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How many people enhance RTR OO/HO coach interiors?


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THis question comes about after a discussion in the new Hornby 4/6 wheel coach topic. Someone asked, "Why bother with coach lighting? What's the point unless you run a night scene?"

 

I replied that my exhibition layout is Chinese HO which I realise is a VERY niche interest and if I wanted to get plenty of exhibition invites I would need to make my layout attractive to a wider audience than just visitors with an interest in Chinese railways.

 

One thing I did was to fully exploit the detailed interiors of the Bachmann HO coaches. The interior comes molded in just one colour and so I painted the interiors and put hundreds of HO people inside - it took days/weeks/months. At our next show my team of operators proactively pointed out this USP. Result? Nothing, as the coaches were unlit and even when the added detail was pointed out to visitors they couldn't really see it.

 

So, I decided to light the coaches so that viewers could see the detail. Result? Excellent reactions from viewers.

 

This has led me to ask, 

 

1. How many of us really exploit the detailed coach interiors which RTR manufacturers provide these days? By that I mean painting the interiors and adding passengers.

 

2. How many then light the coaches so that viewers can really appreciate the work we've done?

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I’ve recently done loads on work on my coaches. Interiors painted, passengers fitted and lights installed (all battery powered except for one coach which came fitted with pick-ups), then weathered.

 

C5C68947-9DFD-4658-9BDC-AAFE0CD3DDB2.jpeg.db446d76009f576e5507d651414a652e.jpeg

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10 hours ago, ColinK said:

I’ve recently done loads on work on my coaches. Interiors painted, passengers fitted and lights installed (all battery powered except for one coach which came fitted with pick-ups), then weathered.

 

C5C68947-9DFD-4658-9BDC-AAFE0CD3DDB2.jpeg.db446d76009f576e5507d651414a652e.jpeg

Can we see some interiors please? 

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There is a great article in the current Model Railway Journal (issue 281) by Alan Webber on building and populating an LNER Quad Art set. He used his own cardboard cutout figures to ensure that he got the look he wanted - the right period clothing and typical commuter poses with people reading newspapers etc. In 4mm scale the layering of four five or six people across the compartment meant that the 2D format of the figures wasn't really obvious. The ones nearer the windows were seated at a slight angled, which helped the visual effect.

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I recently fitted a Dapol 12 wheel LMS dining coach with Comet brass sides and took the opportunity to improve the Dapol interior with painted seats, tables and passengers etc.

 

7AD6E9B9-87C8-4C06-A0FA-1401D9172D56.jpeg.5fdd6d1fa2dee836f52f0f77855bfc25.jpeg

 

95BF9FD9-2B78-49F6-AA94-2068D7AB440A.jpeg.d19312fca38896cbd862c85c4289572b.jpeg

 

4512FDCD-D943-4C27-9079-9F589DF2D4E3.jpeg.cfef8cc529b7657f729715ee77e8a66f.jpeg

 

9911A8EE-1195-474C-AC3A-A9F79CEC375C.jpeg.26093790095d27fa80ddd8f825aa7b53.jpeg

 

Cheers

 

Darius

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33 minutes ago, phil_sutters said:

He used his own cardboard cutout figures to ensure that he got the look he wanted - the right period clothing and typical commuter poses with people reading newspapers etc. In 4mm scale the layering of four five or six people across the compartment meant that the 2D format of the figures wasn't really obvious. 

 

Interesting!

 

I think that there is a problem with HO interiors (and I assume OO ones) 

 

The interiors are (it appears to me) narrower than scale as the thickness of the sides and glazing of plastic RTR are seriously overscale. Hence it's virtually impossible to get plastic figures to sit next to each other as  the seats aren't wide enough.

 

 

Edited by TEAMYAKIMA
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9 minutes ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

it's virtually impossible to get plastic figures to sit next to each other as  the seats aren't wide enough.

 


It’s fairly prototypical in the case of the seats on the new Thameslink 700 units.

 

Darius

Edited by Darius43
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I do paint coach interiors when I'm reworking /upgrading vehicles. That said - I'm not sure passengers are particularly noticeable in compartment stock. And I only ever fit a small sprinkling of passengers, as befits a train awaiting departure in 5 -10  minutes time

 

I currently have 3 coaches being worked on - ex LIMA Kk1 TSO (was SK till I switched the interior) , Triang -Hornby Mk1 BSK  to be modified to courier van, and vintage Hornby Mk2a BFK (or it will be...). I've painted the interiors for all three, and "paintbrush modelling" seemed to take an awful long time.

