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Pillar's Road Vehicles - North East England 1970s-1990s (loosely...)


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5 hours ago, Pillar said:

A lot of effort perhaps for a static piece of scenery

Nice work on the Transit Liam, looking forward to seeing it finished! I would say the effort is worth it, it's not just "static scenery" but added interest to the layout and adds a talking point to the scene. I enjoy adding buildings, vehicles etc to the layout as much as the railway side, and consistency in detail, weathering etc across a scene makes it more believable to the viewer. It's nice to see someone taking that care in the road vehicles!

 

Jo

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12 hours ago, PhilJ W said:

The prototype you showed was the Mk. II. There is an excellent model of a LWB Mk. II recently released by TINY HK. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-76-Tiny-42-Hong-Kong-FSD-1980-s-Light-Rescue-Unit-F311-ATC64877-/124518718579?hash=item1cfde4dc73

Its also available in minibus and Wadham Stringer ambulance versions.

 

The mk3 prototype is further down the page. Funny you should mention the TINY mk2s though, as I just had two turn up in the post today! The plan is for one to become a BR personnel carrier; not sure what to do with the other yet...

 

Back on the subject of the mk3, I'm tempted to try and do something about the overscale rainstrip along the top of the body - it looks much too chunky compared with the real thing. However, this will inevitably damage the blue factory paintwork which I was hoping to retain and tone down with some light weathering. Colour matching would be needed to repair the damage.

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on how feasible this would be on a diecast model like this? In the past I've only ever done a full repaint or none at all.

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

 

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51 minutes ago, Les Bird said:

Looking vey good. It would be nice to see some of the buses too.

 

Thanks. I'll get together some pictures soon. Unfortunately not one of them is finished yet but this doesn't seem to stop me acquiring more kits to build... :rolleyes:

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6 hours ago, Pillar said:

 

The mk3 prototype is further down the page. Funny you should mention the TINY mk2s though, as I just had two turn up in the post today! The plan is for one to become a BR personnel carrier; not sure what to do with the other yet...

 

Back on the subject of the mk3, I'm tempted to try and do something about the overscale rainstrip along the top of the body - it looks much too chunky compared with the real thing. However, this will inevitably damage the blue factory paintwork which I was hoping to retain and tone down with some light weathering. Colour matching would be needed to repair the damage.

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on how feasible this would be on a diecast model like this? In the past I've only ever done a full repaint or none at all.

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

 

I received one of the vans just before Christmas and was impressed enough to order two more.* I intend to keep one 'as is' for a collection. One I intend to Anglicise by removing the Chinese characters, new number plates and a blue beacon. The third is to become a rally support vehicle with a large roof rack carrying wheels and tyres. *They are somewhat overdue, somewhere in the postal system between HK and the UK. The vendors have done no more than send me two more. I might end up with five in all. If I do I will offer payment to the vendors and start looking at other liveries.

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A few photos of another work in progress below. This is a Britbus MCW Metropolitan in the earlier version of Tyne & Wear PTE livery. I plan to keep the paintwork intact but the interior will be largely rebuilt to make use of the full width of the body; the original interior is a bit compressed due to the chunky side glazing but this will be replaced with cutouts from plastic bottles.

 

Also a couple of pics of the TINY mk2 Transits before they go for a swim in paint stripper...

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

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Progress on the lower deck of the Metropolitan, starting with filing away the protrusions on the original plastic base and making a copperclad floor to fit and populate with seats.

 

Next job will be to locate the seats and size the partitions around the door openings. I've scoured Flickr looking for interior pictures, but there appear to be few showing the lower decks on the T&W vehicles in intact condition. Does anyone know where I might find some?

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

 

MCW lower deck.png

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A few bits have been progressing over the weekend. I've started painting the Transit, and some figures from Modelu and Hardy's Hobbies to become drivers and passengers on various buses.

 

On the Metropolitan front, I've drilled out most of the lights which will be made to work with LEDs; namely the headlights, tail lights, indicators and destination boards. The latter is handily provided with a removable clear window on this Britbus model; although the seam around the edges will eventually need to be filled in and painted over.

 

I've also put together a plasticard representation of the window sill on the upper deck, complete with handrail and driver's 'periscope'. My enduring memory these is looking down them as a child to spy on the driver :P - although not on a Metropolitan as I think they had all rusted away by then!

