Sunday, 11 August 2013

Taking stock

I never meant to have much in the way of 4mm rolling stock, after all this is just a brief interlude and soon I'll be back to large scale modelling in the garden.

On the other-hand it is odd how you suddenly find the list of desirable vehicles growing. In theory for the period the original diorama is set in I don't need any coaches and a 2MT is the only essential loco.

Taking the wider view though, and presuming the period Llanrhaiadr is set in can range from 1946 to 1976 the list gets a lot longer.

The GEM/Mainly trains 2-4-0  is a necessity because of their association with the Tanat Valley, even though they didn't survive to BR days, and so is a 58XX like 5812. A 45XX has to be on the roster because it is such a delightful loco even if not appropriate for the line.The same applies to the Dukedog.  The first picture I can remember seeing of the TVR featured an open cabbed pannier, and a 57XX seems in order, especially since I already have a body waiting for the High Level chassis. The Sentinel is already set to be my first EM conversion.

Then there is the long list of oddities that ran on the Tanat Valley that originated on other minor railways, plus the BR diesels - a 24, 25, 37 and a Hymek

Coaching stock has to include the last of the GWR  4 wheel coaches plus a decrepit short bogie coach, a Mk1 suburban coach and a Hawksworth brake compo. Hopefully I'll avoid the temptation to follow the cliched route of a B set and  an autocoach. If anyone can provide me with a picture of a Dia. E40 coach I would very much appreciate it.

Oh yes, and a bubble car and an AEC railcar would be nice if we want to presume passenger operation lasted a little longer than it did in reality.

Goods stock? That is something I don't want to think about just yet.

So that sounds like the next five years will be keeping me busy to afford/build/modify that lot.

Something that strikes me is that even though much of this list is supposedly available RTR there is a lot of work involved in making them "fit for purpose" even ignoring the EM gauge conversion.

Take the Bachmann Mk1 brake coach as an example. Superficially it looks quite good., but the :

- roof is far too light a shade of grey
- dynamo on my example, and others I've seen, is glued on the wrong way round.
- dynamo drive belt is missing
- windows aren't flush
- seating is gloss plastic
- brake gear is basic in the extreme
- conversion to EM is doable, but not as simple as dropping in new wheelsets.

I'm sure were a rivet counter I could find a lot more that needs changing. I'm still not sure of something as basic as whether the battery boxes are correctly positioned.

Underlying a lot of the above is the thinking that to be enjoyable any operating sequence is going to have to include a historical progression from immediately pre-nationalisation through to the last BR ballast train

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