 

I'm rather dreading painting up some figures for the TSO. And I've taken an executive decision that the compartments of the BFK and the sole compartment of the courier van are too dark and likely to be too sparsely populated to make the effort of painting and fitting figures worthwhile.....

 

However painting the interiors to remove the raw white /tan brown of the mouldings and replace with a variety of authentic colours is worthwhile, and makes a noticeable improvement - especially in the TSO 

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On 24/01/2021 at 10:07, BernardTPM said:

Not lit, but in this case the passengers are quite visible anyway:

 

GLRobservation.jpg.0472876a902b5c3c47dda0f816c6b128.jpg

 

Excellent work.

 

Please don't misunderstand my next comment, but in a way this is slightly off topic. You are a kit/scratchbuilder and so to an extent that was not the angle I was looking from. My point was more that RTR manufacturers go to great lengths to provide us with detailed interiors these days - how do we as buyers exploit that?

 

1. Do we just leave them as they are supplied - one colour, no lighting. no passengers

 

2. Do we (buyers) fully exploit all the work that RTR manufacturers have already done for us and paint the details different appropriate colours, add passengers, lighting etc

 

In short, in many ways the RTR manufacturers have done the 'difficult' bits for us, do we take advantage of that?

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One thing my picture does show: window size (and therefore light) is an important factor. There is someone in the compartment section, but they're not that visible. Before I scratchbuilt that (way back in 1977) I had done conversions and upgrades on RTR 00. In that respect the old printed Peco (for Kitmaster Mk.1 kits) were a fairly simple way to get a good effect. Lighting back then was rare but even so, an impresion of the correct colours, rather than a single  (and often too light) coloured interior moulding, was worthwhile. Keep up the good work!

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Paul,

I am a fan of drivers in locomotives and passengers in coaches. And I do this since a long time. Just some examples:

Found a cheap narrow gauge coach, didn't even have seats... and here we go. I use a battery system with latched reed switch on these coaches. Works a treat, batteries are accessible without opening the coach.

50451027786_49b7f7a517.jpg20201006_184313

50451013746_2c8e3a2219.jpg20201006_195203

50451017236_a17cb1941b.jpg20201009_174226

50451018111_45c4c00de2.jpg20201009_183510

50451015891_ac8a124ed4.jpg20201009_180647

 

Or another example - I recently found a 10 year old but never used push-pull train at Hattons. This Roco Transalpine is prepeared for coach lights, there are conductive couplings through all but the last coaches. (The last one is a driving coach and has its own decoder because of the directional headlights - so there is also power for the coach lights)

50667454243_18a49f9968.jpg20201119_161223

50668273587_85e38d2e20.jpg20201120_160617

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the last one is a short video in Flickr. You need to click into the picture to get there.

50668269707_31408d9d63.jpg20201120_154417

And last but not least - when I had my Italian layout in the past I put more than 100 people per coach - they were double decker commuter coaches, and always packed. How do I know? Well I worked 11 years in Milan and used these trains almost every day...

49771783283_34771ffc8e.jpgDSC05335

Edited by Vecchio
some photo hickups...
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On 24/01/2021 at 09:01, TEAMYAKIMA said:

 

Interesting!

 

I think that there is a problem with HO interiors (and I assume OO ones) 

 

The interiors are (it appears to me) narrower than scale as the thickness of the sides and glazing of plastic RTR are seriously overscale. Hence it's virtually impossible to get plastic figures to sit next to each other as  the seats aren't wide enough.

 

 

I use unpainted, sitting H0 people produced in China - very cheap from E-Bay. They come in bags of hundred, they are not as detailed as Preiser, Noch etc. but a lot cheaper - and what is important: slightly smaller. But correct, even whith these it is difficult to use all places in a coach.  The Austrian Transalpine train may be an exception - they had traditional only 3 passengers next to each other in a compartment coach or 2 plus one in a standard coach.

 

And coming back to Paul's China - was on a bus with my ex-wife some 25 years ago on the island of Lantau - where a European bus would have 2+2 seats in a row the Chinese bus had 3+3....

