Sunday, 7 October 2012

The ones that got away... No.6 'Big' Coaches

A long time ago, well, January 2005, my O9 modelling was in something of a state of turmoil.  Having found that my earlier models were perhaps too small to represent modern 15" gauge stock (and the more important issue of getting decent figures small enough to sit in them) I was searching for a way of creating larger models that were still 'miniature' in style but definitely more 'Minimum gauge' in size.  Everything before this point had been pretty much kit-bashed from Keil Kraft, Dapol and Tower Models kits, but this would be something new, all-scratchbuilt for the first time.

Compared to what went before, this was big!  It scaled out somewhere just over 20ft long, I did fret about this for some time, asking for some real dimensions via the 'UKminiaturerailways' Yahoo group got an informative answer from Michael Crofts, owner and operator of the Perrygrove Railway:

"Your coach length is fine.  Perrygrove coaches are based on standard steel stock so they are 6m long, near enough 20'. "

As can be seen in the picture, I was also building a diesel loco of matching proportions.  This eventually was completed and sold.  What happened next was that with growing confidence I started to build a replica of the Ravenglass & Eskdale tram loco 'Flower of the Forest' and the rest, as they say, is history.  When the final design for 'Shifting Sands' started to come together it became apparent that this coach was too big for the curved concept and it was  sadly scrapped.

Moving forward to May 2008, another 16 seat coach emerged from my workbench, but this time with a purpose.  Miniature railway enthusiast and engineer Craig Gluyas was drawing up several design proposals for real 15" gauge stock and sent me the CAD for a 16 seat coach design, featuring end 2-seat compartments.  In a rash of enthusiasm I built a version in O9, the excuse being that it could be shown to potential customers.

Again, this was not completed as planned and suffered from some warping in storage, so it had to go, although an attempt was made to rebuild it into something for 'Shifting Sands' first.  The bogies, which at some point after the photograph gained some axlebox covers, did survive and in much modified form have been used recently as cosmetic sideframes on MicroTrains bogies as a new set to go under the 'Shifting Sands' mess van.  It was during this process that I remembered these two coaches, prompting this ramble....


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