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00 Gauge XP64 SK build

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To provide something a little more unusual for my current layout build (a carriage sidings inspired by Malago Vale in Bristol in 1977) I have decided to have a go at making one of the experimental XP64 coaches. The obvious starting point is the Southern Pride kit which is laid out below:

 

 DSCN3281.JPG.196589ab7473a7db34d1b7235c4c3fae.JPG

 

On the right of the photo is an old Hornby coach interior which was in stock and saved me buying an interior (it needs modification) as well as Hornby MK2 gangways (more of which later).

 

It is fair to say that Southern Pride kits are not for beginners but with a bit of care and patience can be completed to a good standard, this is the fourth of their kits I have built. While I won't go through a blow by blow account of the build on this thread, I will call out some improvements or clarify some of the unclear elements of the instructions that I make as I build the kit. Also being a glutton for punishment I need to make some changes to the doors as the kit only caters for the coaches as they were when new with recessed doors which had been long replaced by the time my layout was set.

 

First off the ends supplied are standard Mk1 ends. Although not called out in the instructions you need to remove the end footsteps and top of the gangway:

 DSCN3282.JPG.f2541bf62cb955a5240f43445c0ae51a.JPG

The kit includes Southern Pride's standard springy gangways but these look nothing like the real thing and are only really suitable for use within a fixed rake of coaches. I instead acquired the aforementioned Hornby MK2 gangways which are much closer to reality although the internal door is too close to the front of the gangway. I will modify them in the next instalment.

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All the best with this.

 

I have from time to time contemplated building a set of XP64's, but it took me so long to do four of their Mk1 Pullmans (prior to Bachmann), that I've so far bottled out.

 

Look forward to seeing your progress.

 

John.

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Thanks John, Hope to do some .ore this weekend but won't be a quick build. I managed to do the Newton Chambers car carrier in a weekend when demonstrating at a show but that seems more straight forward than this.

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A bit more progress tonight on the ends. The XP64 stock toilet filler pipes were recessed inside the end of the carriage with only the tail projecting externally. The diagrams  in the instruction make brief mention of the need to create the recesses but it is easy to miss if you don't have some good photos to hand. Luckily I have found a few decent photos of my chosen carriage w25508 on Flickr.

 

I made the recess by drilling a hole in the end then filing rectangular with a needle file:

 

 

DSCN3283.JPG.e1d785dae055b0f815cb2c5e26ca013c.JPG

 

Although not very visible in the next photo I used some 0.45mm diameter wire to represent the filler pipes. I drilled a hole at 45% into the plastic above the recess to hold the wire.

DSCN3287.JPG.851e8d2694ed4274cd02e659fde3805c.JPG

 

The above photo is a bit out of sequence as the gangway end  is in place. As mentioned in a previous post the gangways I have used are from a Hornby MK2A coach. The internal door needs cutting out as it is too far forward. I drilled a hole in each corner then joined the holes up through multiple passes with a knife

 

DSCN3284.JPG.4badd6c48442af3aa93b5a344c8b113a.JPG

 

I was in 2 minds whether I needed to cut out the area on the ends inside the gangway. I think the end door was only recessed slightly so decided to leave it alone, especially as it is a different colour to the end.

DSCN3285.JPG.a335e4d7a7ffeed2d05a6f750f0e90e2.JPG

 

I then glued the ends to the false chassis and gave the sides and roof a trial fit. A bit more fettling required but it isn't too far away:

 

DSCN3288.JPG.a7f27705e943c43c5d9cdcef607c294a.JPG

 

Next job is to do the roof vents, then on to the sides. I also need to decide what to do about the bogies, with my scratchbuilt motorail flats I used Bachmann bogies and am tempted to do the same for this so the bogies are consistent across my fleet of coaches.

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I have progressed on 3 fronts today; the bogies, the roof and the sides.

 

Bogies first - In the interests of both saving time and money I have used Bachmann B4 bogies as I had a Bachmann BCK riding on B4's with some unused commonwealths in the spares box and fitting the Bachmann bogies turned out to be surprisingly easy despite the different fixings. The Southern Pride bogies come with a circular washer which is to space the SP bogies away from the chassis but is not required for the Bachmann bogies due to the presence of a raised boss on top of the bogies. The washer fits loosely inside the screw fixing hole of the Bachmann bogie so I secured it with some liquid poly. The brass nut and bolt can then be used to fix the bogie to the chassis as SP intended.

