Saturday, 24 March 2012

Preservation in Miniature

I've alluded in a past update to a project to restore my early miniature railway models, from my 'experimental' phase almost 10 years ago, to something close to their original condition.  This involves the first 'Intrepid'  being lowered to as-built ride height on a dummy chassis and my Routemaster based coaches being given new bogies.

Here's the target 'look' - the yet to be named locomotive with the Routemaster stock in tow:

The bogie donor is a Del Prado UP locomotive, sadly the cast chassis block is too long for this project. Interestingly the body of this has a separate roof panel in just the right place to sit a miniature railway driver...

The bogie details were stripped back and modified to resemble the conversion carried out originally on Bachmann bogies.  2mm Evergreen channel added over the top edge, plus new bufferbeams and other details in styrene.  In the background MicroTrains 'Archbar' bogies are having the mountings altered to suit the Routemaster coaches and hook and loop couplers replacing the MT originals for between coach couplings (i.e. the cheapskate way!):

A styrene chassis frame will hold the dummy bogies in place, this will locate into the fitting used on the frame I built to fit the present Atlas chassis (now what will happen to that....?!)

A waft of primer over the bogies and chassis frame was followed by a spray of matt black on the frame itself, whilst the bogies were painted using Valejo acrylics and everything subsequently varnished using Humbrol 'Matt Cote'.  A bit a dry brushing here and there has brought out the detail in the bogie sides:

The dummy couplers are Bachmann mouldings as supplied with wagons in the US N range, they are bit on the chunky size but do the job (i.e. are cheap and non-functioning).  They don't look so bad with the body in place.  This picture is an attempt to re-create one that I took for 'Model Train International' several years ago which has featured on the blog before:

The coach bogies were also toned down with Matt Cote and a bit of drybrushing, three coaches have been treated this way, this photo is of coach number 1 which was repainted a couple of years ago after a disastrous attempt to re-livery it in Maroon.  The underframe was modified at the same time to better resemble my loose prototype of the ex-Sutton Miniature Railway coaches.  This is set off by the 'Archbar' bogies that closely resemble those of the Sutton Stock:

The completed train presently has pride of place in my display cabinet.  Which reminds me, I better find something to fill the other shelves...


  1. Colin, what is the basis of the loco body? i vaguely recall you sharing that info, but I've forgotten it.

    Always good to see your work in detail.



  2. Hi Chris, thanks for your comments. The loco body is built from Dapol railbus and drewery shunter parts, if you follow the 'Intrepid' label on the post you should find out more about the build of the subsequent versions - my apologies that this label was not already on the post.