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Blog- General coach works - Making a BPOT diagram 723

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One thing I needed to run Penzance was a TPO rake. It sounds straightforward but it took me a long ages to work out what diagram the coaches were in the rake because photos of the TPO are sparse (it ran at night naturally) and generally only show the loco and one or two coaches. Finally I established the rake was made up of Dia 723 brake stowage/Dia 721 sorting vans. Whilst in the interim a Bachmann Dia 720 would suffice for the sorting vans I wanted a correct looking stowage van and the Paddington-Penzance service used the unusual looking Dia 723 which has a full guards section.


Making the first one of these was a long task. My first stop, the excellent Southern Pride, don’t produce a Blue/Grey dia 723 and despite my mild cajouling it doesn’t seem like they are going to. And I couldn’t find anyone else that made a kit. Then I came across some etched sides produced by Marc Models which I duly ordered and was initially overjoyed with. I thought I could fit these to a Southern Price kit to produce the requisite carriage. Unfortunately once I sat down to think about making it the joy turned to despair as I realised the etch was overscale by about 10% amongst other errors (e.g. the guards window came below the blue/grey divide). All credit to Marc though once I pointed out these errors he did give me a full refund. Rather than chucking it all in the bin I decided to take on the challenge. So the Marc etch had to be cut up and reduced in size top and bottom. I then glued these reduced panels to a Southern Pride kit.


For Finescale purposes it’d be all wrong because the windows are overscale as mentioned above but for my purposes I’m very happy with the result. I’m now making a second which is much easier and will turn out much better.

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