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Blog- Sixties Snapshots - 00 scale - Bachmann Collett Coaches ? bringing them closer?

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There has not been a lot of progress with the layout so instead some ideas on close coupling and corridor connectors for Bachmann Collett coaches.



Coach Couplings as bought


As with so many Ready to Run models there can be quite a gap between coaches. Can the gap be closed up? Is it cheap to do and will it significantly reduce the value of the original coach?



Coach Couplings as modified


I can remember the introduction of the first Collett coaches by Mainline (Bachmann). At the time these coaches seemed to me to mark a step change in the increased degree of detail on offer. I purchased my first Collett coaches back in July 1984 from the then Cheltenham Model Centre, they came with rubber corridor connectors and wire water fillers.



Moving the Couplings Inwards


The latest Bachmann Collett coaches are fitted with Bachmann Short Mini Couplings. The gap between the coaches can be closed up considerably by moving the couplings inwards. Remove the bogies from the underframe and unscrew and lift off the coupling. It can then be repositioned inwards taking care that is resting up against the two pegs that were used to hold it in its original position. The centre of the new hole for the retaining screw can then marked out prior to drilling. It also helps to shave off the back edge of the coupling so that it lies flat when screwed back into its new position.



Old and New Positions


In my opinion the gap between the coaches is still very visible and I decided to see if I could improve the corridor connectors with the addition of some black ‘cartridge paper’ (Daler – Rowney A4 Canford 150g/m Jet Black card).



First Attempt – Single Concertina 27mm high with 12mm folds and 2.5mm indents


My first attempt was a single concertina, placed between one pair of coaches. The end of the connector had 2.5mm indents, top and bottom, to fit inside the existing rubber connectors which were left in place and untouched.



Two Singleoncertina Cs – sufficient for a rake of three coaches


I thought – quick and simple and looks quite good



Two Coaches with a Single Concertina


Unfortunately whilst the rake of coaches would handle the smooth curves on the layout the arrangement with a single concertina could not accommodate the ‘S’ shaped movement at a crossover.



Individual Concertinas for each coach


My second and final solution was to make separate connectors for each coach that would slide against each other when negotiating an ‘S’ shaped crossover.



Marking Out four at a time


To speed up the construction process I marked out four connectors at a time.



The final choice 27mm strip with 2.5mm indents, folds at 9,10,12,12,12,10 and 8mm


The centre panel ‘A’ is the rubbing plate between the coaches. There are two cut lines ‘B’ from the top and two cut lines ‘C’ from the bottom which are used to assemble and hold the connector together without the need for glue. The completed connector is a ‘push fit’ in the existing rubber connector and is held in place by the thrust from connector on the adjacent coach.



The Final Product


Not bad - I would say. Cheap, relatively quick and easy to do and reversible should the coaches need to be sold. Must go and see if I can use the same approach on my ex-LMS panelled coaches?


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