Jump to content

Eric's Chop Shop - The Carriage Works - moving on to LMS Vestibule Stock

Recommended Posts

  • RMweb Gold

To help finding stuff as I go along I am adding a list of stock featured in this thread. It will be updated as further items are added.

1) LMS Period 1 D1695 Corridor Third

2) LNER D186 / D302 Open Third (added 5th June 2020)

3) LMS Period 1 D1755 Brake Composite (added 23 December 2020)

4) LMS Vestibule Stock - BTO D.1746 & D.1913, TO D.1692, D.1807 & D.1915 (added 29 December 2020)


Now that the summer activities are well and truly past it's time for completing some ongoing projects and starting some new ones. First up is a bit of plastic surgery attempting to fill a gap in the Mainline / Replica / Bachmann models of the LMS Period I All-Door Corridor Stock. The prototypes were some of the first coaching stock built by the LMS and were heavily based on the existing Midland Railway designs. They were the last 'All-Door' corridor coaches built by the LMS.


LMS Period 1 'All-Door' Corridor Third - D1695


Many years ago Mainline issued LMS Period 1 Corridor stock in the form of the all-door Brake 3rd and Composite. For their time they were quite a nice model and were subsequently improved by Replica Railways then Bachmann. 


Unfortunately none of the manufacturers ever got round to making a Corridor 3rd, although this was probably the most numerous of this series of coaches.


There have been discussions on other threads about the viability of a cut'n'shut to produce one of these but the idea had largely been dismissed. The gangway side was simple as the only difference between the TK and CK was a window in place of a blank panel. The compartment side was considered to be too difficult.


I had been researching in order to build a 57ft BG as converted from the LMS WW2 Ambulance Trains, which were themselves converted from Period 1 BTKs and Cks. I had a Mainline version of each which were to provide donor panels. When I put the two on the workbench with the compartment sides towards me I had a Eurika moment. There were enough third class compartments to make up a full coach and a toilet window at each end.


These were the two coach bodies I had in mind for the 57' BG conversion. As they were to be more or less destroyed I decided to use them as panel donors for the TK.




For the next pictures I have used a couple of Replica / Bachmann coaches to show the panel cuts required.


Firstly a demonstration that the job was possible on the compartment side.




I decided that I would cut the whole compartment side out of the donor being used for the final vehicle, but leaving the ends intact.


As I hadn't done a modification of one of these bodies before I started with making the easy bit. The next picture shows the area I cut out on the corridor side. I did two windows as it meant that the left hand side could be cut at a door, thus not leaving another join line to fill and smooth off.




The donor panel was cut leaving a bit extra on the right side to be finished when the gap had been cut in the side.




The panel was then test fitted to the hole cut in the side of the donor body.




That successfully completed it was on to the corridor side. The required sections were cut from the donors at a door line to ease later filling and laid out together. The are slightly too long but the compartment spacings are correct. The extreme right hand window on the Brake vehicles is slightly smaller than the rest and the panels round the toilet windows are not quite correct but the variations look to be less than 1mm from the drawings in David Jenkinson's books.




The side was joined together and test fitted to get the right length. The important thing is to get it centred correctly and not try to work from the ends.




Somewhere during the whole process the original roof vents were removed, holes filled and rubbed down then a new set of vent fitted to match the new compartments.




Painting has to be touched up a little and I'm not convinced by the black on the roof edges but it's getting there.






Edited by TheSignalEngineer
Contents list updated.
  • Like 9
  • Craftsmanship/clever 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 9 months later...
  • 8 months later...
  • RMweb Gold

LNER Gresley Excursion Stock.


I've been keeping off the internet a bit lately, mainly because of the amount of absolute $$$$$$$$ put out by our political masters and their unpaid puppeteers. 


That said the not going out much situation given me the chance to finish off a few projects. These have largely been a mundane reduction of the kit stash, but three out of the ordinary ones have been completed.


First up is a Gresley TTO. Big 4 Open coaches are a sadly neglected part of the RTR scene considering the numbers built by the LNER and LMS, although hopefully there are a couple of possible spin-offs from the forthcoming Coronation Scot set. 


