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llamafish

'improving' Hornby Mk2s using only things around the home

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WARNING: This project is not for purists or rivet counters!

 

Having acquired a Hornby Mk2a and several old Lima coaches from a friend, I decided to have a look to see if there was anything I could do to them. I was already going to do this with the two Hornby Mk2s I already had (RR 5267, NSE 5261) at some point, but the acquisition of this third coach and the Lima bogies moved it up the line, and brought it to the forefront of my mind! I don't have any money, so I decided to set myself the 'challenge' (not really - those are the circumstances!) of 'improving' them without buying anything specific for them*, just utilising bits of plastic, the odd bit of paint etc that I have in the house. I'm not sure how far I can get with them, but I have a couple of potential ideas if I can find anything suitable!

 

DISCLAIMERS:

I'm not a 'serious' modeller by any means, and I have a very limited selection of tools, a couple of colours of paint, and not much else, so this project does not intend to create a fully accurate representation of a Mk2a, it will be full of things I'll have to settle with and 'that will do' moments. I don't have the tools or paint to do any drastic surgery or weathering etc, so the coaches will generally still look as they do now.

I am in no way 'arty' or 'crafty' and pretty much have the skillset of a child with fat fingers, so don't expect miracle transformations, just little bits here and there!

I realise that there are/will be some things that are inherently wrong with the shape, fittings or liveries. Chances are I will know this (I like looking at small details of things), so I'm not interested in replies that just contain 'that shape looks wrong' or 'that livery isn't right' etc, but any other replies, constructive or otherwise, are always welcome.

 

*I did persuade my wallet to let me buy three packs of FlushGlaze windows, but that's it.

 

So, this is the recently-acquired coach, and the main one this project will be focusing on in terms of photos (there's no point when I pretty much just need to replicate it three times, but anything specific to the other two will be featured)

 

Yes, I know the position of the number and logo are the wrong way around, yes, it annoys me, but yes, I'm prepared to live with it!

 

So, this is the coach to start with, already with the glazing removed (which didn't come off cleanly.. great!), more to follow soon...

 

post-6814-0-49645500-1529422109_thumb.jpg

Edited by llamafish
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The Hornby Mark 2s come up OK with a few tweaks. I still have one NSE example in service within a rake of Bachmann coaches and it doesn't stand out as being out of place or different in any way.

Firstly, I painted the insides of the window surrounds in black to disguise the body thickness. Next I flush-glazed the windows: clear plastic (or the vacuum-formed stuff available commercially) for the main large panes and door droplights, but Krystal Klear (or equivalent) liquid glazing for the vents. 

The bogies would be better swapped out for either the earlier Triang/Hornby ones or some Bachmann or Replica ones, but I haven't got that far. The bogies as supplied are of the type Hornby introduced where the base layer is to a BR1 profile with the B4 frames superimposed.

The left-hand numbers are correct for NSE when it was first launched.

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llamasfish WIth the coast of rolling stock these days nothing wrong with what your doing. I've got a rake of Lima NSE Mk2 coaches to do myself. if you just want to take the detailing as far as your comfy with.

 

The SE Finecast Flushglazing can be a PITA but take your time to file or scrape away the inside edge of the window frames to help improve the fit. it does improve the look of the coach so is worth the effort.

 

The bogies do let it down and the Replica ones can be fitted with a some modification as the coach will sit too low. The Replica clip mounts can be cut off some packing added under the coach body around the pivot hole,

Glue in a nut  and use a bolt of your choice to refit the bogie. Not a difficult conversion  and even with my sausage fingers I was able to do it!

 

good luck

 

 

Cheers Trailrage

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Thank you all. Despite their chunkyness I do quite like these Mk2s, indeed 5267 was amongst the very first model trains I received 21 years ago, so is slightly more special than the other two, but still not beyond some modification. These don't leave my house so as long as I'm fairly happy, it doesn't matter too much what it looks like in terms of materials used. 

 

I do think the interior will be the biggest challenge, I've got several interior pics found online bookmarked. I think with the colours I have the blue colour won't be quite right, but I'll see if I can do some mixing to try and get a fairly good result. The green and purple stripes could be a bit beyond my reach, but as I won't be looking into the interior too much or too closely, I can happily live with it.

