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Low-tech coach restoration (1)

Posted by Mikkel , in Rolling stock 29 December 2012 · 2,155 views

GWR coach restoration
Low-tech coach restoration (1) Some years ago I picked up a number of secondhand GWR four and six-wheel coaches, originally scratchbuilt by Colin Edge. They were lovely models but had been worn by time. I have since been gradually restoring them - not to finescale standards but to general working order. The following couple of blog entries is a lighthearted illustration of the work done.

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First job was to inspect the damage (with apologies to Chris Nevard!). The example seen here is a diagram R1 All First 4-wheeler in the lake livery.

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There must be a thousand coaches out there with broken or warped stepboards!

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Springs gone too. And the paintwork is looking a bit sad. Anyone aged 40 upwards will recognize the symptoms :)

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The roof has buckled, and the glazing isn’t so pretty anymore.

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So to summarize, this little R1 exhibits some very typical signs of wear and tear on kitbuilt coaches. But as long as the basic model is sound it is well worth the restoration effort, I think. More on this to follow...

Go to part 2.
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It looks a little like a Hall I have. Is it save a GWR kit year?

Let's make it one! I think your Hall was in a much worse condition though. The basic structure of these coaches is sound, so I haven't disassembled them.


But I'd like to improve my soldering, and was thinking of buying a cheap old kitbuilt loco to disassemble and reassemble for practice. I know it may be wiser to practice on a clean new kit, but funds are very low at present. I'm sure it won't be to your standards though!

It's faring better than me.

Season's greetings too!!

Best wishes,


Yeah, I can really identify with these little coaches too :-) Happy new year!

I've got several kits like that, they were all built in the late 70s or early 80s and now need the same sort of care and attention. Like you I did not want to practice my skills on them so I purchased an old loco kit that needed a lot of work doing to it, at least if anything goes wrong I won't be too bothered and if it goes well I have another model to use.


Happy New Year and I look forward to the next blog



Hello Jim, do you mean you've got some of the same coaches from the same kits? That's interesting. I've always thought they were scratchbuilt by Colin Edge, using some etches he made himself in very small quantities. Perhaps they were more widespread than I thought? In any case, it's good to know there are others out there who appreciate old hand-me-down kit-builds :-)

Hi Mikkel


Not the same kits as such, just in the same state. I just loved brass back in those days and have some from Colin Waite, Mallard and TMD to name but a few. It will take me ages to repair/complete those I have before staring on anything new.

That's the dilemma isn't it - whether to repair the old stuff or start with something new.


If repairing an old kit entails completely disassembling it and starting over, in my view it may make more sense to build a new one. On the other hand, some people can work wonders - eg Pete and his Hall: http://www.rmweb.co....10697-gwr-hall/


Maybe the best approach is to make a judgement call from case to case.

Jan 04 2013 17:35

Anyone aged 40 upwards will recognize the symptoms


Not so! Those coaches curve inwards around the waist... ;)

Good point :-) 


Last night I was working on the coaches and found myself humming "Yesterday...". Not a coincidence, I think!

Welcome to Farthing!

Attached Image: farthing2.jpg


This blog chronicles the building of "The Farthing layouts", a series of small OO layouts that portray different sections of a GWR junction station in Edwardian days.


Intro and concept
How to eat an elephant
Design principles
State of play


Gallery (1900-1904)
Four o'clock blues, ca. 1902
What really happened in the Cuban...
The honourable slipper boy (Part 1)
The honourable slipper boy (Part 2)
The honourable slipper boy (Part 3)


Gallery (1904-08)
The trials of Mr Bull
A most implausible arrival
A parcel for Mr Ahern
Blue skies and horse traffic
The Remains of the Day
Motley crew

Edwardian daydreams


Gallery (1914)
All in a day's work, Part 1
All in a day's work, Part 2
All in a day's work, Part 3
All in a day's work, Part 4


Out of period
Undecided sky (1867)
The sleeping giant (1887)
Bunker first (1927)
Fitted fish and piles (1947)


Once Upon a Time in the West
Summer silliness
The unbearable lightness...
Across the years
The Sidelight Job
Painting coach panels

Traverser testing


Low-tech pre-grouping stock

Short trains for short layouts
Short trains with a twist
Hand-me-down coaches
Low-tech coach restoration (1)
Low-tech coach restoration (2)
Low-tech coach restoration (3)
Low-tech coach restoration (4)
Low-tech coach restoration (5)


Sprat & Winkle couplings
3 plank Open in GWR red
Outside Framed 8 Ton Van

In the red: GWR 1900s wagon liveries
In loving memory...
Scratchbuilt one-planker (1)
Scratchbuilt one-planker (2)
MSWJR 3-plank dropside
LSWR 10 ton sliding door van
SDJR Road Van
LSWR stone wagon
Fake news and wagon sheets
Same but different: 1900s wagons


GWR 1854 Saddle Tank (1)
GWR 1854 Saddle Tank (2)
Shiny domes and safety valve covers
Backdating the Oxford Dean Goods (1)


C+L underlay and Carr's ballast
Experiments with C+L track
Comparing track
Messing about with track panels
Laying track on "The depot"


GWR horse-drawn trolley
GWR 5-ton horse-drawn vehicle
Parcels van and coal trolley


Fun with crates
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Andrew Stadden 4mm figures
Backdated Monty's figures
Footplate crew
HO figures for an OO layout
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Building "The branch bay"
First bite: "The bay"
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Signs, posters and adverts
Six lessons learnt


Building "The goods depot"
Second bite: "The depot"
Shunting Puzzle
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Soft body, hard shell
Kit-bashed roof structure
Dry Run
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4mm slate roofing
The treachery of images

A roof for "The depot"

A tall bird from Paddington
Cranes for the depot
Shoulders of giants
Flight of the bumblebee


Building "The sidings"
Third bite: "The sidings"
Wagon propulsion
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Rising from slumber
The Biscuit Shed
A shed and a lock-up
Agricultural merchant's warehouse
Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall


Building "The stables"
GWR Park Royal stable block
GWR stables - an overview


Railway modelling and Art
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Season's greetings


Layout ideas
A flexible layout
Kicking back in Gloucester


Pre-grouping livery clippings
Journey to Didcot
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Here's looking at you
The mists of time (and all that)
My friend the operating chair
Ready-to-plonk freight
GWR Modelling website


RMweb Workbench
Flickr photostream

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