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Coaching stock of the NCC


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Having been born and brought up within sight and sound of the NCC lines of the UTA, it is only natural that my main interest in railways is of that railway. Over the years, much has been written about Irish railways, but very little about the NCC.

As a modeller of the NCC in UTA days, I found that there was plenty of information available about NCC locomotives, but next to nothing about rolling stock, so I set about finding out as much as I could.

 

I decided to research coaching stock, and to make life slightly easier, concentrated on bogie coaches of the NCC and its constituents, leaving four and six wheel coaches for another time.

 

To my amazement, I discovered that a small railway like the NCC had, since the first bogie coach was introduced in 1893, in the region of 266 coaches of 68 different types, not all in service at the same time I may add. This total includes coaches that were transferred from the LMS during the war, those purchased from BR in 1948, and the 19 coaches built by the UTA in 1950/51.

 

After identifying the various types of coach, and their specifications, I set about creating drawings for as many as I could. Some drawings were obtained from the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum archive, and many were created from known information and photographs. With the LMS being the parent company, coaches built after 1923 were of standard LMS design, and drawings were easy to create, but pre 1923, most coaches were built to BNCR specification, with a few built in MR days, which made creating drawings more difficult.

 

As a UTA/NCC enthusiast myself, I have always been interested in what suitable model coaching stock there is available for that railway, and I have compiled a complete list of UTA/NCC coaching stock with comprehensive details, drawings in most cases, and references to photographs in publications. If you are interested in any of this, then please get in touch.

 

There is no accurate ready to run stock available, although the Mainline/Bachmann range of LMS panelled corridor stock is very acceptable, even though the NCC never had any vehicles of that exact format. Grafar (Graham Farish OO) produced some very acceptable suburban stock, which can be picked up secondhand.

 

Kit wise, Worsley Works produce kits for a complete rake of North Atlantic Express coaches, along with kits for the Larne Steel suburban stock, the Chairman’s Saloon, a panelled Corridor 3rd , a panelled Corridor Composite, and a panelled Corridor Composite Tea Car.

 

Comet Coaches produce kits for a Full 3rd LMS panelled corridor coach, almost identical to many that were used by the NCC, particularly those imported in 1941 from the LMS. They also produce a kit for an Open 3rd coach, which is almost identical to NCC Dining Car No 89.

 

Ratio produce kits for MR Suburban coaches, which are very similar to a number of coaches bought from BR in 1948. In fact, the Full 3rd coach is actually a model of a batch of coaches, two of which ended up on the UTA as Nos 24 & 25.

 

Finally, there are the ready to run coaches that, once repainted, look the part in the absence of anything better. The Hornby LMS Staniers, the Airfix/Dapol Staniers, The Grafar corridor coaches. Best of all, there is the Bachmann Stanier Open 3rd. A very elusive coach that never seems to have been produced in large numbers. Appeared on the market years ago as ‘seconds’. Never did find out what the fault was, but makes a mean Festival Express coach with a bit of work.

 

The photo is of coach 247, class J4 Open Third, built 1926, destroyed during air raid 1941.

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You will find some etches for specifically NCC coaches here

 

I did not mention the Mousa Models NCC etches in my posting as the list is a little vague and confusing. Without seeing the actual etches, it is difficult to positively identify them from the descriptions given.

 

In the Mousa Models price list under the heading NCC, there are three B&CDR coaches listed, which have nothing to do with the NCC.

 

Under ‘B&NCR’, some descriptions are vague and do not make sense, but there are two coaches listed, a Class H1 and a Class J1, which could be a Non-corridor Tricomposite and a Non-corridor Third respectively.

The other vehicles listed under B&NCR are four and six wheeled vehicles for which I do not have many details, as I have only been dealing with bogie vehicles so far.

 

Under ‘LMS Built’, the descriptions given also do not make sense.

The NCC Class H2 is a 9 compartment Non-corridor Tricomposite all steel coach built at Wolverton for the NCC. Known as Larne Steel Stock. This kit could be one of them.