DSCN3290.JPG.9fc350f6320523391e03bbab516074c1.JPG

 

The coach ride height is a good match for the Bachmann stock:

DSCN3289.JPG.78e06c8d04fcfdbad03194e5101cdf1d.JPG

 

The roof requires the roe-vac air vents fitting. I had to check the pictures online to see which way round they go as it is not obvious and although the pictures available are less than clear it appears the sloped parts of the vents are in line with the coach sides:

DSCN3291.JPG.857abc98cb80ddebd160fd7469735315.JPG

 

The sides require the tumble home bending at the bottom, thankfully there is an etch line but the sides themselves are quite thick. I used the large vice in my garage with a couple of strips of wood to make bending bars. It is difficult to know how much to bend the sides but I was lucky and got it right first time. I then kept that side in the bars to use as a guide while I bent the other 3.

DSCN3292.JPG.9aca71ead70364cf009e72f28fdbf4bc.JPGDSCN3293.JPG.1d31b41ce401e48f0d3b33ba8e04a579.JPGDSCN3294.JPG.beec75969c1ad4adb13b899453182bb1.JPG

As per my first post I am building this coach as it was in later days with standard MK1 doors instead of the recessed doors. The SP kit makes no allowance for this variant and it is not straightforward by any means as the MK1 doors were narrower. My initial thought was to keep the plastic sides in one piece and then using thin plasticard make the door from scratch. However in my spares box were 4 doors and part of MK1 bodyside sections left over from various Bachmann cut and shuts. My latest thinking is to maybe mount the doors and bodyside sections on top of the SP recessed doors sections and build the sides as per the SP instructions.

DSCN3295.JPG.f5d49beafb68cade7f9aa3cf1a95a48a.JPG

 

I am not decided on the best option yet as both have their pro's and cons. 

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Gulp, this is a bit complicated!

 

Had I studied your opening picture more closely, I'd have realised this wasn't one of their kits that comes with pre-fitted and coloured vinyls on the sides. So presumably you'll be painting the brass sides and the intermediate door prior to fitting.

 

You look to have made a nice job of curving the brass sides, something I never find easy.

 

John.

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24 minutes ago, John Tomlinson said:

Gulp, this is a bit complicated!

 

Had I studied your opening picture more closely, I'd have realised this wasn't one of their kits that comes with pre-fitted and coloured vinyls on the sides. So presumably you'll be painting the brass sides and the intermediate door prior to fitting.

 

You look to have made a nice job of curving the brass sides, something I never find easy.

 

John.

Hi John,

 

Yes this is different to their TPO kits which are the only ones I have built with the pre printed sides. Basically with these you cut the window area away, make the coach up, paint it then put the window glazing back in I think.  I say I think as the Instructions aren't clear but that is my plan. I don't think you would be able to pre paint the sides prior to fitting and that won't work for me due to the door mods. 

 

The sides are pre curved, it is just the tumble home that needs bending thankfully.

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The door conundrum has been solved - I have plumped for the Bachmann doors as I did some more comparison and the door shape was spot on for the SP sides.

 

Looking at photos it appears that when BR replaced the doors they put the narrower MK1 doors centrally in the centre Aisle but at the toilet ends they put the doors at the outer end and panelled in the respective gaps (it maybe a trick of the eye but it appears you can see the panel joins). The doors I have on hand are the left over from 2 BSK's which were cut and shut into a MK1 BSO, with some of the rest of the remnants being used to create a 1/4 of an SK as part of a backscene and also a Southern Region steam heating vans. As such I had to do more cutting than I would have liked, if I had to do it again then I would buy a Hachette Mk1 and cut that up as it would be easier to do the central doors.

 

I used the plastic surrounds SP provide and cut the Bachmann doors off just above the top panel line (modified door on the left, unmodified on the right):

DSCN3296.JPG.404b7ddb5caf9b9a27a87b48e1062e96.JPG

 

The plastic SP door surrounds require a thin layer of plasticard to pack the doors out so they are flush with the brass sides which sit on top of the curved lip. Shown below is one of the end doors (the door surround tabs needs trimming down), I will need to extend the tumblehome so it goes up to the door but will do this when the sides are fixed to the chassis.

