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22 November 2015

Improving Farish BR1 Bogies

By Richard Benn

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.


  1. Richard,
    Very clever, and well worth doing as the improvement is significant.

    Kind regards,
    Ian Smith

    Comment by Ian Smith — 23 November 2015 @ 10:34 am

  2. well worth the effort Richard
    I have a number of Farish Mk1's also Stannier coaches will this etch fit these?

    Can this be a shop item?

    Comment by alan smith — 23 November 2015 @ 1:50 pm

  3. A great etch a really nice improvement I'd like some if that's possible
    John lewsey

    Comment by John lewsey — 24 November 2015 @ 6:21 pm

  4. Thanks for the comments.

    I don't have any Stanier coaches but it is unlikely they will fit, though the design could probably be adapted quite easily.

    I'll see if the shop is interested in stocking them though it would mean more work to get them up to standard and do the instructions etc.

    Comment by Richard Benn — 27 November 2015 @ 10:49 am

  5. Interesting. How do I get in touch with you for some of these?

    Comment by Alan Pearson — 3 December 2015 @ 8:15 pm

  6. I have your email address (from your comment) so I will be in touch if I go ahead with these rather than passing them to the shop. You could also email me directly via the email link on the "about" page (link to that top right of this page) and I think my email is in the newsletter under the Wealden Area Group entry.

    I have a few more trials to do before contacting the shop - I now think these will work for Commonwealth bogies but need to do a bit of testing this weekend to confirm. I also have an idea for an alternative version for Farish suburban bogies that will help reduce the gap on those vehicles between solebar and bogie...

    Comment by Richard Benn — 4 December 2015 @ 2:25 pm

  7. Hi Richard

    These are a great idea. If you end up making them available outside of the Association, could you let me know too?

    Many thanks!

    Comment by Jim Tinnion — 14 December 2015 @ 12:28 pm

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