Western Region Dynamometer Car

Have any questions or tips and advice on how to build those bits that don't come ready made.
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Lysander
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Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Lysander » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:48 pm

Just completed is this build of Test Car No 4, converted from a 1947 Hawksworth Corridor Third in 1961 by British Railways. The kit, which must be 45-50 years old, was made by Mopok and comprised white-metal castings, a wooden floor / chassis former, an acetate body shell and screen-printed sides to overlay during the build. The interior, fully detailed and as accurate as possible, is scratch built [and barely visible!].

Much of the original castings were so poor, they had to be substituted by items from the bits box. All that remains from the original box are the printed sides, the acetate body shell and the wooden floor. Construction used screws, super glue, impact adhesive and a strong liquid polystyrene cement.

Since the photographs were taken I have added steps under the doors and at the ends and weathered the corridor connector bellows. Some of the curtains have been adjusted also. I'll post a link to the build blog in due course for those who may be interested in the journey.....

Image

Image

There are surprisingly few photographs of this coach on line and none which showed the level of detail that I needed to see [no instructions to speak of in the box!]. I'm happy that the major details are correct however [or at least in the correct places] and anyway, who'd know?!

An interesting and enjoyable build.

Tony
Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......

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Peterm
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Peterm » Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:52 am

That looks really good Tony. Was the interior not worth fitting?
Pete.

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Lysander
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Lysander » Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:19 am

Thanks Pete.

There is an interior but it had to be built from scratch, compartments at one end and measuring equipment at the other. It is difficult to see however! No interior fittings were provided with the kit but there was a rudimentary sketch of the floor plan.

Tony
Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......

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Mountain
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Mountain » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:02 am

Question. Many BR western region coaches came out in this ex GWR livery, but was it common to see whole rakes of coaches in this livery, or were they mixed formations. It is difficult to tell on old black and white photographs.
Lima used to do Mk1's in this livery but their colouring was not the same. I used to think that was the new livery but now I think Lima colours were out. I remwmber their king class in a wierd green colour, and was puzzled until I saw a coloured picture of a king class when the sun was bright but yellowy just before it went down, and if Lima copied the colours from that photograph during the sunset, they were spot on!
The difficulty with making models in countries where the modelmakers did not see the real thing poses the same difficulties that modellers have who are not old enough to remember the real thing. One is relying on drawings and photographs which is ok if one has lots of them, but with some earlier railways (Especially industrial narrow gauge systems associated with small mining systems or secretive MOD bases), trying to find any information other then basic track plans from old maps is difficult.
My Mum used to do door to door interviewing and she met some very interesting elderly people with memories of the past, but I was always a bit too shy to go and speak to them to ask questions in my youth. Trying to get me to speak at all could be an effort, let alone speak to people I did not know! I seemed to open up a little when I reached my 20's due to jobs I took in shops etc., though trying to use the phone was a challenge. I once remember being teased by a fellow employee when I phoned a large works to ask Dai to pick his bike up as it was ready. The reply came "We have 2500 employees and about 50 of them are called Dai. Which one do you want?" They actually did find the right one! It wasn't my fault though as the only information that the man had given when handing the bike in was Dai and the phone number.

But anyway... The model is amazing. The transfers can't have been easy to track down? I love the effect of the curtains!
Question. You mention ex. Triang stock, but what techniques do you use to thin out the windows? I know GeraldH uses black paint which does give the illusion of thinner windows. I have attempted to use the file from the back, but it is real delicate work. I was just wondering if there was an easier method if no etched sides are available.
Painting is an area where I struggle with and lining. Easier with 7mm scale but still a challenge. (Though I paint freehanded and don't use an airbrush).
At the moment, I can't get my hands to do finer work so some projects are delayed. I broke a few 7mm scale handrail knobs trying to fit them. Seeing the little holes is hard enough! :D

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Lysander
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Lysander » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:25 am

Western Region chocolate and cream was pretty much the last throw of the dice for regional liveries west of Paddington, appearing in the mid-50s but no longer applied after the very early 60s. Top Link express trains - particularly the named ones - did run with this in uniform liveried rakes but, of course, other liveries would be mixed in on other trains, particularly where through coaches had been added. So, yes, there were all chocolate and cream rakes.

The transfers on the Test Car - these, happily, had been screen-printed onto the sides and so I did not need to go looking for them. Just as well as Mopok made rather poor water slide transfers at the same time. Pressfix do not do the required branding in their BR coach sheets and whilst attaching transfers would not have been a problem in itself, finding them might have been. Cambridge Custom Transfers might have been able to help though. I would not have wanted to use anything with an obvious carrier film. As it was, I didn’t have to go on a hunt.

Not sure that I have mentioned Triang coaches? Not here anyway. However, Finecast do make affordable flush-glazing for a whole range of old coaches. If applied carefully and then brushed with Klear it looks OK. I use them routinely for surgically altered Triang Clerestories.

That awful Lima King. The colour was ghastly, way off. That’s the problem with trying to save on production costs by using self-coloured plastic. It’s hard to imagine that that shocker was considered state of the art r-t-r at the time. State of the ark now.

