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.

In Between Days

Whilst I’ve been busy with the Jumbo, I had to pause whilst I was awaiting a new gearbox unit for it.
I decided to take advantage of this lull to tackle another wagon.
The Ratio LMS 12T van is an old but excellent kit that belies its near forty year age in terms of quality.
Being the sort of individual I am however, I couldn’t just build the kit as it came. I decided to produce a Diagram 1897 vacuum fitted van which meant using a different chassis, in this case a Parkside 10′ wheelbase chassis with J-hanger suspension.
In addition, the vehicle has 8-shoe clasp brakes and diagonal strengtheners on the body sides.
It was an easy enough job to substitute the new solebars due to the breakdown of chassis parts; they just butt on to the standard chassis. The diagonals were simply added using microstrip and probably need some rivet details added. I’ll likely use Archers transfers for those prior to applying the top coat of paint.
The buffers are as usual the excellent Lanarkshire Model Supplies items and the roof vents are from MJT.
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