MODELLER: Scratchbuilding the HSDT

Although Locomotion has announced its intention to produce the prototype HST, this is still at best a good couple of years away from appearing. In the meantime, the only fully accurate route to producing a set is by employing a mixture of scratchbuilding and ready-to-run parts. Shane Wilton details the methods utilised to build his much-admired ‘OO’ gauge models.

The scratchbuilt prototype HST power car in all its glory, this being the second version made almost entirely from brass. One outstanding job is to add internal baffles to reduce the see-through nature of the grilles.
The scratchbuilt prototype HST power car in all its glory, this being the second version made almost entirely from brass. One outstanding job is to add internal baffles to reduce the see-through nature of the grilles.

THE power car forming the centrepiece of this article is the second version of the iconic vehicles I have built. The first was constructed over a five-year period between 2007 and 2012 as part of a project to recreate the complete train, some of which will feature later.

This first attempt was mainly of resin construction with bespoke brass etchings. As two power cars were required, I opted to build one as a master to enable resin castings to be made should I ever wish to build further models. In the event, this turned out to be a one-off model.

I always felt I could improve on version one and having learned the hard way, I set about this in 2014 with the aim to ease construction and create an overall improved model. In building version one, I found that the use of resin for the bodyshells for both the power cars and Mk.3 trailers was difficult due to being unable to produce consistent castings.

A fair few bodyshells were scrapped during this process, mainly due to defects within the castings. After designing and building other items of rolling stock in brass, I had always felt that the entire bodyshell could be constructed in this versatile material. I therefore set about drawing a new body using a CAD-based computer programme but utilising the distinctive nose end from the original build.

Read more in December’s issue of RE

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