The passenger carrying vehicles on the HLR fall into three categories; roughly “small”, “medium” and “large”! As most of the stock to date seems to derive from the I.P. Engineering range, it's easiest to equste these three sizes with their “Lollypop Farm” vehicles, ‘standard’ carriages, and the “Roundhouse” range respectively.
Stock comprises the following:
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Like Dill, these are owned by my son, Tim. They're based on the I.P. Engineering Lollypop Farm kits and Tim did most of the putting together and chose the livery, though I added the rather fancy lining which, I think, makes them look quite special.
This rather superior vehicle with its first class accommodation matches the previous two. It boasts felt covered seats and a roof. We didn't like the look of the metal roof in the kit, which makes it all rather top-heavy. So we substituted a section from a lemonade bottle, supported along the edges with strips of wood glued between the carriage ends. Because it's curved, the roof is actually very rigid.
This vehicle was obtained in April 2000 from the second-hand stall at the 16mm Association AGM in Stoneleigh. It was intended to be a temporary measure until the company could get some other rolling stock. It's still with us.
Its provenance is a little uncertain, but it seems to be based on the modular plastic kits produced by Garden Rail Specialists and hence has a passing resemblance to Lynton & Barnstaple stock, but rather shorter. Unfortunately, it wasn't built with the greatest of care, the bogies run freely but allow the body to wobble alarmingly, and the paintwork was applied with a tar brush. What with the British Rail insignias, it's a bit of a sight! I'm undecided whether to spend time making it presentable, or to eventually scrap it. Fortunately, there are too many other things to build to have to worry at the moment.
These are a pair of I.P. Engineering kits. The basic body shells went together pretty easily, but I departed from the instructions when it came to the roofs. I wanted these to be removable, so for each one, I created a flat ceiling with a series of curved supports on top. The ply roof was then pre-curved on a former using a plentiful supply of steam from the kettle. [DANGER! The usual warning is “don't try this at home”. If you do, just don't scald yourself. And at least make sure your wife is out of the kitchen - preferably out of the country, as mine was!] When dried out and nicely curved, it was glued on to the ceiling. This roof assembly is a good tight push-fit and doesn't need any further fixing.
The finished coaches then spent several months waiting for me to pluck up the courage to apply some paint. Eventually, I got on with it and promptly got it all wrong. I decided to spray the top of each side off-white, the lower part dark blue, and complete the beading on the upper part with a brush. But I managed to get two different shades of blue, and it looked orrible! Out with the brush again and the lower sides was finished with several coats by hand. In the end, my fears about brush marks all over the larger panels were unfounded and I was pleased with the result. But I learned a few lessons along the way; like forget about spraying.
This one was made a lot later than the two small coaches above, but painted at the same time. So the mistakes I made with those, I made with this one too! It's fairly obvious I suppose, but it took nearly as long to paint this one coach, as it did to do the two previous ones; 1 × 4 compartments = 2 × 2 compartments! Still all together, they make a nice train. They just need a brake carriage to go on the end...
An I.P. Engineering three compartment brake is already in stock awaiting conversion. The intention is to make a miniature version of the Lynton & Barnstaple brake/third/first class observation coaches. As supplied, the kit has four wheels. I think this looks a bit mean under three compartments, but bogies would be too much. Hence the challenge of a six-wheeler! Must get the painting right this time.