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Titivating Bachmann's Original Thompson LNER Coaches

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The following images are of an original Bachmann Thompson coach which I have titivated.

With the imminent release of the retooled Thompson's why bother? Well the new Thompson's are not exactly cheap if you are short of funds compared to the original Thompson's which can be picked up secondhand for around £10-£14. The coach which is the subject of this topic was picked up for £7.50 - a bargain. I was curious in how far I could take it, especially on a budget. So in best BBC tradition (and most channels unfortunately) here is a quick glance of the finished model. So if this interests you read on, if not feel free to ignore.






I am taking a different approach to posting progress on this model. Rather than report progress as I go, I have taken the liberty of completing the model first so I can provide a continuous commentary without being sidetracked with questions and suggestions which can be tackled separately at the end.

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The doner coach was stripped down into its component parts. The body was stripped of its factory finish in a bath of Isopropal Alcohol and scrubbed with a couple of brushes until it was down to bare plastic.

The first task was to reprofile the roof to get rid of the sharp corner over the cornices which has been described many times by Tony Wright. As part of the process the rainstrips and destination board brackets are filed away to be replaced later. At the same time all torpedo vents are removed and smoothed as are the moulded on door handles and grab rails:


The seams between the sides and the ends are filled with Milliput and a new roof cornice strip (cut on the Silhouette cutter) applied. When the filler is set the joint is smoothed off. In the process I have filed of some of the end detail:


The body was given a quck coat of Halford's Plastic Filler Primer (something I would have been far wiser to postpone until a later stage in construction). A template was created in Inkscape to determine the correct torpedo ventilator positions remembering to offset the ones over the compartments by a prototypical 6". The same template is marked for the destination board mountings then cut out and using the remaining tank fillers is glued with a glue stick to the roof:


Holes for the vents have been made and new rainstrips added using 1mm Evergreen styrene rod which is scraped along its length to form a half round section. Replacement destination board brackets have also been added however at this point the cinder strip is a bit overscale also being 1mm:


A template was created in Inkscape which was then glued to the side, again with a glue stick, to denote the positions to be drilled to receive the new door handles:


After removing the template by soaking in water:


New ventilators were glued in place. I used ones available through my Shapeways Shop:


This end view shows the 2mm offset for the compartment ventilators. Great care is taken to ensure they are offset to the correct side:


I decided to reduce the thickness of the cinder strip on the destination board brackets so the first was sliced off and a new one from 0.6mm Plastruct styrene rod fitted in place:


About this time I thought it would probably be a good idea to fill in the gap left on removal of the Bachmann vestibule connector. I really should have done this earlier in the process (like before priming).

The whole body was now given a coat of Halford's White primer:

In preparation for painting the Ersatz teak finish the roof was masked off:






After careful rubbing down of the white primer the coach is given a coat of Vallejo Light Orange applied with an airbrush in conjunction with Vallejo Airbrush thinner:





Edit: Driling template added and Cornice Studio Cutting file.

D332 First Drilling Template.pdf


Edited by MikeTrice
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After leaving the prepared body to dry off for 24hrs masking can start. First off 6mm modeller's masking tape (I use ModelCraft's) is applied along the lower edge of the side. By happy coincidence this is precisely the potion required for the lower horizontal panel line:


A second length of 6mm tape is applied, overlapping the first, and aligned on the lower edge of the windows:


Vertical strips are then applied starting from one end to denote the vertical panel lines. I am left handed to I tend to think of working right to left:


Here the left hand panel has been oversprayed with Vallejo Orange Brown and the first piece of masking tape removed:


The second panel is also sprayed in Orange Brown:


Here is t'other end after removing the masking tape:


With all the vertical masking removed a quick shadow is added along the horizontal masking tape again using the Orange Brown:


After leaving the various shadowed layers to fully harden I can start the job of applying the graining coat. As in my previous articles I have once again used Artist's Burnt Umber oil paint in conjuntion with Windsor and Newton Liquin Original. I mix this on a white ceramic tile (on the basis I can quickly wipe it down on completion and reuse the tile next time) and apply the mixture thinly over the upper panels in a randon manner:

Once I am happy with the general transparency of the graining coat I use the brush to realign the paint to give vertical brush marks to the panels taking care to avoid build up along the edges:


Here is a side with all the upper panels treated:


The top layer of the horizontal panel masking is removed before the oil paint has fully hardened and the whole body put aside for at least 1 day for the oil to dry:


When the upper panel grain coat has dried the upper panels are masked with the lower edge matching the applied grain coat:


A quick shadow spray of Vallejo Orange Brown is then applied along the exposed lower edge of the horizontal panels and the final lower masking tape removed:

After still more time waiting for the Vallejo to dry (I never said doing Thompson coaches was quick) the lower horizontal graining can be applied using the Liquin/Burnt Umber mix:


Finally all side masking can be removed and the ends grained. Finally all remaining masking is removed and hopefully you will get something like this:






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My biggest issue with the supplied underframe is the lack of depth between the rigid trussing and the battery boxes. A lot of Thompsons only seem to have a single battery box rather than the two provided on the standard Bachmann chassis. Using a piercing saw the center section was crudely cut out:


This resulted in a nice space in the centre:


And after trimming back the cut out section:


To remove the rest of the battery boxes holes were drilled through them and the piercing saw used to cut the sides out:


The various rigid trusses can be filed back ready to receive new battery boxes which I scribed and cut on the Silhouette then bulked out to around 4mm width then applied a shaped length of Evergreen 1.5mm angle:


The original metal weight was glued back into the underframe:


The replacement batterybox was then glued in place set back from the trussing. Note that normally on single batterybox arrangements, the batterybox is the opposite side from the dynamo, presumably to keep weight distribution even:


At this point I noticed that one of the trusses was bent. It would have to replaced:


A new truss has been added using Evergreen 1.5mm square bar:


The sides of the solebars are filed down and new stepboards fixed in place:


Finally the solebars have been painted in two thin coats of Humbrol Acrylic Leather (62):



Edit: Studio file for battery boxes added.

