|l||Building a Dutch Buffet Car in N Gauge|
By Alan Marlow
A couple of years ago I picked up some N scale transfers made by KleiNSpoor for the sides of the NS Buffet Cars. I think they were about £8 for the set. There are two sets of coach numbers plus one set of 'BUFFET', the buffet symbol and the double arrows, all beautifully printed in the correct colours. A quick search through the coach box found a suitable vehicle for the conversion, a standard German UIC-X vehicle by Fleischmann. These can be picked up a swapmeets for about £10 so the whole vehicle came out to about £20 with paint etc.
There were no drawings with the transfers so I had to rely on photographs of the real thing to get window positions correct. I started by dismantling the coach into various components, and taking the body moulding first, I blanked off the panelled windows with plasticard stuck on the inside. When this was dry I added some internal partitions because I had experienced some warping on previous conversions when a liquid poly type adhesive was used on the thin plastic. To fill the window apertures I used car body filler, which sets in about ten minutes, and rubbed this flat with fine wet and dry paper.
The whole body was then washed in detergent and left to dry before I gave t a light coat of white car primer. No doubt I could have bought some yellow paint from the show but instead I decided to mix my own using Humbrol 69 and a touch of grey to darken it down. This was then thinned down, sprayed on and left to dry for a couple of days before I masked off the window area and sprayed the lower body blue. I found Humbrol 14 to be a very close match to NS blue but like all colours it's dependant on the colour underneath, the method of application and the final finish - matt, satin or gloss.
Reasonably happy so far, I set about putting the transfers in place. They are the rub down type so no room for error here! I did a dummy run with one of the alternative coach numbers on a piece of scrap and all seemed fine. All went well except for one of the arrows, which decided to stick to me rather than the coach side. This was not a problem as I had also bought a sheet of arrows for 'Dutchifying' some wagons, so in effect I had several spares. The buffet symbol is built up using two transfers, the first to be rubbed down is the white square followed by the blue teacup. Once again only one pair is supplied so alignment is very important.
The glazing was now ready to be refitted although certain windows were no longer there! This lead me to securing some small pieces of the glazing with evo-stik as previously the coach and all its components simply clipped together. Purists amongst you will probably say the roof is incorrect, well I don't have any detailed shots of the roof so for the time being that's the way it stays.
The conversion certainly looks the part and draws interest whenever the vehicle is run on our club layout. I use it on my own French layout where the colour scheme stands out compared to the sombre grey of the SNCF corail stock. Incidentally, does anyone know of any of these vehicles reaching Paris, or were they always detached at Roosendaal?