This vehicle marked the start of a new wave in Observation Carriage design and furnishing standards on the FR.
Built in 2005 the most obvious change was the return to a single window pillar at the observation end, with a pair of large, square windows, as opposed to the triple arrangement that had become so familiar over the previous 40 years.
Passengers also would have noticed the generously upholstered freestanding chairs in this compartment in contrast to the fixed, swivelling seats in the first generation of Barns.
For carriage-spotters like me other details stood out like the wooden frame half droplights (which first appeared on the rebuilt 106) which were a new challenge to model, and the return to squared corners in the windows rather than the rounded rubber beading which the older carriages had acquired over the years.
102 also heralded a change in the look of our carriage fleet. It was around this time that Boston Lodge began outshopping carriages with bright, washing-power white roofs. They don't stay looking like this for long, of course, especially not since the FR began to reintroduce coal firing.
We tend to finish our models in something approaching ex-works condition, so our 102 still has a very pale roof.
The picture here, which was taken during the Railex exhibition back in May, also shows 102 sporting the rather fabulous new gold transfers which we had commissioned from Precision Decals. 102 was also the first observation carr. to wear the old-style FR monogram with the branding Ffestiniog First underneath.
The large crest to the left, on the guards compartment, is also a Precision Decals product.