No posts from me for a while as I have been re-wheeling various Farish wagons (spurred on by a recent stint helping Nigel exhibit Llangerisech). The quality of these wagons is such that often there is little work needed other than swapping the wheel sets (leaving more time for weathering) but that leaves me nothing that is particularly finescale to report!
Whilst the Bachman Farish MK1 coaches are generally of this high standard, the bogies have one problem which lets them down in my eyes - the brake shoes are in line with the bogie frames rather than the wheels. This is the standard BR1 bogie after fitting with 2FS wheels (click for a larger picture):
The Association provide an etch of brake shoes that could be made to fit with a bit of effort, but as I have rather a lot of coaches I wanted a solution that needed minimal effort on my part, so I came up with the following etches:
There are two different types, one for use with the NEM pockets on the coaches (for inter-rake connections) and one for the outer ends of rakes where DGs are fitted. The only difference is a gap for the NEM pocket and the loss of the brake cross rods at this end. These fold up quickly to give assemblies like this:
The moulded brake shoes are easy to remove from the bogies with a couple of cuts with a scalpel. The assemblies are then glued inside the bogies locating them accurately using the raised boss where the bogie pin holds the bogie in place, like this:
The finished result looks something like this (I would usually paint them before fitting but left them in the metal for illustrative purposes):
I think the improvement is worthwhile but I'd be interested in the views of others. Assembly and fitting takes about 15mins per bogie. The cross rods are visible from some angles but once painted and weathered I doubt anyone will notice them. I'll know they are there!
They are not perfect - the folds that position the cross rods are still out after two test etches, but this is hidden and it all lines up with a bit of tweaking so I am quitting while I am ahead. I had also hoped they would fit the Commonwealth bogie and they nearly do but need a bit of filing to make them fit perfectly. As the inner brake shoes are invisible on the Commonwealth bogie it may be worth creating a simpler design for this (if I have enough Commonwealth bogies to make it worthwhile).
The older bogies on the Farish Suburbans (with the moulded Rapido coupler) require some minor modifications before these etches will fit and even then there is no raised boss for location so it would have to be done by eye, presumably fitting the wheels before the glue sets in order to check for clearance. (These older bogies are not as good as the new type and I am going to consider replacing them.)
I am not going to sell these commercially (the time spent rectifying the minor faults and providing instructions etc. would make it uneconomic) but if anyone wants some at cost on an as-is basis let me know via the Wealden group contact email and I will order enough when I order mine.