Thursday, 13 December 2012

MOTW - 123

101 was always one of my favourite FR carriages - it was the first model I scratch built 20+ years ago - so I was delighted when it was given a reprieve and reincarnated as a 3rd class, top end, observation carr.

I didn't waste any time creating a 4mm version of 123 (as it now is known) to run on Dduallt and Bron Hebog.

Apart from the obvious difference of being turned 180 degrees to face Blaenau, 123 had a number of alterations to the bodywork which meant it wasn't an option to merely recycle one of my existing models of 101 (As we did with 100 when we modelled it in its final days as a mess coach on the WHR construction.)

There were some extra windows cut into what were previously blank panels in the guard's compartment and when the old windows were replaced with double glazed units it meant they lost their rubber seals which gave them rounded corners, and instead became square.

The interior was completely re-designed with 3rd class seats replacing the swivel seats and Pullman armchairs from its days as a 1st class carriage.

The sight of an Observation Carriage at the top end of an FR train set still takes some getting used to, especially with a Double Fairlie at the head of the train as in this scene from Chris Nevard's photo shoot with Dduallt. At first glance you could be forgiven for assuming you're looking at a Down train.

Picture copyright Chris Nevard / Model Rail magazine

The best time, perhaps, to be sitting in 123 would be on an Up train hauled by Linda when you'd get a perfect front row view of all the action on the footplate - even better when she's eventually converted back to burning coal.

It would also be the best place to ride when an FR set is being used on the WHR, being at the back of the train as you travel towards Caernarfon.

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