Building an Avalon Line 09 Closed Coach

Recently, I made an Avalon Line Semi Open Coach. When I build kits I often assemble them, then paint them. I’d found painting the completed semi-open coach rather fiddly. So for my closed coach kit I decided to paint the parts and then assemble them. First of all I sprayed all the parts with primer.

I want to fit some 7mm Narrow Gauge Association coach door handles.

I drilled holes for the handles and test fitted them. They look good. Perhaps a little big, but I like them.

Next, I masked off the places where I would have to apply glue to assemble the kit, and I painted the interior of the coach.

Then I assembled and painted the chassis, foot wells and seats. It’s a bit rough but it will be hidden inside the coach.

I masked the interior of the coach with masking tape…

…trimmed off the excess masking tape…

…and sprayed the parts with Macragge blue from Citadel. (Sorry for the blurry photo. I got excited by the blue).

I even managed to spray part of the garage floor too. Oops. I’m glad I like that blue 🙂

To paint the solebars and head stocks I masked off the edge of the blue paint and splashed on some Humbrol dirty black.

When I stripped off all the masking tape, things were beginning to look good.

Then it was a pretty simple job to glue the sides and ends to the chassis assembly. I lightly tacked one end and side in place with very small amounts of super glue. Then I repeated the process with the other end and side. It only took a minute or so for the glue to dry and, luckily, everything was looking good. Finally, I reinforced all of the joints with some expoy glue. I find this much more durable than superglue.

There are a few jobs still to do: applying decals, adding windows, painting some passengers, weathering and varnishing. I will get round to these at some point in the future. For now, I lodged the roof in place and took a photo. Looking good!


Avalon Line Semi Open Coach Plus Roof

The roof of the coach was one of the easiest things to do. A ready-cut, ready curved roof is supplied with the kit. All I did was spray it with Humbrol primer. I like the grey colour and I will leave it like this.

The roof isn’t glued in place yet. There are a few steps to do before I finish the coach. I want to add some decals, then passengers to the coach. Then I will varnish the coach and, finally, add some windows.

I haven’t used decals for over 30 years and I need some practice before I apply them to the coach. So, the model will go back into the drawer while I experiment with different ways to apply decals.

Avalon Line 09 Semi Open Coach – The Test Run

I finally plucked up the courage to get my Avalon Line O9 coach out of the drawer. I sanded down the rough paintwork and repainted the outside of the coach as carefully as I could. I’m pleased to say the outside is looking a lot better. This has encouraged me to carry on with the build.

The bogies are very simple. They use Peco wheels and the axles slot in very easily. The underside of the bogie is the perfect mounting height for Greenwich narrow gauge couplings. I ‘tacked’ these lightly in place with a small amount of superglue.

When I mounted the bogies on the chassis I discovered the bottom of the foot wells were very close to the top of the rails.

I found some small washers in ‘bit box’ and placed these between the chassis and the bogies. The washers are too large in diameter really and they are rather ‘sloppy’, but they are the smallest size I had.

The washers increased the gap between the base of the coach and the top of the rails.

I decided to test the coach. Click the image below for a video of the test run.

I was very pleased to see it runs well.

The next job is the roof….

Avalon Line 09 Semi Open Coach

A few months ago I brought two Avalon Line 09 coach kits and I’ve just started to build them. This is the Semi-Open coach. It’s a nice kit, there’s a little bit of flash, but that is very easy to remove with a sharp knife.

The first step was to add the foot wells to the chassis. They have to sit flush with the top of the chassis so I turned the chassis up side down, pushed the foot wells into place until they were touching my cutting mat and glued them from below.

It’s clearer to see when it’s the right way up.

The seats are four separate mouldings, and were very easy to position. I found I had to remove a small part of the seats at each end to enable me to to mount the bolts for the bogies through the chassis.

The next step was to add the body sides and coach ends. The parts aligned well and this was very straightforward. After that I added the truss rods to each side. This was a little more fiddly because the parts are very flexible and I needed lots of fingers to hold all the points of contact in place while the glue dried. I was pleased, after a small number of steps, it definitely looked like a coach!

Next step was the primer. I used Citadel Corax White, which is a very pale grey.

I started to paint the coach. Here it is partly painted. It was then that I realised I had a problem.  The paint looked very rough, rather like a low quality 3 D print. For some reason the primer had created a rough finish and when I applied the paint this magnified the effect and made it very visible.

I was disappointed and I put the coach into a drawer for several weeks while I figured out what to do. I hated to admit it, but there was only one alternative. I had to sand down the paintwork and repaint the coach…


7mm Scale Seated Figures

My work took me to Sheffield recently and I took the opportunity to visit Rails of Sheffield. It was really enjoyable to browse around the shop and I was very impressed by the excellent selection of models in all scales and gauges, for all eras, plus scenery and accessories.

I need to populate my 09 coach and I brought these two seated O scale figures. They are lovely figures and they look great in my coach.

However, Bachmann charge over £9 for two figures. At these prices I wont be able to populate a coach, let alone a whole layout! I will need to find a less expensive alternative.

Light Green Open Bogie Coach

The 09 bogie coach has visited the paint shop.

I said I fancied a light green livery and here it is – Moot Green from Citadel to be exact. I think it gives the coach a nice, summery feel. Well, you wouldn’t ride in an open coach in mid-winter would you?

The wood effect is Citadel Karak Stone dry brushed with Zandri Dust and the sole bars are painted with Humbrol Dirty Black.

I haven’t varnished the coach yet because I want to add some transfers for the stock number and perhaps a logo. The catch is that I don’t have any transfers – but I have ordered some.

Colin Peake designed the coach and wrote his article describing how to build it in order to encourage others to get modelling. It worked for me!



Carry on Coaching

I have continued work on the open bogie coach. I have cut out the side and end panels from 1mm thick plasticard.

Next, I attached them to the coach, and added some seat supports. Then I cut out the seats themselves. Each one has a groove in it to represent planks of wood.

Finally, I added some buffer beams to the ends of the coach and some U channel to represent the sole bars. The underside of the coach isn’t particularly pretty, but it will be hidden from view.

As everything was assembled I decided to add a few coats of primer. I’m always amazed how much better a model looks after the primer.

Now for a nice livery. I fancy a lightish green…..