O Gauge BR(W) Push-Pull Set

Now, I am not a Western Region Steam person. I do have a couple of O gauge Western region Diesels, but that’s about it. However when these arrived for a light weathering, I just thought, wow, they are lovely, really lovely. These are Lionheart Models and apparently purchased from Tower Models at discounted prices. Sadly now all gone, however they are due to reappear under Dapol ownership next year.

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WCR Mk2 Coaches

The middle of last year my wife and her friends went on a NENTA tour to Crich Tram museum. When I dropped her off at the station, I noticed that most of the stock was Air Conditioned Mk2’s.

I then decided I would like to build up a small rake, I thought five coaches topped and tailed would be nice. I purchased three, that’s all I could find at the local swap-meet and proceeded to strip them and paint them. This had to be another cheap project, this time I had to pay an average of £6 per coach for Mainline/Dapol  unboxed ones. Not as cheap as the DRS donor coaches!!!

Transfers this time were Railtec, and very good they are. Three down, two more to do.

Bachmann Collectors Club have just done a 37/7 – come on Bachmann how about a 47, or two!!!!!!!

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DRS Mk2 Coaches

This is a far more up to date rake of coaches. I went to Norwich to see the Class 37’s top & tail the Gt Yarmouth and Lowestoft trains, and although the stars are the 37’s, I thought it would be great to do the three coach rake.

I did not want to spend a lot on this project so I had a rummage at a local swap-meet and found three rather tatty Airfix/Mainline Mk2D coaches, 1 x BSO and 2 x TSO. I know these are technically not quite right, but they were £3 each – unboxed!

I already had a supply of DRS paint, so work started straight away. I sent for the appropriate transfers from R3sprays and they were soon finished.  Please note, I need to give them a slight weathering later. They look brilliant between two Bachmann 37/4’s.

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OO Test Coaches

During the late 1990’s when Bachmann brought out their superb Mk1  and Mk2 coaches I wondered what to do with my two dozen or so Lima models. Some were repainted into various liveries that were not available in the Lima or Bachmann range, these were sought after and sold. This left about ten that were standard Lima and to be honest, not worth a lot at the time.

I decided that if I took some and ‘cut and shut’ them I could turn them into Department and Test coaches. As well as cutting them about, I filled in windows, made roller shutter doors, re-profiled the roofs and remodel the ends. I also purchased some Replica Railways bogies of various types. I have to say at this stage I did not replace the roof vents that were left as the prototype. I really wish I had and have to say this was a missed opportunity.

The best part of this project was the research, this was the time that SERCO had most track testing contracts for Railtrack and later Network Rail. There was many great websites that  helped a great deal, books were a little thin on the ground, but some were available. I drew up a wish list of ones I would like. I did rough drawings of each carriage, both sides, the ends and the roof where possible, not many photographs of the roofs exist for obvious reasons.  I did amend some of the under floor boxes etc., but not all. Again I wish I had done a bit more to the underfloor bits.

Now a note of caution, a lot of the coaches in departmental service ‘evolved’ in service, some had extra windows added, vents and grills added and some went the other way and had things ‘filled in’.

As I say above, I did regret not doing more to the roof and under frame, my excuse at the time was a limited budget and time. I also thought that at exhibitions, most people just see a train go round without stopping and little notice is taken of the underframe, although the roof is very noticeable.

I have to say that the plastic that Lima coaches were made from was very soft and easy to cut and re-glue in different positions, it fills well and sanding is easy, gluing plastic card to it was also easy.  It also takes enamel paints very well.

After doing this exercise, I then turned my attention to Dapol Mk2D’s and even a Lima Mk3. All were cheap purchases and went through my modification process.

Although not perfect – they are better than nothing!

I later also took a Lima Class 101 and turned that into ‘IRIS 2’

All  stock  to be weathered later.

 

O Gauge Carriages

Although I currently have no layout to run coaches on, I felt I would like a small fleet. Because I could not run any  I did not want to spend a lot of money on them and so turned to kit building. Most of the kits are Kirk Kits with an odd JLTRT as well.

Kirk Kits are very reasonably priced but they really come alive if you add extra detail. Yes, they are time-consuming but with care and a little fettling  they are really good. I guess that by the time you have purchased the interior and the wheels, buffers,  bearings and pipework, the whole coach costs about £85. Being a BR(E) transition person all the coaches are Gresley and Thompson.

I also purchased a MTH Stanier full brake for my ‘milk train’. I still need to number it and then do the weathering.

The JLTRT kit is a CCT and was a lovely kit to make, only slight problem was that the wrong size bolts were in the kit (to short) but I will be investing in further kits from this manufacturer.

Some coaches still to be weathered.

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