Hornby British Rail Mk1 and Mk2 Coaches

My Dad is currently building a OO Gauge garden railway, and of course I had to put a train together to show my support.

As incredibly detailed as ‘out of the box’ locomotives and rolling stock as become, I’ve opted to have a hunt through the second hand market to find some bits in need of a bit of love and detailing.

I have a locomotive, a BR blue Class 47, my post on which you can find here: https://motorsportformentalhealth.com/2020/06/08/hornby-class-47-r319-the-queen-mother/

Of course the loco would need some coaches to pull. I have a rake of three Mk2 coaches (one corridor brake and two open coaches) and two Mk1 coaches (one corridor brake and one Express Parcels coach). I opted for the mixed rake just to make it a little more interesting.

Today I’ll be showing you the Mk1 brake, and one of the Mk2 open coaches.

Lets start with the Mk1 brake.

As you can see it’s actually in fairly reasonable condition. There area couple of small blemishes around the windows, which I don’t want to tackle on the Mk1 until I have the correct BR grey, or a suitable colour match, and the buffers at the ends had been painted silver then worn away. A quick coat of black will soon sort that.

Taking the coaches apart is fairly straight forward. Both the Mk1 and Mk2 have two long screws that run from the base of the coach to the roof. They are located just inside of the bogies.

Once those screws are removed, the roof of the Mk1 unclips and the whole body separates. I wasn’t expecting that haha! I was expecting the body to be one molded piece.

The interior needs some colour!

Whilst searching around to see what these coaches looked like inside, I found a great website called citytransport.info. They have lots of pictures and information about not only trains, but buses, roads, water transport etc. There is plenty of materials for modellers on there. All the images of real carriages are from their website, and I have kept their watermark.

Heres a shot from inside the corridor; you can see a grey coloured carpet, with walls painted in blue and grey to match the exterior of the coach and wood around the window frames and edging.

That example has blue seats, but being as I’m making a first class coach, I wanted to have something a little different.

This first class Mk1 has purple seating which I think adds a bit of interest. I would assume that these seats were added by a private company at a later, so may not be historically accurate, but I like them.

The rear section of the carriage would have been a storage area for luggage. It was a little more barebones and had a wooden floor.

I won’t be adding luggage to mine, but I will be making the cage look a little more realistic, by painting the sea through bits black, then lightly sanding over the top to highlight the mesh already molded onto the model.

I also got a little pack of 100 ho scale people from ebay. They are prepainted but not particularly well. They are good for use in carriages, as you can’t really see inside them that well, as I soon found out haha! I added a bit of detail for the few going into this coach though.

This is the interior complete!

The final addition to this model would be some first class ‘1’ lettering on the doors. I brought these from Fox Transfers.

Here’s the finished article! As you can see, you can’t really see inside the carriage from a particularly long distance, but they do look good up close.

The Mk2 was a little more worn. There was some paint fade around the raised details including the window frames(though the side I photographed looked ok, which is always the way!), which was fine as on the real coaches (and on Hornby’s higher Railway’s range) the window frames were silver and not grey.

The disassembly of this one was a little more straight forward. The body was one molded piece, which is what I was expecting of the Mk1.

The chassis on the Mk2 also has a weight. This helps with traction.

For the interior, I once again did the grey carpets. This coach has blue seats and my Dad reminisces these having a wooden table, which I have modelled.

I have left the people as they are this time. It’s hard to see them once the body of the coach is back on and I wanted to add more people to this coach. So painting them each individually would have taken a long time.

The guy in the long coat standing by the door is Harold. He just wants to go to work and is fed up of going around this garden.

The only detail added to the outside of this coach is the silver window frames. On the real Mk2s the window frames were silver, and painting them has helped hide the damage haha!

As you can see, you can’t really see into the Mk2 well enough to see any detail on the people. With so many in the coach, it made more sense to leave them as they are for effect, rather than individually pick them out.

Finally here’s a pic of the two finished examples together.

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By Richard Francis

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