DSCN3297.JPG.b2db1b0d253335d4b9e141b4abc8e307.JPG

 

The door surrounds shown below show an end one in the middle of the photo and a centre doorway one to the left

DSCN3298.JPG.5009cef9fdaad27fce74531f46723fb6.JPG

 

To show how it all fits together I loosely laid the sides out to show the general arrangement, you can see the difference between the end and centre doors. Next job is to cut the clear plastic sides and start gluing it up.

DSCN3299.JPG.0188adda10982fdf736a5ac533715874.JPG

 

 

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You have made very rapid progress with this, 37, much better than I've managed with my current Comet build.  But a similarity is my use of Bachmann bogies (Collet 9 footers in my case) instead of the kit ones.  This was because I had no top hat bearings at the time and wanted to crack on, on the basis that I had the bogies and could always replace them with the Comet ones later if I wasn't happy.  In the event I'm happy with the bogies; they look right and run superbly, and I'm on the lookout for a Lima Siphon G to put the Comet bogies under...

 

I fabricated my own bogie mounting stretchers out of bits of Airfix signal gantry decking that happened to be handy, and you can adjust the ride height with the nuts from the kit.  I did this by trial and error matching the buffer height to another coach, a Hornby Hawkworth BG.  I've superglued the pockets for NEM couplings to the underside of the bogie end stretcher, as these were older mouldings with screw on couplings and a 'mounting platform' which had to be sawn off.

 

When I build more Comets, which I will sooner or later, I'm going to try the MJT stud fixing method; if it doesn't work I can always rip it out and build the kit to the instructions.

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6 hours ago, The Johnster said:

You have made very rapid progress with this, 37, much better than I've managed with my current Comet build.  But a similarity is my use of Bachmann bogies (Collet 9 footers in my case) instead of the kit ones.  This was because I had no top hat bearings at the time and wanted to crack on, on the basis that I had the bogies and could always replace them with the Comet ones later if I wasn't happy.  In the event I'm happy with the bogies; they look right and run superbly, and I'm on the lookout for a Lima Siphon G to put the Comet bogies under...

 

I fabricated my own bogie mounting stretchers out of bits of Airfix signal gantry decking that happened to be handy, and you can adjust the ride height with the nuts from the kit.  I did this by trial and error matching the buffer height to another coach, a Hornby Hawkworth BG.  I've superglued the pockets for NEM couplings to the underside of the bogie end stretcher, as these were older mouldings with screw on couplings and a 'mounting platform' which had to be sawn off.

 

When I build more Comets, which I will sooner or later, I'm going to try the MJT stud fixing method; if it doesn't work I can always rip it out and build the kit to the instructions.

 

Thanks, your post also prompted me to think about couplings for this. One end will definitely have 3 links, the other end may have either either 3 links or NEM as due to the nature of my layout it potentially works to have a tension lock coupling to enable the coach to be pulled off scene.

 

Tonight I was joined by modelling amigos Dave and Alan along with copious amounts of real ale. Before too much Ale was consumed I have cracked on with the sides. The first bit I did was to cut a 2.5mm long section of the plastic side which goes at the extreme end by the doors.

DSCN3300.JPG.570c1a23dd125b864759ae3d2508e54e.JPG

 

The next bit was to cut the plastic sides to shape and glue them to the door sections in the middle. I found it helpful to have the etched brass sides on hand to help positioning:

DSCN3301.JPG.e84ac2013c10d2a184b286fa0e2842b3.JPG

 

After a couple of hours work I had the sides assembled and brass sides added. The SP instructions suggest fitting the etches once you have fitted the plastic sides to the coach but I preferred to add them to the plastic side first.

DSCN3302.JPG.b7af7260a2841042cfbf6b020fc5fc93.JPG

 

With the sides dry, I have test fitted them to the coach chassis. Plenty of fettling to do but not too far off is the verdict.DSCN3303.JPG.4d6e538aa4907b58a584c3cfb410db0f.JPG

 

 

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It is possible that the NEM tension locks may be making the gap between buffers too big; certainly is when coupled to Airfix B set.  But I’m holding off repositioning them for now, as the coach will run as a stregthener to new Hornby suburbans with which it may well sit better!

 

BR liveried Collett suburbans from H are not too far off, and I’m happy to play awaiting game!

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5 hours ago, The Johnster said:

It is possible that the NEM tension locks may be making the gap between buffers too big; certainly is when coupled to Airfix B set.  But I’m holding off repositioning them for now, as the coach will run as a stregthener to new Hornby suburbans with which it may well sit better!

 

BR liveried Collett suburbans from H are not too far off, and I’m happy to play awaiting game!

