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Low-tech coach restoration (4)

Posted by Mikkel , in Rolling stock, Figures 14 January 2013 · 2,707 views

GWR coaches restoration revenge
Low-tech coach restoration (4) When I was a boy I hated The Weasel with all my heart. The Weasel was our maths teacher and to me he was the prototype of the Evil Teacher. When he taught he got all worked up and saliva formed at the corners of his mouth, and he would walk down among the desks while talking and suddenly pounce on you and slap his hand into your desk and hiss “Am I RIGHT, or am I WRONG?!”

It was a rhetorical question of course. We were expected to confirm that we was right, and we always did even if we understood little of what he said. Because quite simply we were scared to death of the man.

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One of The Weasel’s particularities was that – unlike any other teacher at school - he would not allow toilet visits during class.

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This became a big problem when one day I had the runs.

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I put up my hand and asked to be excused, but he would not allow it.

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A few minutes later I asked again and explained that I really needed to go, but he refused. By this time my mates were snickering and I stopped asking.

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So for the rest of the class I endured the stomach cramps and the urge to go, horrified at the thought of involuntarily soiling myself in front of my mates - and particularly in front of a certain girl. It was probably just half an hour but it seemed like a lifetime.

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When I finally got to the loo I sat there swearing revenge. One day Mr Weasel, one day!

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They say that time heals all wounds, and that the best revenge is to live well. But they are wrong.

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A few days ago, as I was finishing off the interior of my G20 Saloon, I spotted a figure in my parts box that reminded me of The Weasel. A devious plan formed in my mind.

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Following the ancient rituals of Voodoo, I glued The Weasel to the loo. I did not paint him, because ghosts from the past have no colour.

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I then fitted The Weasel in the lavatory of the G20.

I did not model any doors to the lavatory.
I did not model any water supply.
And I did not model any toilet paper.

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I then glued a lid onto the lavatory.

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So there you have it. The Weasel is now forever entombed in the lavatory of a GWR saloon, with no means of flushing and with no means of wiping his royal a***.

Revenge at last. You were wrong Mr Weasel, you were wrong.
  • Like x 55

Job's Modelling
Jan 14 2013 17:42

Lovely way to explain your modeling activities.

Does not have every one met  such a teacher in his youth.

I can remember two of them.

Mikkel.You are quite simply a RMweb legend.Revenge is sweet.Nice picture on the coaches back wall by the way.

Great stuff as usual Mikkel. I shall make sure I don't offend you at anytime, not with you practising all that Voodoo stuff.


Lovely modelling to finish the coach off and I bet you had a satisfied smile on your face after fitting the Lid.



Many years from now...


"Ah, that's just what I need" he said, spotting a rather old and battered GWR coach in a sale.

After getting it home he decides that the roof is a bit wonky and decides a replacement is in order.

"I'll whip this odd plastic former off as well whilst I'm at it".

"What the... some clots only gone and glued a figure on a toilet in there - and they couldn't even be bothered to paint it!"



Fantastic stuff Mikkel - as always!

I not quite sure how this voodoo stuff works but I will poke my nose in the real G20 at Didcot later this week to see if the toilet is occupied... If I see a shining silver figure in there, screaming for loo roll I will be totally freaked out!

The inside of the little G20 looks the absolute business by the way.

All the best,


Perhaps I should get a fellow volunteer and cover them in tin foil for a photo opportunity?
Brilliant, Mikkel, quite brilliant. I had a maths teacher, first two years at senior school, he simply hated children. He was known as The Neck as he had this extraordinarily long neck which he seemed to be able to stretch even further at will. For two years I learnt nothing but, fortunately for me, he was followed by a kindly man who told long and terrible jokes but who liked children and knew how to enthuse them.


A great tale Mikkel for a winters eve.


The ghostly figure of Weasel could make your hairs on the back of your neck stand on end-best he stays incarcerated!


The finish of the coach and of the interior is brilliant.


Nice work as ever.





Superb... they say that a teacher who can't understand children is as dangerous as a pilot that remains puzzled by aeroplanes.

At least the troublesome ones make you appreciate the ones that teach well. I have been lucky enough to learn from some excellent teachers, in school, and also from the RMWeb curriculum.....

PS.. I have all the pieces ready for a similar saloon in N!


The Nth Degree
Jan 14 2013 22:48
Justice is served
Wonderful Mikkel :good:

Perhaps pipe him some music from Lou Rawls to keep him company ;)

Now...where did I leave my coat?...
Jan 15 2013 00:44

A true master of the story.  What a great way to deal with those tormentors from the past.  I'm already lining up a few myself now - perhaps tie them down to the tracks!


Always look forward to my Farthing fix.  Keep it coming.

Jan 15 2013 01:31

You were re-living the childhood anguish when you took this photo weren't you? ;)

I can smell the saloon from here!



question Mikel,

What did you use on the clear plastic for the toilet window to give the frosted glass effect?

:laugh: Thanks everyone, just been laughing out loud at these comments. Nice with a bit of group therapy! If only it was always that easy to get "closure" (literally!).


It seems many of us have have memories of teachers like that. Just as there have been inspired and great teachers. As in all trades.

