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Nile's Mostly Freelance Bodging Bench - Hornby GMB coaches & a loco to pull them

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Welcome to my workbench topic, where I will be mostly modifying RTR things.

This first post is now the index, the actual workbench now starts in the third post (first link in the index below).


Topic Index  [35 pages so far]


LMWR 0-6-0 from Bachmann SECR C class



Busch HOf Feldbahn Gmeinder into a Plymouth loco



Back-dating a Bachmann Midland brake van (before Bachmann did)



Bachmann Midland compound for LMWR



LMWR 2-4-2T from a Bachmann LYR 2-4-2T



LMWR 4-4-0 from a Hornby T9 4-4-0



LMWR 2-8-0 from a Bachmann S&DJR 2-8-0



HOn30 2-4-0 from a Minitrains Fiddletown & Copperopolis 0-4-0 with 3d printed parts



Midland 2P from an Airfix LMS 2P with a Comet chassis



SECR C class repainted grey



Trix brakevan detailed



Bogie coach from two Hornby 4-wheel coaches



Midland 1F from a Bachmann LMS/BR one



F.ROTH tanker  :D



Hornby 'H&B' van on Bachmann chassis



Hornby 'H&B' van to WMR



Mainline LMS coach cut'n'shut to WMR



Triang Polly + Electrotren chassis - LMWR



The 'Shepton' Mallet - Micro-Ace HOn30 conversion



Midland 3F, back-dating the Bachmann model



GWR 9700 3d printed body + Bachmann chassis


LMWR 4-4-2T from a Bachmann LYR 2-4-2T



LSWR '700' no.316 - mainly repainting a Hornby model



Converting a Beattie well tank to EM gauge



Re-motoring an Oxford Rail Adams radial



MiniTrains Porter 0-6-0T - adding a tender



MiniTrains Baldwin conversions



Triang clerestory coach conversions - 6 wheel and all third bogie



Oxford Rail LNER cattle wagon mods



Oxford Rail LNER 6 plank open wagon



Triang vans for LMWR



Bachmann LMS cattle wagon for LMWR



Bachmann Wickham trolley to 009



Minitrains Bagnall wing-tank 009 loco



Back-dating a Hornby LSWR 700 class


Oxford's Adam's Radial - Reposition motor and add daylight under the boiler



WMR 0-6-0 from SECR C class (static model)


Repainting a Hornby SECR H class grey



Radio controlled van in 4mm scale



LMWR cattle wagons from Bachmann LMS ones



LMWR large horsebox from Lima



LMWR 6-wheel brake van from Oxford & Parkside parts



WMR BG from Mainline coach parts



LMWR 4-wheel full brake from Hornby clerestory parts



WMR 4-4-0 with 3-D printed body and GBL tender



LMWR small horsebox from modified Parkside kit



WMR small horseboxes from a GWR Beetle kit



Repainting and Detailing the Hornby LSWR Brakevan



A Triang TT tank wagon conversion



Hornby LSWR (and other) 3-plank wagon mods



More Hornby wagon mods


Edited by Nile
index photos
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I thought it was about time I started one of these workbench things. One of my interests is pre-grouping railways, but rather than model one of the real ones I've made up one of my own. The London and Mid Western Railway (LMWR) was a real proposal that was killed off by changing railway politics, it would have been a direct line from London to Oxford via Uxbridge. My chosen period is around 1920, the railway is still feeling the effects of war time austerity, so the livery is simplified rather than elegant and complicated. This topic will mostly be about me converting RTR models into something suitable for a small pre-grouping railway that didn't build its own locos.

First up, converting the Bachmann C class into a typical late Victorian / Edwardian 0-6-0 loco.
I started this project over a year ago, and didn't take many photos of the loco modification work at the time. Things have improved since then.
Part 1 - the Loco.
The main work was to the cab, extending the lower part of the front with bits of styrene, I also fitted separate handrails to the rear of the cab, after carefully carving away the moulded on parts. The whistle was moved from the cab roof.



The C class as built is right hand drive, I've decided the LMWR prefers left hand drive. I moved/removed some of the cab fittings and made a new reversing lever from plastic rod, painted red.




Other changes to the loco included:


removed the front footsteps.

replaced the chimney with a stove-pipe (Gibson, I think)

removed the extra Southern lamp irons.




An internal mod., I removed the wires that go to the tender. They aren't really needed unless a DCC chip is used, and their absence makes handling much easier.  

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Part 2 - the tender


I removed the rear steps and handrails. This exposed a small hole in the frame (for the back of the buffer). This was covered with some black styrene. To make it look even older I added styrene strips around the edges of the side panels.




The side sheets at the front were removed and replace with a handrail made from brass rod.




