There’s nothing like an old fashioned cut and shut project. The very thing that traditional railway modelling is made of; the process of buying a couple of scrap coaches for a few pounds, disposing of the damaged bits and creating a different vehicle from the remains and one not available as a mainstream release. This is a practice which seems to be avoided by many modellers these days which is a shame and yet one that makes it possible to build models unique to the individual modeller. A perfect example of cut and shut on my work bench is the Mk.2d Brake First Corridor or BFK. Take an old OO gauge Airfix Mk2d BSO and FO, expose them to the attentions of a good sharp razor saw, shorten the guard section parts and make up a BFK! Careful filing and filling is needed for a seamless finish where parts are joined together and level window line. The parts are fitted along the rain gutter which helps to hide the horizontal join. The scrap parts left over from the cutting exercise (to the rear of the picture above) will be used to repair another Mk2d coach which has broken ends and bought for a few pence. I could join the parts together to create a fictitious composite with a middle door (only kidding).
The Mk.2d BFK is one of my favourite conversions at the moment: inexpensive if the original glazing inserts and bogies are used assuming that both are intact. I am working on my second BFK, to be painted in BR blue and grey livery. I have no real use for it in reality, unlike my first attempt which is finished in Inter City colours with original Rail alphabet block lettering, ready for use on a Manchester or Liverpool – Dover/Folkestone service. However, it is an interesting conversion which finds a use for the numerous BSO and FO coaches lying around on swap meet tables and the finished model could find use in a charter set. The first BFK I completed and featured above is finished with Shawplan ‘Laserglaze’, Replica Railways B4 bogie kits, EM gauge wheels, NMS transfers for numbering, Kadee couplings and painted with Phoenix Precision paints. I urge you to have a go at such a project if you are yet to try one. DBSO conversions and the various Network Rail vehicles are also worth a go. I am also giving consideration to a 4-Bep buffet car conversion to suit the Bachmann unrefurbished 4-Cep model.
The move towards producing mainstream releases of more unusual vehicles is welcomed and Heljan has joined in with its rail car model (a Class 128 parcels unit in OO gauge is also under development). The one featured above is a Modelzone special edition finished in RTC livery as RDB999507, a stand in for a specially built Wickham track assessment car. An irresistible model which is nicely finished, a great runner and one that will make appearances on Folkestone East as part of my 1980s theme, for the hell of it. This one won’t be expensive to re-wheel – only two wheel sets are required! Nor will I be taking a razor saw to it!