Battery Box.studio3

Edited by MikeTrice
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The interior of First Class compartments and corridor screens are in a darker stain than the outside of the coach so they were sprayed initially with Vallejo Orange Brown and then grained using Liquin and Vandyke Brown:






Seats were painted in blue:


To detail the compartments I created artwork in Inkscape and printed the result on some label printer paper:


A closeup shows the detail provided. I suspect that first class compartments might have had a second lower luggage rack but felt that this will do nicely:

Each partition is cut out:


And fixed to the partition over the seats:




Edited to include partition artwork.


Edited by MikeTrice
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The buffers on the body have been removed and replaced with MJT LNER buffers available from Dart Castings:


Transfers (Fox) were applied and new door handles (MJT from Dart) fixed in place:




After grinding the rear ofthe door handles flat inside the coach, glazing is glued in place. In line with the other regions during the war the LNER introduced white class designators to the windows and continued this practice after the war. To my knowledge nobody makes transfers for these so I cut some on white transfer paper on the Silhouette remembering to mirror them as they would be applied behind the glazing. They were coaxed into place with MicroSet and allowed to dry. Finally handrails were cut from 0.45mm NS and glued in place. Toilet windows were painted out from the rear with two coats of Vallejo Silver Grey:


The final body:


With everything prepared the various components were carefully put back together (getting the compartments the wrong way round in the process adding to the handling they had to go through). Flexible Vestibule Connectors (as described in the Silhouette thread but reduced to three folds: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/79025-a-guide-to-using-the-silhouette-cameo-cutter/page-75&do=findComment&comment=2650214 ) were glued to the ends and the final model admired. It is surprising how often the interior detail is visible through the windows:























If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask.


Edit: Vestibule and "1" Class designator Studio file added.

LNER Vestibule.studio3


Edited by MikeTrice
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A far cheaper option thanks for posting

Seconded. The work on the roof, particularly the re-profiling, seems to me to be the clincher, and for those of us modelling the post-LNER teak period would be a lot less work than your full repaint and graining - splendid as this is.



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That is a splendid transformation.

Does one think that sharing the Inkscape files for the templates is possible?

Mind,is there a reference for the Tony Wright roof butchery? I'll probably have it somewhere but finding it isn't easy when your brain is fuddled and gummed up....

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Does one think that sharing the Inkscape files for the templates is possible?

Mind,is there a reference for the Tony Wright roof butchery? I'll probably have it somewhere but finding it isn't easy when your brain is fuddled and gummed up....

I will put together the various files over the next couple of days. In the meantime to illustrate Tony's roof butchery the following image shows a standard Bachmann roof profile against which I have fixed a correct profiled cornice. You will notice that on the original the roof corner (top left) is too sharp and can be seen jutting above the cornice. Tony's method is to take a large file and simply file the corner to a better curve which is what I have done. By filing the curve you end up destroying the moulded on rain strips and destination board brackets which is why I had to replace them.



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Seconded. The work on the roof, particularly the re-profiling, seems to me to be the clincher, and for those of us modelling the post-LNER teak period would be a lot less work than your full repaint and graining - splendid as this is.



True, but where is the challenge????


With care you could reprofile the roof, add vents, fill the seams on the ends and add the cornice then paint them without impacting the factory finish on the sides.

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Does one think that sharing the Inkscape files for the templates is possible?.

I have now added the relevant templates (as PDFs) and Studio files used. Inkscape users can of course just open the PDF files, however if you still want the Inkscape files I will add those too.

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I have now added the relevant templates (as PDFs) and Studio files used. Inkscape users can of course just open the PDF files, however if you still want the Inkscape files I will add those too.

Many thanks Mike.

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True, but where is the challenge????


With care you could reprofile the roof, add vents, fill the seams on the ends and add the cornice then paint them without impacting the factory finish on the sides.

Indeed yes. For protection a couple of long strips of cardboard along the sides held in place with an elastic band would probably do the trick in case a file slipped. I did wonder how thick the roof was inside the cornice after filing, as it occurs to me this could be strengthened beforehand by glueing some strips of plastikard inside.


The other possible enhancement would be some form of flush glazing. I have used the vac-form South East Finecast in the past, although this is not entirely satisfactory whilst quite cheap, by contrast any of the "laserglaze" type products, even if available, would probably add significantly to the project cost.


A great piece of work, that I'm sure will have many followers!



Edited by John Tomlinson
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I have now had a few days to reflect on my methods and how the build went and have to ask myself, would I do it the same way again? I made a fair few mistakes partly due to impatience on my part and would do things in a different order. My build lacked a lot of detail which would probably pass muster going round a layout but might be more obvious viewed closeup. I have also recently acquired a couple of the retooled Bachmann Thompsons which are very nice by comparison.


Sitting on my workbench I have another potential upgrade - a Bachmann Brake 3rd and a growing temptation to go through it all again, fool that I am.


Comparisons between original and retooled coaches:








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  • 3 weeks later...

On the 28th March I decided to take the bull by the horns and have a second go, this time on a Bachmann 4 Compartment Brake Third. Previously I only intended to go so far, but this time upped the level of detailing and painting.

Murphy's Law occurred a few times on this model hence the long time since the last post, so here is the story, warts and all.

As before here is the vehicle I am describing:


I will try not to just repeat what I have already posted but will take the opportunity to explain areas previously glossed over and changes made for this model.

So without further ado I will get on with it.

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