Tony
Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......

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Mountain
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Mountain » Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:21 am

The Lima king did capture the shape better then the old Hornby king, but Hornby captured the colour. I had one of each. Both were tender drive. I don't like tender drive.

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flying scotsman123
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby flying scotsman123 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:16 pm

A superb finished product Tony, very nice! Would it have run in a train of a particular formation, or just some any old coaches tacked on to simulate a "normal" train for testing purposes?

Yes, originally only a few specific rakes of coaches were painted chocolate and cream for named trains on the Western Region, although inevitably some would "escape" and other loose carriages would join the named train sets as well. I don't know how many carriages this amounted to but my suspicion is that chocolate and cream Mk1s are vastly over-represented in preservation!
Image
Stone station in pre-grouping days, my layout. Workbench for other projects here.

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Mountain
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Mountain » Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:38 pm

Just another question. Did GWR only paint white roofs? I have seen some in black and some in white. Were they painted black at a later date...maybe in BR ownership?

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Lysander
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Lysander » Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:52 pm

Well, FS123, this coach, dating from 1961, spent 95% of its life behind diesels, either as a lone coach or in larger formations, recording and testing the dynamics of the loco. It’s use was probably episodic: frenetic weeks and then quiet months.

Thanks for the comments. Since I posted the photos I have also given the chocolate lower half a coat of Klear to enrich the colour and remove some slight superglue misting.

Tony

Tony
Last edited by Lysander on Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dad-1
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Dad-1 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:14 am

Hi Lysander,

I do like things that are slightly different and hand crafted.
What surprises me is the speed of this one's construction.
It must have had one of those undefinable attractions that
really fired up your imagination.

A brilliant job

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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Lysander
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Lysander » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:48 am

Thanks Geoff.

It’s my liking for unusual coaches I guess. Having started it, and having worked out where I wanted to go with it, it was a case of sort-of wind it up and let it go!

I’ll put up the build blog for any who are interested in due course.

Tony
Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......

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Lysander
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Lysander » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:52 am

Mountain wrote:Just another question. Did GWR only paint white roofs? I have seen some in black and some in white. Were they painted black at a later date...maybe in BR ownership?


White up to the last War, then black at repaint or new build for the duration. I think that then, after, generally black or very dark grey.

Of course, white wouldn’t have lasted long in use.

Tony
Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......

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Mountain
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Mountain » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:53 am

White is an odd colour to use on the main railway network as I know how quickly trains get dirty. Just the one trip if passing through a freshly ballasted area and the conditions are right!
I never forget seeing white as a livery and thinking "That livery won't be used for long!" One often gets these issues when those who design the liveries and those who ask for them to be applied etc don't have much railway knowledge, as if they worked the trains day in and day out, they would soon choose a livery which hides the dirt better!

Black or dark grey is the best choice for a roof, or dark blue or dark maroon etc. A dark colour to hide the dirt. Matt black is the best choice in my oppinion.

Thanks for the reply. I can only guess that the GWR had to clean those roofs regularly! Mid you, labour was quite reasonable in the days before we had all these fancy but expensive gadgets.

I love the coaches and stock you build as you have a real tallent for making them look real.

Bigmet
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Bigmet » Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:51 pm

Mountain wrote:White is an odd colour to use on the main railway network as I know how quickly trains get dirty...

Ah, but the white used on older carriage roofs was simply the colour of the waterproofing agent, white lead paint. A wooden roof had canvas stretched over it, and was then 'stopped' with the white lead to produce a waterproof covering. Which promptly went through shades of mucky grey until it typically became a dark matt grey brown tone. But still waterproof.

The tradition of 'white roof' was so strong that even metal roofed coaches sometimes had a white painted finish. This happened as late as the early 1960s on the Met-Camm mk1 based Pullman cars for the ECML, built to replace the traditional Pullman company cars. The Met-Camm cars had the same flush butt welded steel roof as regular mk1s; these regular mk1s were more sensibly turned out with the roof painted grey in BR's standard scheme.

Dad-1
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Re: Western Region Dynamometer Car

Postby Dad-1 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:33 pm

White - A secondary reason for the illogical choice could just be that the livery choice
was by someone who really didn't understand how dirty rooves could get.

White reflects heat - Not impressed ? Many years ago I was having a model aircraft photo
shoot. All the aircraft were 1/72 'V' bombers and in 4 different service finishes. White, Silver,
Dark Grey/Dark Green, Medium Grey/Dark Green. It was high summer and cloudless blue
sky. The two grey & green aircraft were so hot I was concerned about heat damage to the
plastic and were quickly moved into shade. The silver was significantly cooler, but I was
surprised just how cool the white one was in comparison to all the others. Of course that
was why the nuclear bombers were in white, to help protect then from the heat of a nuclear
bomb burst.

Just perhaps someone thought white would help keep the interiors cooler in summer. There
was no air-conditioning to pump through cool air, however there was locomotive sourced
heating for winter time. Not saying it was, but just could be a reason ????

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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