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UTA Multi-Engined Diesel

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"I've started, so I'll finish" should be the motto of this build! It was begun about 20 years ago, when eBay was undreamt of, swapmeets were few and far between and Worseley Works' etched MED sides were many years down the road. At least, that's the only reason why I can think of now, why I could possibly have thought it a good idea, to try to convert a Tri-ang Metcamm DMU into a very different UTA railcar. That, and the fact that my first MED set, back about 1970 (foolishly sold along with my train set and stock in 1974) consisted of that very RTR model, repainted in maroon & white.


By the time I started this one, I had already made a model of a new-build MED using scratchbuilt plasticard bodyshells (which also got NIR livery) and a little later, a second set, this time in UTA Deep Brunswick Green, using a converted Hornby Class 110 DMU (which I bought as two unpainted bodyshells and some separate, centre-car underframes) with a Grafar suburban coach as a trailer.


med2 (2).jpg


MED+Jeep 1.jpg


I must have had a battered Tri-ang DMU sitting about unused back then so my third effort at the UTA's pioneering MED was based on that. I got most of a dummy power car finished before I temporarily lost interest (if you can call 20 years 'temporarily'). Basically, I chopped the DMU's sides free from the floor unit and re-assembled them, leaving gaps for the sliding doors and fitting a new floor to extend the length, which was very short. Windows were deepened and most pillars cut away, with new, plasticard pillars fitted in their place, referring to works drawings and photos, to create the distinctive window layout. This MED was to be based on the second coach conversion type, which retained the donor coach's high elliptical roofs but added new body panels with the distinctive ribbing, as carried by all but the first batch of MEDs.


Plasticard doors were made and positioned and footstep detail added. I had to raise the too-deep front valence and fill in the gap left for the tension-lock coupling. I also had to add partial valances to the front and rear sections of the side-soles, having decided to model the mid-1960s configuration by which time the main side valences, in between, had been removed. This also meant having to model a fair bit of underframe detail, using mostly plasticard with some wire and re-used RTR components. Bogies were some RTR spares, Bachmann LMS-type I think. Ribs were added to the rebuilt bodyshell using (lots of!) strip plasticard; it's too heavy but the intention was/is to sand this down a tad.


I had to extend the RTR Tri-ang DMU's roof to the correct length, with a plasticard inset, bent to shape. Roof vents are simple plasticard rectangles. Wire exhaust pipes were added each side,, turning up at the inner ends which were sanded flat from the angular bowed plan and small windows cut either side of the corridor connection. The cab front had also had to be re-profiled and the outer windows narrowed, before the ribbing was added.




I had just started the cab re-profiling on the powered car when I gave up, so that's where I re-started, earlier this week. You can see the results of the most recent work, with the extended roof and the cut and shut sides now done as well, positioned on long strips to create a framework, complete with repositioned pillars.




There's still a lot of work before she's caught up with the dummy power car but I'm getting there. Fortunately the Grafar suburban is a relatively easy substitute for a centre car and I've already done some work on one. I contemplated building a ribbed centre car and finishing the set in maroon & grey but settled for another slam-door trailer so she'll be in green, with wasp stripes, which is how I best remember these railcars.

Edited by 33lima
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Proper Job!

DMUs may well be among the most challenging of all models to make. Quite apart from all the subtle curves at the front/rear, there is all the plumbing and such under the solebars where the engine, gearbox etc go. Then you have the added problem that they are proverbial greenhouses, so need full interior detailing as well. Makes a steam loco seem simple...

I have a 7mm scale Bachmann Brassworks Derby Lightweight 2 car. Looked lovely when I bought it [unpainted], but the more I investigated it, the more there was wrong in terms of detail. Probably cost me about 300 hours work in total and is probably still not right.

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