 

Also in progress is a 'cut and shut' project to create a LWB Series III Land Rover from two Oxford Diecast models. The plan is for this to eventually become a North Eastern Electricity Board (NEEB) vehicle as part of a substation diorama. As well as the bodywork, I've been trying to open up the Oxford chassis molding a bit, to represent the spindly leaf spring suspension. The solid moldings have been gradually pared away and a start made at replacing them with 'leaves' of 0.25mm plasticard. Time will tell if this is biting off more than I can chew!

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

 

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On 31/01/2021 at 19:28, Pillar said:

A few photos of another work in progress below. This is a Britbus MCW Metropolitan in the earlier version of Tyne & Wear PTE livery. I plan to keep the paintwork intact but the interior will be largely rebuilt to make use of the full width of the body; the original interior is a bit compressed due to the chunky side glazing but this will be replaced with cutouts from plastic bottles.

 

Also a couple of pics of the TINY mk2 Transits before they go for a swim in paint stripper...

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

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Hi Liam.

That conversion on the Metropolitan looks like hard work. Are you going to thicken up the seats a bit, or leave them as they are ?

My mods for the working buses are more fiddly, but retain most of the original fittings, trimmed where necessary for clearance.

I would be interested to know how you fit your external glazing. I have been converting a Scenics lorry based on a coal merchants dray I have a photo of at Crystal Palace. The side windows no problem, but the windscreen ? I have looked at Chocolate Orange packing which is about the right shape, but it needs a thin frame. What adhesive do you use and how do you apply it to avoid it showing on the glazing ?

 

All the best

Ray

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Hi Ray,

 

I did consider keeping the original Britbus interior, but thought its compromises might be too visible once the glazing is replaced with thinner material. Time will tell if I should have left well alone!

 

The seats are from Paragon Kits and are designed to have plasticard ‘cushions’ fixed to them. I plan on adding thinner ones to the backrests too as they look rather spindly in plain brass. I want to try and print some decals with the correct T&W PTE seat pattern and it may also be easier to add these before the cushions go on.

 

Regarding the glazing, I don’t have a tried and tested method yet – at least on buses. I’ve flush-glazed a VW T4 using cut-outs from a lemonade bottle, but on that occasion I reused the windscreen. I may end up doing the same with the Metropolitan, but one method I might try is stretching some heated plastic over a former – a sort of imprecise freehand vacuum forming. I’ve no idea if this will work or not!

 

The glue I used on the VW T4 was epoxy, but as you say, it isn’t easy to keep it off the glass itself.

 

When you say ‘working’ buses, does that mean you have converted them to run on a Magnorail system or similar? That’s also my plan for some of these road vehicles, but I’ve yet to get a system up and running. Do you have a thread where I can see your bus models?

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

 

 

Edited by Pillar
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Here are some fairly bad pictures of the VW T4, which might just show how the glazing looks, and the 'steering' mechanism for guiding by an under-board magnet. The windscreen is missing at the moment while I add a driver.

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

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Thanks Liam.

 

Very interesting, Is that a home made steering unit  What's the construction ?

 

I have found epoxy very useful for certain jobs, but with a tendency to be rather sticky and to string, if you get my meaning. I thought that the odourless type superglue might be good, but not sure how quickly it goes off once you apply it.

 

My working buses will use the Faller style road system with a wire or tape just below the surface to guide the vehicles, This may not use the Faller steering units as there are other wider tracking types which are better suited to British 1/76 scale models of older type buses with 7ft 6in and 8ft wide bodies. I am currently playing around with an Oxford Diecast Beadle coach which has a diecast chassis. This needs openings cut out for the steering unit, a AAA battery box and a motor/gearbox with final drive bevel gears to drive on the rear axle. The latter needs to be mounted on bushes or bearings and the axle will be 2mm. This will have a 3mm sheave over it to take the bevel gear which has a 3mm bore. The shaft on the motor/gearbox also has a 3mm shaft. The collars of the bevel gears are a bit long so will probably need reducing by 50% to get everything in the tight space.

 

The other bus that I had played around with previously and still hope to motorise two of is the EFE RF single deck bus/coach. This has a plastic chassis, so is a little easier to cut and shape than the diecast one. In both cases it should be possible to hide most of the working parts inside the vehicle where they cannot be seen.

 

I had some other ideas and have contacted a 3D printer to see if a chassis could be scanned and the details then modified to suit this purpose. Currently awaiting a reply.

 

No thread at the moment, but I might set one up when I get a bit further into this.

 

I hope that is of interest.

 

All the best

Ray

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1 hour ago, wainwright1 said:

Is that a home made steering unit  What's the construction ?

 

Yes, it's home-made from brass strip and small U-section. It works well, but I'm hoping to simplify the design in future as it's quite time consuming to make.

