Etched Great Eastern Railway coach body kits in 4 mm scale

Models made from the 2 mm scale kits

Following some discussion with modellers on RMweb and subsequently by email, I modified my drawings for the Great Eastern Railway four wheeled coaches in 2 mm scale to make them available in 4 mm scale.

I can now offer the four wheeled coach body kits for £25 each + £3 postage, and would welcome orders.

They went together very well and you can see the results here:


There are three coaches in the range:  A Five Compartment Third (Diagram 401), a Four Compartment First (Diagram 101) and a two compartment brake third (Diagram 501).   (I will put pictures up of the first class coach body when I have finished building it - it was not necessary to test the etch for this before ordering in bulk as it is constructionally identical to the third class coach.)

The etches also include solebar overlays and ventilators for the top panels of the doors if you would like to use them.   See instructions via this link below for more info on this.   It is intended that the coaches may be completed using the chassis from the Ratio GWR four wheeled brake van kit.

A fully illustrated set of instructions on the building of the bodies can be seen here so you can see what is involved.


See below for what's next ...

Six wheeled coaches.

Over the past six months I have been designing kits for some Great Eastern Railway six wheeled coaches.   These are as follows:

  • D404 Third class coach,
  • D219 Luggage Composite coach,
  • D514 Brake Third,
  • D516 Full Brake,
  • D110 Lavatory Composite,
  • D10 Third Saloon,
  • D105 First.

These kits include the bodies and chassis.   The chassis are to a 'cleminson' arrangement to enable good operation on reasonable model railway curves and provide an element of compensation.

At this stage I have completed the design and am about to send the drawings off to the etchers.   I shall hopefully have the test etches back in the Spring and the kits will be available in the first half of next year.

I am grateful to James Hilsdon for putting the following analysis together:


The 4-wheelers date from the 1870s and I would think that they were built for suburban work. However, Holden renewed the suburban 4-wheel stock with large numbers of new coaches towards the end of  the Nineteenth Century.  I believe that older 4-wheelers then found there way on to branch lines and a considerable number were sold off in the 1900-1904.  Purchasers of GE stock included minor independent railways, colliery lines and Light Railways of the Colonel Stephens ilk, so these are ideal for freelance Light Railway or industrial projects.

Another use for them would be to replicate the large number of grounded coach bodies used by the GER to provide platform shelters and ancillary buildings at many rural locations on its system.  Many bodies are preserved because they became homes during the Edwardian period. 

The body style features characteristic GER round tops to the window lights and panels, and features raised beading on the waists.  This is a very 1860s-1870s style, which the Great Eastern perpetuated into the 1880s. Originally varnished teak, when they became to shabby to retain the varnished finish, they were painted in GE coach brown, which appears to have been a slightly reddish brown. A preserved example of a coach finished in this way is the  GER First Class Smoking Carriage of 1863 on the Mid-Suffolk (

When built these would probably have been oil lit (the first Pintsch gas lit suburban stock was built from 1877), but they were later converted to gas.

Guy Rixon has very kindly responded to requests for GER coach fittings by producing 3D printed accessories, so GER buffer shanks (https://www.shapeway...tionId=61554189) and Pintsch gas lamp tops (https://www.shapeway...tionId=61657147) are available from his Shapeways shop.


These are Holden type 5 coaches, built in the 1886-1896 period (the types are these defined by John Watling in a series of excellent articles available on the GERS website: https://www.gersocie...iages/types-5-8).

Holden Type 5s were built to standardised lengths.  By this period, the beaded waist panels had been replaced by rounded ended recessed waist panels.  The window lights and vertical panels have large radius top corners. I believe that D&S at one stage produced the 6-Compt. Third, but generally the old D&S range of GE 6-wheelers featured the next generation of Holden types, Type 7A, built from 1896-1898.  The Type 7A were "square lights", i.e. the windows have right-angled, non-radial corners.  Whereas the Square Light 6-wheelers had Lavatory Composites and 5-Compt. Lav. Thirds, the Type 5s had Luggage Composites and 6-Compt. Thirds.  

Built as mainline general service coaches, photographic evidence suggests that the Type 5s were in service in large numbers for a prolonged period, though my interest/research is confined to the pre-Grouping era, so I don't know how long they lasted.

Guy Rixon already produces a 3D-print accessory sprue for GER 6-wheel coaches that would be suitable.  Included are springs (with the centre springs on 'J' hangers), axle boxes, buffer shanks and Pintsch gas lamp tops: https://www.shapeway...tionId=64070109