Monday, 30 May 2011

Prototype File - NSWGR FS/BS cars

The release of the Austrains NSWGR FS/BS corridor cars has been welcomed by many modellers, but for those who would like to add a little extra detail or weathering, it’s not as easy as it once was to get suitable prototype photos to aid that endeavour.

Delving into my photo collection in response to an enquiry from Ian Phemister, I dug up the following photos I took in Sydney yard in 1985 (in those days I was an SRA guard, so getting photos like these was not much of a problem!)
A Tuscan red BS in Sydney yard in 1985. Even at this late stage this BS still had the lampirons in the high position (the railways had started lowering lampirons in the 1970s, to make it safer for staff to attach the lamps). The Austrains model has them in the lower position, correct only for some cars from the mid-1970s on, but as Ian shows in his blog, it is quite easy to reposition them. The 'candy' FS to the right has the lampirons in the lower position and, as a consequence, the end handrail moved to the side of the vehicle.

The same BS, showing various details, including the lining on the doors (missing from the Austrains model). Even at this late stage, carriage sides were faded, but not filthy, as they were regularly washed. The photo has faded a little (and was originally shot in the middle of the day) but it can be seen that the lining colour was buff, a creamy yellow, not the virulent chrome yellow one sees on far too many models! 

The interior of an FS compartment. The interior timberwork was varnished, over the light coloured timber fashionable in the 1930s when the cars were originally built. Second class seat cushions were a dark maroony colour. The floors were covered by a light brown Linoleum.

The interior of an BS first class compartment. On some cars, the lower panels below the windows had been replaced with new timber, painted cream with brown trim. The first class seat cushions were a dark green colour.

The corridor of a BS.

I trust these prototype photos will be of use to those who may wish to further detail their Austrains FS/BS cars, or even the old Trax/Powerline versions.
Ian has already done some work on his FS/BS cars, the results can be seen on his 'Muswellbrook and Merriwa Railway' blog. It still amazes me how much good weathering improves a model!
Until mine turn up, I'll just have to make do with a couple I prepared earlier...
Back in the early '90s I detailled a couple of Trax S cars for Lambing Flat. This is the FS finished in post 1954 Indian red with buff lining. The Trax/Powerline models were pretty basic, so a lot of extra detail went into them.
This is the BS first class car. They have both given many years of service to the passengers using the cross-country line through LF, and are much preferred by the HO people to the rough old 'dogbox' carriages that make up most of the trains on the line!


  1. thanks for the interior shots - used them many times... but never took a photo... cheers Nick

  2. G'day James

    Some really helpful shots there! Is there any detail kits available to upgrade the BS/Fs Powerline examples etc or is it just a matter or scratch building parts?

  3. G'day Anonymous!

    Joe at Casula Hobbies has lots of bits and pieces that are very useful for detailing all sorts of things, including FS and BS cars. Some parts will have to be scratchbuilt though...