Posted 2 February 2018, rewritten November 2018, last update 6 October 2019
This post is a compilation of resources especially or exclusively useful for modelling British railways in 1:87 scale. The contents here are limited to resources I have found to be useful or inspiring ... other sources exist and I do hope this list will grow. I have omitted those suppliers who I have found to advertise more than they can deliver.
As 4mm RTR gets better and better, many models are the best 'drawings' you can hope to get. If you are scaling from a 4mm scale model (but not an 00 track plan!), the conversion factor is easy to remember: 76/87=0.87.
British 1:87 Scale Modelling (www.british-ho-com) is by far the best resource (on-line or elsewhere) for information about RTR models of British railways in 1:87 scale, past and present. In broad terms, the content of the web site is consistent and technically correct, but some models seem to be missing.
These are the models I cannot find on the site as at 25 March 2019:
Atlas Editions: 1931 Feltham tram
Atlas Editions: 1937 Brush single deck tram, Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Atlas Editions: 1960 Blackpool balloon tram
Modellbahn Union: Zafns tank wagon 2018 release (the 2017 release is described as 2018)
Modellbahn Union: Tcefs ferry van 2018 release
Trix: 1835 Stephenson Patentee, modelled as 'The Adler' with a period train
Trix: NS class 6400 (BR class 21), cleared for Eurotunnel operations to Ashford and London St Pancras
The site includes models of some Continental-outline prototypes used in industry in Britain, such as the MaK Di 8, but omits prototypes found only in preservation such as those on the Nene Valley Railway.
Lima British H0: a site with descriptions of the former Lima range.
87thscale.info: has details of model cars.
Peco Modelscene: some models from the old Merit range are to 1:87 scale, these include the coal office, bus stop, shipping container.
Sources and Suppliers
eBay.co.uk: easy to search and ideal for finding obscure models. Beware of dealers touting battered Lima and Playcraft models at silly prices.
Elaine's Trains: Elaine Harvey has a dedicated page for British H0 models.
ModellbahnUnion: reliable mail order and in-house commissions of wagons, also Menzels Lokschuppen.
Model railway exhibitions: worth looking at boxes of Continental stock for ferry wagons.
Toy fairs: Lima and Playcraft models occasionally turn up at toy fairs, but these events are best for road vehicles.
Nairnshire Modelling Supplies: The 'small' size handrail knobs are smaller than those from Markits and sit well on a 1:87 scale model
Markits: 4mm scale 'dome and ridge' roof vents measure 3.0 mm diameter, this is technically 0.5 mm too big for H0 but they look ok to me
Scale Model Scenery: laser-cut wooden sleepers to the usual British dimensions, also lineside hand rails and other scenic parts
Shapeways: some designers produce marvellous prints, some do not - buyer beware
Steam Era Models: wheels are available with 24.5 mm axles, drop-in replacements for Lima
Ultrascale: wheel profile described as 'finescale 00' works with British H0, but turnaround is funereal
York Modelmaking: first-class laser cutting of bespoke designs
Carr's Butanone: welds Lima coach parts permanently (I have had joints using EMA Plastic Weld fail)
Dettol (used neat): strips paint from modern Roco models and probably many others
Methylated spirit: strips the factory paint from Lima coaches
LNER J73: use any 00 gauge J72
EE class 11: use Roco NS 500/600
BRCW class 33: Life Like Proto 2000 FA2 chassis fits into a Lima class 33 body with minimal modifications
AEI class 81: use running gear from Hornby 00 gauge class 67
Hornby 00 gauge Terrier: the earlier versions (before the 2019 release) convert into models of a few prototypes to British outline; the 2019 release has a die-cast metal body and will be more difficult to convert.
http://www.euram-online.co.uk includes articles for a BR class 12 shunter and a Transfesa ferry van
'Watlington', gallery of the layout by 'Vernon Wedge' hosted on Flickr