|The Ian Kirk Maunsell coach kits first appeared in the
early to mid 1980s and represent the Restriction 4, 9ft wide vehicles. Ian
Kirk subsequently sold the manufacturing rights for the kit range to Colin
The injection-moulded plastic kits are on the whole dimensionally correct and allow for reasonably near flush glazing. They are complete with interior partitioning, seats, under frame detail and components to make up plastic SR standard 8ft steam bogies (but with metal wheels and brass bearing cups). Some may prefer to change these for etched brass / white metal bogies from, for example, the Southern Railways Group (SRG) - Phoenix range or Roxey Mouldings. Alternatively the Bachmann SR 8ft Steam bogie used on their Bulleid coaches could be used. I have used the bogies supplied with the kits and with the addition of some lead weight added to each coach above the bogie mounting point they have given smooth running. Turned brass oval buffers are also included.
The kits are relatively simple and quick to assemble and
although I have heard some comments about poorly fitting parts, I personally
have not experienced this.
I have fitted Kadee® No. 5 buckeye couplings screwed to the underside of the floor behind the buffer beams (rather than to the bogies as I feel this is to un-prototypical) with hooks for screw couplings fitted to the outer ends of each set.
I aerosol spray-painted using a malachite green topcoat from Precision Paints. Very light weathering was airbrushed mainly to the bogies and underframe allowing a slight amount of spray to creep up from the bottom of the sides.
It is worth pointing out that Colin Ashby has retired from
the exhibition circuit, although as far as I am aware he is still producing the
kits, however they are becoming increasingly harder to find.
Stock ordered between 1925 and 1929 were recognisable by the corridor side windows as these had a deep cantrail above them and were therefore known as low window stock. It should be noted that some 1929 ordered stock did not enter service until late 1930.
On stock ordered after 1929 the corridor side windows,
possibly due to complaints from passengers as they were forced to stoop down to
look out of the windows, were extended higher resulting in a much shallower
It should be noted that the SR Diagram numbers refer to the internal layout of the coach and not detail differences on the coach body itself. I would fully recommend reading the two books listed in the bibliography below for further information.
It should be noted that when in original Maunsell green
livery these coaches were partially lined out with dimensions (according to the
HMRS livery register) as below;
The droplight window frames were either varnished teak or
scumbled to give a varnished teak appearance.
For pictures of Maunsell Coaches click here.
High Window Kits
Kits originally produced by Ian Kirk, were of the 9ft wide bodied, high window style and are as follows:
The High Window kits 8870, 8871, 8872 and 8874 were discontinued and replaced by the Low window versions 8880, 8882, 8883 and 8881 respectively.
The lack of a kit for a Corridor First (FK) reduces the number of prototypical set formations possible. Generally leaving the Corridor Third kit and the Open Third only of use as 'loose' coaches. A typical formation including Corridor Firsts would have been made up, for example: BTK + TK + FK + BTK or BTK + CK + FK + FK + CT + BTK.
NB. The asterisks against certain SR Diagram numbers refer to the corresponding Set numbers on the subsequent line.
Low Window Kits
Ian Kirk and latterly Colin Ashby amended the moulds to produce the 9ft wide bodied, 1925 to 1929 low window versions. They are as follows:
The 6 compartment Brake Third kit 8882 was discontinued quite early on leaving only the 4 compartment Brake Third available therefore limiting the number of prototypical set formations possible.
Converting low window kits to high window versions
It is in fact, if required, a relatively simple conversion to convert a low window side to a high window side (remembering the windows at each end of the side remained as low windows). Simply cut away the moulding running across the top of the window opening leaving a 'U' shaped hole. Extend the glazing recess, using a needle file, on the inside face of the side to the top to allow the glazing material to sit in the recess. Affix the glazing material in the window opening so that it is flush with the top of the side. A thinner top window bar, from micro-strip approx 1.5mm thick, can now be carefully glued to the top edge of the glazing material. I suggest that this takes place after the sides have been painted and then the replacement window top rail carefully painted to match the rest of the body.
Prototypical sets possible from the high window kits (kit numbers in brackets)
Above: BTK 6695 from Set 168. Below: BCK 2776 from Set 168.
