Saturday, July 14, 2012

AYB Suburban Brake

In 1945 as part of the WAGR rehabilitation program after WW2, a new set of six suburban cars including 4 AY’s and two AYB’s (#456 – 457) were built. Another set was built in 1946 including 2 AYB’s (458 & 459) and 2 AY cars. The AYB’s were basically an AY with a guards compartment at one end. They were built on steel underframes with matchboard sides and entered service in a larch green, light green & cream livery and able to accommodate 64 passengers, ably supplementing the ageing fleet of sidedoor/dogbox style cars predominantly in use on the suburban network.
The First class section of a suburban train was always at the Fremantle end and so the AYB at that end of the train was considered to be First Class whilst the AYB at the other end was considered to be Second class, despite there being no difference between the AY and AYB cars internally.

In October 1951 the WAGR chose to introduce a new standard livery for carriage stock, replacing indian red and two tone green and cream schemes, with an "All Over" larch green. In 1952 AYB's 456 & 457 were outshopped in the new Green livery with 458 & 459 following in 1955, During 1956 another livery of White, Green and red stripe had been applied to the railcars, becoming the standard "Suburban" livery. In 1963 this livery was applied to AYB 459 with 456 & 457 repainted in 1966 & 1967. AYB 458 is thought to have retained Green till as late as 1970 by which time both 456 & 457 had been written off in 1969. Modernisation also took place during the 60's with some of the cars losing their matchboard sides, crown light windows and ornate panel work above the windows, these niceties being replaced with plywood panelling in various stages, which for modelling purposes, requires some research by the modeller.

 In 1970's, AYB's 458 & 459 continued into Westrail service with refurbishment and Orange and Blue stripe livery. 1986 saw another refurbishment and a Green and Cream livery which saw them through till January 1991 when they were replaced by electric railcars. These two cars made it to preservation, in use until recently on the Pemberton Tramway.
The above model of AYB 456 has been achieved by kitbashing a WestOzModels "AY" body kit. After some planning and consideration of how to go about it, I set about cutting away sections of the rear compartment area of the AY body sides. Retaining upper and lower panelling, the windows were cut away and the single Guards compartment window was replaced with a window from another scrap AY side. Armed with measurements from the prototype the sides were shortened and new Door and Corner Posts were installed to form the end of the car, followed by panels between the window and doors. A new End was produced along with Guards doors to suit the prototype and then panelling detail was made and applied. I estimate this took about 20 hrs to achieve.
With modifications made to the side walls and a new end made, these were glued down to a base for use as a pattern and then rubber poured over them to make a mould. Once the moulds were dry, the first castings were made. The results are shown here below. Assembly of the first AYB model then took place using a rolled styrene roof.
After application of handrails and underfloor detailing the carriage was sprayed - first with a "Holts" grey auto primer and then colours applied (Humbrol & Revell). When the body paint had dried, handrails were picked out in Yellow and Silver, decals were applied and the car was sealed with a spray of Wattyl Matt Estapol. Windows were then applied using "Microscale Crystal Clear". With the windows dry, the last job was to fit bars to the Guards Door windows and carefully paint them in Yellow.
The pictures here, show the prototype model for the AYB Suburban Brake Car “Body” kit which is now available from WestOz Models.  This AYB "Body" kit is produced in polyurethane and comes with a aluminum roof. All other parts are available from Railwest Models.
The AYB seen here above, is formed from patterns produced by B. Norris for the AY, with kitbashing to AYB form carried out by N. Blinco of WestOz Models.

Prototype information complied from “A History of WAGR Passengers Carriages” by A. May and B. Gray

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