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What is now on the the bench was recently a figment of imagination.

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Hi Folks,

I have three other threads ongoing at the moment and I have decided that I should perhaps bring all things into one ongoing workbench thread. One of the reasons for this is that I do tend to chop and change with projects because the next one is always more interesting than the one that I'm working on and all the others that end up in the "nearly started box". I also tend to have several things on the go all at once.

The three threads will be left as they are and will run until the projects are complete so that make it easier to search the source material.

At the moment I am working on:

  1. NBL type 4 class 41
  2. Ten Scalecraft Roadrailers
  3. NCC W class
  4. NCC WT class
  5. GNRI V class
  6. GNRI coach conversions
  7. Three unfinished cranes
  8. Seven Motorail flats to alter for I built them wrong because I can't count.
  9. A BR West Coast Main Line set around 1973 layout that is wired up and works with no scenery, (scenery isn't really my thing it like doing the garden in model form).
  10. A dock yard layout with some scenery but no dock as yet, (I haven't cut the hole in the board yet)
  11. Miscellaneous refurbishments, paintjobs and transfers to apply.

I shall start the thread off with the work I did last evening in starting the GNRI coach conversion project. I was supplied a great set various drawings of Irish stock by @Hadren Railway of which there were drawings of GNRI coaches included. These coaches are similar in profile and window dimension to those built by the LMS and with alteration and quite some amount of cutting and shutting I should be able to build reasonable representations of the GNRI coaches.

The first coach is a First-Third Composite, there is a little cheat with this coach as I decided that the cutting a shutting wasn't really worth it for the sake of what difference it made so the the window spacing between two windows isn't quite as it should be but only noticeable if you look closely.


The GNRI coach is 58' over headstocks making it a two feet shorter than a comparative LMS coach that were 60' long. The Hornby Staniers are too short anyway and there is only so much you can do in life. The Airfix coaches may be a better bet if you wish for better accuracy and the scheme of the conversion will be applicable to those coaches with minor alterations.


This is a really easy conversion in that all that is required is to disassemble the coach, cut two extra windows in the vestibules opposite the toilet to the same position dimensions as the toilet windows, and then file the corners of the windows square. The only thing that is required will be to alter the glazing as a bar is required across the top of the windows that have been cut in and also there are some part numbers moulded into the glazing in the area of one of the new windows.


The next coach to be attempted is a Brake First for which I am using the first class section of am LMS composite spliced into an LMS brake third. The first job is to cut the ends from the sides using a razor saw, the next job is to carefully score along just under the gutter of the roof until the side comes away from the roof so that you are left with just the sides as a flat section.


The sides cut from the coaches, top is the side form a composite and bottom left is the first class section form a composite and bottom right is a section from the brake third. The section that is at an angle is the off cut from the brake section. The composite side piece was used a s guide for the length of the new section.


I glued the sections together making sure that they were of the correct length and when cured I then cut out the double doors replacing them with a piece of .040" plasticard cut to 25mm X 23.5mm. That was glued into the gap left to represent the inset doors of the van, I set the pieces up against a straight edge on a flat surface when gluing them together. When fixing the inset doors I used scrap bits of plasticard to shim underneath to make up for the thickness of inset doors and also a piece of .060" Plastruct square section to space the bottom of the inset doors so that they do not foul the frames when the coach is rebuilt.

One thing that is slowing me down is that I only know what this side of the coach looks like with regard the arrangement of the doors and windows. Is any one able to let me know if the arrangement is mirrored or different ?


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Looks brilliant, I also have a dock layout with no actual water yet, as I can’t find a way to incorporate it, but at the same time stopping the scenic break, a road bridge, from just running straight into the water. You seem to enjoy slicing up RTR British models and turning them into Irish ones, good luck with all your projects!

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Hi Folks,

The coach sides were filed straight and flat along the top edge as was the underside of the coach roof under the gutter. The sides were checked for fit and some .010" strips were glued to the coach ends to make up for the razor saw cut. So long as all is straight and flat gluing is not too difficult although I did use some elastic bands to hold the ends in place making sure that the bands were in line with the coach ends so that they did not collapse the sides in.


Checking the roof.


Checking the sides.


The first of the sides glued in place with the second ready to fit.


The second side ready for a dry run and the .010" make up strips glued onto the coach ends to make up for the saw cuts. Note the filled in door and toilet windows from when the side was an LMS brake third and the inset doors of the van.


A Dublin to Belfast express headed by a GNRI V class compound leans into the curve on the 4' 1.5" gauge concrete sleepered track with is GNRI coaches in tow. It was all going to fast for the painters to catch it !


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Hi Folks,

Four hours later:


Cut down the ends of the coaches with a razor saw.


Scribe several times under the gutter and carefully remove sides.


I'm now ready to cut and shut sixteen coach sides into at least seven coaches, should things work out well a possible eight. One thing that has crossed my mind is that I've got some old Mk2's that are surplus and I've been looking at class 70 and class 80 railcars, lets see where this ends up.


In other news I have been altering my cocked up Motorail wagons and I have done one side of all seven of them


This shews a part altered wagon with every other stanchion removed and replaced with the extra two stanchions that i missed counting put into place hence the irregular pattern.


This shews one that is half way complete in altered state, it now has fourteen stanchions on the side nearest, instead of the incorrect twelve, the side furthest which I had originally fitted because I can't count !


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Hi Folks,

I have so far cut and shut a GNRI corridor first and a GSR corridor third.



Top is the GNRI corridor firsts from the first class ends of the LMS composite with the left over brake van doors from the brake first built last week. The narrow toilet and corridor windows need to be cut into the left hand ends as seen above.

Bottom is the GSR corridor third made from the third class ends of the LMS brake thirds. The corridor side is cut four windows to the left and three windows to the right with a piece cut from double van doors of the LMS brake coach and the compartment side is cut four and four windows with one blanked off with a piece of .060" plasticard so that the toilet windows may be cut in once the glue is cured.

I shall have to get around to drawing diagrams for where and how the sections and cuts are to be placed.


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Hi Folks,

I can't be bothered with the Motorail flats at the moment so I'm carrying on with coaches, some micro-strip arrived in the post today so I shall be able to carry on with the locomotives on my other threads sometime soon also.

The GNRI open third is coming on and to begin with I filled in every other window aperture with .060" plasticard, the doors were marked out by finding the centre of the infill piece of one door and laying a spare section with a door over it and drawing round the inside of it with a pencil. The door window was cut and filed out to size and then using this as a template I lined the large windows up with the opposite section for all of the doors. When that side was fully marked I used the first door window to repeat the templating on the original side. I repeated the templating process with the small windows either side of the doors in the same way. By doing this I only have to mark out from scratch one set of windows the rest are then templated. I shall use this set of coach sides to mark out for the open brake third as the passenger end is to the same pattern.


The open third shewing all of the door windows and the first pairs of small windows.


The GSW corridor third after incorrectly filing out the corners of the windows. I picked up the wrong coach side thinking it was one of the GMRI corridor firsts sides. The squared off corners had .060" square rod glued into them which were then filed off flush before having the radii replaced by filing. The only good thing is that I have the opportunity to display the repair technique.


The finished GNRI open third and the GSR corridor third, shewing its completed repairs along side the GNRI open third brake. The GNRI open brake third will be templated from the open third which will save a lot of marking out. The white strip bottom left is because I filed too much out of the toilet window so I filed a little more and filleted a .040" make up piece.


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