The class J1 listed is, I suspect, a misprint. The Class J1 coaches were built in 1896 by the B&NCR. As other details given are similar to the H2, I suspect this vehicle to be a Class J7 (misprinted as a J1), and would be a 10 compartment Non-Corridor Third, again built at Wolverton for the NCC, and known as Larne Steel Stock. This kit could be one of them.

 

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I don't know where you have got your information from but it does not tally with mine. The corrected list is:-

 

 

BCK6800 D.1753 Class H2 BCK (tri-compo)

BCK6803 Class V6 Horsebox

BCK6804 Class Z1 TS

BCK6805 Class J1 T

BCK6801 Class H1 CL

BCK6806 D.1757 Class J6 TK

 

The J1 and H1 were listed under B&NCR because the drawing clearly states that there were B&NCR coaches ex-LMSNCC

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I don't know where you have got your information from but it does not tally with mine. The corrected list is:-

 

 

BCK6800 D.1753 Class H2 BCK (tri-compo)

BCK6803 Class V6 Horsebox

BCK6804 Class Z1 TS

BCK6805 Class J1 T

BCK6801 Class H1 CL

BCK6806 D.1757 Class J6 TK

 

The J1 and H1 were listed under B&NCR because the drawing clearly states that there were B&NCR coaches ex-LMSNCC

 

My information comes from years of research on the subject of NCC coaches, and bogie coaches in particular, although I have picked up some information on 4 and 6 wheeled vehicles on the way.

The information has been gleaned from books, articles, photographs, lists, official drawings and anywhere else possible, even information from your price list has been noted for future confirmation.

I never questioned the origin of the J1 and H1 coaches. I would confirm that they were both built for the B&NCR and inherited by the LMSNCC.

 

Things seem to be clearing a little regarding your descriptions. I am assuming that TS is a Third Saloon, T is a Third, CL is a Composite Lavatory and TK is a Third Corridor, although, according to my records, a Z1 is a First Saloon with three compartments. Apart from this and the H2, the rest all make sense as the class type for each of these does match.

 

My assumption about the H2 would appear to be incorrect. Although the Class H2 is as I described, and also the J7, the fact you have changed BCK6806 to a J6 throws a new light on the subject. There were a number of J6 Third Corridor coaches built at Derby in 1924, standard LMS type panelled coaches to the Irish Loading Gauge.

Assuming that the J6 is correct, and if BCK is a Brake Composite Corridor,

this means that the H2 is now incorrect. Brake Composites are in the I series, so this coach should be an I2, a class that was built in the same style and at the same time & place as the J6. Unfortunately, I have never come across any LMS Diagram Numbers for stock built at Derby or Wolverton.

 

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NCC Coach Classifications.

 

The LMSNCC introduced a system of coach classification using a letter for each class, followed by a number. The number identifying each type of coach within the class.

 

A. Saloon 1st. B. Dining Car. C. 1st Class. D. Brake 1st. E. Brake 1st/3rd.

F. 1st/2nd or 3rd Composite. G. Tea-car 1st/2nd/3rd Tri-composite.

H. 1st/2nd/3rd Tri-composite. I. Brake 1st/2nd/3rd Tri-composite.

J. 3rd Class. K. Brake 3rd. V. Other Coaching Stock. Z. All 6-wheel Stock.

Edited by David Jackson
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My information comes from years of research on the subject of NCC coaches, and bogie coaches in particular, although I have picked up some information on 4 and 6 wheeled vehicles on the way.

The information has been gleaned from books, articles, photographs, lists, official drawings and anywhere else possible, even information from your price list has been noted for future confirmation.

I never questioned the origin of the J1 and H1 coaches. I would confirm that they were both built for the B&NCR and inherited by the LMSNCC.

 

Things seem to be clearing a little regarding your descriptions. I am assuming that TS is a Third Saloon, T is a Third, CL is a Composite Lavatory and TK is a Third Corridor, although, according to my records, a Z1 is a First Saloon with three compartments. Apart from this and the H2, the rest all make sense as the class type for each of these does match.

