The upcoming exhibition at Croydon this weekend, to which I am taking Awngate, has pushed me to finish some projects that have lingered on the workbench.
A little while back I briefly featured a coach I'd started building. It's a Five79 kit RC810 for a Dundas Tramway coach, nicely moulded and went together very easily - until I got stuck with the couplings. A bar is provided to attach Bemo type couplings to the bogies, but that wouldn't work with the Microtrains couplings I use. I didn't need them attached to the bogies as the couplings pivot, but the wheels are so close to the end of the body mounting the couplings behind the buffer beam would foul them. So the kit sat half-built while I pondered what to do.
As is often the way with these things the solution was simple. I added a "coupling block" to the buffer beam from plasticard, which provided something to mount the coupling on so it didn't foul the bogies. Such "outboard" coupling blocks were not unusual on narrow gauge stock, even the screw protruding slightly gives the impression of a coupling pin.
The coupling mounting arrangement is clear seen from the underside. In front is one of the four bench seats for the interior - a nice moulding that if available separately, could be put to many uses!
After the couplings were sorted it was a simple job to complete the build and paint it, weathered to a slightly grubby state. It could do with lamp tops, and passengers of course - but for now it is serviceable. It's a moderately tall vehicle but not long, and fits well with on the layout - ideal for mixed trains I think, with a few wagons and a goods brake van.
Talking of wagons a few have been knocking around the workbench - another RNAD van and Bagnal open, plus a couple of opens from the second-hand sales stand, they're less detailed but provide variety. I like NG goods trains to have a mix of wagons.
But I don't like wagons to be too clean! A few minutes work with a wash of acrylic "dirt" and a dusting of weathering powders really tones them down, the opens could now do with some loads. I'm working through fitting couplings, and checking/adjusting them on much of the stock ready for the weekend.