 

XP64's coupled to a B set, this I must see!!

 

Mike.

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Cracking work Rob - looking forwards to seeing this completed

 

Phil

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5 hours ago, Phil Bullock said:

Cracking work Rob - looking forwards to seeing this completed

 

Phil

Thanks Phil, progress has been quicker than hoped so plan is to finish it by Easter, then at least I get 6 months out of it before somebody announces an RTR one at Warley.

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13 hours ago, The Johnster said:

It is possible that the NEM tension locks may be making the gap between buffers too big; certainly is when coupled to Airfix B set.  But I’m holding off repositioning them for now, as the coach will run as a stregthener to new Hornby suburbans with which it may well sit better!

 

BR liveried Collett suburbans from H are not too far off, and I’m happy to play awaiting game!

The tension lock coupler won't be visible due to the way the layout is operated as it would only be used to pull the coach back into the fiddle yard. When the layout is next out of the garage I will post a photo to show what I mean.

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Posted (edited)

Tonight's focus was the interior. I had on hand an old interior that I think came from a Hornby CK of some description. As the interior was a composite, the compartments in each section were slightly different Window spacing with the first class area lining up perfectly with the XP64 windows but the second class were too close together. As the XP64 has a Z shaped corridor I needed to cut the interior up anyway so it was no big deal.

 

First job was to cut the interior in half and remove the corridor floor area as the SP sides are a bit thicker:

DSCN3305.JPG.e0d70c67513d2f04abe8ff012d67ce31.JPGDSCN3306.JPG.4d5e1da18f90ef79a44766dcade55b1d.JPG

After I took the photo above I also cut down the floor on the non corridor side so it was flush with the seats. The photo below shows a trial fit of the interior that did not need modifying:

DSCN3307.JPG.8f3d05d0e3a6e9d3f9ebc97915b732c6.JPG

For the other interior I made a plasticard floor as I needed to cut the compartments away from the floor and space the seats further apart.

DSCN3308.JPG.4cdeb73969e06f6427c4bda7bb8d8a23.JPG

While the plasticard was out I extended the partitions and added the toilet compartment wall. When I did my BSO I put in quite a bit of the detail in the interior which ended up not being visible when on the layout so I haven't gone too mental here. 

 

DSCN3309.JPG.bfc5d7752f6d264fbe84aa6b5fd02982.JPG

As will be evident from the above photos I found it easier to fit one of the sides when adding the interior. The sides are a tight fit in the channel, but a handy tip is to get a section of spare bodyside and slide it from side to side in the channel a few times. This helps identify tight spots as well as helping to clear swarf out of the channel:

 

DSCN3310.JPG.278d1094ec7101ffdcebf3b41e3d44c5.JPG

 

The first side was quite straightforward, the second one was more difficult but I got there in the end.

DSCN3304.JPG.46d6081d901ebca3ee7da04a5830071a.JPGDSCN3311.JPG.c780de247317ccc8c1c7c4d98df5d2ae.JPG

 

The roof now fits much better as well. The next job is to fit the window frames which look tricky before a coat of primer to show up the imperfections ready for filling.

 

Edited by 37114
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Last update for a bit as I am have quite a bit of travelling with work coming up and I am also out of model filler which is required before going too much further. 

 

To help identify how much filling is required I decided to get a coat of primer on the coach but to do so I needed to fit the self adhesive window frames. Reading the SP instructions it was clear from the "this is fiddly and we know it" tone that it would not be an easy job. In reality the frames would be much better if they were etched rather than the flexible vinyl but then I presume the cost would go up. I did consider buying Shawplan MK2 frames but wasn't sure if they would fit. 

 

I started with the toilet windows first as there are a couple of spares and being smaller they are easier to fit.

DSCN3313.JPG.d8993eb4a5a10f214f792bd3cdb4c999.JPG

The main frames are much harder and in my view are oversize with brass side being visible inside the frame. The frame also has a tendency to jump onto the side when it is a few mm away (as if it is magnetic). I used a knife blade to hold the window and then started from 1 corner and worked round.

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I got better as I progressed but a couple of frames are slightly wonky

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After all the frames were on it was out to the garage to do some spraying:

DSCN3318.JPG.38d15ecf671e64dcc47d857d86e3960f.JPG

The initial coat has revealed plenty of work to do although not as much as I feared. It will likely be a few weeks before I get the filling done and will then be on with the paint job.

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