Rites Of Passage FOR THE Model Railway
Another specialist topic for the discerning modeler, PASSENGER TRAIN OPERATION from Bob Essery. In the humble branch preventing milk, or teach train to express workings, find out about the operational facet of moving passengers, dairy, and other non-passenger traffic mounted on slow and semi-fast trains. Before you slam the roof on, let’s look at the roof itself: Carriages from different companies and various eras were furnished with a number of ventilator cowls.
The instructions for your kit will show you the sort needed. Chances are the stalk to ‘place’ the ventilator casting is brief, or more likely split. Toss the ventilator and go for a casting apart. The hole to drill will be wider, and the stalk will protrude under the roof casting but no-one will even make an effort to see whether it’s visible from the windows once the roof is down. You will find tank filler caps for toilets also, and various cowlings for restaurant car out-takes over your kitchen, as well as piping on British Railways’ restaurant car roofs.
Paint to specification. The post-war LNER, GWR, and Pullman coaches had their roots coated dark gray to avoid being strafed by German fighters or bombers from the Channel and were seldom repainting White Lead. For the pre-war LNER white business lead I mixed white with magic – experiment to see what balance you think is right – and applied by clean, spray varnish with satin to draw out the sheen.
Got the next one ready to come up with yet? Much finer when painted and finished well, etched brass kit-built carriages and vans are ‘the bees’ legs’ but cost more than plastic material ones. Practice makes perfect, of course. Try your hand with simple brass wagon sets to start with – they still cost more than the plastic ones but don’t need as much weighting – or four-wheeled vans. Some designs may be too curved for six-wheeled wagons firmly but here’s where membership of a group or club kicks in. You get the advice as well as admiring searches for your efforts when successful. You can get great results when painting, too, providing a fine, thin coat of primer has been applied.
Perhaps one reason many won’t tackle etched brass sets is fear of failure or lack of skill. Skill comes with trying. With a little more time I will take it out and get cracking! The investment is greater, however. Soldering sets, good quality air brushes, and fine sable brushes don’t come cheap so be warned. If you’re going to balk at the costs, perhaps it is not for you because you would be constantly conscious of the cost of failure.
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However, you don’t need to go buying expensive carriage kits if second-hand ones are available, or un-made ones that gracing someone’s attic or bottom drawer and they’ve ‘eliminated frosty’ on the thought of making them up. Remember, ‘Mighty oaks from little acorns’, and everything that jazz! Just think – profit motive working – if you get proficient at it here, you can make cash from doing it for others! The prices asked for composed and painted sets workouts in the hundreds for a corridor trainer.
You could also put them together and sell them unpainted, which is exactly what some do. Besides John Fozard on Anglesey producing North Eastern coaches, there are others who advertise similar services in the model press at different rates. Quality will not necessarily reflect in the prices, but it is an excellent guide.