The full brake has now been handed over to the operating department.
The painting sent somewhat less than smoothly (this is normal for me). A coat of Halfords primer from a can was followed by an airbrushed coat of precision maroon. This went on very well and I was very happy with the nice smooth satin finish... except... there were a couple of bits of dust that embedded themselves into the finish in quite a prominent place.
I thought the best option would be to remove the offending bits of dust and rub the relevant area down smooth followed by a further thin coat, so that's what I did. This didn't go well - I think that I over thinned the second coat so the emulsion broke down a bit and the resulting finish was very flat indeed - nowhere near as good as the first coat.
I decided to press on and hope that a final varnish coat would sort everything out. The underframe and ends were brush painted with a suitably mucky mix of brown and black. Some of this strayed onto the sides and was cleaned off with thinners but still left some residue, probably because of the flatness of the finish.
The lining was done with the Bob Moore pen. While my results are not as neat as commercial lining, they turned out better than I had hoped - particularly the waist line which was done with the thick nib to put down a broad light yellow line (this looked awful on its own!) followed by the thinnest nib to draw a black line down the middle. One drawback of this method is that it is not for the impatient. The actual lining is quite quick to do, but there is a lot of waiting for the paint to harden. In this case, the lining took four sessions - one for each colour per side.
I'm very unsure about the maroon colour. I'm pretty sure that Precision have done their homework and matched the spec of BR maroon, but comparing it to mid 1960s photos, the real thing appears to be noticeably lighter and redder. This may be a problem related to 1960s film but I don't think so. Some 60s photos show several coaches and demonstrate that there was significant variation in the real thing, perhaps due to fading. Photos of maroon Warships in later years show some quite ugly effects from patch repainting. In future I might lighten the shade by mixing in another colour.
The lettering was done with resurrected Woodhead transfers applied with Microscale Micro Set. While doing the guard's door I also painted one other door with Micro Set to see what effect it had on the finish when dry. You can just tell that this story isn't going to end well...
Some of the transfer film edges were showing a bit too much so these were tamed with Micro Sol.
Finally the underframe and ends were masked and the sides given a spray coat of varnish. Having had bad results with Humbrol matt varnish I tried Tamiya gloss on this occasion. For the most part, I was quite happy with the resulting finish, except...
I noticed a really strange effect where the Micro Set had been. Some light coloured flecks had somehow managed to form where the Micro Set had been used. This was worst on the door that I had unnecessarily painted with Micro Set. I can only assume that this is some sort of reaction between the varnish and the residue from the Micro Set but I've never heard of it before and it was a complete (and unwelcome) surprise. I wondered whether it might be the Micro Sol solvent, but the worst problem was in a place that hadn't been touched with Micro Sol. You can see the problem in the photo below.
After some pondering I decided that the best course was to scrape off as much of the light flecks as possible and use a fine brush to retouch the problem areas with maroon. Fortunately this worked and the areas are small enough not to be too noticeable. It's still pretty annoying because I like both Micro Set and the Tamiya varnish... but it seems that they don't like each other.
So there you have it - another tail of woe from my paint shop.
I made up a simple interior from thin card. This consisted of a floor (to hide any remaining bare brass), the corridor partition and the guard's compartment. Most of it can be fitted easily when the roof is taken off but the full length corridor partition needs to be slotted in through the end of the coach (with the gangway removed). All of the interior was painted brown using watercolours. I don't know whether my shade is correct, but it's all removable in case better information arrives one day.
Since this vehicle is likely to run with RTR 'N' gauge coaches I found it necessary to mess with the ride height a bit by adding an extra washer to the bogie pivots. This means that the gap between bogie and solebar is too big but the upside is that the cantrail height is then a fair match for the new Farish Mark 1s. Unfortunately even this compromise doesn't make it a good match for Dapol Colletts, even after fitting them with wheels that are 1mm smaller than they should be. The big advantage of this dodge is that it is very easily reversible.
The model is probably a tad too shiny to fit in with the rest of my fleet but at the moment I am quite enjoying looking at it this way. When the novelty wears off then I will probably apply some further light weathering to the sides and roof but I'm not in any hurry so this job might wait until the BG has some more friends to play with - some more Ultima Hawksworths seem to have found their way into my gloat box recently.