 

Unfortunately I did have some Hornby seated figures that I wasn't using recently, but I put them on ebay with a few wagons and other little bits thinking I'd have no need for them. This means of course I am without figures etc for now, but I could always revisit this aspect in the future.

 

As it stands, the current next step is giving the inside of the bodyshell a lick of paint. I don't have any off-white colours, but I do have white and black, so hopefully I can mix a tiny bit of black to some white to create the off-white colour used on the inside of these coaches. I've put some tape (in this case insulation tape) in the roof of the coach. Hopefully with the dividing lines between each piece of tape, once painted, these will represent the formica panels on the roof quite nicely, but I do have something that could represent the metal strips between each piece if it doesn't quite look right once painted.

 

I'm actually quite excited about my little project, looking forward to having a good scour around to the house to find anything that might be suitable for use in one form or another.

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Whilst I wait for the guys at the depot to finish fitting the panels to the roof, I thought I'd show 'one of those I prepared earlier' photos. Several years ago, I inserted a staple into the ends of several of my passenger and freight vehicles to act as a lamp iron. A hole was made by poking a red-hot needle into the end of the vehicles, to which the staple fitted nicely. I'd bought a pack of little tail lamps sometime beforehand, and was looking for some way of attaching them to vehicles on a non-permament basis. After trying plastic pieces and tape, rather unsuccessfully, especially the latter after about 4 uses, I found the perfect fit for a staple. It came in the form of a headphone wire, with the copper wire removed. This hole that was left behind was the perfect fit for the staple, so I glued a bit of the wire to the back of a tail lamp, so now I can be flexible with what vehicle is at the rear of a train! Just as well I'm not a purist, I can get away with this kind of behaviour  :secret:

 

This probably won't be the last of this behaviour though..!

 

post-6814-0-73507600-1529711408_thumb.jpg

 

Keen observers amongst you may notice there are 3 Mk2 bodyshells below. The 4th belongs to earlier Mk2 5232 in blue and grey, which was acquired with 5381. Originally, I was going to use it for spares only, as it's a bit battered and worn, and the 'grey' is rather oddly a sort-of duck egg blue colour. However, if I can get the grey colour I intend to make for the inside of the coaches right, I can apply it to this coach to make a more accurate colour scheme, so it's on hold pending results of what I can mix up!

 

5232, of course, being an earlier Mk2, was vac only. This leads to me another question whilst I'm thinking about it. I've got some NSE Mk1s that I bought all at once 10 years ago. Would anyone be able to tell me what brake type was fitted to any of the following please?

35464 35339 7232 13328 18601 4901

 

Many thanks!

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The original Hornby MK2's - as you're using - are actually a pretty good shape considering the age of them. I went to all sorts of sad lengths to bring one up to modern standards, and once done so sit alongside todays offerings very nicely.

 

It matters not one jot that you have limited resources, at least you are prepared to do some modelling and should be lauded by all for that.

 

Keep going and good luck.

 

cheers

 

Andy

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Excellent stuff
Like your thinking
I’ve got old Hornby and Lima coaches (see my blog)
Might try some of this on mine

Edited by ess1uk

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I agree with SRman re: the bogies. The visual bodge at the top of the clip-in bogies is awful. Replica Railways do a very nice kit form B4 bogie which would be superior to even the original Triang-Hornby B4 at a good price.

Edited by BernardTPM
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Many thanks for your replies and kind comments! 

 

Thanks stovepipe for the brake info - did NSE bother to change any of the braking systems on the coaches they inherited?

 

 

Perception is a funny thing isn't it? Having a look around the garage over the weekend, I came across a tin of paint that, according to the colour on the label (it was called 'silver steel', supposed to be used as a base layer for something or other  :lol:) , might have some potential. I put a small 'tester' amount in a pot, and tried a small amount of it on the inside of one of the coaches, as well as a small section of the 'spare' 5232. Once dry, I was amazed to see that the sample on the inside of the coaches looked far too dark, but the sample on 5232 looked considerably lighter, and appeared to be a reasonable match for the grey of blue and grey. So I decided to revive 5232 from the scrap line, and paint the whole window area in it. Before I started, I removed the extra plastic beading that was on the side of the coach, matching where the 'grey' goes. I've also done this for 5381, but haven't yet on 5267 as I'm not sure I have anything that I can touch it up with yet. 5261, being a more recent Hornby release, doesn't have this extra beading, luckily.

