N Gauge

GROUPING WORKBENCH: S&DJR Farish Carriage Conversions


   

25 February 2016

Something I've been wanting to do for quite some time is upgrade work on a Poole-era Graham Farish 4-wheel coach. They may not be entirely accurate but I'm hoping they'll look a lot better with some detailing.

After having pioneered the upgrade work on a 57' suburban coach (see the LSWR Farish Carriage Conversions thread for details), this project would be easier, especially as there were far fewer door handles to insert and the old roof would be retained.

I had one carriage to upgrade and no more because S&D 4-wheelers tend to be rather expensive on the second-hand market. The plus side is that, apart from its unique bodywork, there wasn't much to risk in this project.

So the first step was to pull the coach apart, this one being an S&DJR 4-wheel brake third that would be converted into a 6-wheel brake third. A craft knife had to be slid between chassis and body to cut through the securing pins, visible here just behind the couplers.

Carriage work

Despite being tempted to retain the 4-wheel chassis and somehow add a middle axle and wheels, instead the NGS 6-wheel Stove R chassis was selected for the task.

Carriage work

This S&D carriage would have been a good 40-50 years old by 1930, so it can look a little rough and ready in places. It needed benches (wooden) and partitions, so a quick bit of cutting of card and matchsticks was done.

Carriage work

Then a small gap was cut into the glazing for the windows and a bit of brown card glued in place to mimic a mostly-open drop window in the guard's compartment.

Carriage work

Three partitions in place and six seats:

Carriage work

Paint it all a mid-brown, which also helps to mask the stubs of the chassis connectors.

Carriage work

One passenger needed (the branch line services were never very busy after the Great War) and one guard.

Carriage work

Running boards also needed, using card for the boards and paper wrapped around them to serve as the inner lip. The Stove R chassis isn't entirely suitable as it's a little industrial. I might choose differently next time.

Carriage work

The Stove R chassis, without a couple of extra vertical support posts added for the running boards.

Carriage work

Running boards assembled. They would have looked better if I'd had the right thickness of plasticard:

Carriage work

Carriage end details carved off with a craft knife. It comes off pretty easily. Holes also drilled for handrails

Carriage work

Running boards attached. The little lip at the back is actually an upright that was designed to prevent the feet of alighting passengers slipping off and landing them under the train:

Carriage work

Holes drilled in the roof for a handrail and the moulded roof vents cut off:

Carriage work

Holes drilled for torpedo vents from Etched Pixels and running boards given a bit of extra securing, and then soaked in superglue.

Carriage work

Torpedo vents in place:

Carriage work

Holes drilled for door handles and grab handles:

Carriage work

Door handles and grab handles in place:

Carriage work

Bored guard in place admiring the passing countryside (or a siding if the carriage is parked!):

Carriage work

The passenger in place:

Carriage work

An external view of the guard:

Carriage work

Cantrails glued into place along the roof edges:

Carriage work

The lower running boards have been undercoated, the upper running boards have been added, and also undercoated:

Carriage work

Now the roof has received its first couple of washes of shades of grey (but not fifty of them). The handrail has been fitted. This part is always trickier than you think it will be:

Carriage work

Overcoating done on the running boards:

Carriage work

Now the cantrails are looking a lot better, as is the roof:

Carriage work

Now for the end panels. Four bands are required for this coach type, so a few calculations are needed to work out where to place them:

Carriage work

Calculations done, and vertical beading added:

Carriage work

Finished roof glued in place:

Carriage work

First end panel glued in place:

Carriage work

Second end panel put in place and the handrails for this end prepared, along with seven steps:

Carriage work

The other end needs a few bits and pieces too:

Carriage work

Steps and handrails in place:

Carriage work

Undercoating both ends:

Carriage work

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They look a bit rough and ready at the moment, even with vacuum pipes added:

Carriage work

Carriage work

The finishing touches include painting the ends black, touching up scratches and nicks on the blue bodywork (Railmatch paints), and adding a wash of dirt around the base.

Carriage work

Here's the comparison shot. The six wheel chassis really makes a difference, as does the end detailing, roof vents, handrail, and even the sometimes barely-visible door handles.

Carriage work