Saturday, 28 August 2010


Time to start adding the second layer of detail to the carriage sides,

For this I use a slightly thinner strip - 15" as opposed to 20".

The first stage is to cement on the three horizontal runs along the carriage side, at the top, the bottom and the waist.

The top and bottom are 15" x "40, and 15" x 20" for the middle.

Next, the vertical beading. A strip is placed in the middle each of the window pillars, with a matching strip below the waist.

Pieces are also placed along the rail below the toplights

It takes just over an hour to add these 50 odd pieces - each of which has to be cut to a perfect fit.

Thursday, 26 August 2010


The stage 1 outlines of all four sides and ends of the carriage are now complete.

When an order for some more styrene strip is delivered I will be able to start work on the second stage detailing.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


People often ask how I go about building carriages out of styrene. So I thought I could use the build of Observation Carriage 100 to give a blow-by-blow account on this blog.

The first step is to obtain a drawing of the carriage, scale it down to 4mm = 1 foot, and tape it onto the back of a sheet of glass.

Next, cut a piece of styrene to represent the lower half of the carriage side.

And tape accurately in place on the glass above the drawing.

Then I chop lengths of styrene strip and glue them in place to represent the vertical window pillars.

I lay a ruler across the top, mark a measurement at each end and chop them to a uniform height (Keeping the ruler in place to guide the blade).

Glue another strip along the top, with a drop of cement at each T joint, and you have a basic outline of a carriage body.

100 is one of the FR 'Barn' designs with their distinctive toplights, copied from the Lynton and Barnstable carriages. To represent these I have to cut exact lengths of strip to glue into place between the pillars - it's a tricky job and a number have to get thrown away when they've been trimmed too short and there's a gap at one end or the other.

Next time I'll show you how I add the second level of detailing.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


In an ironic twist my next commissions are destined to end up a stones throw from the FR.

A client in Blaenau Ffestiniog has requested a set of FR carriages.

First on the production line will be Observation Carriage 100. It is the second vehicle to carry the number, replacing the original 1965 design which saw out its days as a mobile construction mess on the WHR.

The new 100 saw a new change in policy on the FR, removing the guard's compartment from the rearmost vehicle of the train with the space used for another four plush Pullman seats. The guard's compartment was built into a new Service Carr, 124, which runs in the same rake.

Monday, 9 August 2010


A snip from a post on Colin Lea's Rhyd Ddu blog after receiving his scratchbuilt AY Ballast wagons and DZ wagons.

"They really are super models. If you have a project you’d like Boston Largs Works to do for you, then don’t hesitate any more, the workmanship is phenomenal. Worth every penny."

If you would like to commission a model email me at:

Friday, 6 August 2010

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


My client asked for some extra details to be added to his ex-SAR ballast wagons - always happy to oblige.

The main vaccum pipe which runs the length of the wagon has been included now. It's quite a satisfying piece to make with 6 bends in a long run of brass rod.

I've also put on the bars which run underneath the frame at each end. I'm not sure what these are actually for. Are they supposed to act as re-railing bars, like those on the FR locomotives?

By my reckoning that's these two ballast wagons finished and once the DZ's are ready they can all be surrendered to the tender mercies of the Royal Mail. Will anyone ever see them again???

(In case anyone reading this is a postie I'm not going to apologies for that little dig. This morning I have had one of those 'Sorry You Were Out' cards through my letter box even though I've been in all morning and the doorbell was never rung. It couldn't possibly be that they never took the recorded delivery item out on the round with them, could it?)