 

Anyway, going back to perception, in certain lights this paint looks spot on, in other lights it looks far too light and not grey enough. Reagrdless, it suits me fine.I'm wondering how the perception of colour will change when I add the white stripe around the edge (that I hope will also neaten it up).

 

post-6814-0-91799100-1529968233_thumb.jpg

 

This means I've now got a 4th Mk2 to 'improve', and it means another vehicle saved from scrap, which is always the preferred option! It will be the last to be finished though as I will need to buy another set of Flush-Glaze for it at some point.

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Thanks, might be accurate then! I could only find photos of Mk1s and a Mk2 BFK with the numbering this way.

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Now that is the sort of repaint I can relate to!

 

Can anyone confirm any of the following please?

 

- I found some diagrams on one of the NSE groups' page, that states the Mk2a coaches had one table removed in the seating bays at opposite ends of the coach, was this generic to all Mk2a vehicles, or just those under NSE ownership?

 

- Am I right in thinking the original Mk2s had the grey formica panels on the roof, but the rest of the interior of the coach was treated wood panelling? I've found some photos of preserved Mk2s that show this arrangement, but not sure if the formica was something that might have been added later.

 

- Were there any bins etc provided within the coach, between any seats perhaps?

 

Finally, if anyone has, or can point me to any detail pics of either the inside or outside of Mk2 and Mk2 coaches, please do send them my way! I've got several bookmarked that I've found on Flickr, as well as my own photos, but will always welcome any more that can show that little bit of extra detail, however small that might be.

 

Many thanks!

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Whilst patiently waiting for answers, I've been trying to put a white stripe on 5232. I don't like to give up on things, but after 5 or so attempts of trying various ways and methods, and then trying to get it off again because it looks rubbish, I think I've rather ruined the bodyside somewhat, and still have no idea how to get the white stripe onto it, and so that it looks reasonably decent, so for now, I've decided not to continue working with this one, and will concentrate on the remaining three. It was getting me quite miserable, even more so seeing the current state of it, so I've decided to abandon it, or at least until I can work out what to do with it. It's a shame, as I was looking forward to sorting this one out, but I don't want to ruin it further.

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Whilst patiently waiting for answers, I've been trying to put a white stripe on 5232. I don't like to give up on things, but after 5 or so attempts of trying various ways and methods, and then trying to get it off again because it looks rubbish, I think I've rather ruined the bodyside somewhat, and still have no idea how to get the white stripe onto it, and so that it looks reasonably decent, so for now, I've decided not to continue working with this one, and will concentrate on the remaining three. It was getting me quite miserable, even more so seeing the current state of it, so I've decided to abandon it, or at least until I can work out what to do with it. It's a shame, as I was looking forward to sorting this one out, but I don't want to ruin it further.

White Sharpie? Not tried it myself, but seen Sharpies used on model cars for 'detailing'. I gather you need to apply several 'coats' to get proper coverage.

 

Ian

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I find simply painting the seats on RTR one colour, the partitions and corridor another the floor a third and table tops something light makes a tremendous difference to a model, even if done in a horribly slapdash manner.    Getting a consistent representation of the obscured glazing on the toilets is more difficult but well worth it.  Replacing the moulded slab of the guards / luggage compartment with some mesh also helps.

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I find simply painting the seats on RTR one colour, the partitions and corridor another the floor a third and table tops something light makes a tremendous difference to a model, even if done in a horribly slapdash manner.    Getting a consistent representation of the obscured glazing on the toilets is more difficult but well worth it.  Replacing the moulded slab of the guards / luggage compartment with some mesh also helps.

This is what I'm hoping, even if the colour isn't quite accurate, it has to be better than beige plastic! I'm trying to work systematically, working from the top first (or at least the inner roof panels etc), then the interior, then the outside. I'm sure we've all done something and then realised something was meant to be done before it, and left with the tough decision of leaving it as it is, or taking two steps back to take what you've just done out!

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For toilet windows on Lima Mk1s when flushglazing, back in the day, I used cream coloured masking tape, just taped over the inside.... it gave that slight frosty beige look to them

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great work

inspired to have a go at some myself

i always paint the corridor doors and springs but have never done the interior

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Speaking of the interior, a very minor update to show I'm still working away at these, when time and temperature allows!