Nice though this model is, it is let down by the tender brake gear. The brake shoes are molded into the frames. When the brake rigging is fitted it ends up between the wheels and the shoes! It looked horrible to me, so something had to be done.

I cut off the brake shoes, and used the rear ones as a pattern to make four new ones. A notch is needed in it to fit over the rod of the rigging.




The hangers for the rear shoes need to be different length because there is a screw in the way of one of them. Some brass rod was used here, as I had removed the coupler socket.




With the brake rigging fitted, the brake shoes were glued into the correct positions Note the screw at bottom right is in the way of the brake hanger.




The finished model.





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The completed model, along with some LMWR wagons. The goods livery is black with red lining, the opposite of the passenger livery. The lining, lettering and numbers are from Microscale decals, except on the buffer beam. The original number was 1256, I removed the 1, hence the loco became no. 256.

And this is how the loco stayed for about a year, while I got on with other things. But I wasn't entirely happy with it, something was nagging at me whenever I looked at it. So at the end of last year I decided to sort it out.......

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The thing that was bugging me was the sandbox on the centre splasher, it being a distinctive feature of the C class. I thought it would look better on the front splasher. As these are separate parts this should in theory be not too difficult.


After removing the chassis and body, the splashers came off with a bit of gentle persuasion.



The front ones have a little bit sticking out that needed to be removed.



The middle ones have a notch in them which fits around parts of the gearbox casing. This needed to be filled on the original ones (with some styrene), and filed into the new ones.



Some holes left in the footplate, where the sandboxes were, needed to be filled. Part of the sandboxes needed to be filed back, as they now fouled the smokebox. This took a while to get right.



Test fitting the body onto the footplate.



The finished model. I removed the pipe on the front of the cab, another South Eastern thing I didn't want. Also visible on this side is the reversing lever, made from some fine square section nickel silver. The gearbox, which was hidden by the sandbox, is now visible. But as all the bits are black it's not that noticeable I'm now happy with its looks.


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Hello Neil, very much enjoyed this thread, thats very usefull information about the splashers I didnt know they could be removed like that.

I was thinking of using a C class as a base to convert to a Caledonian Jumbo and some of the things you have done like the splashers and the stove pipe chimney woulld be some of the jobs required for that. Thanks Steve

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Hi Steve, thanks for your comments. I think the C class has the potential for conversion to several real prototypes, as well as my fictional take on a typical pre-grouping 0-6-0. If you have any questions about a conversion, just ask.


And now for something completely different!


Converting a Busch HOf Feldbahn Gmeinder into a Plymouth loco.

What on earth does all that mean? Some explanation below.


Busch - a European model manufacturer.

HOf - HO (1:87) scale models running on Z gauge (6.5mm) track, representing narrow gauge prototypes that run on 600mm (2 feet-ish) track.

Feldbahn - German for field railway, a narrow gauge light or industrial railway.

Gmeinder - a German loco manufacturer.

Plymouth - an American loco manufacturer.


I had two of the Busch Gmeinder locos, a green one without a cab roof and a yellow one with a cab roof. I would have preferred a green one with roof, but that was only available in a set. I also had a need for a small American loco to operate a mine railway. So I decided to move the cab roof to the green loco and try to convert the yellow one into a Plymouth 2 foot gauge loco. A Google search found a few useful pictures to base the conversion on.


The first picture shows the green one, in original condition, alongside the modified yellow one. 



The rear part of the cab was removed.New cab sidesheets were made from black styrene. White styrene rod and sheet was used to make the framework and roof. I also added some bits to radiator guard to make it more Plymouth like.



The loco has to fit into this building.


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Happy with the body, I got on with making the chassis look like a Plymouth. The Gmeinder chassis is bolted together, the Plymouth one is cast and machined. I made some side sheets from black plastic that were glued onto the chassis. The end sheets were cut and filed to match the new side sheets, to make the chassis look like a single lump.




After a bit of painting, the two modified models together.




It will be back to standard gauge next.

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I was going to do another loco next, but then these arrived.



The one on the left will stay as it is, but the other is going into the time machine back to its Midland origins.

Rather than a full repaint, I'll remove the black panels and touch up the paint before applying Midland decals.

The handrails are metal and can be prized out of their holes with some care.



This is the chassis, in case anyone is interested.



Using a curved scalpel blade, I carefully scraped the black panels off. I then tried some paints on the inside of the body, to see which best matched the paint on the body.

1 is Railmatch early BR grey , acrylic.

2 is the same , in enamel

3 is Precision Midland freight wagon grey.



I thought the enamel paint was the closest, so that is what I used.

