Just six weeks shy off three years since my last blog update, and hasn't the world changed since...
The fairly new Hornby GWR Collett subs are very nice coaches indeed, and whilst they might only have gravitated toward the London and Birmingham Divisions, they are an essential non-corridor RTR coach to 21st century standards. Rule 1 dictates that a four coach 'set' may well have been seconded elsewhere on the GWR network during their lifetimes; a circumstance perhaps more likely in the immediate post-war years, were delayed coaching refurbishment cycles caught up with the GWR and exigences of wartime led to rag-tag rakes of coaching stock in unusual places.
As a modeller of the immediate post-war GWR, it is rare that the main manufacturers release western locos and rolling stock in either wartime or post-war liveries, meaning that re-liveries are the only real way to get the liveries that I need. The recent Bachmann Hall in post war, unlined green with G-Crest-W was nice to see, and the forthcoming wartime black GWR pannier is also on my shopping list, though perhaps after the 3 month's discounting cap has been lifted....
In terms of rolling stock, few items of GWR coaching stock have been released in either the GWR wartime colour schemes (either wartime brown or the 'simplified' chocolate and cream) or the 1945-1947 Hawksworth livery. Indeed, the only RTR GWR coaches to modern standards that have ever been released in the latter livery are the Hornby Hawksworths in full Hawksworth chocolate and cream livery, though these were only issued in one run back in 2011 and are like rocking horse poo these days (luckily i have as many as I will ever realistically need!). With the recent Collett bow-ended gangwayed stock, frustratingly these have only been issued in the 1925-34 livery (twice!) and the 1934-1942 shirtbutton liveries; no 1945-1947 livery has yet been released or announced.
However, upon seeing a D98 brake third in BR Maroon on Amazon for a silly-cheap price I snapped one up for thirteen pence shy of £25, including postage...
Within 24 hours of arrival, it had been unboxed, disassembled and masked ready for priming...
I have started to use Phoenix Precision rattle cans of late, but am disappointed at their variable spray quality, as more often than not, detritus and paint globules are ejected and fleck the model in question, which is especially noticeable on long, flush coach sides - and this happend whether I shake them for 2, 20 or 200 minutes before use! However, I am committed to using Halfords rattle cans wherever possible, as their paint quality is far, far superior, and more importantly, consistent. I have only ever had a bad one (something 'Hurrican Grey') when repainting Hornby Collett coach roofs from the ghastly white to a postwar grey.
Halfords grey primer was applied, followed by Halfords Rover Russet Brown...
Several weeks passed, as my modelling mojo ebbed and flowed, other projects took over (making inroads to my wagon kit stash), and also cracking on with my first ever brass coach side onto RTR donor project (the results of which will feature in the next blog entry!)
Then, around a fortnight ago once summer appeared to desert us, I picked this project up again, and with the addition of:
- HMRS orange coach lining transfers
- HMRC GWR coach transfers
- Railtech 'smoking' and 'non smoking' transfers
- Brassmasters etched window grills
- A few dabs of Humrol brass paint
- Halfords Satin Laquer
the following beauty was born:
I'm pretty happy with this modelling project overall, but I dropped two clangers in truth:
- When refitting the glazing after varnishing the body shell, I got liquid cement fingerprints on one of the sides... my best effort at remedying this being a patch-paint of Phoenix Precision coach brown from a tinlet. It is noticeable, but not hugely so and I think adds a bit of character to the coach. Who knows, it might have been damaged due to a wartime incident (shrapnel damage?) and patch painted in the carriage sidings?
- Despite best efforts, the satin lacquer has trapped some dust and fluff in places, which isn't noticeable until you lean in, but has irritated me a little! Lesson for next time - ensure that the model is fully wiped down and the spray booth dust free.
And that's it! All that's left is to weather and add more discrete coach couplings, which will be a while as I haven't made a decision on what couplings to outfit my coach fleet with yet. I also intend to complete a four-coach set in matching livery, so i'm now on the look out for the E131 (right and left handed) and the right-handed D98 to finish the set (preferably for similar bargain prices!). They will be something different to hang behind the forthcoming Hornby 41xx prairie in G-W-R green!