 

My assumption about the H2 would appear to be incorrect. Although the Class H2 is as I described, and also the J7, the fact you have changed BCK6806 to a J6 throws a new light on the subject. There were a number of J6 Third Corridor coaches built at Derby in 1924, standard LMS type panelled coaches to the Irish Loading Gauge.

Assuming that the J6 is correct, and if BCK is a Brake Composite Corridor,

this means that the H2 is now incorrect. Brake Composites are in the I series, so this coach should be an I2, a class that was built in the same style and at the same time & place as the J6. Unfortunately, I have never come across any LMS Diagram Numbers for stock built at Derby or Wolverton.

 

Well it does not look like there is any clarification coming about kit BCK6800, as to whether it is an H2 Tricomposite Non-Corridor, or a BCK Brake Tricomposite Corridor which would make it an I2.

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BCK6800 is a panelled Braked composite built Derby for the NCC in 1933.

 

Thank you for clarifying kit BCK6800. A matching Brake Tricomposite for kit BCK6806. That is nice to know. Will have to obtain one of each.

However, it is not a Class H2, and it was not built in 1933, although that was, in fact, the year the H2 class was built. The only LMS built Brake Tricomposites were built at Derby in 1924, Class I2, a total of six, along with fourteen J6 Thirds, five G1 Tea-car Composites, three F2 Composites and one of each B2 and B3 Dining Cars.

All other Brake Tricomposites, five of Class I3 built 1931 & 1935, and nine of Class I4 built 1936, 1937 & 1938, were built by the NCC in Belfast.

With one exception, a Class I4 which was destroyed in the bombing of 1941, all Brake Tricomposites, although reclassified to Brake Composites, or converted into Multi Purpose Diesel Railcars or Trailers, survived until at least the mid 1960s or beyond.

 

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You can get some nice etched brass coach sides of the ex-MR 57' CKs and TKs stock sent over during the war from David Geen. They come in a 6 pack of 2 CKs, 2 TKs and two other brakes which remained on the mainland. I've got some Comet sides for TKs, and some of the non-corridor stock as well which the parent company sent over.

 

You can get a copy of all the drawings in one book from the Downpatrick preservation society's stock. Its worth the money.

 

I've put up a couple of photos on my flickr site which may be of use.

 

NCC Ex MR Coach 14102 at York Rd 06-01-1950

 

I agree with you that it is difficult to get info, much of the time has to be spent squinting at the background of photos, particularly for wagons. I can supply you with a copy of NCC wagon diagrams on disk if they are of use to you. Just PM me.

 

All the best,

Stephen

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Hi Stephen,

 

Many thanks for the info. I was not sure about the David Geen kits, but from your info I will have to see about a purchase.

 

Your pictures are very good. The coach on the traverser subsequently became J14 number 24, and is a dead ringer for the Ratio kit, apart from the bogies.

The Belfast Express loco would have to be Class W 102 or 104, as 104 was the highest number of the class, and 102 & 104 were the two un-named Class Ws.

The leading coach is a J10 Open Third, all of which bar one, were converted into MED Railcars in 1951/2, so that would limit the date of the picture. The one exception was destroyed in the 1941 bombing. The rest of the train, of course, is the full set of North Atlantic stock. The location I would hazard a guess at just South of Whitehead station.

 

I will have to look into the book you referred to. I have to confess I was unaware of it, although I do have all the locomotive books.

 

I will also have to take you up on your offer of the disk of NCC wagon diagrams. I have been compiling a list of all wagons identifiable in photographs in books and publications, but it is a long slog.

 

Regards

David

 

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Thank you for clarifying kit BCK6800. A matching Brake Tricomposite for kit BCK6806. That is nice to know. Will have to obtain one of each.

However, it is not a Class H2, and it was not built in 1933, although that was, in fact, the year the H2 class was built. The only LMS built Brake Tricomposites were built at Derby in 1924, Class I2, a total of six, along with fourteen J6 Thirds, five G1 Tea-car Composites, three F2 Composites and one of each B2 and B3 Dining Cars.

