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From the Workbench
From the Workbench is for the duration of the Covid-19 emergency to allow sharing, in a Show and Tell manner, details of what we are doing to keep us occupied during self isolation and social distancing.

Articles will be archived but still accessible via links below.

Any member wishing to submit an article please forward to Nick in a word format.Try and keep it down to about A4 in length.

Archived items:

Article 1:

From Tony's carriage works:

As you are all aware,  about a year ago, together with Roger Stonham I purchased a number of brass coach sides from Bill Bedford (Mousa Models) to make up sets of Bulleid Bounemouth coach sets. I had previously made one of these sets using sides from 247 Developments, which subsequently changed hands and disappeared as a source. I did complete that set which has subsequently run on Redbridge at several exhibitions. At the time I swore I would never do such a set again, due to the amount of work and difficulty (for me) in construction. For obscure reasons I now ended up with 3 sets of sides (18 coaches!).

As I had already committed to the significant expenditure of purchasing the sides I reluctantly decided to continue with their construction as a means of recouping at least some of that money. I already had a supply of donor coaches, courtesy of Smiths originally and subsequently some strategic Ebay purchases of the ‘Your Model Railway’ knock-off Mk1’s which I have been using as a basis for my Bulleid coach construction for some time.

However there were still some significant logistical and financial issues to overcome for their construction;  as well as underframe equipment, bogies (Bachmann), roof details, compartments, transfers and paint maybe one of the main issues were seats. In the restaurant and kitchen coaches of each set there are in excess of 70 loose chairs (48 second and 24 first class) which, because they are not available commercially, had to each be individually carved from their nearest equivalent which like the rest were obtained from the ever useful Southern Pride range. Such were the number of seats that I know I caused the proprietor to exhaust his entire stock of at least two types! I have also put passengers in the coaches which I had previously purchased in bulk direct from China, unpainted. For these coaches I could not face painting over 200 passengers so purchased some in bulk from Kytes Lights. These are ready painted but I still had to repaint a significant number of green suited gents into a more realistic shade of grey!

Being a retired bean counter I counted up the total cost of the bits and pieces needed to complete each rake and shocked myself when it came to £270 per set! On top of this, even with economies due to batch construction each set takes me in excess of 200 hours. Suddenly the cost of some of the recent ready-made (excellent) coaches did not seem so exorbitant.

Construction has progressed very slowly since the purchase of the sides over a year ago as other projects including related to Redbridge’s exhibition appearances took precedence. However due to the current period of enforced isolation I am trying to spend a portion of each day to try and complete the coaches. To date I had reached a common stage with all the coaches; basic coach construction complete with interiors (except loose seats), exterior and interior painted, glazing installed. Sounds nearly finished? Unfortunately, some of the hardest jobs remain; exterior door commode handles, fitting loose seats and passengers, sealing and painting coach ends including pipework, internal and external transfers and couplings. In short, all the jobs I hate!

This week so far I have managed to fit the seats, internal transfers, passengers, door handles and couplings to one rake.




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