We've seen several GWR 4-wheel coaches on the blogs in recent weeks so I thought I would add one that I've been working on. The origins of this project go back more than four years to this topic in the early days of the current incarnation of RMweb and long before I started on the current incarnation of my Camerton layout. I'd almost forgotten it until I was reminded by a post by Miss Prism in this topic. The original intention had been to identiy the unusual brake coach used on passenger and mixed trains between Hallatrow and Camerton before the opening of the extension to Limpley Stoke. The topic ended with me assuming that the coach was a T49, much like the one recently restored at Didcot.
Since then, a few things have happened. Firstly, I came accross a mention of the branch coach being a brake composite. This probably makes more sense than a brake third as there were a few folk in Camerton at the time who would not have travelled third class. Then I found a figure caption in an article by Richard Kelham on the Cam valley collieries in BRJ No9 (1985) which said that the coach was a U25, and closer inspection of the photo in the Maggs & Beale book showed that there was indeed a larger gap between the ventilators of the third and fourth compartments. This is poor reproduction of the photo in question (ignore the date, it's certainly no later than 1907, probably earlier). In the original topic, Mikkel had suggested using some Shire Scenes parts to make the end ducket. Well since then, Shire Scenes faded away and was resurrected by Dart Castings.
After I was reminded of the old topic I found that Dart Castings were now selling a T49 kit so I began to think about whether this could be converted to a U25. All that was needed was to chop out a 3mm wide section in the panelling between the fourth compartment and guards van and insert it between the third and fourth compartments, thus creating the wider first class compartment. So, out with the razor saw. The first picture below shows the Shire Scenes T49 sides and ends, but the second side has been cut and re-arranged (don't worry about the alignment, its not soldered yet).
The next photo shows the same side with all parts soldered together, but before forming the tumblehome.
The ends were formed and added, together with a brass floor, solebars made from brass channel and Bill Bedford axleguards. The Shire Scenes kit only covers the body and a few detail parts and is intended to be assembled on a Ration kit underframe. I went with brass because it is my preferred medium
Footboards were made up from brass angle, various underframe details came from a variety of sources or were made by hand. Having just said I prefer brass, you'll notice the partitions are made of plasticard...
So to bring us up to date, I sprayed it with primer today and will need to use a little bit of filler to paper over some of the cracks. I'll probably spray the underframe black tomorrow, but it will then have to wait until I finish the current project (a David Geen Diagram L autrotrailer for use when the Limpley Stoke extension is opened) so that they can be painted together...
Finally, I've added an underneath view as I noticed I hadn't taken any earlier.