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BR Mk1 BG, newspaper conversion



This is a model of a BR Mk1 gangwayed full brake, type code BG, done as a cut and shut of two Lima brake second coaches.


The BG had two compartments for luggage, one at each end, and with a compartment for the guard in the middle. In later years, some of these coaches were converted into newspaper sorting vans by removal of the guard's compartment and closing-up of some of the doors. I decided to model a coach in this modified condition for a few reasons - it is more useful on my own layout (which is predominantly a freight operation); I can apply a simple livery (rail blue all-over); and I can omit the periscopes and some of the door details.


This is my first completed attempt at a model coach. Construction had five main elements, but the work on these often overlapped so there weren't really any defined stages:
1. Make a body shell by glueing together the 'brake' ends of two Lima brake corridor second (BSK) coaches.
2. Cut down the underframe from one of the donor coaches to fit the new body (57 foot chassis).
3. Reduce the ride height of the model on its bogies, and install new wheels and couplers.
4. Construct the roof.
5. Painting and assembly.


I am not sure whether the Lima models are to scale length, so to make a 57 ft coach from two 64 ft ones as easily as possible I simply reduced the overall length by a scale 7 feet (24.5 mm). Here are the modified roof, body and underframe before I reduced the ride height:




The body sides do not need any new windows. I used Milliput as the filler to hide the joins between the two halves and Revell Plasto around the unwanted doors. The body shell is quite a sturdy assembly (stronger than the underframe) and the important thing is to get the two halves in a straight line in both the horizontal and the vertical planes. My chosen paint stripper is methylated spirits, this seems perfect for Lima paint. The only modifications to the mouldings are to remove the toilet plumbing and most of the access steps on the ends, but I overlooked this until near the end.




To shorten the underframe I cut out the section containing the moulded word 'Lima'. The objective was to finish with the length about 0.5 mm shorter than the body so I knew the body would fit.




I have tried a few techniques for lowering the ride height of Lima coaches. This time I cut 15 mm holes in the underframe and installed new pivot plates from styrene in the body shell. A thick washer on the bogie pivot completes the job. The bogies are modified to fit by trimming away the two semi-circular ridges beside the pivot pegs.




The pivot plates are 2mm thick styrene and the washers are M4 x 1.5 mm in stainless steel. The holes in the pivot plates are drilled 3.5 mm and then gently opened out and countersunk on the tops to let the bogie turn freely. The wheels are 10.5 mm plain discs from Steam Era models, these are a drop in fit into the Lima B4 bogies.


This vehicle really ought to be running on Commonwealth bogies but at the moment I haven't found anything suitable. The Trix 1:80 ones are too big.


I use Kadee couplers. When the underframe is sitting at its new height above the tops of the rails, a centre-set coupler in its draft gear box is at the proper height and doesn't need adjustment beyond a scrap of styrene below the shank to stop drooping.


I cut away the ends of the bogies to let them fit each side of the draft gear boxes. Later (after I took these photos) I also trimmed off the moulded brake blocks - I think this improves the appearance and it is better to miss out a detail rather than have a detail in the wrong place.


I made the roof from one of the two donor coaches. With the length correct, I trimmed the plastic lugs very slightly so they are easier to dismantle and reassemble. I did the same for the four lugs holding the body onto the underframe. The dome and ridge ventilators are Markits ones for 4mm scale, these are about 0.5 mm too wide and too tall for H0 but this does not look obvious to me. I fix the ventilators with cyano but I'm never entierly confident about this, hence the blobs of Araldite in the next photo.




I added the foot boards from strip styrene, these are fitted only below the doors remaining in use.


The glazing is from one of the donor coaches. There is no interior moulding to hold the glazing at the proper height, so I added two lengths of strip styrene one each side to hold it. I glued the ballast weight onto the base of the body, there is no longer enough space to fix it to the underframe.




The model is held together by its original Lima clips - no glue except on the ballast weight. I am quite proud of this achievement. I trimmed a tiny bit of plastic off all of the clips near the start of the project, I find this helps repeated assembly and dismantling.


I built most of the model in two evenings, and then spent most of ten days painting it. The painting went wrong near the end, but for simplicity, the painting which actually worked was like this:


Halfords grey primer
Halfords white primer


Rubbed down and additional Revell 'Plasto' filler:


Halfords white primer
A mixture of Railmatch 'Faded BR Blue' and Humbrol matt blue no.25, applied by brush
Revell light grey on the gangway doors
Nothing on the gangway mouldings
Humbrol matt enamel varnish


Halfords grey primer
A mixture of Revell Aquacolour in a greyish brown colour


Halfords grey primer
Tamiya Haze Grey
Tamiya Royal Grey - very light application to remove the bluish tint of the haze grey
Humbrol matt enamel varnish


Eventually, the model looked like this:




It would be sensible to call this finished but I then repainted the roof. It has now gone from being too pale to losing detail (title photo), but the overall effect is about right. The model runs well, which is good.

  • Like 3
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1


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