Useful new book

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A very useful publication has arrived today; Hugh Longworth’s BR Mark 1 & Mark 2 Coaching Stock
(ISBN 978-0-86093-650-3)
Ian Allan Publishing.

This is to my mind a companion to the excellent volumes by Parkin and Harris respectively.
Rather than try to go over the same ground as those excellent technical appraisals, this book carves a niche of its own. The first section briefly covers design and development matters with a short explanation of TOPS vehicle codes and numbering systems.
The bulk of the book then lists each vehicle by variant, running number and construction lot with a small but useful schematic at the head of each as shown below.

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This for me is so far the most useful section of the book listing as it does the original regional allocation of each vehicle along with withdrawal, conversion (where relevant) and condemnation dates. It also covers any re-numberings where for example a vehicle has been converted for departmental service.

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Again, from a personal perspective, there are listed the details of every BR Carflat conversion from 1959. This is important to me because finally it provides me with details of the converted ex-Big Four vehicles that were used in the 1960s on the Waverley Route’s legendary vehicle trains.
This alone justified the book for me as I will need to tackle these trains in model form in due course.
Useful appendices bring up the rear of the book, these covering vehicles subjected to multiple re numberings, Lot and Diagram numbers and some sample train formations, primarily from the 1970s.
At £45 RRP this is not a cheap book, but it can be found for considerably less (my example came via a well known on-line retailer for considerably less than the asking!
If coaches are your bag then you will almost certainly find this a useful title and as I say, it is best considered as complementary to the two previous tomes on the subject and it provides a useful additional tier of data.

Recommended.

A Day Well-Spent

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I finished the 12 ton steel van today, trying out some new effects with the airbrush and also with some powders.
As I said when I started this project, these vehicles weathered in a way not dissimilar to a ship in my eye. How effective my attempt at recreating this is, I’ll leave for others to judge, but I’m fairly pleased how it has worked out. I only bought the kit twelve days ago at Scaleforum North so I think that’s the quickest I’ve turned a kit round in about twenty-five years!
Having done this, I turned my attention to my full size train set at Whitrope, where my friend Tony Graham and I erected new signs at the crossing to replace the old signs which after twelve years’ service were urgently in need of replacement. Our new signs, generously provided by fellow member Matt Stoddon, are finished in the classic BR Scottish Region blue style and really do look the part at their new home. The next few years promise some rather exciting developments here!