Coach lining

Have any questions or tips and advice on how to build those bits that don't come ready made.
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Coach lining

Postby m.levin » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:43 am


Been looking at ways of doing coach lining without using transfers, partly down to costs, got 15 Mk3's that need coach lining.
I got a white marker pen and gave that a go, looked spot on, but twice the thickness required.
I have heard about lining pens, that will do 0.4mm but struggling to find any info.
has anyone managed what I am trying?

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Re: Coach lining

Postby Ironduke » Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:59 am

Heya Marty!! :)

Lining pens are not easy to use in my experience (mind you the one I had was a bit rusty, I inherited it from my grandfather) but they probably do give a better finish than a felt tip marker. I suppose lots of practice and a steady hand help a lot. I gave up and used a gold marker in the end but the coaches in question had mouldings to guide me.

Sorry if this isn't very helpful. Nice to see you.

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Re: Coach lining

Postby SouthernBoy » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:29 am

Hello Martin,

The thread below has a few pointers to lining pens / bow pens. They take a little practise, but equally a skill useful to acquire :)

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Re: Coach lining

Postby m.levin » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:42 am

This topic is like a NRM reunion :wink:

Thanks for the info, I have been trying to find a bow pen, to have a play with, but they are like rocking horse,

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Re: Coach lining

Postby Dad-1 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:22 am

Hi Martin,

I managed to find a few on 'Flea Market' stalls, the most I paid was £3, but they
needed careful cleaning. They worked .... on flat plasticard, but I found it ever so
difficult to work with, so took the easy way out and gave up !! Yes I still Want to
be able to use one well, but sometime in the future .... Perhaps..... Maybe ?

May add a NRM link to the bunker of my industrial shunter .... as far as I got !!


Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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Re: Coach lining

Postby m.levin » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:34 am

We tried the Bow pen and it wasn't a great success. the flow was hard to control and when we seem to be getting somewhere the paint didn't last 2 minutes.
I think that its going to result in buying the transfers.

But you have got to try these things.

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Re: Coach lining

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:18 am

Any model lining is a job for the brave or the very skillful, only tackled the transfer lining and that with limited success!

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Re: Coach lining

Postby mattmay05 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:11 pm

Tried a number of methods, have just started attempting some bow lining, again not easy, but getting the hang of it. Plenty of dvd's out there to assist which solved some of my small issues, but got there in the end.
But its not just about having a good bow pen, its having other tools like fine brushes ect...
But its more about finding your own way with it.

Have tried also Gel pens after reading LBSC circle articles using gold to line out coach vehicles which came out reasonably well, 0.2-0.3mm so came out fine for me, but does suffer from inconsistent results.

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Re: Coach lining

Postby Atso » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:47 pm

Technically a bow pen is known as a ruling pen and ebay usually has several types listed. However it is a skill that needs to be learnt and usually cheaper pens give inferior results. Currently I am using pens be Kern and a bow compass set (with ruling nib) from Haff. Kern have been out of business for many years but I picked up two pens cheaply on ebay - however this do have long nibs so are prone to springing apart slightly unless zero pressure is applied (which is what you should be aiming for anyway). The Kern bow compasses are fantastic and I consider these by far my best pen.

A book that I can highly recommend is 'A Modeller's Handbook of Painting and Lining' by Ian Rathbone. Ian also did a 'Right Tracks' DVD with Tony Wright for BRM several years ago which is now on Youtube:

I've been using the techniques outlined in the above book and video for several locomotives and carriages in N gauge - also my original cheap pen has found a new lease of life for making the painting of wheel spokes very easy. Below is a picture of my progress on an N gauge LNER D49, with the exception of the boiler bands and the square on the box on the running plate, everything else has been hand lined with the Kern ruling pen (done before I got the Haff).


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