 

Below is this evening's progress on the Metropolitan. The lower deck is taking shape. I built up parts of the rearward section with thick copperclad strip, leaving a channel to represent the sunken gangway. The stairs are cut out from the original Britbus molding and filed down to suit.

 

More to come soon.

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

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1 hour ago, Pillar said:

 

Yes, it's home-made from brass strip and small U-section. It works well, but I'm hoping to simplify the design in future as it's quite time consuming to make.

 

Cheers,

 

Liam

 

Liam.

That is also very interesting.

I had previously given considerable  thought about  building my own steering units using various brass materials and have gathered various items for the purpose. These included brass strip, U section and would you believe stanchions intended for model boats. I have not got around to putting one together yet and there would be a fair bit of precise soldering required. Ooh, and I just remembered that I was given some etches for the link bars which form the back part of the unit by Tony Asquith the former proprietor of Little Bus Company. He had been working with the late Tony Chlad of Walford Arches working trolleybus layout fame, to produce some steering units, but the idea was dropped after Tony died prematurely.

Tony's trolleybuses picked up their power from the overhead wiring using sprung trolley booms and they worked very well. He also built a working B Type bus that ran on the layout. I would like to see how that was assembled. Not sure where he would have got suitable wheels from, presumably with pneumatic tyres not the solid ones that they were built with. Would also like to see how he fitted the mechanism and steering. Not much room inside a B Type.

 

All the best

 

Ray

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I've seen Walford Arches in action including the B type bus and I asked Tony about it. He used the Kiel Kraft plastic kit which was 1/72 scale and utilised the wheels from the kit. The steering and mechanism was Faller and fitted in the lower deck body. The original kit was rather basic but IIRC he added levers and handrails etc. What interested me was he had a JCB from the Airfix Lowmac kit with a working backhoe powered by a mechanism beneath the baseboard.

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10 minutes ago, PhilJ W said:

I've seen Walford Arches in action including the B type bus and I asked Tony about it. He used the Kiel Kraft plastic kit which was 1/72 scale and utilised the wheels from the kit. The steering and mechanism was Faller and fitted in the lower deck body. The original kit was rather basic but IIRC he added levers and handrails etc. What interested me was he had a JCB from the Airfix Lowmac kit with a working backhoe powered by a mechanism beneath the baseboard.

Thanks for that info Phil.

I would not have thought the plastic wheels from the kit would have gripped the road surface. It is normal to use wheels with a reasonably soft rubber texture to get grip. I have three of the recent Roden B Type* kits put by, much better detailed. These are also 1/72, but being a fairly small bus would not be too noticeable. I would have thought that there was not much room for the steering unit to fit though.

 

* Distributed by Bachmann. Red London General, Old Bill Bus and WD Mobile Pigeon Loft

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Just a quick comment re fixing glazing......... I use a product known over here in North America  generically as Canopy Glue  .............. its a white liquid and looks like ordinary craft PVA  glue, but it dries clear. Strength wise it may vary between brands.  I know its known in model railway circles (sorry!) in the UK but I don't know any of the trade names there to help you.  

 

 

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7 hours ago, xliverpoollad said:

Just a quick comment re fixing glazing......... I use a product known over here in North America  generically as Canopy Glue  .............. its a white liquid and looks like ordinary craft PVA  glue, but it dries clear. Strength wise it may vary between brands.  I know its known in model railway circles (sorry!) in the UK but I don't know any of the trade names there to help you. 

 

That sounds like a product that's available in the UK called Glue N' Glaze. It works as you described, but I've been having issues with mine as it never seems to fully cure beyond a relatively soft rubbery gel. Not sure if it may be just a bad batch. I still use it for glazing small openings like head and tail lights though.

Edited by Pillar
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I have used something like that to glue windows in some pub doors which are in the open position.

The only issue might be how long it takes to dry, as my windscreen would be surface mounted and I would have to hold it in place while it set. A bit difficult if it takes 20 minutes !

 

Many thanks

 

All the best

 

Ray

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11 hours ago, PhilJ W said:

I think he used a paint for the tyres that gave a rough surface. It all depends on what the road was made of, IIRC Tony used plaster which would be more 'grippy' than perhaps card or plastic.

The wheel coating sounds about right. The only thing that I can think of off hand that would do that would be Bullfrog Snot an American product which is a liquid that you brush into the grooves  to replace traction tyres on locomotives. The only problem with that is that they only seem to do it in bright green, hence the name. I would have though a black or grey version would have been more appropriate

 

All the best

 

Ray

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