Building the Avalon Line 'Ratty' Coach Kit

Part of shiftingsands.fotopic.revisited

Based on material posted to in March 2009 and updated through to 1st November 2009

I decided to tackle something a little different for my next project, the Avalon Line (ex Owen Ryder) Ravenglass 16-seat open coach. It's brass and whitemetal, my soldering is not the greatest in the world, and the last time I stuck whitemetal together in any quantity was in my bus modelling days!

To be honest, I struggled a little with the pre-bent floorpan as the ready folded part was a little distorted, those plank edges 2mm in from the fold causing the problems. Other than that, and a masking tape disaster the first time I tried to paint it (I learnt the hard way to really scrub up brass parts before painting), this was a pleasant project and a vast contrast from my usual plasticard bashing.

I flattened the floorpan as best as I could and re-bent it using a steel rule clamped over it and to the desk, plus another to make the bends. With an afternoon to spare I got all the brasswork done:

The floor pan is soldered in the corners inside and out, then smoothed on the outside:

Bogies are folded up and soldered together:

Underneath the coach I replaced the whitemetal bogie pivots with a brass strip drilled to take a 10BA bolt:

An underside view showing how the tabs for the seats slot in, neat design... sorry for the sloppy soldering!

Next job is to clean up the whitemetal parts, which will be held in place with Araldite:

All of the whitemetal side and end panels were Araldited in place, followed by the seat dividers the following evening:

Of course, there was the enevitable gap or two:

Side-on view, the Shifting Sands civil engineers are looking on nervously now as this is longer by a fraction than the 'home' stock:

Milliput has been applied to the gaps and joins:

The bogies gained a 20 thou plasticard strengthener along the centre of the coupler support, running right back to the pivot hole:

I calculated that 60thou of packing was required for a MicroTrains coupler to sit at the correct height, so two more 20 thou strips were cemented in place:

I filled a few mistakes with some 'correction fluid' (other more well known brands are available!), this is a remarkably good fine surface filler:

Coupler screw holes drilled and MicroTrains couplers (ref 1023) attached to the bogies, no need to snip off the screws, as they are the perfect length:

The coupler sits neatly through the opening in the headstock, with my mounting gubbins unobtrusive:

After a good scrub up a trip to the paintshop saw the coach sprayed with primer:

There are a few blemishes to deal with before final painting, more correction fluid should do the trick...

I went a little further on the bogies and coated them in matt black after priming:

The coach re-assembled and ready to show to the manufacturer at NG North (sadly Howard had to withdraw at the last minute):

The green topcoat can from Halfords - Ford Meadow Green:

The floor was painted with Humbrol 'Natural Wood' and the solebars in black:

Building this coach finally gave me the opportunity to paint some of the Prieser seated figures from their recent unpainted pack. These (mostly) offered new poses to add to those already on the layout. The loaded coach is ready to operate on Shifting Sands:

Avalon Line kits are available from:

Howard Martin
11 Hood Close

Illustrated catalogue A5 SAE plus two 1st class stamps.

O9 Modeller would like to thank Mick Thornton for his help in creating this page.

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