Claptowte Railway – Passenger Coach Coach No 15, Observation

David1226

David1226

Registered
24 Oct 2009
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Abingdon, Oxfordshire
I thought that with the completion of Coach No 14, the four wheel Director’s Coach, the Claptowte Railway Passenger Fleet was complete. I was mulling over designs for vehicles that I might build at some time in the future, if I ever needed to expand the fleet, when it occurred to me that I could actually incorporate a further coach that would complement the existing models. I decided to build one more coach, No 15.

Coaches 1 to 5 (including No 3 which is transferred to Engineering Stock) were created by bolting LGB Toy Train 4-wheel vehicles back to back, with the balconies at each end, and mounting them on bogies. Joining two 4-wheel coaches back to back is a fairly common conversion, what I had not seen done before was to mount the coaches nose to nose to create a coach with a centre balcony. No sooner had I embarked on the project than MRail posted a photograph of just such a centre balcony coach, that he had created, in Paulus’s thread on the scratch built 4-wheel centre balcony coach. At least MRail made reference to my idea of framing the windows in coaches to alter their appearance.

All of the coaches that I have built to date have had the windows framed out to both help disguise their origins and to Anglicise their appearance. I decided that for this coach I would ring the changes and leave the windows unframed and make it an Observation Coach with panoramic windows. This would also involve minimal work altering the body shells.



The donor vehicles prior to work

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David
 
David1226

David1226

Registered
24 Oct 2009
4,429
4,278
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Abingdon, Oxfordshire
It was my intention to cut up the seats and rejoin them to go along the centre line of the coach bodies, facing outwards. As soon as I started cutting up the first seat unit I realised that they could not make a long enough seat unit for my purposes, so I was left with no option other than to scratch build. I fabricated the seats from100 thou (2.5mm) plasticard. The thickness of the material implied some luxury seating, so the die was cast, this observation coach was to be an all First Class affair. To further enhance the appearance of the seats I decided on a buttoned leather look. I drilled shallow holes to represent the buttoning, I have a small triangular file that has a squared off end, by starting a few mm away from the hole and pushing it towards the hole I obtained a V shaped groove, increasing in depth, until it terminated at the hole. By making grooves from four different angles I ended up with a quilted button effect. Some button holes were more accurately executed than others but I was after overall effect rather than finescale modelling. At the end of the day, little fine detail will be visible inside the coach.

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The underframes followed the same pattern as previous conversions except that the two units were joined at the balcony end instead at the opposite end. Where the balcony ends were joined the gap in the decking was filled in with a section of plasticard which was then scribed and grained to match the planking

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There was a gap of 5/6mm between the two steps. The gap was bridged by gluing a piece of scrap plasticard underneath. This was then topped with a section of step, cut from a spare, to form a continuous step.

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The modifications to the body shells were minimal. First the four slots in the floor, into which the original seat units clipped, were filled in with offcuts of plasticard. Two holes were drilled above and beside the door and countersunk on the inside. This was to enable two appropriate sized lengths of plastic tube to be screwed to link the two bodies at roof height to give rigidity to the coach and prevent the underframe flexing in the centre. Finally four triangular brackets , from plasticard offcuts, were glued down each side below the window line, to support shelves running the lemgth of each side of the coach interior, on which passengers could place their cameras, binoculars and bags of Werther’s original, etc. The last adornment was to fit GRS etched brass lamp irons to the outer ends.

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The balcony roof brackets each had to be shortened by 1-2mm for them to fit together. Railings were installed to partially enclose the balcony. Although of a different pattern, these were cut from the same fret of 1/12th scale doll’s house ornamental railing as was used to provide the more ornate railings for the Director’s Coach. 10 thou plasticard sheet was cut to provide flat boards for coach numbering and signwriting.

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The two roofs were shortened and joined to form one unit. This was then fitted out with the usual GRS lamp tops and ventilators and conduit from brass and plastic rod.

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David
 
David1226

David1226

Registered
24 Oct 2009
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Abingdon, Oxfordshire
The coach was finished in standard Claptowte Railway livery. Yellow First Class stripes were applied along the roofline. I anticipated that attempting to paint them on planked sides would be a nightmare, even with masking, as paint would bleed along the grooves, so they were stuck on. I experimented with a narrow strip of yellow electrical masking tape. I stuck the tape to a piece of glass for slicing and dicing, but the colour was not vibrant enough. I then stuck down a length of white masking tape and then the yellow on top and.... hey presto. For continuity i may have to redo the yellow stripes on my earlier coaches.

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The completion of this coach gives me three rakes of four coaches of almost identical lengths. Each rake contains an All Third, a First/Third and a Brake/Third coach, together with a ‘special’. Rake A contains coach 7, the Buffet Coach. Rake B contains coach 15, the Observation Coach. Rake C contains coach 14, the Director’s Coach. That leaves a First/Third coach and the Full Brake Parcels Van, coupled with the two milk van goods vehicles to form the early morning milk/newspaper train.

This coach could be the precursor of a new series of coaches if ever the Claptowte Railway was to expand beyond its present needs. I could foresee an All Third, a First/Third and possibly a Brake/Third centre balcony coach.

David
 
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playmofire

Registered
23 Oct 2010
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North Yorks
Amazing!
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,182
311
Ascot
Very nice and good of you to document it so well.
Love the "quilting" effect, simple but effective.
What are you going to do when you get to coach 99? :)
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
17,353
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Lone the job. Just a couple of thoughts,
- The Seat Button Leather effect is inspirational and simply done. Brilliant.
- I would have been tempted to cut off the End Buffer Beams intact and joined the resulting Coaches up with Plasticard in the Beams to fill the gap. You have filled over the top of gap with Wood effect anyway so it would have been entirely possible. Those Buffer Beams would have been very useful for some other project a Van or suchlike, perhaps with your next one?
 
David1226

David1226

Registered
24 Oct 2009
4,429
4,278
70
Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Lone the job. Just a couple of thoughts,
- The Seat Button Leather effect is inspirational and simply done. Brilliant.
- I would have been tempted to cut off the End Buffer Beams intact and joined the resulting Coaches up with Plasticard in the Beams to fill the gap. You have filled over the top of gap with Wood effect anyway so it would have been entirely possible. Those Buffer Beams would have been very useful for some other project a Van or suchlike, perhaps with your next one?
I use the spare buffers and vacuum pipes to fit to my LGB Jackson Sharp modifications which were otherwise unfitted (coaches 6 to 9)

Click on linl to see how that was modified
Claptowte Railway - Passenger Coach Number 7 - Buffet Car - G Scale Central

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David
 
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