All other Brake Tricomposites, five of Class I3 built 1931 & 1935, and nine of Class I4 built 1936, 1937 & 1938, were built by the NCC in Belfast.

With one exception, a Class I4 which was destroyed in the bombing of 1941, all Brake Tricomposites, although reclassified to Brake Composites, or converted into Multi Purpose Diesel Railcars or Trailers, survived until at least the mid 1960s or beyond.

 

In order to try and clarify the H2 versus I2 debate about kit BCK6800, which shows no sign of reaching a satisfactory conclusion, I have posted two official drawings below which show the difference between a Class H2 Tricomposite, and a Class I2 Brake Tricomposite.

The H2 is an all steel, 9 compartment, non-corridor vehicle, three of which, Nos 280, 281 & 282, were built in 1933 at Wolverton. Unfortunately, this drawing is not good quality, but all relevant information can be discerned.

The I2 is a wood panelled, 6 compartment, side corridor brake vehicle, six of which, Nos 45 – 50, were built in 1924 at Derby. The drawing shows the I2 now reclassified as a Brake Composite. The two compartments next to the guards accommodation were originally third class.

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If anyone has any information regarding the Class D2 Brake First side corridor coach, I would like to hear from them.

This vehicle was built in 1937, the only one in the Class, and was the first NCC coach to have the large 4' 6" windows. Unfortunately, it had a very short life being destroyed in an air raid in 1941, so photographs are virtually non existant, and I do not have a drawing. The only photo I have is in 'Rails Around Belfast' page 34, but the angle is such that detail is not visible enough to be of any use.

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If anyone has any information regarding the Class D2 Brake First side corridor coach, I would like to hear from them.

This vehicle was built in 1937, the only one in the Class, and was the first NCC coach to have the large 4' 6" windows. Unfortunately, it had a very short life being destroyed in an air raid in 1941, so photographs are virtually non existant, and I do not have a drawing. The only photo I have is in 'Rails Around Belfast' page 34, but the angle is such that detail is not visible enough to be of any use.

 

 

Is this what you were after.

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Hi David,

I've attached my versions of a couple of the drawings you have above. These were scanned from a friend who has the Currie archive as he was the executor of the former CME's will. The H2 is a clearer copy while the I2 has the records of when the coaches were converted from tricompos to ordinary composites.

I've also added the I3 and I4 for the sake of it. Comet do a suitable set of LMS sides for one of the 57' versions but which one I can't remember.

 

With regards to the W class in the photo discussed above its probably 102. Strangely the shot is clear enough to read the coach numbers if you download the full size version (i know its a big file, sorry), but not the loco number.

 

I hope these are of some help.

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I was very interested to see the drawing of No7 - I had often wondered what this elusive coach looked like. You can make a reasonably close version of the I3 using a bit of creativity with a craft knife and a couple of Mainline panelled coaches. Most of my coaches are too narrow but tehn i run them on 16.5mm track anyway!

 

Possibly if Bill could post a pic of the actual etches of the "H2" side it would finally clear up the "mystery" surrounding them?

 

Colm

 

No 58 running on my previous layout. The corridor side was not altered except for the "1" on one door, (I have no drawing of what it was actually like so just guessed) and I've discoverd I don't have a picture of the compartment side!

 

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Is this what you were after.

 

Stephen,

 

That is exactly what I was after, many thanks.

 

I never expected to see a drawing of No 7, especially not one dated 1943, two years after the sole example was destroyed. The drawing is very much how I expected the coach to be, so it is nice to have one's suspicions comfirmed.

 

I had a look at the Comet Coach kit. It appears to be a hybrid as far as the NCC goes. The corridor side appears to be the same as the I2, but the compartment layout is the same as the I3. One could always number it differently on each side I suppose, and have two coaches for the price of one.

