Onto the home stretch....
The revised approach for the window blanks was a lot more effective, once covered with filler to blend in the corners it is now almost seamless. After the first filler application it looked as below
After which it was given a quick dusting of primer over the dark grey band in order to check on the progress, after which It needed a little more filler but is now pretty much ready for painting. If the weather is warm enough on Monday I will dig out the airbrush, if not it will need to wait until Halfords do another of their 3 for 2 offers on car paints.
One final job on the coach body was to add the hand rail along the windows in front of the buffet counter, this was added from unpainted 0.8mm brass rod (it was left unpainted as through the tinted windows it looks pretty close to the yellow painted prototype.
Attention now moved on to the chassis,
As previously mentioned I have already fixed the fictional solbar, so the final job on the under side was to add replacement couplings. For this I have added Kaydee couplings into the buffer beams, I have used Kaydee no5 couplings mounted slightly proud of the buffer beam (purely because I had them in stock rather than a longer version) The other reason was that on the layout you cant see the protrusion given that it is hidden by the buffers and corridor connection.
I started by cutting a slot into the buffer beam, added two packing pieces of 40thou plasticard on to the floor in order to match the height of the slot. However this causes another problem, in that the coupling now fouls the front of the bogie on curves. There are two solutions, chop the front off the bogie to clear or modify the coupling. I chose the latter and reprofiled the rear of the coupling box.
I also fitted to one end of a Virgin Mk2e SO in order that they can be tested on Brent in order to ensure the coupling gaps are ok
I can’t find my Kaydee box to do any more, but the intention will be to modify the chassis and fit couplings to the other coaches slowly over time
Next was the interior, I found a few photos showing the insides of a Virgin mk2F RFB on the DEMU Forum and knocked up a rough approximation of the buffet counter from plasticard. Removing seats and gluing the new counter into place, along with the enclosure for the payphone.
With that done I gave the interior a quick detail job, painting the tables and headrests white, (I have a bunch of cheap figure on order from China to populate the coach).
One final modification to the Kaydee once it was on the track was with the pin, I usually remove these from Kaydees (I only use them as a representation of buckeyes so do not need the bits associated with auto coupling). So I have bent the pin through 90 degrees on one side to represent the air pipes
Another job that needs finishing will be replacing the roof vents, which look awful!