Saturday, 6 November 2010

Dirty Pictures

Himself and Francis (aka The Chairman) have been playing with a new toy this week - a compressor for the airbrush. So their Thursday 'club night' was taken up with weathering instead of the usual blethering!

This is a new departure for us because until now all our models have been finished in ex-works condition but that wasn't tenable for the WHR construction stock.

So after studying a How To DVD carefully for a number of months they've taken the plunge and sprayed mucky paint over a few vehicles. Take a look below and see what you think.

In case you were wondering this is (or perhaps I should say, was) the WHR construction gang mess coach which started life as FR 'Barn' Observation Carr 100 in 1965.

When a new Obs 102 was completed at Boston Lodge the old 100 was punted up to Dinas to be used on WHR services. After a couple of seasons it was replaced by 101 which by then had also been cascaded from the FR fleet and 100 was mounted on ex-SAR bogies and used as a mess coach on the construction trains.

It was withdrawn, for good, when the railway was completed through to Porthmadog and the bodyshell was scrapped at Dinas. The frame will be recycled for another new build at Boston Lodge.

I feel it's a shame the carriage was scrapped, it was, after all, the first of the Barn observation carriages which I have always thought of as icons of the modern FR. Sure, the 60's bodyshells were only expected to have a working life of 25 years and so it had a good innings, but even so I wonder whether future generations will come to view the scrapping of the original 100 as we would have if the early preservationists had sacrificed a bowsider?

In a neat twist this model has a history which matches the prototype. It was once in frontline service on Dduallt as Observation Carr 100. It was built on the kitchen table of my student digs back in 1993. In time I made new, more detailed models of both 100 and 101 and the originals were retired. When 100 was transformed into mess coach 1000 at Dinas our redundant 100 was dug out and given a makeover.

The ex-SAR Guards Van, ballast wagons and B wagon (cycle carrying wagon) have been given a lived-in look too.

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