Neiter I nor my ex wife were slim, so there was no way 3 could sit in a row....

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Hi, funnily enough, I just reassembled a coach this evening - my first attempt to 'do up' a coach interior.  It was really to see how it went, to learn skills, and to see if it was worth it for my other coaches.  It's been one of those back burner tasks while I've been doing other stuff.  I chose a Bachmann GWR coach.  It's been a bit of fiddly work to get the compartment interiors sorted, but now I've done it once the next ones should be quicker.  I painted the insides, although the masking on the compartment walls was tricky so I resorted to using a strip of plasticard and painting it along the midway line, and glueing in the strips so  they butt up against the molded seats.  I cut down some Sankey Scenics coach pictures so they would go three abreast the compartment dividing walls because they are too big as they come in the pack (for this purpose, I mean).  I also cut some small rectangles of silver cooking foil, same size as the pictures, to vary the look.  I painted up some figures (Modelu ones for the most part), making sure I did a pretty good job because I was keen to see if the detailed paint (and therefore the effort) is worth it.  They were stuck in with tacky wax for now until I'm content that no changes are required.  For the lighting, I initially tried to use the TrainTech ones but these proved to be tricky to fit into the compartment coach as they are fixed units.  So I tried hacking one about and it worked initially but I frazzled the terminals on the lighting strip while trying to solder wires between the battery compartment and the actual lighting strip (that, however, was probably my duff soldering that evening!). I gave up with the TrainTech ones, although I would be willing to use them in future, it's just that I couldn't make them work with my level of skill in terms of adapting them to suite my own purpose. I therefore tried one from layouts4u, a battery one with the reed switch.  I soldered the components together and it worked fine (fortunately I remembered to buy a magnet wand to make the switches work).   The battery and holder goes in the toilet cubicle which can't be seen from outside.  Once the strip and wiring was stuck to the roof interior, I painted over it with black acrylic paint (obviously not over the actual lights!).  I needed to trim the top of the compartment dividing walls with zuron cutters.  I also used these cutters to trim out the floor of the toilet cubicle to allow the battery and holder to fit in ok.  All that cutting sounds tricky but was actually easy and took less than 5 minutes.  I think that was pretty much it.  The coach was reassembled and popped onto the track.  

I've added a few photos to show the interior before it went into the coach, and a few from outside in the dark. 

I have station lights so I do have it on at night, so the lighting is worth it from that perspective.  If I wasn't going to have lights on at night, it possibly wouldn't be worth it. 

I haven't had chance to look at it in daylight yet to see how obvious the passengers and interior are (with and  without the lighting switched on).   

I'm a bit maxed out at the moment so probably won't be able to respond immediately to any responses, but I'll keep an eye on the thread in case I can be of help to anyone.  

So to answer the exam question... I'm relatively new to this kind of thing.  Yes I've now done up the interior of an RTR coach, yes I've added lighting.  And do you know what?  I really like it.  

As a bonus, the magnetic wand for the layouts4u reed switch is great fun, both me and my boy love it.  You waft the magnet over the coach and the lights turn on and off.  Simple joy, it made us smile.  

 

IMG_9228-cropped.jpg

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9 hours ago, MoonMonkey said:

Hi, funnily enough, I just reassembled a coach this evening - my first attempt to 'do up' a coach interior.   

 

Congrats - just the kind of thing I was thinking about when I started this thread

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18 hours ago, Vecchio said:

And last but not least - when I had my Italian layout in the past I put more than 100 people per coach - they were double decker commuter coaches, and always packed. How do I know? Well I worked 11 years in Milan and used these trains almost every day...

49771783283_34771ffc8e.jpgDSC05335

 

100 per coach - very impressive.

 

I am working on two single decker trains at the moment, but I have decided not to add people to the double decker trains because I think it will just be too much work (impossible) to get lights in both levels and having all the top decks lit and the lower levels not lit will just look odd. I regret that

unlike your FS coaches my Chinese double deckers don't have windows in the roof.

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I really enjoy running my layout in the dark, especially in winter when it is dark outside so much of the time. It's almost like another layout.

 

Detailing and lighting coaches really adds to this I think. 

 

Here's a Bachmann Mk 2f fitted with passengers, corridor connections, coach letter labels, window destination labels and, in 1st class, curtains and antimacassars. I also add newspapers and other paraphernalia on the tables.

