Jump to content

Low-tech pre-grouping stock



My ability to build brass kits is limited, but I've decided that I won't let it keep me from modelling the pre-grouping world that I find so fascinating. Instead I try to make the best of whatever skills and means I have available. Here's a few examples of what I like to call "calculated bodging"!





1. Simple kits. Above is a Toplight Composite Slip to diagram F15, built from an ex-PC Wheeltappers kit. These feature pre-printed sides, which gives a quickly finished coach but also means the sides have no relief when viewed close-up. For today's spoiled modeller the latter can be hard to accept, but it gave me confidence to continue with kit building, and a rake of these does look rather good when moving by. Sadly, I hear that Wheeltappers are no longer renewing their stocks. Fortunately there are other simple kits available for the pre-grouping modeller. This includes the Ratio 4-wheelers, and I've written up a brief introduction to these over on the GWR Modelling site.





2. Kit-bashing. The standard features of many GWR coaches allows some possibility for hacking up sides in order to join them in new ways. This W1 Parcels Van was composed of two Ratio brake thirds, following an idea from J. Russell. I've done some notes on the build here. I don't really like pristine white rooves any more, so they are due for a repaint. Edit: For some excellent additional examples, have a look at buffalo's blog.





3. Conversion kits. This is a Siphon C built using the Shirescenes etched brass body kit fitted on a modified Ratio 4-wheeler chassis. The body is brass, but has been treated so that it can be assembled with superglue. You can read how it was built here. The Shirescenes kits offer a number of good conversions of the Ratio 4-wheelers. There are more examples here.





4. RTR bashing. There's something strangely satisfying about sawing up RTR coaches to produce different diagrams. This is a V5 passenger brake van, built from the ends of two old Triang clerestories. Again, there's a write-up of the job on gwr.org.uk. While on the topic of RTR coach bashing, have a look at the current work being done by rovex, which although not pre-grouping shows nicely what can be achieved.





5. Restoration. Bringing old second-hand stock back to former glory is a favourite pastime of mine. This 6-wheel Compo to diagram U21 is a current example. She looks a little sad right now, but there's a warm heart beating in there! The model was originally built by Chris Edge, using what I believe was a very limited production run of kits that he made largely for his own use. My restoration has so far included new step boards (always a weak point) fashioned from strengthened Plastikard, as well as simplified Comet brake shoes, Romford pin-point bearings, Alan Gibson wheels, and gas lamp tops from IKB. I'll also add a new interior, new glazing and give the coach a complete repaint.


At this point you may be wondering what I do for locos. Here again I tend to resort to restoration of secondhand locos. I'll feature these separately later on, but meanwhile there is also the option of converting selected RTR locos to the pre-grouping period. There are nice examples here.


Edited by Mikkel

  • Like 5


Recommended Comments

  • RMweb Gold

Thanks Neil. By "bodging" I suppose I mean that the standards of this stock is fairly basic (and at times inconsistent) compared to some of the stuff on here!

Link to comment

Your coaches look very neatly painted, enhanced by the workaday finish. I agree with the above webber that detail is not so pronounced as people imagine.



Link to comment

Good to see these here, Mikkel :icon_thumbsup2: I have an almost complete V1 that was inspired by seeing yours on gwr.org. I've added brass footboards to replace the too delicate Ratio items and used parts from Mainly Trains etches and an ABS brake cylinder to make a reasonably detailed underframe. The remaining parts of the Ratio sides and a second roof have been cobbled together to make a T20 which has a central guard/luggage compartment and two thirds either side. One day, I'll finish them but I doubt my painting will be as good as yours. Just to prove I prefer building to painting, I've just started on an IKB brass kit of a U28 6-wheel clerestorey luggage composite. For some reason I prefer brakes, parcels and luggage vans to plain passenger coaches, though how I'll make a realistic rake out of them...



Link to comment

The footboards are made from brass L-section (3x1.5mm, 0.38mm thick) cut to length, axle box clearance filed out and suspended on flattened brass wire brackets. I forget where the L-section came from, though Eileen's do it in this size.



Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
The footboards are made from brass L-section (3x1.5mm, 0.38mm thick) cut to length, axle box clearance filed out and suspended on flattened brass wire brackets. I forget where the L-section came from, though Eileen's do it in this size.




Right then, I'm off to Eileen's website! Thanks smile.gif

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...