V5 PBV from Triang clerestory coaches

This is a shortened version of an entry originally written for gwr.org.uk many years ago.

This post describes my construction of a V5 Passenger Brake Van (PBV) from Triang coaches.
It involves certain compromises, most notably an inaccuracy of about 1.5 mm in the height of the coach sides. The attraction of the project lies in the possibility of using the left-over brake ends from the C10 conversion described in another post.

Items used:

  • 2 Triang Clerestory Brake Thirds (brake ends only) 
  • Ratio 4-wheeler underframe and roof 
  • Maunsell wheels, brass bearings and short coach buffers from Alan Gibson 
  • ABS low roof ventilators 
  • Slaters Plastikard (sheet) 

The Ratio underframe can be either the longer version for the T47 Brake Third, or the shorter version for the U4 Composite and S9 All Third. The Triang coaches themselves are fairly easy to pick up second-hand at exhibitions, or Ebay. For drawings, I used the one in J H Russell's 'Great Western Coaches' as a basis for the project.

Prepairing the main coach body 
The two Triang Brake ends were each cut with a razor saw just after the guards lookout, allowing the two ends to be joined as seen in the photo above. I spent much time filing, smoothing and filling out the two halves to ensure a good join.

Removing the moulded-on solebars
The Triang coaches come with the solebars (i.e. the 'frames' beneath the coach body) moulded on to the main body. It is tempting to retain them as a basis for the Ratio chassis, but measuring indicated that they are slightly (about 1mm) too close together to allow free running of the axles. I therefore decided to saw off the moulded solebars. This is a slightly tricky operation which in my case resulted in some slight damage to the lower part of the body. Note that the buffer-beams also had to be cut off and then refitted to allow this operation.

Building the Ratio underframe
The Ratio underframe was then built up as per the instructions. Following this, I immediately cut the chassis in half to allow for 'cutting and shutting'. This crude and ruthless operation on your nice new underframe essentially involves shortening the chassis to the correct length by removing a few mms from the center of the underframe (diagonally). The exact length to be removed depends on whether one is using the long or short version of the chassis. The two halves of the underframe were then rejoined and reinforced with Plastikard (invisible once fitted to the body). Final chassis details, wheels and buffers were then fitted, and the chassis mounted to the body.

 Roof and interior
The Ratio roof was cut diagonally in two halves and shortened in the same manner as the chassis. The curve of the roof does not exactly fit that of the coach ends, so I carefully bent the roof to shape, and added a small strip of Plastikard to the underside of the roof to further overcome this problem. Inside the coach I added a simple dividing wall made from Plastikard sheet, in order to darken down the interior of the coach (which, I feel, often provides for a more realistic appearance).

The end result is a nice little PBV which, although hardly to the liking of the purists, is a fair representation of a V5 and a pleasing addition to, say, a rake of Ratio 4-wheelers.