Brass kit-building – are you brave enough to try?

Matt Wickham tells of his experiences in building a Worsley Works 4mm brass kit for a London, Brighton & South Coast Railway directors’ saloon.

Having written a number of articles for RMM ranging from 3D printing to detailing, I thought about building a traditional brass kit, but I would recommend something a little simpler than this particular coach to start with.

For a while I’ve been trying to build up a nice selection of vintage coaches, one of these being the 12-wheel LB&SCR directors’ saloon (the other 12-wheeler was the King’s Coach), and the 4mm etched brass kit that I bought from Worsley Works includes the chassis floor, two sides and ends and window etches.

While this kit is a useful starting point, working from the actual full-sized coach will be difficult
because it’s still in its British Railways condition, so some items on it are not original features. My aim is to model the coach as it was built in 1913, the same thing that volunteers hoping to restore the real thing also want to do – at a cost of £150,000 to £200,000 or even more.

This selection of images of the full-sized coach, reproduced by kind permission of Mike Anton, can be viewed on his FlickR (

My starter brass kit cost £45, with the extra parts needed to finish it probably costing about the same – but first there came the research.

Thankfully, knowing a few people on the Bluebell Railway and photographer Mike Anton (who kindly did a ‘photo survey’ for me) I cleared up what I needed to know with the help of many volunteers. These included Kuristo Demans, whose wealth of information and drawings, especially regarding the roof, helped resolve what was original and what had been added later by the Southern Region of BR.

For the full article and to view more images, see the August edition of Modelling – available now!

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