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Old 04-09-2020, 05:10 AM
Siwi Siwi is offline
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Narrow gauge coach

Hi all,


I have started on a 1:76 scale narrow gauge coach, which will be from a fictitious meter gauge line somewhere in a mountainous region of a 'European' country. The design is vaguely based on stock from the Rhaetian railway I travelled on last summer and other narrow gauge lines in Slovakia and Wales, with a slightly older feel to the design; no connecting corridor or toilet on this, low seats and no AC. It's the kind of railway that is neither entirely for tourists nor just a functional line for locals. As much as the size allows, I intend this model to have some moving parts, so that doors and windows can open.



The parts sheets were drawn in Inkscape with a lot of back and forth on the calculator to get the measurements correct. Printed on some light card as there will be an internal frame for reinforcement. The next sheet of parts will be done once I can take measurements from these parts in sub-assemblies. I need, for example, to work out if the coach is wide enough that 2+2 seating is viable.




The eagle-eyed might have spotted that the internal walls are the same dimensions as the external, which would seem to create awkward gaps outside when built up, but I intend to create rounded corners using some kind of filler part, so this is quite intentional. We'll see how this goes...


First to be assembled is the underframe. Some thick bits of double-layer corregated card from a box were liberally coated in sealant and attached to the beams, with additional strips along the sides. It's a pretty stiff structure once everything has dried and more sealant has been used to plug gaps. The fact that some card strips overhang slightly actually creates a nice 'welded' look once painted with a couple of layers:






Rough painting with a mixture of black, white and a tiny bit of sealant was used for a weathered metallic finish. I might go over with a pencil and some fixative too to enhance this.

Last edited by Siwi; 04-09-2020 at 05:10 AM. Reason: Duplicate photo
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  #2  
Old 04-09-2020, 07:15 AM
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Kevin WS Kevin WS is offline
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Very good work - and interesting posts.

Thank you!
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2020, 07:24 AM
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TramFan TramFan is offline
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looking forward to seeing the build progress.
Owen
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Old 04-09-2020, 08:21 AM
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Don Boose Don Boose is offline
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I am enjoying your scratch design and build. I think I will learn a lot from this interesting thread.

Don
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Old 04-10-2020, 06:34 AM
Siwi Siwi is offline
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EDIT: I have no idea why pictures are not showing up, you will just have to click the links



So, on to the body. The model has 48 windows by the time inside and outside walls are counted, and I needed all my steady hands from playing musical instruments to cut the rounded corners, ah, the things we do for realism. Once done the parts were painted: the internal walls with an off-white for the inside and a yellow-ish primer colour for the outside seeing as this may be visible through the frame and windows.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/yxEEC9vaoTP1mwjR7

As the part was a little flimsy I then added the first elements of the frame - strips that will curve over to support the roof and join to the equivalent internal wall on the other side. These will also keep the window glass in place and strengthen the 'sandwich' of the structure.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/769eMSBo66EkYZ6o7


If you're wondering why the frame strips don't go down the the bottom, it's because of the way it will be attached to the floor part. The right angled tabs attach to the side walls and keep the floor part straight(ish). I may cut these down in places to allow the opening windows to open further. On this part you can also see the cutouts for the steps where the doors are - the doors will be recessed a little.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/oL7DVLBBvGUUXHoJ8

For the outside I decided upon a gloss red seeing as so many railway operators in continental Europe use this classic 'white and colour stripes' format along the sides. At this point I hit upon a technique that subsequently became used more and more on this model: cutting the white strip from some glossy paper and glueing it. It seems to stick ok and gives much neater edges than masking tape. In any case, it's quite common to use vinyls for liveries these days so it's true to full-size life. A gentle stribing with the end of a cocktail stick resulted in some panel lines.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/QNpiYWJ5AwhhCJkQ7
After this I figured it would be a good idea to do some detail work whilst the part was still a flat piece - and this is where some very fine knife work was required (I waited a bit to let my coffee go down). Some more white glossy was used to add 'second class', 'no-smoking', 'luggage space' and car number decals, and some red for the company logos. I also added a second white strip across the top. I tried to avoid any obvious linguistic clues to the location, save for the Latin alphabet.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/QH8MwwwzXG4p1omi6
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:25 AM
Siwi Siwi is offline
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I'd also like to share some interludes on the trains and railways that inspired this design. Firstly, the meter-gauge Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn, also known as the Rhaetian Railway. Last summer I completed a mega cycle tour the entire length of the Rhine all the way from the Dutch coast to the middle of Switzerland over three weeks. Riding up into the mountains for the last three days was amazing if very hard work, and the train ride to begin getting home again was just as spectacular. I'd been following the route of the MGB since Landquart- it follows the same valleys as the road - and having packed up the bike and all my things travelled on the section between Andermatt and Brig in the early morning. This part of the line goes under the Furka pass in a tunnel, you are under the shadow of massive 3000+m peaks with snow on the tops, and the railway itself uses every kind of engineering trick to deal with the terrain. There are quite frequent rack sections where the train slows to engage its cogwheel, and at one point a spiral in a tunnel to get down a virtual cliff above Grengiols.


