After making a modest start over the Bank Holiday weekend with some Hornby Colletts and repainting their roofs, I cracked on with this yesterday in the glorious Indian Summer sunshine on the first Saturday in September; ideal spraying conditions! Unfortunately, there is no progress to report with the completion of my Ian Kirk GWR P17 Ballast Wagon build, as I am weighing up whether to brush-paint it GWR freight grey, or rig the airbrush up for the first ever time.... we shall see!
Having bought a couple of the Hornby 'Bristolian' sets at silly-cheap prices (£130 via ebay, and £140 from Rails of Sheffield iirc), I decided that I would keep them in the Shirtbutton livery (no doubt much GWR coaching stock saw-in 1947 still in Shirtbutton, given that it was still applied as a livery up until mid-1942) however the white roofs had to go - and indeed all GWR coaching stock were gradually given grey roofs from around 1938 onward in any case. Partially inspired by The Fatadder (Rich) of this parish and his exploits with Halfords' Volvo Dark Grey spray cans, I made a trip to Halfords myself around a month ago to pick some up. Rich's blog post in question can be seen here.
Come the August Bank Holiday weekend, I commenced this project in earnest, with three Bristolian Coaches (D95 l/h, D95 r/h and E127 l/h) and a rogue C54 in the 1927-1934 livery (an ideal candidate due to it receiving some slight damage from a framed picture falling off the wall in the night and clattering it, plus it strangely leaving Hornby's factory without the GWR crest on the corridor side!) being the Guineapigs for my first every bought of RTR re-liverying using spray cans - nervous wasn't the word!
The coaches come apart quite easily...
After easily taking apart the Colletts, I prised the 'The Bristolian' destination boards off with a small flick of my longest finger nail, and proceeded to mask the coach sides and ends. 'Precision' masking tape, brown tape, and scrap paper 'concertined' inside the shell of the coach was my first attempt at this.
My spraying rig is simple but - so far - effective. An empty wine box to give protection from the wind and any stray pollen/insects/foliage detritus, used newspaper, and an outside table - my dust mask and rubber gloves not shown!
All four Collett roofs got three coats of Halfords Dark Grey, each applied around 15 minutes apart. As it was a warm day yesterday, I felt confident to apply the Halfords Matt Lacquer around four hours later, and again, all four Colletts got three coats each of this.
Panic ensued when the first coach emerged from its its masking wrapper. The l/h D95 had spray paint stained onto the coach side - obviously I hadn't masked anywhere near well enough... A lesson learned, but then I recalled that white spirit and cottonbuds are our friends!
Thankfully, this was the only instance of 'seepage' and so the other three Colletts came out of this exercise scot-free. The C54 needed more doing to it for my 1947 purposes, however the three Colletts ex-The Bristolain set were posed with a Hornby C82 Hawksworth all-third to form an improbable, though not impossible, GWR M-set from the Autumn of 1947. Perhaps the Hawksworth is running-in on a local turn after being outshopped the week before?
With the outstanding jobs here being the addition of the brown band beneath the cantrail, addition of the upper 3/4 inch black & gold line, Great-Crest-Western and sans-serif class labels and coach numbers needing adding before sealing in with a coast of satin lacquer to 'outshop' it in the 1945 Hawksworth double-waist livery. Further progress on this TBC.
And finally, whilst the gear was all out and I was in the mood, I took Halfords Black Primer and Rover Russet brown to a pair of C8 (C17?) Clerestory coach sides that I had picked up as a built kit/RTR-bashed coach a few years ago - see below. I had taken this apart around 6 months ago with the intention of renovating it into a 1947 'down at heel' austerity condition, as seen here at Tyseley on the fantastic Warwickshire Railways site.
With inspiration again taken from The Fatadder and his blog - the relevant blog post being the same one as linked above.
Perhaps a little too light a shade of brown than I was expecting, and indeed lighter than what was the case historically, however I have another three similar RTR/Kit-based clerestories to do and it would be prototypical to do them in varying shades of dark brown I feel. I added the GWR crest at the waist as seen in the Warwickshire Railways image, but I cannot find any photo evidence of where and indeed if coach numbers were applied to there aged clerestories at all, as none of clerestories pictured in 1947 on Warwickshire Railways show coach numbers, unless they are submerged by grime, soot and muck! Any insight would be much appreciated from the ever-helpful populace of RMweb: were coach numbers applied to the all-over brown clerestories? If so, whereabouts on the coach side, and in what font?
Well, that's all for now. Keep an eye out in the next week or so for progress with the C54 into Hawksworth 1945 double waist livery and with the brown clerestory. With the latter, once I have an outcome about coach numbers, I can coat the sides in matt lacquer (correct for wood paneled coaches rather than satin?) and start the rebuilding process - 10ft Dean bogies already procured from Shapeways, and other detailing components in hand - lamp irons and grab rails etc. Only issue is how to build the underframe trussing from scratch? Evergreen strip/rod and similar? Hmm.