 

Two interiors of a TSO - that's Table-less Second Open! I was amazed at how quick and easy it was to remove these. They will of course be needed again later on, but this gives me better access to the rest of the interior, as well as the tables themselves. 

 

On the right hand side is 5232, now with a white stripe. It's a bit rubbish (i.e. don't look at it too closely!), but at least it has one, hopefully I can neaten it slightly in due course. 

 

post-6814-0-76329000-1533052080_thumb.jpg

 

 

By the way, I'm still after answers to the questions posed in an earlier post, as well as any photos of any part of a Mk2, but preferably inside, or of any fixtures and fittings, especially those areas not normally photographed such as the vestibule and toilet areas, the door areas, that kind of thing.

 

In a few days time I'll be away from the project for a couple of weeks as I'll be in Canterbury, but in the meantime I'll keep looking for anything that might come in useful!

 

Thanks.

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A little update. 

 

I've scored in the doors on the insides, and have added a little bit of plastic [might be slightly overscale, will probably make them protrude less in the other three] to represent the lip on the lower part of the doors. I did think about putting in the lower half of the lip, which tapers back in towards the door, but felt it wasn't needed as the interior will sit where it would go, so have settle with the top half plus a little bit! I did try and put some tape from an old video over the top of the plastic and up the door a very small way, to try and replicate the curving shape of the lip, but again, felt it wasn't necessary as it didn't really give me the desired shape.

 

post-6814-0-08684200-1538087921_thumb.jpg

post-6814-0-41569100-1538087990_thumb.jpg

post-6814-0-39437200-1538087938_thumb.jpg

 

A word of note, the more recent releases of my 4 (1997 and 2004 respectively) seemed to be made of a much softer plastic than the other two, so be careful if scoring or cutting later models, the knife or tool will go into them like butter. It took much less effort to score the doors on these two than it did the older two.

Edited by llamafish

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Another little update.

 

This week saw the first of the interiors coming in to have excess plastic removed where possible. It's only a little bit of alteration but I think it has already helped 'the look' of the interior. I've also neatened up the gaps where the tables were, to make a more rectangular-shaped gap. I've also removed the toilet cubicle, leaving me with a 'hole in the floor'  :mosking:. This hole I aim to cover up with a new cubicle when I can find something lying around to make it with. I'm also wondering what option is best for me for the couple of seats that have large holes in the middle (why do these interior mouldings have those?), but I have a couple of things to try and see how they look before paint, which I'm hoping will cover the worst of it. 

 

Can anyone confirm if the cubicle shapes are actually the same shapes as described in the Mk2 diagrams on this page please?

 

https://www.networksoutheast.net/coaching.html

 

post-6814-0-04837800-1540469529_thumb.jpg

 

 

Updates are a bit slower than I'd ideally like, but I'm making sure all four are up to the same point before moving onto the next stage, but this isn't a time-limited thing.

 

Thanks for continuing to follow my enjoyment, as they say, until next time..!

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Question for those who know about such things. Is the Hornby Mk2a as seen in this thread the same as the old Triang Hornby moulding from the 1960s? I ask, because there seem to be plenty around secondhand at attractive prices and I wondered if differing vintages would be compatible in appearance (apart from the boogie issue noted upthread).

 

I confess to a liking for the Mk2a. I find its combination of ancient (sliding windows, compartment interiors in some) and modern (integral construction, ETH, air braking) rather intriguing.

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Strictly speaking they are Mk.2 rather than Mk.2a as they have the Mk.1 style sliding doors in the gangways rather than the two-part folding ones, but yes, they are the same models first announced by Triang-Hornby in their 1968 catalogue (so this is their 50th Anniversary!). The clip-in bogies aren't as nice as the riveted on version though and the bright chrome plated window frames used for much of the '70s wasn't a great idea either. Very early ones have lights. In real life the BSO and BFK shared the same bodyshell but the interior and roof ventilators are for the BFK; some were recalssified as BSK during the '80s.

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Were there any other discernable differences between a Mk2 and a Mk2a please Bernard? Apart from the brake types, and heating?

 

I didn't realise until I was doing some searching that the blue/grey one of the four is a minimum of 35 years old, potentially as old as 39. They've stood up fairly well, and I'd imagine were seen as an excellent model when the first ones appeared all that time ago.

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