Having already purchased four of the Bachmann Thomas and Friends Red Branchline coaches (three standard, one brake) I decided to create a three coach set of four wheel coaches for use behind terriers.
I started by disassembling the coaches intended for the rake into their component parts (underframe, body, roof and glazing) and proceeded to apply a coat of Halfords Grey plastic primer to the coach bodies. During the drying process, I started to tackle the underframes/ chassis of the coaches, which were very basic to begin with.
To differentiate the brake coach from the composite and full third, I decided to fit step boards across the axleboxes on each corner of the coach. these were sourced from a spare kit sprue. Also fitted were white metal castings of SR coach underframe details (battery box, gas cylinder and brake cylinder, the latter not fitted until later in the project)
Once the other side of the chassis had the running boards fitted, the chassis was given a coat of Matt Black. After allowing the bodies to dry fully, the first applications of P84 SR Coach Green (dull) was painted onto the bodies.
Again, once dry, the second coat was applied, as well as a coat of Coach roof Grey to the roofs of all three coaches. A second coat of grey was applied to the roofs after the first had dried, and then all was fitted together. As a last minute decision, I decided to fit brake pipes to the coaches. The Brake third has had whitemetal spares fitted from what I recall was a Parkside Dundass 009 FR coach kit, and the Composite and Full Third, have had the spares from the two Ratio bogie coaches fitted. These will get painted up in black once I'm happy that they are secure to the chassis's. The next stage is transfers, which I shall be using HMRS Pressfix sheet 9. This also applies for the bogie coaches as well.
Out of all of the coaches in this small rake, the brake coach is by far the one I'm most impressed with. Not simply because of the enhancing of the underframe details, but because it genuinely looks the part now. I've had comments from friends I've shown stating that they wouldn't have been able to tell it was formerly a Thomas and Friends coach.
Having now also received a copy of R.J. Maycock and M.J.E. Reed's Isle of Wight Steam Passenger Rolling Stock book for referencing suitable numbering for the four wheelers and the bogie coaches. The four wheelers have been designated as Brake Third 3686, Full Third 1793, and Composite 5799. All three of these are from Set 495. A fourth coach will be added in the future, in the form of Ex North London Railway Full Third 49 (SR 2429).
Here is the fully completed article of 3686, complete with set 495 markings on the back of the guards compartment.
Here's to two more successful sessions of adding transfers for the remaining two coaches...