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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 the coaches - not to finescale standards but to general working order. This and  the following blog entries is a lighthearted illustration of the work done.





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.





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





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






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





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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  • RMweb Gold

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!

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It's faring better than me.


Season's greetings too!!


Best wishes,



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  • RMweb Gold

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

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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



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  • RMweb Gold

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 :-)

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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.

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  • RMweb Gold

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.uk/community/index.php?/blog/1037/entry-10697-gwr-hall/


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

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Anyone aged 40 upwards will recognize the symptoms


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

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  • RMweb Gold

Good point :-) 


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

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