These coaches are generally very good. Body mouldings are crisp and decoration is top notch. I have two lots of these: 4 in crimson and 4 in lined maroon. The latter batch came out last year and have improved decoration in the form of window transfers and overhead warning flashes.
By the way, by using a magnifying glass, I determined that the blue sign on the window of the brake coach compartment adjacent to the lav. says “LADIES ONLY”.
However, being a couple of generations old, the coaches are sorely lacking in two significant areas:
1) Glazing – definitely NOT flush and
2) Undeframes – very clunky and crude
This project will be in two parts broken down into the categories above.
I will first of all add flush glazing from 2 sources. The first will be the Extreme Etching laser cut flush glazing from Shawplan. I have never seen a review of these so I think one is overdue. The second source will be SE Finecast flush glazing. I used this for my ex LMS suburbans – see post below.
The next phase will be to rework the underframes. For this I will use components from Comet Models.
I have eight coaches to do (groan!). The Shawplan glazing pack can be seen on the left. Next to it is a pack of underframe components including vacuum cylinders, battery boxes, dynamos and assorted other bits. The next pack contains switch boxes and oil valves. Finally there is a pack of buffers and jumper cables.
I’ve been working on the flush glazing and here is the result:
The brake on the left has flush glazing (in case you didn’t know).
The underframe is held on with quite sturdy clips. The best way to get it out is to lever the coach side away from the underframe using an Xacto blade and pry the other side with another Xacto. The lower step is quite fragile so be careful (ask me how I know).
First, to use the Shawplan glazing you must REALLY want to flush glaze your coaches. It is very fiddly. I got off to a bit of a rough start but with practice I got in my stride. There are NO instructions and the best I could do was find some photos on the Shawplan site/blog.
First question: what to use for adhesive? I opted for Future (old). I understand that there is a new formulation which is not as good for this job (I imagine it does polish floors though).
The pack contains door windows and compartment windows. Remove only those windows you want to install from the fret. I used a sanding stick (nail file) to smooth the corners. I decided to begin with the door windows. The windows go in from the front and you need to understand that there is a very subtle taper which means you need to be careful that the window goes in the right way up. For the door windows there is also, again, a very subtle difference in corner radius delineating top and bottom. Get it wrong and there will be a gap at the bottom.
I used a small flat brush to apply the Future very carefully to minimise getting the stuff on the coach side. When not in use, put the brush in a container of water. Do about half a dozen at a time and allow to dry for about 15 minutes. Check that the windows are still where you want them. Any that are out of line will be obvious when viewing along the length of the coach.
I have done a second open and found that the compartment windows don’t seem to fit as well as on the brake. I put this down to tiny differences in window opening dimensions. Running a curved Xacto blade along the inside of the windows will help to open them up. Yo may want to fettle the windows a bit as well, particularly the corners.
25 April 2012
Since I had the coaches apart and the windows are much clearer than the old ones, I decided to improve the interiors somewhat. Nothing fancy but just painting floors and seats. I’m not entirely sure and I did do a search but I think 2nd/3rd class seats were red. The simple representation of compartment pictures is taken from a Bill Bedford seat download, free on his site:http://www.mousa.biz/downloads/coach_seats.html
The coaches look brilliant to me as evidenced by this picture:
I added security bars on the parcels compartment window of the 2 brakes by:
1) chemically blackening 0.020″ brass wire and
2) gluing it into place
I still need to add “No Smoking” decals.
That’s phase 1 a) done. Phase 1 b) will add Finecast flush glazing to 4 other coaches.