These 70ft carriages were built in 1923/4 for Great Western services to South Wales, they soon moved from these services throughout the GWR system.
I doubt whether they would have made it to Henley-on-Thames, but they will add variety to my train composition .
The aim of this blog is to run through the build of the carriages and hope to inspire others to pick up a Comet kit and build it yourself.
Firstly, I would suggest that this Comet instruction manual is a good place to start:
I have also downloaded the loco construction book (again from Comet) since building my last carriage. The change I’ve made is to ream out the holes for the bearings, where previously I had filed them out.
The wheels ran ok - maybe with a bit of fettling, but I’m hoping these will run just like RTR stock!.
At this point I should explain…. Reaming vs Filing…..
A round file will extend the hole …. Potentially in different directions, which could mean that the holes for the bushes are off centre.
Whereas a reamer, will cut more even evenly…. We are talking about a 5 sided reaming broach - don’t worry about the term, it cuts more evenly.
Plus, I am countersinking the bearing slightly.
This photo (below) and the lined one above have been taken from the Wizard models / Comet website - This is what the carriages will look like.
The build process:
The bogie was cut out and folded up after the bearing holes etc. were reamed. The etch above and below also shows the underframe as I start to remove the parts.
In the photo below, I am opening out the hole for the Bogie bolt.
Reaming is done by leaning on a piece of plywood - I have a hole cut in it to support the holes being reamed. Similarly, when cutting the etch, it is cut on the plywood to give maximum support. (I used to cut on the cutting board, but again got this tip from the loco building manual).
Underframe in progress:
Having reamed out the required holes, its a simple case of folding / cutting out the various parts of the etch. Unusually, this carriage has a cross support, which is making the truss frame a lot more rigid.
The sole bar is soldered into holes on the underframe using posts. Note: These posts needed filing off a bit to ensure they go in without leaving any gaps.
The truss frame is soldered to the sole bars - this time round, I have not removed the end parts of the truss road, simple soldering it to the rear of the sole bar.
I am very pleased with the standard of soldering - since my first carriage all those years ago, my soldering has improved leaps and bounds.
Then onto the carriage body and I opened up the door handle holes etc.
Note: Throughout, I read the instructions! - I know, it's a novel concept, but essential if these are going to be my best ever kit built carriages.
The body was soldered together and I had forgotten how difficult it is to solder them together - wall to end, then repeat... I need more hands and more gadgets to hold it all square.
And thats it... (almost) looking finished 🤣 There is a lot more work to do yet. But thats enough for a pause on this carriage and move onto the next one. Certainly when it comes to a few carriages it's easier to do the same build together and most definitely when I am spraying. The time it takes to prep one carriage, II could do 4 together!
Remaining work to be done: Cut the roof to length; fix it to the sides and ends; fit roof ventilators; fit interior detail (seats & corridor partitions); fit underframe details; then it will be onto the finishing straight of rubbing down (keying for the primer), then spray (3 coats plus varnish); then add the door handles etc.
This mornings bogie construction for the E112 70ft Carriage.
The contents of the 9ft Bogie pack (it doesn't included bearings or wheels):
The bogie is reamed; drilled etc. whilst on the etch:
and then cut up into the constituent parts:
and the folded up:
Soldering uses any gadgets that are to hand.... sometimes including your fingers (momentarily) - Yes! You get burnt.
Wire is then threaded through the holes in the cross brace and soldered:
After soldering 1
After soldering 2 - on the track:
Continuing on the E112 Composite carriage:
This is the basic carriage etch, as supplied:
The solebars are cut off, together with the V hangers; truss frames and cross frame:
When you are building a carriage - you always need more hands! I've got 2 "helping hands" crocodile type clips on stands and I use these for soldering as well as spraying, but sometimes they are just not sufficient.
This is the end panel. The instructions state that the fixing point needs to be soldered 1 x etch width from the bottom. So I have a section of etch underneath as the end is held upright by the Square.
It looks crude, but it worked. The box at the bottom will be used to bolt the carriage body to the floor.
The sides are soldered up to the ends and placed on the underframe and placed on the track, complete with the roof which still needs to be cut to size.
This morning, the first job was to cut both roofs to size:
The two carriages seen side-by-side - The left one has 12mm wheels as I don't have the correct 14mm in stock. (I have now ordered some!)
Next job was to solder in all the end steps - inside and out! - My soldering has improved so much over the years:
The final workbench image for today - with both carriages resting on their rooves as the white metal bits are added in:
Monday 6th November 2023:
Time for the interior partitions, given the position of the corridor windows, I need to add the toilet partition which needs to go up to the corridor connector. Part of the toilet partition is fixed to the end wall to clear the fixing for the body and underframe.
I then carried on through the carriage - cutting two of the corridor etchs to show compartment doors open. These will be tied up with open windows when they get added later in the build.
The (almost) complete carriage - it just needs the toilet made up on the First class end on the left.
Wednesday 8th November update:
The remainder of the partitions have now been fitted.
Then tedium set in! - Drilling all the holes for the roof ventilators.
Each compartment has two ventilators - which the photos and diagrams show. At some point this changed and there was only 1 ventilator per compartment - I have no idea when this changed.
Anyway, it wasn't too long before all the holes were drilled and then the ventilators fitted.
This is the E111, the E112 will be next - compartments and ventilators.
Thursday 16th November 2023:
Today saw the E112 having its roof ventilators added, together with end detailing etc.
and both carriages on the railway:
Both carriages roofs have now been glued onto the sides using impact superglue.
Remaining jobs to do:
- Fix couplings x3 (i bogie already has a coupling)
- Change the 12mm wheels soon 1 carriage for 14mm
Prepare for painting. (Note: this stage is critical, to wash off any flux residue.)
- Spray paint primer (two coats at least)
- Spray top coats (two or three coats - masking as I go)
Fix glazing & droplights (some of which will be open)
- I am going to try to replicate an open toilet window - which are hinged at the bottom. (I am still not sure which way round these carriages will run. Usually my carriages have a display side, with the other side not lined etc.
- Add transfers and 2 coats of matt varnish.
Then they will be finished 😎
By which time, there will be another 2 x 70ft carriages to join the rake and the build cycle starts all over again....
Edited by Neal Ball
Updates 16th Nov