33lima Posted August 30, 2014 Share Posted August 30, 2014 (edited) There seems to be something of an NIR building boom at the moment, if the forum is any indication, and for a change, the UTA's Multi-Purpose Diesel railcars are getting a decent look-in. Having nearly finished a power-twin set that I'd started back in the 1990s, I'm now building a 4-car set based on the original batch of MPDs. These were designed to handle Belfast York Road to Londonderry Waterside expresses and a good job they made of it too. They were converted in the late 1950s from LMS-style coaches built just a few years before for the 'Festival' express. While their advanced transmission gave trouble in later years - using MPDs to haul heavy overnight freight trains in between passenger turns didn't help - they were fast and ahead of their time, which is likely why they acquired the name 'Sputniks', the Soviet satellite being a synonym for all that was space age and modern, in those days. Because of their close family likeness to LMS Stanier coaches, the initial batch of MPDs is a relatively straightforward conversion from a suitable RTR coach. Back in the early 1990s I built two 3-car sets, all from Hornby Staniers, finishing the first in NIR maroon & grey and the second, in UTA Deep Brunswick Green with frontal wasp-stripes. This set is for member Train Model as a follow-on to his 70 Class set and while the donor coaches will be the same, power will come not from a modified Tri-ang Hornby Hymek motoe bogie, but from a more satisfactory Hornby 5-pole ringfield power bogie, taken from an HST chassis, refitted with Hornby Class 110 DMU bogie frames and fitted to a modified centre car trailer chassis from that DMU. For the bodyshells I'm using some of the last of a set of unfinished shells, picked up 20 years ago. The Hornby Stanier is a 57' composite and while the length is fine, the window spacing will be a little out for some of the cars, tho it's hardly noticeable and not worth correcting. First task is to strip off the roof detail, both ventilators and the prominent ribs all have to go, a carefully-weilded Stanley-type knife doing the trick. Lots of sanding later and they're done. Next, the cars need one or more windows 'plated over' - half-windows for a composite and open third power cars, plus a passenger window for the brake open power car. The Fourth car will be a corridor trailer or 'mule' as they were called, which I haven't started yet. Other windows need opened up, referring to works drawings and available photographs, including the UTA publicity photo pictured above. Next it's time to start forming the cab fronts, from plasticard, using three sheets laminated, glued in place and then sanded and trimmed to fit. Windows can then be cut and the corridor connection built up between them. Before fitting the cab I cut away most of the bulkhead behind, leaving just the two vertical 'prongs' which secure the bodyshell to the underframe. The green MPD in the background is the recently-completed 'suburban' set, awaiting UTA crests and numbering. Next task will be to make the cab fronts for the other two coaches, and make a start on the trailer. Edited August 30, 2014 by 33lima Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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