The trains themselves are as spotless and scrupulously punctual as you would expect in Switzerland. On some parts of the railways newer multiple units are used but the trains I saw and rode on used a locomotive and control car which is fairly common in central Europe.


The picture above is at the Oberalppass and is slightly different stock to what I travelled on from Andermatt:



This train had huge windows that opened a long way down via the two little buttons. The seats were comfortable and the little tables have a map of the line (pic below). The only drawback is that there are steps to get inside, still common on the continent unlike the UK where disability laws mean all trains now have level access. This is also quite a consideration when one is carrying a disassembled bicycle and three bags...

Last edited by Siwi; 04-10-2020 at 09:02 AM. Reason: Photos not linked
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Old 04-10-2020, 11:27 AM
Don Boose's Avatar
Don Boose Don Boose is offline
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I could only gain access to a few of the photos, but in the ones I could see, the coach looks really good.

Don
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Old 04-13-2020, 02:10 PM
Siwi Siwi is offline
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Glazing

On to the glazing of the sides. Even from quite a young age, I made paper models with moving parts, even if these turned out to be rather flimsy or impractical to operate. In this model, I will have all the openable windows and doors be able to be moved open and closed. I wanted to copy the large sliding windows on the MGB train I travelled on, and have them open far enough to stick cameras and heads out...yes I know it's unsafe but this is fantasy. The black buttons can be used to pull the glass down quite a long way.


As these would be too small to function, I just bored a hole with my knife in the centre so that the glass can be slid down using the end of a cocktail stick (they have really been very helpful to this model). The acetate sheet was covered in clear tape on one side for a more realistic glass look and a bit of friction between it and the card strips holding the panes in place:


What you can also see here is that the fourth window (nearest the doors) uses a split design, so that the top hinges inwards. I like how these look even though I didn't want them all the way along, so decided that this would be the baggage area and a full length window wasn't desirable here. Designing this componant was quite a bit of work - normally I create a frame around acetate by folding paper around the edges, but on this part would it would be far too thin to handle. So I made the edging, used tape on both sides and with a LOT of test fitting trimmed the part until it would move within the window frame. The lower, static, window was contstructed the same way and the moving part hinged to it using the top edge of the tape covering that:


The 'sandwich' that will be the side walls is thus four layers of card thick, with the windows recessed from the outside. I'm pretty pleased with the look when placing the outside panel over it but I think I'll cut some paper 'window seals' to neaten things up a bit:

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Old 04-13-2020, 02:12 PM
Siwi Siwi is offline
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A couple more pictures as an addendum to the above:
An actual MGB train:


And the route map:
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Old 11-12-2020, 03:59 AM
Siwi Siwi is offline
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Sorry not to have posted any updates in a while, although been making good progress. Sadly after a lot of attempts I could not quite get the door mechanism to work properly. At this scale it proved impossible to fabricate parts that were strong enough to work and place the hinge in the right place. This is where I got to with the door hinging - they are 'bus' type inswinging doors. A big problem was friction between the parts, which varnish, tape and paint did not really solve. I think I would need to find a way to 'hang' the doors more securely on the arms that move them. Another problem would have been how to make both doors move simultanously. Ah well, maybe something to make a better attempt at in the future:





A little further down the process, the end wall of the carriage is painted, glazed and fixed together. I decided that the windows here should not be opening ones, as they are behind a bench seat and it might be hazardous to have this feature when the train is coupled together.




The side decals are cut from thin magazine pages. Now the seats -



I actually altered some of these as they were too wide, but the basic design is the same.


Fast forward to all seats in place, internal dividers which act as formers (these are partially glazed) and luggage racks against the wall and overhead. I am just about the glue the last one in place.


At the moment I am just finishing the roof: here the roof battens are cut and ready to be glued:

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