Himself has returned from a week's volunteering on the FR which included a research trip into the darkest corners of Boston Lodge to view progress in the carriage works, and the photos he has sent back have confirmed my worst fears.
The new FR observation carriage 150 is going to be a complete and utter pain in the backside to scratch build!
Previously I've only seen a basic artist's impression and pictures of the skeleton framework.
Now they're putting the wooden flesh on the bones I can see that there are going to be two primary challenges - the roof with its curvy profile at the obs end, and the go-faster slope on the bodyside windows.
The roof on the model, is is clear now, will have to be made from brass just like with all the Super Barns. However, unlike them, there is going to be less scope to have a flat, false ceiling inside to keep the sides straight because it would be visible through the top of the end windows.
One way around that might be to solder a small lip beneath the brass roof to do the same job?
What's more it'll be very tricky to make that curvy valence at the top as a self supporting styrene structure. Along with the central pillar at the front it's going to have to be fixed in place only after the roof is bonded on.
I'm also beginning to think that it would be better to make the main bodyside sections as resin casts to make them more rigid.
Talking of casting, while rebuilt original-style Barn 106 was in the works he grabbed some good shots of its bogies.
One of my resolutions for 2015 is that this will be the year that we get around to producing our own, proper-sized, modern FR carriage bogies.
Steve at Narrow Planet has drawn up designs for a basic brass outline which is going to be test etched very soon and I'm intending to produce a resin overlay with the spring and axle box details as I have done for my South African wagons.
I shall, naturally, keep you informed of developments.