7/8ths Scale‎ > ‎

RMC 7/8ths Type 2 Quarrymens' Carriage

Chris Bird

The prototype

Life must have been tough for the slate miners in the early days of the Festiniog Railway. Plank seat, no springing and very cramped, but at least the Type 2 Quarrymens' coach had a roof and some protection from the weather. It had pretty good ventilation too! By later standards it was tiny, but then the majority of miners would have been a lot smaller than modern ones.

You can find lots of detail, and photos of a modern version here:


It might be worth looking at that before making the model!!

The Kit

This kit started life with a drawing by Stuart Baker, intended for 16mm. It was scaled up originally by Alan Walker, but has recently been redesigned by Raif Copley to sort out a few thickness issues. It is now offered as a kit - either with wheels and couplings (£38 inc P&P) or without, for those who wish to use their own (£29.50 inc P&P). Contact Raif on raifmcopley@aol.com

Here is the near complete model before weathering, posing with the Jurassic Kits Quarrymens' Coach. I opted to provide my own Binnie 28mm wheels from stock and used a pair of IP, whitemetal couplings.

And here after some light weathering:

The Build - Day 1

Although I had not looked at the Fespaedia website (see above), I did read the comprehensive instructions to get the general idea. The kit comes carefully packed in a rigid cardboard outer and, as with Raif's other kits, you know he has done virtually all the thinking to make a model that is both easy and satisfying. The polythene bag held everything for my kit, as I opted to supply wheels and couplings.

When spread out, this is what I had:

Now the instructions mentioned that it is necessary to paint the framework before assembly (it would be impossible after), so I decided to paint as much as possible after test fitting. As always the kit fits together with astonishing precision and this was not affected by the thin layer of paint.

I used aerosol car sprays: Rover Maple for the frame and seats; primer grey for the roof and, although I had planned to use Ford ivory for the inside planking, I ended up using a can of creamy yellow etch primer that I purchased from Ebay, many years ago. The outer paint is Rover Brooklands Green, which is the railway's house colour.

First the Maple parts, including the roof beams. It is important to lightly sand the parts and round the front of the seats slightly. And even more important to round the right edge of the middle seats! I also gave the floor a wash with dilute brown/black mix. The underside I primed and sprayed matt black. Incidentally, with the primer I just used one coat to cover and then flashed it off in front of the fan heater. The top coats were then applied immediately.

I then sprayed the inside of the paneling with the cream primer.

And when that was dry, I masked round the edges.

I could then prime

and spray with the outside top coat.

I then had the outside panels painted inside and out.

When all was dry (about an hour, I was able to test assemble again to see what it looked like.

Next came the simple underframes. I was going for 32mm and so the carriage would have outside frames. These were very simple indeed!

The Build - Day 2

Now, with the paint dried overnight, it was time to assemble the frames. I used white, waterproof PVA and lots of clamps. A few more large elastic bands would have been good, but I couldn't find any so the clamps had to do. The floor and frames went together easily, and later the seats were easy to fit. For these, as I was gluing paint to paint, I used Bostic Serious Glue.

By this stage i had all the painted parts together and there was a serious temptation to jump ahead in the instructions and fit the main paneling. I resisted, as I realised the roof (which was to be removable) would be much easier to fit if I had access to the framing ends. Those elastic bands would have been useful, but I still hadn't found any so clamps had to do. I did a little easing of the rafter slots with a file to ensure it really would come off easily. I glued the rafters to the inner roof with Bostic Serious Glue.

Then, after a couple of hours, I could use the PVA glue to add the second skin. Incidentally, it really is important to ensure that the glue comes right to the edge.

After more setting time, I had a roof like this.

I sanded the edges, masked round and gave the top a three coats of primer, rubbing down lightly in between. Here is where you could use tissue or Solatex to simulate canvas, but I find that is too much hassle.

Finally, I came back to it late at night and decided to glue the outer side panels on. Rather than clamps, I used a board and weights for most of it.

The Build - Day 3

After setting overnight, they were stuck OK but had not caught properly on two doorway edges. With hindsight I think that a lot of the paper clip clamps would have been better.

No harm was done though - I simply squeezed some PVA into the gap and clamped it. The ends were clamped in place and stuck well.

Before that though, I glued on the top strips that butt up against the roof.

You can also see in the photo above that I had masked round the lines for the buffer beam using Tamiya masking tape (expensive but excellent!).
I brush painted these with a water based acrylic matt black.

Now came the centre buffers and I used the same IP ones I had used on the other Quarrymens' coach (from Jurassic Models). These are not as nice as the ones Raif supplies, but are OK for me. The wheels are, of course, the Binnie Engineering, curly spoked ones which add so much character.

To firthe buffers, though, I faced a bit of a problem. The bolt hole is flush with the floor bottom. I did think of filing a flat on the bolt, but the chances of the flat being in the right place when the buffer is tight are only 1:8 - so I cut a hole in the floor instead. Two 1/8" hols, joined up by a scalpel did the trick. (It might be worth doing this before assembly!).

Thew was a hole in the side, in the centre, and I could not really see what should go there (I hadn't looked at the website!).. I ended up putting a little 8 BA threaded rod with a nut on - painted black.

In the photo above, the under frame is just clicked into position - the precision never ceases to amaze me!

So it was out, between showers, to take some snaps and find who among my Busybodies would fit in. With only a small amount of bottom trimming, I did get one man to sit inside.  Four foot nine inch Dolly didn't stand a chance though.....

And with the works plates stuck on with double sided tape, posing with the Jurassic Kits Quarrymens' coach. (Note that the custom works plates are available from Raif for those making multiple purchases)

And now with the Accucraft Quarry Hunslet and RMC One plank beer wagon

The Build - Day 4

Well as you can see at the end of day 3, the paint was pretty shiny and showing the grain very clearly. If I had not planned to weather with an airbrush, I would have rubbed the outside down a couple of times and built up more layers of paint. In fact, I probably would anyway next time....

I was not totally pleased with the roof edge, so I rubbed this down again and re-sprayed with grey primer. The main body paneling also had a light rub down with a foam sanding block.

As I had not glued the underframes in, I removed these and the wheels. The wheels were brush painted with Revell acrylic 'leather brown' which gives the right rusted look to my eye. The frames were given a dilute wash of the same colour.

For the body, I mixed a dilute wash of the leather brown, matt black and matt varnish with a litt

le water and then made it up with bio-ethanol when it was well mixed. This was applied in a number of coats to build up the effect I wanted.

The roof got the same treatment, and I discovered the importance of mixing the paint with water before the bio-ethanol. I used the latter neat and got some nice black spots! Empty out - re-mix - try again. The "smut burns' are still there as part of the character ;-)

And so this is what it looks like now (the driver is 5'6"):