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Regular Mk1 coaches ran on 6 different bogie types. BR 1, BR 2, Commonwealth, Gresley, B4 and B5. Of those the BR2, Gresley and B5’s tended to be restricted to catering vehicles although TPO’s also ran on B5’s and most types could be found on Commonwealth. Bachmann supply their Mk1’s on BR1, Commonwealth and B4.

Of those the BR1 and Commonwealth are OK but the B4 is a bit disappointing. Replica also do a B4 which is better as it features brakes in line with the wheels and a flat top. The Bachmann one has an odd ring which I think is to hold the coupling in place but it’s quite noticeable from the side. The one thing a B4 or B5 does is look somewhat detached from the vehicle – the Bachmann one doesn’t capture this to my mind.

b4-bogies-comparedBachmann B4 bogie on the left, Replica on the right. To make a replica bogie fit you just saw off the mounting clip and drill a 2mm hole where it was. The Replica bogie also accepts P4 wheels better although if you are using the original coupling you might have to stick with the Bachmann bogie.

Mk2a-TSO-&-B4-BogiesA real B4 bogie – note the dynamo mounted directly to it, some Mk1s were arranged like this, some weren’t. I do a little etch for the bogie mounted footsteps which most mk1’s (and all mk2’s carry)

BGs-comparedTurning to the bodies there are a few things on the models that were as built condition. Namely the end steps and roof handrails. The steps are cut off (you don’t need to be too neat – BR weren’t!) and the roof handrail removed. the end handrail was shortened and mounted into a new hole. The roof ribs are a modelling myth. They are not ribs at all but welds. It’s best to sand them down by dismantling the coach first. The sides are clipped to the roof and by pulling them gently outwards they should unclip. While you have the coach apart it pays to pop some people in the seats (not in a BG, obviously) and glue the weight in place. It’s a royal pain to get the coach back together if the weight is loose. Bufferbeam steps are my own etch and its worth replacing the buffers too – MJT for retracted and Fourmost Models for extended. The ETH bits are just microstrip.

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Colin Parks
Colin Parks
7 years ago

Hi Jim,

Just caught up with your latest post. Superb workmanship and valuable information on sources of components.

The BG roof looks infinitely better without the ‘ribs’!

All the best,


7 years ago

Another point to note is that whilst Bachmann Mk2 coaches are 20 thou too low (add inserts between the bogies and chassis) the Bachmann Mk1 stock when given B4 bogies are too high.

I tried shortening the height of the boss on the underframe (a real pain) or cutting out the centre of the Bachmann bogie then adding a new plate for the bogie to swivel on.

Using Replica bogies instead is by far the easiest method.

Graham Plowman
5 years ago

Hi Jim,

On the subject of Bachmann’s MK2 coaches being mounted too high on their bogies, I undertook some research to find out why with the results in an article here:


Since writing this article, I have been told that not all Bachmann B4 bogies are the same. Apparently some have a higher ‘ring’ and mounting than others. It seems that the MK2’s have been fitted with the wrong bogies.