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Monday, 31 May 2010

Bulleid Restaurant/Buffet Build - Part 6 (It's Not a Perfect World)

The same method of hand painting as described in Part 3 was used for the green sides but the paint is 'Phoenix Precision' instead of 'Humbrol' that was used on the roof. The former seems to dry more quickly making it less easy to work so, I have ended up with a slightly more uneven finish than the roof. Lettering is 'Pressfix'. The numbers in particular are minuscule and each is applied individually with the aid of a scalpel and magnifying glass. A coat of matt varnish protects lettering from being rubbed away with handling.

Comparison with the prototype reveals some inaccuracies. For example, the grab handles should be shaped ']' and the body sides should hide more of the solebars. There is also a raft of other very small details such as brackets and panel joins on the prototype that have not been modelled. How far do you go with these fine details? I'm pragmatic about this. My aim is to create an impression of the period I'm modelling rather than to count every rivet.

These have been the most complex and time consuming kits that I have built. Turning flat metal into a 3-dimensional model by hand is nothing short of remarkable, even if I say so myself. The objective for me however, was not to build a kit but to create a representative 'Atlantic Coast Express' train. So far I have the Bulleid Merchant Navy locomotive, the first three coaches comprising the Ilfracombe set and now the restaurant buffet set. I need another 4 (Backmann) coaches to complete the ACE in its shortest form as it travelled west through Crewkerne in the early 1960s.

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