Specification of the "Affordable" Coaches

The Foam body cores

Blue styrene, fire-retardant foam is machine cut to produce the coach body core. This type of foam is light and stiff, but is also resistant to the bumps and bashes normally experienced in the coming together of mobile objects. There are no window apertures or glazing to be damaged by grasping little hands.

The Vinyl Skins and semi-scale colour schemes

The decorative finishes are applied externally using a computer designed, glass-fibre reinforced, vinyl outer skin printed to scale. This material is used as an outer skin in the way that tinplate toys were decorated with screen printed or lithographically applied paint. However, these vinyl skins are machine printed using solvent-based inks that permeate into the vinyl matrix to become permanently colour-locked into the material. It is not just a surface coating as paint would be on more expensive models or the old tinplate toys. It is further protected by a second, transparent skin laminated over the printed surface to ensure a more durable and chemically resistant finish. The laminated vinyl skin is very strong being internally reinforced with a fibreglass web in the matrix of the material. It is very resistant to ripping, puncturing or cutting from the accidental impacts that can be anticipated with model railway rolling stock. The protective skin is resistant to oil, alcohol and methylated spirits, all of which are encountered in the running of live-steam locomotives. The surface has a smooth wipe-clean property, making cleaning down after running a simple task. Oily deposits wipe off and the original matt finish can be restored with nothing more than a wet soapy cloth and a dry cloth to finish. Minor bumps can be reduced by gently rubbing the the impact site with a finger wrapped in cloth and the careful use of a hairdryer will re-smooth the vinyl skin. The scale-printed layouts follow the relevant coach diagrams as closely as possible and location marks for such things as hinges, door handles, bump stops, periscopes, water fillers and ventilators are incorporated into the print. Purchasers may decide to enhance the visual effect by adding proprietary fittings available from established gauge 1 suppliers.

Colour Schemes

Extra bodies can be purchased to make the rakes of coaches interchangeable from one colour scheme to another. One underframe with several bodies represents the most cost effective way to enjoy several variations when using them behind locomotives from different periods. Other colour schemes are being designed and will soon include Southern region green, Western region chocolate and cream, Intercity blue and grey of the 1970s and a multi- car Pullman rake.

Corrosion resistance.

under frame Other constructional materials include laser-cut, mild-steel underframes and CNC-machined, mild-steel wheels. These are treated "all over" with a corrosion-resistant chemical blacking process which is oil-impregnated. It is a tenacious finish that is chemically bonded to the steel. It can be revitalised with oil in service to make it last for years without chipping or flaking as ordinary paints often do.

Modelled features such as the bogie sides are cast in polyurethane resin and screw-mounted on rubber to protect them in the most vulnerable areas. They can be easily replaced in seconds if the worst comes to the worst and a "big coming-together" happens. Coach-ends are also cast in resin and can be enhanced by the fitting of corridor connections from other suppliers if desired.

Bogie articulation. (Fifth wheel)

BuffersUnderframes are dovetailed together around a vertical tubular pivot. When fitted, the bogie is in contact with four raised polypropylene buttons that provide a smooth rubbing surface as the bogies turn through curves. The bogies are secured with a low friction nylon washer and a setscrew, which is set to stop any body roll while still allowing bogie rotation.

Proprietary Fittings

BuffersSprung buffers and sprung couplings are sourced from well-known supplier Tenmille and represent the best value for money available. Replacements are cheap if ever required. Couplings are the 3-link type as these are the most prevalent ones in the hobby at this time.

Each rake of 5 coaches is supplied in two plastic carrying/storage boxes with clip-on lids. Every box is furnished with protective foam saddles and end plates to protect the five coaches in transit. There is a vacant slot in the second box to add a further carriage if purchased or to accommodate the owner's locomotive or cleaning cloths.


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