Last of “The Six”
The HR TPO M30321 is taking shape with the help of drawings sent to me by Peter Tatlow and a set of Fotopic photographs taken at Inverness after withdrawal in August 1961. I achieved a trial assembly of the basic body shell just before going to the Autumn Missenden Abbey Railway Modellers’ Weekend.
The sides, solebars and flat roof blank are 247 Developments etches. The ends are Comet, suitably narrowed and shaped, and come with a neat bracket into which the scratch floor is bolted. I riveted the solebar webs before bending up the bottom flange and made a pair of scratch buffer beams.
This is the first coach I’ve made with a brass roof, which came with a few design challenges, and that’s what I wanted to work on at Missenden. With help from Kevin Wilson (of Bucks Hill 0-gauge fame) the roof was rolled in the large GW Models Roller and the long edges treated to gentle taps with a rubber mallet over a 3/4” solid steel rod.
Kevin also advised adding a number of cross pieces between the sides just under the top edges (visible in the background of the next photo) and soldering stiff nickel silver rods (0.8mm diameter) along the inside edges and resting on the cross pieces. This added some much needed stiffness to the body.
A big advantage of the brass roof is being able to solder on the rain strips (0.4mm square nickel silver point rodding from MSE), and other items. The cute knotted rubber bands holding a rain strip allow careful adjustment and checking against photographs before tacking and running the solder. 1 mm brass angle is soldered round the ends and cut and formed to give the characteristic end shape. This last idea, and others, came from Guy Williams’ articles in MRJs 115 and 116 describing the construction of a set of Bristolian coaches.
After the Exeter Show in 2013, where the layout was very short of characteristic stock of the Far North line, I planned a further six coaches (see “March progress” from 2014). This is the last and the most difficult to make, but I benefitted from the experience of first making the four Comet coaches.