Work on the next pair of ex-GCR clerestories continues apace.
Starting with the basic Hornby bodies, the first step was to dismantle the carriages. There is a screw through the carriage which when removed loosens the roof, and it is then possible to gently prise it free from the body. You can then access the interior of the body and using pliers or tweezers gently squeeze the lugs holding the bogies in to release those. The buffers can be gently pulled loose just with the fngers- no need for tools on them! That just leaves the glazing. I tried to remove it in one piece for re-use when I rebuild the carriages, but unfortunately it proved to be too flimsy and secured too firmly, and it cracked and broke. No matter, I have some clear plastic sheet I can use for new glazing eventually.
Work can then commence on the conversion. Now on my last conversion I had to replace the beading and as it is my intention to run them as a rake obviously they all have to match. This means what I did on one carriage has to be done on all of them... the beading was removed by gently running over the carriage body with a stanley blade (the beading lifted like orange peel) and then smoothed down with a file and sandpaper.
On the roof I removed the ventilators along the top of the clerestory and the rainstrips on same. This just leaves the rainstrips running on either side of the roof.
Surprisingly I found that the pair of donor carriages were completely unweighted. This is a surprise because the last carriage I converted had a pair of substantial metal weights running the length of the carriage. So in both carriages I placed a pair of 5 gramme metal weights, one above each bogie.
So far work on both carriages had been of an identical nature, but now the two separated to follow different paths. The first carriage had its floor painted blue, and the internal walls painted teak. This will ultimately become the all-first. The second carriage had its floor painted red and the walls painted stone. This will ultimately become the all-third.
So here we see the work carried out inside the two carriages; floor painted, walls painted, weights added and compartment partitions (see below) fitted.
First phase of work carried out on the carriage exteriors. All beading removed and smoothed down ready for replacement.
When the carriages arrived there were bare shells. I like to fit interiors, even if they are fairly basic. The first phase of this is to fit compartment partitions. I used some 0.5mm plastic sheet and cut rough rectangles to measurements 29mm by 24mm. I then test-fitted them, filing down the corners as necessary to get them to fit down securely. You need to give them a slight curve to get them to slip easily through the tumblehome, however because the bottom of the partitions will be covered up by seats you can remove as much material as you please (within reason!) without affecting the eventual appearance.
I then started to replace the beading. I used evergreen strip of approx. 0.5mm by 1mm. Pieces have to be cut to lengths varying from 2mm to 185mm, and the best part of a pack of the stuff goes into a single carriage (out of 10 360mm lengths in the pack, 7.5 go into one carriage).
So this is the stage we've reached now- one carriage has all of its beading replaced whilst the other is waiting on more plastic strip. Whilst I'm waiting for that, I can work up the interiors of both carriages (adding the seats) and repaint the exterior of the all-third, and work some more on the two roofs.