 

842184032_Mk2f1sta.jpg.eef47e644f9d2106ab656c558a93cdc6.jpg

 

When I fit lights myself, I use the ESU units fitted with a power pack, completely eliminating flicker altogether.

 

547495068_Nightscenea.jpg.1c4cb28e704d848f2187c93aa61ee6fb.jpg

 

1507938593_HSTa.jpg.0802d94ad7d71e3ecf6257bbb8b41d42.jpg

 

243385116_Sleeperc.jpg.20abbf0f1fb56d7e520a75f36fd72be0.jpg

 

As an added touch, I like to fit a window-hanging gricer at the window just behind the loco in some of my coaches...

 

1903094598_27052h.jpg.49b62ea8c076486a50eea9b544ccf2f7.jpg

Add in some lit buildings and street lights and you have another world.

 

1889123121_Officesb.jpg.04e7ef5ac7d9afea9e1f658a1bad3eab.jpg

 

It's very easy to concentrate on locos, but spending some time on coaches really pays dividend I think.

 

 

Edited by Waverley West
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Obviously the internal layout of my coaches differs somewhat with many British coaches. but one thing I think is very worthwhile whether or not I add lighting and figues is painting the tables. Despite the poor quality of this phone camera shot I think you will all agree that just painting the tables will make viewers aware that there is an interior as the jump out at you even in an unlit coach.

 

IMG_20210126_102454.jpg.a4b58ede7b72d4fd2400c3b6e57cca92.jpg

 

This is my next project a hard class sleeper - to be fully lit and figures added - wish me luck!

 

25g.jpg.94cc2b769b0e0e1ecded0421d618c954.jpg

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Wow, so many poeple sleeping in one coach - reminds me at my army service time.... Hopefully thye smell is better in the coach. So you need 66 little fellows and some kind of blankets. Looking forward how it comes out.

I remember going from Milan to Vienna in a nighttrain in a 4-bed compartment (Cheap). It was a nightmare. Didn't close an eye. Nowadays (before the pandemic) easy jet is cheaper and of course quicker...

I will watch this space.

 

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As some of you know, I can be extremely anal when it comes to my modelling. I think it's because  I am not a talented modeller (e.g. I don't make my own locos, I don't make brass kits) and therefore to compensate I take the simple things which I do attempt to extreme levels.

 

I am taking the modelling inside the single deckers to extremes, but have decided to cut back when it comes to the double deckers - for two treasons.

 

1. It would be VERY difficult (if not impossible) and VERY time consuming to fit lights to both top and bottom decks of the coach.

2. With the smaller windows you wouldn't see much anyway (with or without lights)

 

But I have spent some time experimenting and I do think that painting the tables white and the floor black does give hints to the viewer that ther is an interior in the left hand coach.

 

IMG_20210128_100028.jpg.7adc695164e2120cc4a98057470680cf.jpg

 

 

 

 

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I paint the coach interiors and add passengers. I did for a while go the whole hog - using high quality figures, adding things like mirrors and adverts inside the carriage as appropriate, but I realised that these were completely invisible when the coaches were running. But I do think painting the interiors gives the coach "depth" at normal viewing distance and greatly improves the appearance of even older, cheaper coaches.

 

I find passengers are visible, but sharp detail isn't. I tend to model urban environments, so an empty passenger train would be a worrying sign for the railway. As others have, I buy those bulk packs of Chinese-made HO figures. They tend to come in fairly psychedelic colour schemes, so I do give them a basic repaint to at least make it look like they're ordinary people in the 50s and 60s, plus a quick dark wash to bring out what little relief there is. I put them in the window seats because that's where they'll be visible at normal viewing distance.

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On the  subject of cheap unpainted figures ............

 

I also bought several packets of them direct from China unpainted but the exact packs I bought seem no longer available. 

 

KYTES LIGHTS sell them painted, but not unpainted. Does anyone her in the UK sell this exact set unpainted?  A few years back they were available from several HK suppliers but now nobody. Yes there are other packs but not these figures.

 

1986052985_oilfire022.jpg.94c806d115f4a98abd82aba07cc4c44d.jpg

 

 

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2 hours ago, InterCitySpud said:

Not much social distancing here. Better paint some masks on quick!

They are all from Wuhan and had it already a year ago....

 

 

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