Sunday, 31 May 2015

A few bits and bobs left over... (in honour of Dave Lister)

"There's a few bits and bobs left over, but its always the same when you do a bit of do-it-yourself, isn't it?" Wise words from the guy who mended the Chicken Soup machine on the 'Red Dwarf'...

But it is indeed true.  Having completed three Dapol Railbus/Drewery Shunter loco bashes over the years I have rather a lot of left over parts, including spare window-wide panels and the sliding doors by the plenty. Some time ago I hatched a plan to use these, plus a complete new kit, to make an O9 railbus, as previewed here in 2012. Last November I did actually start to put together the parts for this project, however, despite making up sides (one side with doors, the other without), and front ends, something didn't quite gel.

Having put all the parts to one side, on re-examination I decided not to go ahead with the railbus and I took apart many of the parts and sought out how to recycle them. The door-less sides and ends, plus roof, were re-purposed as parts for a diesel loco with Evergreen 'siding' used to make grilles, and subsequently sold on as I couldn't see me completing it any time soon...

So what to do with all those window-wide panels...  well, would you believe that the width of a window frame from a Dapol railbus kit matches almost exactly the width of the Chivers seat moulding?  You may ask how I found that out, but kicking about for ideas I somehow offered the Dapol parts up to the Chivers kit... What you see here is actually the window panel with the bottom half of the side cut off and then turned upside down so that the top panel replaces the armrest of the Chivers kit side. The roof is made from further Dapol left-overs.

Inside I have created a footwell for the middle doorways to give a bit more legroom for passengers, this modification could be applied to other Chivers conversions.

After a lot of fettling and filling, sanding etc the coach was primed and I think the overall result justified the work involved, it is almost impossible to tell it is a kit-bash. The roof is currently loose-fitted to allow access to the interior for finishing off, hence the gap!

With a few panels and all the doors still left over, I looked for a further project to use up some parts. This coach started life as eight (much modified) doors and two side panels, plus a roof offcut.  The underframe is scratchbuilt in styrene, incorporating a much cut-up wagon bogie to hold the axles. 

It is based loosely on coaches built by the Parkinson's for the Southend Miniature Railway in the 1920s (to a similar style to the Great Yarmouth/Sutton bogie stock) - but my model is somewhat larger than scale, despite which you can't actually sit a figure in it... not to worry, my plans possibly see it as a static item, awaiting restoration. A comparison with the Chivers conversion shows they are about the same height but different window lines.

Both coaches now await painting but colours and finishes depend on future use...


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