 

Colm's model of the I3 certainly looks the part, although the corridor side has turned out to be a good mix of I2 & I3. I also have had dificulty finding a picture of the corridor side of an I3 for the window arrangement, although I have a couple of I4 ones, but comparing drawings, the I3 & I4 are the same, except for a larger guard's compartment in the I4.

 

David

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  • 1 year later...

In order to try and clarify the H2 versus I2 debate about kit BCK6800, which shows no sign of reaching a satisfactory conclusion, I have posted two official drawings below which show the difference between a Class H2 Tricomposite, and a Class I2 Brake Tricomposite.

The H2 is an all steel, 9 compartment, non-corridor vehicle, three of which, Nos 280, 281 & 282, were built in 1933 at Wolverton. Unfortunately, this drawing is not good quality, but all relevant information can be discerned.

The I2 is a wood panelled, 6 compartment, side corridor brake vehicle, six of which, Nos 45 – 50, were built in 1924 at Derby. The drawing shows the I2 now reclassified as a Brake Composite. The two compartments next to the guards accommodation were originally third class.

Back in May this year, I found out that Mousa Models were selling pairs of coach sides for J6 Corridor Third and I2 Brake Composite Coaches. Following the unanswered question regarding the I2 versus H2 debacle, I decided to place an order.Four months later, after what can only be described as not being a good buying experience, the etches arrived. The J6 etch was, as expected, very good, but the I2 etch, although of good quality, was inaccurate in a number of places. There were droplights in all four of the Guards compartment doors, where only one door on each side should have a droplight, and there was vertical beading where there should not have been any. Vertical beading was also missing from where there should have been some. These observations were confirmed by consulting photographs, in addition to drawings in my possession. Drawings can sometimes be incorrect, but photographs are as the prototype was, and in this case the drawings matched the photos.In the absence of anything better, the discrepancies can be accepted, but at least we now know that the H2 as listed is, in fact, supposed to be an I2.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The H2 listed by Bill Bedford is actually the NCC 1924 Derby built I2 Third Brake. I have been responsible for having Bill produce the NCC coach etches and also the Worsley Works NCC coach ones by Allen Doherty for my own use, with the exception of the North Atlantic coaches. Some of the 1924 Derby built stock were Midland diagrams not standard LMS. Each design had a diagram number and some were unique to the NCC. The BNCR coaches were produced from the late Des Coakham's drawings.

 

The wartime transfer stock was done in two batches, in 1941 to replace lost coaches and again in 1942 because of increased traffic demands owing to the arrival of US troops in Northern Ireland. The NCC J11 Thirds were actually comprised of several LMS coach diagrams, D1700 - NCC 171~176, (1941) NCC 190~193, 198~199 (1942), D1784 - NCC 177~182 (1941), D1906 - NCC 183~184 (1941) NCC 194~197 (1942), D1906A - NCC 185~189 (1941). A further two D1906A (1941) were converted by the NCC and ran initially as F3s with the running numbers 3 & 4. They were converted to J11 in February 1943 and became 169~170. There were also four 57' Midland designs transferred to the NCC in 1942. D1281- NCC F3, 64~65, 68~69, D1282 - NCC J12, 230, 234, 236, 238, 241, 242, D1424 - NCC C4, 5, 7, D1277 - NCC J13, 200.

 

The 1948 transferred Midland Railway coaches were of an earlier non corridor design to the 57' stock. D487 - NCC J14, 24, 25, D553 - NCC C5, 22, NCC F6, 23, D555 - NCC J15, 26, 27, D557 - NCC K4, 20, D603 - NCC K5, 21.

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Interesting thread... the NCC isn't well represented in the model world (the above pics excepted!) Well done...

 

True, but you can get etched sides from the likes of Allen Doherty at Worsley Works (or with the caveats discussed above, from Bill Bedford) or you can enjoy some creative hacking on the plastic sides to make yours nearer the originals.

 

Here's a few more of mine:  first fo all, a V14 class bogie brake luggage van; this is made from plasticard (not too many windows!); one of these was often attached to diesel trains in UTA days.

