the presence of the adjacent windows, particularly during coaling the bunker. The lines were painted on the inside of the window, often at different heights to other coaches and the droplights sometimes had white lines painted either horizontally or vertically.

More on the finishing stage of this kit bash, but alas, probably not until September.

Have a great summer everyone and I’ll be back to lurking for a while!

Bill

Last edited on Wed May 23rd, 2018 09:52 pm by Longchap

Passed Driver
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Joined: Thu Feb 19th, 2015
Location: Peckham, United Kingdom
Posts: 2067
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My photos:
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Hi Bill  Good Luck with the busy season ahead of you.  Kevin


                 

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