About the glazing:


I experimented with various ways of frosting the glazing, including bizarre things like artists fixative, butanone and bike polish! But the hoped for miracle did not occur (although I felt  a bit light headed afterwards!).


So this is simply invisible "3M" tape on each side of the glazing. I did have problems with air bubbles. To minimize them I slowly rolled the tape on while gradually pressing it firm from one end. Some bubbles persisted but they were far enough apart that I could cut out good sections for the windows.


I think the effect is about right. If there is no figure in the loo the impression is just of a blank frosted window. If there is a figure,  you can normally only see the shadow. The effect of The Weasel is extreme as he is shiny bright.

About the carriage prints:


I found a couple of GWR examples on the web and reduced them. Don't have a good printer at the moment so they are not as sharp as I'd hoped.


I don't know if they are right for the period but looking at saloon interiors from the time suggests they aren't far off.


Photos tend to be of lavish First Class saloons which are richly decorated with lots of prints - in a few cases you'd think it was the Sistine Chapel!  I assumed Third Class would be more down to earth, although in retrospect there should perhaps be a couple of prints on each end wall. Can't find any photos to confirm that though.

Jan 15 2013 07:54
Well done! It's funny how teachers can stay in the memory. The weasel sounds like a proper bstrd. We had a temperamental chemistry master called "Doc Death" who was famous for bodily throwing people from his class if they failed to respect his subject or person.

My memory of the interiors of non-corridor 3rd class coaching stock on one of the GWR lines into Wolverhampton (Low Level) was that there were 3 sepia pictures (prints?) in wooden frames, similar to your photo, on each bulkhead, just below the luggage rack. What the scenes were is lost in the mists of time and my failing memory. I only recall there being a single image in each frame.

Brilliant depiction of your school day trials!

Jan 15 2013 13:52

It is horrible that you were subjected to this experience you relate but I still want it to be true. Sorry. The venom with which the story is told suggests it is true. Regardless it made me cry with laughter.


Thank you.

Oh it's true allright, and you can laugh all you want :-)  


I wouldn't say it's kept me awake ever since, but seeing that figure in a certain light and it all came back to me! At least he never got directly physically violent  (like "Doc Death" seemed to do), but in some ways psychological terror can be much worse.

My memory of the interiors of non-corridor 3rd class coaching stock on one of the GWR lines into Wolverhampton (Low Level) was that there were 3 sepia pictures (prints?) in wooden frames, similar to your photo, on each bulkhead, just below the luggage rack. What the scenes were is lost in the mists of time and my failing memory. I only recall there being a single image in each frame.


Don, many thanks for that info on the carriage prints. Looks like there should probably have been a couple more prints.


I also expected there would be just a single print in each frame, but the ones I found on the web look like some that appear in pregrouping photos of first class saloons.  Other photos from that period do have just a single print in each frame, so I suppose there were different types.


In general it seems the GWR preference was for frames that were not so oblong as those of some of the other companies - at least in the early days.

Jan 15 2013 17:06

A nice selection of GW carriage prints here - interesting to see the shape and sizes change through various periods.

Jan 15 2013 17:50
The psychological tormentors are worse, at least you get a bit of a laugh if one of your mates gets picked up by the collar and thrown into the corridor!
I like those prints, were they commissioned by the railway or bought from local photographers?

Agree, they are very nice prints - thanks for that link. They seem to have a very similar look and feel to them, so maybe commissioned by the railway?


I had another look through Michael Harris' "Great Western Coaches from 1890". He has some views of coach interiors (which are not always easy to come by), including various saloons. I took a few notes for possible future reference.


I think the photos illustrate (i) the diversity and (ii) that at least some stock series had the frames/prints specially designed to fit the interior (at least for the more prestigious/first class stock).


* Saloon Dia G3, built 1894: Elaborate curving frames around prints to fit below clerestory roof, p43


* Family Saloon Dia G33, built 1900: No prints evident (but may be behind photographer), p44


* New Milford Boat Train open Dia C18, built 1900-01: 3 prints on partitions, 2 different frame sizes, prints look similar to Buckjumpers link, p55


* Dreadnought restaurant car, Dia H8, built 1904. Prints and frames same as the one illustrated in my blog entry above (two prints per frame), P30.


* Brake saloon dia G58, built 1929: Small squareish frame, looks similar to Buckjumpers's link, p30


* Brake first saloon dia G59, built 1930:  frames as above, but large, p32


* Super Saloon, introd. 1931 Large vertical (sic) frames, p86


* Corridor First Dia E163, built 1948: Prints embedded in compartment panelling. Very suave, p108 

Is that a ghostly wail of despair I hear from your railway room, Mikkel?  Mind you, being a mathematician he'll probably work it out with paper & pencil....!



That silver sheen through the frosted window is actually a bit unsettling. What have I done?! :-)
Ha ha ha, I really loved this one Mikkel. Lovely modelling and wonderful delivery.

Thanks Jon. It occurs to me that there is some potential for "model railway voodoo". There are a couple of people at work I've always wanted to tie to the tracks  :devil:

A thoroughly entertaining episode, Mikkel.

Well done!

I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments of GwrRob above.

Best wishes,


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Low-tech coach restoration (4)
Low-tech coach restoration (5)

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