 

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The ex NCC "Chairmans' saloon" ; No 3  - one of three coaches built during the war by the LMS (2 for use in England) , and supposedly approved as they could function as a "mobile HQ" in case of the blitzing of railway faciliteis in Belfast. Though by 1943 when the coach was built this was much less likely than it had been. As far as I know this was the only coach which had true sleeping compartments,to run in Ireland.

It wasn't used that much and retained its 1953 blue and cream livery until converted into an MPD, No 58, which had a very short life, being wrecked in a  collision (1959/60)  at Umbra crossing on the line between Castlerock and Londonderry. Mine is lit by means of LEDS and a 3v button battery - appropriately concealed behind the model's battery boxes.

 

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and finally for now, a "North Atlantic"  My friend the late Russell Currie regularly stated that these were the best riding coaches ever to run in ireland (he was slightly biased..). For years he told us they had been fitted with Hoffman bogies, but alas this was not true and he was much put out in 1968, when told by Bill McAfee the chief mechanical engineer of the UTA who'd been involved with them, that they had always carried standard LMS 9' bogies.

 

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  • 11 months later...

True, but you can get etched sides from the likes of Allen Doherty at Worsley Works (or with the caveats discussed above, from Bill Bedford) or you can enjoy some creative hacking on the plastic sides to make yours nearer the originals.

 

Here's a few more of mine:  first fo all, a V14 class bogie brake luggage van; this is made from plasticard (not too many windows!); one of these was often attached to diesel trains in UTA days.

 

attachicon.gif617 V14 brake.JPG

 

The ex NCC "Chairmans' saloon" ; No 3  - one of three coaches built during the war by the LMS (2 for use in England) , and supposedly approved as they could function as a "mobile HQ" in case of the blitzing of railway faciliteis in Belfast. Though by 1943 when the coach was built this was much less likely than it had been. As far as I know this was the only coach which had true sleeping compartments,to run in Ireland.

It wasn't used that much and retained its 1953 blue and cream livery until converted into an MPD, No 58, which had a very short life, being wrecked in a  collision (1959/60)  at Umbra crossing on the line between Castlerock and Londonderry. Mine is lit by means of LEDS and a 3v button battery - appropriately concealed behind the model's battery boxes.

 

What transfers do you use for the UTA coach lining?

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True, but you can get etched sides from the likes of Allen Doherty at Worsley Works (or with the caveats discussed above, from Bill Bedford) or you can enjoy some creative hacking on the plastic sides to make yours nearer the originals.

 

Here's a few more of mine:  first fo all, a V14 class bogie brake luggage van; this is made from plasticard (not too many windows!); one of these was often attached to diesel trains in UTA days.

 

attachicon.gif617 V14 brake.JPG

 

The ex NCC "Chairmans' saloon" ; No 3  - one of three coaches built during the war by the LMS (2 for use in England) , and supposedly approved as they could function as a "mobile HQ" in case of the blitzing of railway faciliteis in Belfast. Though by 1943 when the coach was built this was much less likely than it had been. As far as I know this was the only coach which had true sleeping compartments,to run in Ireland.

It wasn't used that much and retained its 1953 blue and cream livery until converted into an MPD, No 58, which had a very short life, being wrecked in a  collision (1959/60)  at Umbra crossing on the line between Castlerock and Londonderry. Mine is lit by means of LEDS and a 3v button battery - appropriately concealed behind the model's battery boxes.

 

What transfers do you use for the UTA coach lining?

 

Hi,

I don't use transfers, I line them with Humbrol gloss yellow and a "Bob Moore Lining Pen"! Others have had good results though with the HMRS yellow lining, which I use on my locos mostly.

 

Colm

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Hi,

I don't use transfers, I line them with Humbrol gloss yellow and a "Bob Moore Lining Pen"! Others have had good results though with the HMRS yellow lining, which I use on my locos mostly.

 

Colm

Like Colm, I also use a 'Bob Moore Lining Pen' which I have found to be very good. I also use HMRS yellow lining. Which method really depends on whether the coach has beading or is smooth sided. 

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