In the early 1930s Gresley produced over 400 of the Open Thirds to Diagram No. 186. These originally had bucket seats like the Tyneside Electric units which can be sampled in the preserved LNER Teak set at the NYMR. The last few were built with more conventional higher back seats and given Diagram No. 302. The originals were refitted with these seats after WW2. 


My coach for layout use was a straight addition of Comet sides to a Hornby FK with a few modifications to the roof vents. The interior, not particularly visible as I don't use lighting, was cobbled up out of Replica Railways SO seating as they made a passible interpretation of the seats used on the later coaches and refitted stock, although having photographed them I think they could do with raising up a bit.




  • Like 14
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 months later...
On 15/09/2019 at 23:17, TheSignalEngineer said:

Next due in the erecting shop is a D1755 Brake Composite, to be built from a Brake 3rd and the 1st class from a Composite previously cannibalised. 


Out of interest have you got round to doing this yet?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • TheSignalEngineer changed the title to Eric's Chop Shop - The Carriage Works. After the Gresley TTO, back to Period 1
  • RMweb Gold

LMS Period 1 Brake Composite D1755.


As promised I have now got round to finishing the write-up for the LMS Period 1 D1755 Brake Composite. This is a second variant based on the all-door Brake 3rd and Composite of Mainline / Replica Railways / Bachmann origin.


Brake Composites were very useful in the days of trains carrying through portions being used either singly or with a TK or TO being dropped off to go down an intermediate branch line. Between 1924 and 1927 the LMS built 29 to D1754 and 55 to D1755 on 57ft underframes. The former had the 1st Class compartments at the end, the latter next to the brake. The last examples remained in service until 1963.


Subsequently between 1929 and 1938 they built nearly 200 more covering 7 different variations on 60ft and 62ft underframes.


I chose to do the D1755 as it fitted in better with the RTR models of the D1696 BTK.

Information in the way of published pictures and drawings seems a bit sparse, but thanks to Clive Mortimore for pointing me to a layout plan and compartment side elevation in one of David Jenkinson’s books. There is also a picture of the corridor side but as yet I haven’t found one of the compartment side.



The eagle eyed may notice that I haven’t corrected the error in the width of the end 3rd compartment window which appeared on the BTK drawing in one of the Jenkinson books and was faithfully copied by Mainline and their successors. Also, working from the Jenkinson drawing, on the compartment side the section between the 1st class toilet and guards door should probably have two panels the same as between the toilet and compartment rather than three but I didn’t have a bit like that without doing a lot of work or starting to cut another coach. In any case I don’t have a prototype photo so who knows the difference.


Construction follows the same method as the all-Third shown earlier. The main shell was Replica BTK on a Mainline chassis. The following pictures show the sections to make each side.






The Guard’s door on each side was inward opening so the hinges were removed. Alterations to handrails were done with 0.45mm wire.

The side lamps which were originally provided above the duckets were removed by the mid 1930s so they have been cut off.

Roof vents were altered to match the new compartments on the 1st class section and the brake end.


The interior was made from the existing BTK with the removal of the compartment next to the brake and the addition of two 1st Class compartments from the CK.

Two sections were cut from the BTK interior.

The brake compartment floor was cut off 34mm from the 5th compartment. The next cut was at the front of the seat in the 5th compartment.

The fourth compartment was cut at the bottom of the seat cushion next to the 5th compartment.




The CK interior was cut to use the two 1st class compartments next to the 3rd class plus the seat back from the last compartment. The adjacent 3rd class compartment was cut across the seat. The corridor door was cut off and repositioned at the partition between the new 1st and 3rd class compartments



The latter section was inserted between the two from the BTK with the toilet compartment walls set at 13mm apart. A piece of scrap floor was used to cover the corridor side of the toilet compartment and a 10mm wide piece was added as a partition in the guard’s compartment.


This is the altered section from the corridor side then the compartment side.





And so onto the layout to join the D1695 TK described in the first post of the thread.




All Photos ©2020 C E Steele


Edited by TheSignalEngineer
  • Like 6
  • Craftsmanship/clever 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold

LMS Open Stock.


Lockdown has given me a bit of time to finish off a set of LMS coaches to be used as an excursion train. The LMS was a big user of Open stock described as Vestibule coaches, not to be confused with the LNER use of the term. During the period from 1923 to 1948 they built over 2500 for general use other than dining against about 1000 by the other three companies combined.


