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mk2c-bachmannThe Bachmann/airfix Mk2c is now done. Additional parts coming from Southern Pride (Roof Hatch, extra underframe box, and GM roof vents), Replica for the bogies, MJT for the dropped buckeye and retracted buffers and ABS for the extended ones.

newspaper-GUVsAlso complete are my other 2 newspaper GUV conversions.  I tend to like to do a one off prototype and then batch build the rest but there in lies a question.  What size batch is best?  OK a batch of 2 as in this case and the case of my Mk3 pullmans (shown below) isn’t much of a saving but large batches seem like too much of a mountain to climb.  Take Mk2 coaches for an example (and probably the most extreme one on the layout) logically it would make sense to do them all together. It would be easier, and the results would be consistent but just working out how many that number is, is a job in itself.  I’m sure I can get way past 50 without any effort at all and even 100 is only approximately 10 trains.

Such a number is enough to drive the enthusiasm out of even the most dedicated person but what about doing them train by train? For some trains that might just work. The Brum to Norwich train springs to mind as it’s just 6 early mark 2’s, 4 of which are TSO’s.  That seems manageable but most trains are longer – some a lot longer. I have found video of a class 87 hauled motorail train at New Street that’s 15 vehicles long. Not that many of them are the same type either.  This is the problem.  I’ve identified a need for at least 5 Mk2D BFK’s, 2 of which are in the same train but these are a bit of a faff (not horrendous mind you).  Doing them train by train is not efficient at all.  So whats the answer?  Does anyone else build in batches?  If you do how do you approach it?


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6 years ago

excellent entry as ever.
As per batch modifying/overhauling, I approach it like this.
take your run of vehicles, split them so that you have piles of each part, bodies, under frames, bogies, roofs and so on, work through each pile. it goes quickly and easily, I find, rather than ‘i have X number left to do’ I think ‘thats another one done’

Good luck with it, and please keep the work bench going, it gives me dozens of ideas.


6 years ago

I have been following progress on this project for ages, and I always look forward to updates. I can well understand how you feel when contemplating creating potentially hundreds of coaches.

Perhaps another way to look at it might be to use your modeller’s licence and selectively compress trains. While it’s a nice idea to replicate the original formations where you can, perhaps taking two or three coaches out of the longer trains will help a little. Most people probably wouldn’t even notice.

6 years ago

Ah, yes, full length platforms would be a problem. I can’t think where else you would be able to make a compromise, and keep the high standard you’ve set yourself. Tricky.

Eric Steele
Eric Steele
6 years ago

More nice work Jim. The longest platforms at New St were 1,4 and 5 which could take about 16 Mk1s plus a loco. The Bristol to Glasgow Sleeper was usually 16. Most platforms would take 12 or 13 Mk1s with space for a loco at both ends for changing direction. The shorty was No. 12 which could take about 10 Mk1s plus a loco, although that was normally only used for parcels.
The Kensington Olympia to Inverness Motorail which ran around 1980 was booked 19 including 11 flats north of Birmingham International. It usually ran via Bescot but did sometimes come through New St.