Scratch-Building BR (SR)EMUs

Colin Parks

Scratch-Building BR (SR)EMUs

Postby Colin Parks » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:42 am

I do have quite a collection of EMUs now, built over the last four years. The first two scratch-built units were commenced without reliable information and far too few prototype reference photos. Problems came to light over the window shape and cab side window dimensions during the construction of the first of my two Bullied 2 HAPs (i.e. those units built by BR using the jigs at Eastleigh originally erected by the SR for the all-steel 4 SUB building programme in 1946). Dave Smith's (another friend from RMweb) posted photos of the prototype units and the 'look' of the real things was far removed from what I had achieved.

The models themselves were built using plasticard for just about all the body work and most of the chassis. I did spend a few years in denial until a friend on RMweb published a dimensioned prototype photo of the windows, which was used as a reliable reference for the construction of a Tin HAL, a further variation on the 4 SUB theme. Now the window of the Tin HAL looked spot on and now the two Bulleid 2 HAPs looked really unsatisfactory.

Moving to P4 has given me the spur to bring all the rough models up to scratch. I have been working on eight new sides to replace those of the two units. This will involve carefully removing the original sides and fitting the new ones in, retaining the inner ends, roof and cab fronts. The picture below shows how the new sides will look. There is still plenty to do in terms of laminating and building up layers on the inside, to create recesses for the glazing and thicken the sides up to 40 thou. for strength. Hopefully the difference in the shape of the windows is apparent!


Another major improvement on the units will be the glazing. Although the new glazing will not be flush at least it will be close-to flush and a whole lot tidier than the hand-made attempt at fitting press-fit flush glazing which was not at all satisfactory.

The units will eventually be converted to P4, using the method already discussed for the Black Beetle motor bogie. (Only one unit is powered, the other being a dummy to form a 4-car set as required.)


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Re: Scratch-Building BR (SR)EMUs

Postby JFS » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:25 pm

Hi Colin,

Having seen these units in the flesh, I know how well they look (minor imperfections in the windows notwithstanding). So I think you are pretty brave to replace the sides - a matter of no small surgery!

So I wish you good luck in that venture! Still, at least it gives you the opportunity to repaint them in green...

Very Best Wishes,

Colin Parks

Re: Scratch-Building BR (SR)EMUs

Postby Colin Parks » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:11 pm


Well, the parts that are correct are staying , but the sides just had to go! Time has not treated the glazing well as the tight fit has caused distortions. Your etched scribing template has held up well for scribing the new window openings. The removal of the old sides will involve a surgical operation on each body.

Re. repainting the 2 HAPs in green hadn't occurred to me. I think they will be re-painted in BR blue though, but then again....

All the best,


Colin Parks

Re: Scratch-Building BR (SR)EMUs

Postby Colin Parks » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:26 pm

Continuing the theme of scratch built EMUs, this is the first coach of a 4 SUB I am converting to P4. This particular coach is the 'pseudo-composite' built with five first class width compartments but never used as such. It runs on Hornby bogies.

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The Exactoscale wheels just popped in after the unforeseen necessity to remove the 'in-line with 00 gauge' brake blocks. I also sliced through the ends of the bogie transoms to assist in fitting the wheels. Luckily, the Hornby bogies had shoulder-less brass bearings already fitted. The coach does need an awful lot of ballasting as it weighs in at only 37g (the others are similarly light). The plan is to glue lead weights under the seats to bring it up to 100g. Any heavier and I fear the Black Beetle motor will not be able to shift the unit!

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