Vinyl overlays for Graham Farish Mk.3 coaches.

Dapol produced a very attractive (and irresistible) twin pack set comprising of the EWS Managers Train Class 67 and matching DVT in N gauge a couple of years ago. The three EWS maroon Mk.3 coaches required to complete the train are not available commercially as ready to run models; at least not at the present time. Enter Electra Railway Graphics and its vinyl overlay for Graham Farish Mk.3 coaches, a project new to me and one I was keen to try. The printed livery type of construction used by Graham Farish is perfect for this type of conversion and makes a relatively complex livery such as this relatively easy to do in N gauge, even with any additional touch up painting.

Some careful attention to finishing coach ends and the roof makes for a respectable result which passes muster in this small scale.

I boosted the orange warning line along the top edge of the sides, painted the coach ends to match the sides and paid attention along the top edge of the coach body to conceal the edge of the vinyl overlay. The project for the three coaches took less time than undertaking a full repaint, but still took a couple of weeks of  modelling to complete – about ten minutes here – leave to dry – ten minutes there… and so on. Easily completed around other more involved projects.

I popped the train (in no particular order) on the BRM project layout for a test run, both propelling and hauling. Apart from work to close up the coupling gaps between coaches, I am pleased with the overall result.

Trains pass on the project layout and with a fourth Mk.3 completed at the same time. Those Dapol DVTs look the biz…

It’s a Cargo-D Mk.3 RFM to make up a 3-coach Wrexham & Shropshire set prior to the company receiving its overhauled stock.

Both this model and the RFM in the EWS Managers Train received modified coach roof detail, having been converted using Graham Farish Mk.3 buffet car models. Dapol has announced an RFM, but not in these liveries, so I suspect the Electra Railway Graphics conversions will remain in the fleet long after the Dapol model is released. happy with the result, I am planning some more projects. Next is the ‘Tribometer’ train to go with the Modelzone special edition RTC Class 24 together with a couple more Cargo-D Mk.3s and the Network Rail measurement train for when Dapol releases its HST power cars.

Progress on the project layout:

Although the project layout has been wired with a DCC power bus and droppers making it operational for some time, the exact control method had not been decided upon until relatively recently. The layout borrowed a Digitrax ‘Superchief’ from my N scale Montana Rail Link layout until I could decide on a suitable middle range DCC controller. In the end, after much thought, I opted for the Digitrax Zephyr ‘Extra’ together with a throttle bus fascia plate for the far end of the layout and utility throttles. The turnouts were initially powered using ‘Wabbit’ and ‘Hare’ accessory decoders (three of them are visible in the back ground in the above picture) so to get the layout running in time for last years’ Inverness model railway show. Now, those decoders are being removed and returned to the big Montana Rail Link layout from which they were pinched! The intended manual electrical switching of turnouts using a traditional control panel is well under way with the construction of the control panel (built over the fiddle yard) incorporating a tray to support the new Zephyr and a separate compartment for a utility throttle to reside when not in use. Wiring is also being re-arranged to suit the new arrangement. Controlling the mainline turnouts which are powered with Tortoise using a simple switch panel equipped with DPDT switches was always the intention for this small layout (together with manual ground throws for the yards and fiddle yard) and I always wanted it to have its own dedicated controller too. So progress indeed!


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