With the exception of one model made marketed by Replica Railways depicting the D.1915 7½ bay 60 seater excursion version this stock has been totally ignored by the RTR market. Hopefully Hornby will be in a position to produce a conventional D.1904 from their Coronation Scot stock due soon.


Replica D.1915 original model.


Another omission is the lack of any Period 1 or 2 LMS corridor stock with the exception of the 68ft Restaurant Car in the Hornby range originally designed by Airfix 40 years ago for release which never happened, finally appearing from Dapol in 1987 then revived by Hornby in 1999.

I think this is a big gap in RTR provision as these coaches cover a period from 1924 to the mid 1960s, many having carried four liveries during their lifetime.


With one exception these models were built using Comet sides on a variety of donor parts from Airfix, Dapol, Mainline, Replica and Bachmann.


My first foray into this type of stock was to repaint one of my four D.1915 coaches to the version not made by Replica, the Blood and Custard livery applied by BR from 1949 to 1956. It still had the original glazing. When I built the others it looked out of place so I fitted SE Flushglaze which was an improvement.



Replica D.1915 repainted


Next up was to convert another Replica coach to the D.1913 BTO. This was a batch of 20 coaches built in 1934. They had 40 seats in 5 bays and were a Period 3 version of the D.1693 and D.1745 of Period 1.

This model uses Comet M63S etched sides. The body shell alterations were quite simple in cutting away the unwanted parts of the sdes, cutting two windows and altering steps at the brake end and changing some roof vents at the toilet end. The interior was made from cutting up the one from the original Replica coach. Just a couple of pipes needed if I don’t put a coupling on the outer end



D.1913 brake end.



D.1913 side view.


Stepping back to Period 2 the next model was a D.1807 TO. This was a flush sided coach with large windows and Stones ventilators of which 300 were built in 1931/2. Beware of the ventilators because the 1931 build had wide Stones type over all main windows whilst the 1932 build had them over only the drop windows with hooded vents over the rest. Three were converted for Push-Pull use in 1951.

Comet M21S were used on an Airfix suburban body shell with gangways added. The underframe is Airfix with Comet V-hangers, brake cylinders, dynamo and regulator added. The seats and tables were made from a carve-up of the Replica Mk1 Open Second interior.





Continuing the Open Third theme, the next up was the Period 1 panelled two-window version to D1692. These were the most numerous TO diagram, 555 were built at Derby between 1925 and 1929, effectively a continuation of a former Midland design with some LMS modifications. 35 coaches configured 42-seat RTO was also built to the same body outline. A further 200 all-steel coaches with the same window arrangement and 56-seat layout were built to Diagram 1745 by outside contractors during 1925/6. Four of the D.1692 coaches were converted for Pull-Push use in the late 1930s.

The model was a straight overlay of Comet M4S etched sides on a Replica 57’ Period 1 CK with roof vents repositioned to suit the seating bays and toilets.




Finally the Pièce de Résistance. At the same time as the D.1745 TO was built, there was also an all-steel BTO to D1746, which was the equivalent to the panelled D.1693. 15 came from BRCW and 20 from Leeds Forge which was by then part of Cammell Laird, shortly afterwards becoming their contribution to the formation of Metropolitan Cammell. The latter is the one I chose to build.


In this case the body shell came from an Airfix BTK overlaid with Comet M18S etched sides. As I only had a Period 3 roof in stock this was cleaned off and rubbed smooth. The prototype was rivetted steel plates with a pronounced overlap which was represented by Comet roof seam tape, together with full length rain strips from styrene and torpedo vents to the correct layout. The interior was another lash-up from a Replica Mk1 SO moulding.


Now the complicated bit. Samson Fox, of Leeds Forge and the Fox Bogie fame, developed a system of pressed steel underframes for railway wagons. This didn’t find a lot of favour in the UK at first but was taken up in the USA. The company made a lot of stock for export and specialist high capacity wagons for some UK railways who were not geared up for their production in-house at a time when most wagons were 9’ WB 10T capacity.


The Leeds Forge underframe had no visible trussing underneath, so the first job was to cut off all detail except for the centre part of the truss which supports the battery boxes. A triangular fillet was added to each end of the support frame at the solebar. These coaches had a box on each side so the regulator was cut off and a spare box from a scrap coach added. Once again V-hangers, brake cylinders and dynamo came from Comet.


