Wednesday, 25 August 2010


People often ask how I go about building carriages out of styrene. So I thought I could use the build of Observation Carriage 100 to give a blow-by-blow account on this blog.

The first step is to obtain a drawing of the carriage, scale it down to 4mm = 1 foot, and tape it onto the back of a sheet of glass.

Next, cut a piece of styrene to represent the lower half of the carriage side.

And tape accurately in place on the glass above the drawing.

Then I chop lengths of styrene strip and glue them in place to represent the vertical window pillars.

I lay a ruler across the top, mark a measurement at each end and chop them to a uniform height (Keeping the ruler in place to guide the blade).

Glue another strip along the top, with a drop of cement at each T joint, and you have a basic outline of a carriage body.

100 is one of the FR 'Barn' designs with their distinctive toplights, copied from the Lynton and Barnstable carriages. To represent these I have to cut exact lengths of strip to glue into place between the pillars - it's a tricky job and a number have to get thrown away when they've been trimmed too short and there's a gap at one end or the other.

Next time I'll show you how I add the second level of detailing.

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