2 Coach sets, BTK (8871) + BCK (8872)
These had large radius window corners and frameless
droplights on the doors so not strictly as per the Kirk kits but they can be
modified to suit or modellers' licence applied as they make nice two coach
3 Coach sets, BTK (8871) + CK (8870) + BTK (8871)
The 12 sets numbered 221 to 232 were ordered March 1931 and
completed in April 1932 as part of order 633 for London, Portsmouth,
Bournemouth and West of England services.
Withdrawals started in 1961 with sets 222/4//6-8 and sets 229/30/32 in 1962
4 Coach sets, BTK (8871) + CK (8870) + CK (8870) + BTK (8871)
Six sets were ordered 1929 and completed in September 1930 as order Nº491 for London, Bognor and Portsmouth Services (set 193 worked the Brighton to Bournemouth service from 1931). Sets 426/9 in 1931 had one of the Corridor Composites removed and replaced with an older type restaurant car for use on the Brighton to Plymouth service. Each had two rainstrips on each side of the roof and the destination board brackets were located above the lower rainstrip.
Set 193 was reduced to 3 coaches by the removal of 5640
A further eight 4 coach sets were ordered March 1931 and completed in April 1932 as part of order 633 for London, Bognor, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and West of England services.
By 1935 Set 238 was transferred to the central section. Sets
238,9,40 were reduced to three coach sets by removal of corridor composites
5686, 5888 & 5691 respectively.
5 Coach sets, BCK (8872) + TK (8874) + CK (8870) + TK (8874) + BCK (8872
Additional corridor sets were formed in 1945 from previously loose stock and were allocated to mainly west of England. Six sets were in fact formed however the final set no 273 was formed of low window stock with the exception of the middle corridor composite which was of the high window type I have therefore listed the set in the section below on low window sets.
2 Coach sets, BTK (8871) + BCK (8872)
In 1948 sets 265, 266. 267 and 400 were disbanded and the Brake Thirds used to make up 2 coach sets with previously 'loose' Brake Composites.
3 Coach sets, BTK (8871) + CK (8870) + BTK (8871)
In 1951 sets 241-50 and 327-30 were reduced to 3 coach sets by the removal of the corridor first and corridor third and the substitution of a corridor composite.
They were allocated to local workings on the western section
by 1960 set 241 and by 1962 set 327 were working on the Oxted and Redhill
Prototypical sets possible from the low window kits (kit numbers in brackets)
The Brake Composites as per kit 8883 were ordered in 1929 and built in March / April 1930 and were used as 'loose' coaches to make up West of England trains.
3 Coach sets BTK (8884) + CK (8880) + BTK (8884)
The only Maunsell low-window 3-coach sets built as such were for the western section, and all brakes were 4-compartment giving a large luggage provision compared to seats, as follows:
Ten sets were ordered 1925, built Eastleigh, completed July and August 1926. For London, Plymouth, Torrington and Ilfracombe services:
These had a heavy cornice rail at cant-rail level (i.e. top of body-side), and a single rain-strip each side of the roof. Destination board brackets were initially immediately above the cantrail, and were "later" moved higher.
Further four sets Ordered 1926, Built Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon & Finance Co, completed Aug-Sept 1928. These had a lighter weight cornice rail and two rain-strips per side, with the destination board brackets immediately above the lower strip. Otherwise the same as above. Also built for London, Plymouth, Torrington and Ilfracombe services.
All fourteen sets were designated "3P Corridor
sets", the "P" indicating Pullman gangwayed. They were used on
Weymouth trains in conjunction with Ironclad dining sets (which having
"standard" gangways had therefore to be adaptor-fitted).
Sets 392 and 447 were withdrawn in 1959
5 Coach set, BCK (8883) + TK (8881) + CK (8870) + TK (8881) + BCK (8883)
Additional corridor sets were formed in 1945 from previously loose stock and were allocated to mainly west of England. As stated above six sets were in fact formed mainly from high window however the final set Nº273 was formed of low window stock with the exception of the middle corridor composite which was of the high window type.
"Loose" TO Nº1345.
|Text supplied by: Graham R 'Muz' Muspratt.
Maunsell's Steam Passenger Stock 1923-1939; Gould, David; The Oakwood Press; 1978.
Illustrated History of Southern Coaches, An; King, Mike; Oxford Publishing Co; 2003; 0-86093-570-1
All photographs are copyright Graham R 'Muz' Muspratt
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This page was created 22 August 2004