10 August 2020
Andy York examines these models of the post-WW2 LNER front line express stock, the successors to the Gresley stock, with improved safety.
Largely of wooden body construction, the teak finish of the Gresley stock led to the first livery of the Thompson stock with an ersatz teak effect over the steel body panels to give continuity of livery. With LNER lettering and numbering, this was a relatively short-lived livery until the removal of the lettering once nationalisation arrived in 1948. The teak livery lasted, often looking very drab, through to the repainting into the carmine and cream coaching stock livery after 1949.
The scumbled teak-effect replicated by Graham Farish is one of the most noteworthy aspects of this model and it is remarkably effective. In terms of print application, it may be simpler than the 4mm scale models introduced three years ago but is certainly more than adequate for these smaller scale models. On close inspection of the photographs it becomes evident that there is an overall base layer of the mid brown colour of the solebars to the sides and ends. Over that is printed, in a mustard-yellow, a fine grain effect made up of random stripes and missed dots to give the impression of the variable effect created by the brushing of varnish layers and colours in the works. Although the steel sides of the coach were largely flat or flush, the effect was applied horizontally below window height and vertically between windows and doors to give the impression of separate panels of wood.
On top of the remarkable paint finish, each letter within the LNER branding consists of four different colors applied by tampo printing; black, red, white and then metallic gold. In addition to this, metallic gold numerals are applied to the glazing of the first class portions and horizontal metallic silver stripes to represent the corridor handrail. I doubt if even the most proficient of 2mm scale painters could achieve the quality of this finish. The body separates from the chassis just above solebar level and reveals that internal paneling is in a chocolate brown and the individual seats painted. There are even toilets in there, unseen from the exterior, as they should be. Our crimson and cream review model is, of course, to the same standards; more ordinary but probably of use to a greater number of modellers.
The range comprises of four types of the coaches, First Corridor (FK), Composite Corridor (CK), Third Corridor (TK/SK) and Brake Third (BTK/BSK). The range does not include a Brake Composite, Full Brake or a catering vehicle, but a BG was previously produced for the N Gauge Society in 2016.
The dimensions and shape are accurate throughout, no doubt benefiting from the research and design work carried out for the 4mm scale model. The torpedo roof vents, drainage strips, gutters, destination board frames, door handles and electrical conduits to the ends are all moulded. If they were separately-applied parts it’s very doubtful that any of that could be done to scale or with the level of neatness achieved.
Turning the coach upside down, there is a pleasing amount of detail represented and the truss framing is particularly fine, revealing scale-sized battery and equipment boxes.
An excellent step forward for N gauge modeller and surely of interest to those away from the Eastern Region, too, especially when considering inter-regional workings.