Preparing the Leeds Forge underframe.


D1746(Leeds)-IMG_5423.jpg.8b628742799ba765ae8e8dfc7ad9f22d.jpgAnd finally the finished D.1746 coach.


That completes my LMS Open stock for the time being. I have a Buffet Car in the round tuit box, sides done just waiting for roof detail to be altered and an interior to be built. Depending on what Hornby announce I may convert my other Replica D.1915 to a D1904 or D1999 56-seat version.

I have also designed a cut’n’shut to produce a 57’ CO to Diagram 1903 and have the donors waiting if boredom takes hold during another lockdown.

Edited by TheSignalEngineer
  • Like 9
  • Craftsmanship/clever 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • TheSignalEngineer changed the title to Eric's Chop Shop - The Carriage Works - moving on to LMS Vestibule Stock
On 29/12/2020 at 00:06, TheSignalEngineer said:


I have also designed a cut’n’shut to produce a 57’ CO to Diagram 1903 and have the donors waiting if boredom takes hold during another lockdown


Thank you for putting these up this is certainly helping me when it comes to working out future projects.


Strangely enough a composite open is something I will also require in the future so I will await this one excitedly :D

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for a great thread. You have inspired me to dig out my Replica TOs and start detailing them.


How easy is the SEF Flushglaze to use on these? I had a bad experience with Mainline MK 1s, but it would be nice to make them fit in a little better...  


The other question, if that’s ok, is do you know if these coaches had curtains? I have used little fillets of green cotton sniper tape on a lot of my GWR stock and it looks ok. If LMS coaches have them, I thought I might use the tan tape that I was issued at the same time. I suspect a roll would do the entire production run...


Many thanks,



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold
1 hour ago, exet1095 said:

How easy is the SEF Flushglaze to use on these? I had a bad experience with Mainline MK 1s, but it would be nice to make them fit in a little better...

I had no problems, although you have to try a couple of different ones sometimes as with most RTR stock the sizes of the apertures vary slightly. Another trick I found useful is to carefully take a little off the inside edge of the window apertures. Because of the mould release angles the inside of the aperture is slightly smaller than the outside. To fix the glazing in place I use a small brush to run a little cockpit glue round the inside edges when the piece of glazing is in place. This will go underneath the edges by capillary action and will dry clear. It doesn't risk fogging the glazing with solvent glues.

1 hour ago, exet1095 said:

The other question, if that’s ok, is do you know if these coaches had curtains?

LMS Third Class coaches didn't have curtains. The Period 3 coaches had pull-down blinds. Curtains were normally only used on Firsts.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold

@thesignalengineer - these look great, could you tell us a little bit more about your painting and lining techniques - esp on the crimson and cream coaches.





Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold

I'm a bit of a hack at painting but will do a post later as I don't use anything special or not easily available. Lining on the vestibules was done with an assortment of transfers from Replica Railways and Modelmaster. It's a bit fiddly on panelled coaches so I tried a bow pen on a cut'n'shut which is better when you have practiced a bit. Back when my eyes and hands were a lot younger I could line a coach with a fine paintbrush but i'd struggle with that now. Last time I did it I put the lining on the undercoat then top coated up to it.

They're never going to be up to, for example, the Larry Goddard standard of finish but they look fine running on the layout

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks to your inspiration, I have had a quick go at one of my LMS vestibule thirds, adding the SEF glazing, painting the ends and roof, and using meths to remove the ‘LMS’, ‘3’ and crest from the coach sides. I have also painted the seats and tables, but will redo the latter as I did t do the upright bits visible through the windows. Actually, I think the interior should be 2-3mm lower, but that would be major surgery.


I have also used the original glazing to hold the SEF stuff in place as my canopy glue has gone solid... Another thing to change, along with adding “NO SMOKING” labels in the 3-bay end.


The coach, with its still-wet Humbrol 67 roof, is sitting in my carriage sidings, coupled to an unmodifed sibling. I am struck by the difference in appearance now, although I suspect the colour is also lighter as I have the whole side a quick rub-down with a meths-soaked rag.

One down, four to go... If anyone has any that they don’t want, then do let me know as I would like six to form into an excursion rake with a couple of Airfix BTKs.


Thanks again,




  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.