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I have some Slaters transfers from their Midland brake van kit, the water based press-fit type and meth-fix type. As I haven't used them before, I thought I would try the meth-fix ones on this brake.

One side done, all seems ok so far. I took the easy option of just adding 1 to the M.99 number on the sheet.


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While waiting for paint and transfers to dry I'll start the tale of the next loco.

Post war passenger traffic needed more powerful locos. These came in the form of Midland 4-4-0 compounds with some modifications (the Midland was a significant LMWR shareholder). This was achieved using the excellent Bachmann model of the LMS built compound.

The good news is that this model is left hand drive, which is what I want. But it needs some modifications to make it more Midland like.

What I was aiming for is a left hand drive version of this (public domain image).



Loco body modifications.



Left to right, the mods are:


New whistle. The Bachmann one is fragile and broke.I found one in the bits box, could be an old Hornby one.


Replace safety valves with Ramsbottom type, scratch built from bits and pieces.


Sand the dome into a rounder shape. I attached it to a mini-drill and used some sand paper to re-profile it.


I replaced the chimney with the one I'd removed from the C class earlier.


Moved the upper lamp iron from the smokebox door to the top of the smokebox.


Cut away the frame extensions in front of the smokebox saddle.



With the chassis and boiler removed, you can see where I've cut and filed the frame extensions. I've started re-painting the body into the passenger livery of red oxide with black lining.



Cleaned up and painted. In the background is the boiler with its new rounded dome.


Putting the bits back together, this is what you get.


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Thanks for all the likes, I shall continue with this malarkey.   :)


On to the tender. As the LMWR had no water troughs, there was no need for water collecting apparatus. The dome came off easily enough, but that left a hole with a rim and a line of rivets around it.



I carved away the unwanted raised detail and filled the hole with a disc of styrene. The green stuff is Squadron green putty, filling any gaps around the disc.



After cleaning up and painting. I removed the filler cap as it was in the way. You can't tell from this angle, but I have also removed the water pick up operating handle from the front of the tender.



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For the MR brake van. Seems a little odd that the lettering would be behind the handrails. Other than that, your conversion looks really nice. I recently built the parkside kit of the van with duckets. Now I kinda wish I waited to convert one of the RTRs. Haha

And the Compound is beautiful. Id be terrified to put a knife to a loco.

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Putting all the bits together makes this.



So far so good. But there is something missing, a name. My original idea was to name all the passenger loco after towns served by the railway, much like the LTSR, amongst others. But I thought that by 1920 they might have ran out of names, so I thought of an alternative, rivers. Ones in the area served include Thames, Colne, Brent, Cherwell and Wye. Out of those I chose Wye simply because it's the shortest. Instead of trying to make nameplates I will use transfers to represent painted on names, like the LTSR, LBSCR and others.

Here I am trying the letters out on the front splasher.



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I've finished applying transfers to the models above. I'm now waiting to spray varnish over them to finish them off.

Until then, here is some other transfer related work.

Last year I bought some Slaters coal wagons that had been built and painted, etc. That makes them RTR  :wink_mini: .

The only problem with them was the transfers hadn't been applied very well, particularly over the raised detail. However, I thought I may be able to fix that.

The first two photos are of an as bought wagon.




Meet my weapons of mass distortion.



I only needed to use the micro sol, the transfers are quite thin and responded well to the solution.

These are the after photos.




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Back to the compound. Various coats of Testors Dullcoat and Humbrol acrylic satin varnish have given me a finish I'm happy with. This is the result.



Here it is joined by its Midland cousin.



That is all for now, I'm still faffing about with the brake van.

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Very nice finish on the loco. You decided to reuse the plastic coal load? Thats about the only negative thing I could say about this. You have done a beautiful job with the painting and lettering. I really like the finish on the smokebox.

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Yes, normally. Although I do carefully dab the transfer with the brush if it needs help conforming to the surface.


As for the coal load, as it's removable I can sort it out later. I've got some coal here, somewhere. 

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Yes, normally. Although I do carefully dab the transfer with the brush if it needs help conforming to the surface.


As for the coal load, as it's removable I can sort it out later. I've got some coal here, somewhere.


Haha. I know the feeling of losing something on the workbench.

The decal set. What kind of decals would it be best for?

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Micro-sol (and Micro-set) should work well with any water-slide decals. I've never had any problems, and I've built lots of model aircraft. Thicker, multi-colour ones may need something stronger, like the Daco solution in the photo (above).

The Decals I've used are by Microscale (same as the solution), they make lots of useful general sheets as well as ones for specific railroads.

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  • Nile changed the title to Nile's Mostly Freelance Bodging Bench - Hornby GMB coaches & a loco to pull them

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