18/05/2020 - All coaches are now fitted as standard with the newly tooled Mk1 bogies (unless fitted with Commonwealth bogies). These newly tooled bogies bring the coaches down in height by 0.7mm, however an optional 'disc pack' is included in the box to increase the distance between bogie top and chassis bottom, so that they a. line up with all previous coaches with older style Mk1 bogies, and b. for negotiating 2nd radius curves.
A Little History...
It is often said that the British Railway Mk1 has many of the characteristics of each of the "Big Four" railway companies coach designs. It's no surprise to learn then that the BR Mk1, initially at-least, was the concept from a coach committee comprising of the LNER, LMS, GWR & SR in a bid to create a standard coach across Britain's railways, which would save time and cost in what would be a difficult post-war period for production, running and maintenance of Britain's railways.
Although the idea was drafted out by the big four, it wasn't until the formation of BR that the plan would be put into operation, nor until 1951 that the first of the iconic Mk1 coaches would be seen on the railways.
The nature and simplicity of these coaches meant that they were built and used year after year, with a much improved bogie, the "Commonwealth", being present on most vehicles built from 1961 onwards.
It wasn't until 2005 that the final Mk1s were withdrawn from use, with many still existing in preservation today.
Blood & Custard, 1951 - 1956
The first livery, officially named Crimson lake & cream, became known as 'blood & custard'. Coaches in the blood & custard scheme did have one key difference to that of all other liveries. It was discovered after some years, that corrosion had begun to set in around the window frames. It was therefore stated that when the coaches were due in for re-painting, the frames would be reinforced with an aluminium framing. The Darstaed models do in fact cater for this, with all blood & custard coaches omitting this frame.
Lined Maroon, 1956 - 1965
In a mass overhaul of coaching stock liveries, lined maroon was introduced for most coaches across the railways except for the Western and Southern region express trains, which reverted to coaching stock liveries seen at the time of the 'Big Four'
Chocolate & Cream, 1956 - 1962
As mentioned above, at the introduction of BR lined maroon, the Western region instead opted for the popular livery of 'choc & cream' for it's named and express services, with lined maroon being in use for all other stock
SR Green, 1956 - 1965
Much like the introduction of choc & cream, SR green was implemented for the named and express trains found on the Southern region
Blue & Grey, 1965 - 1982
With the introduction of spray painting techniques in 1964, it was decided that coach ends would be painted in the main body colour of all coaches. Although the introduction of blue & grey was staggered, with many lined maroon vehicles still in operation until 74', this livery did in-fact last until 1982, where other experimental liveries began to be trialled.
Post 1982 Liveries
After blue & grey, there was a large multitude of different liveries in use across the Mk1 coach class, below are a few of the other liveries which are catered for within the Darstaed mk1 coach range.
Intercity Livery, 1983 onwards
West Highland Early (with scottie dog logo and black painted coach ends), 1985 Onwards
West Highland Late (spray painted ends in green), 1987 Onwards
With all our Darstaed coaches, we include a sheet of water slide transfers which includes pre-fixes, a few preset running numbers, and enough single numbers to create any running number the coaches existed in. Below is a quick guide on how you might go about choosing said numbers.
If you would like to go into further detail, then there are a number of books you can purchase to investigate: the Keith Parkin 'Mark 1 Coaches' book and supplement; Hugh Longworth's 'BR Mark 1 & Mark 2 Coaching Stock'; and various Ian Allan 'Train Spotters' books, all of which can be purchased from Bill Hudson Books.
Below is a list of different coach types, with their shortened coach class code, which are produced within the Darstaed range. Not all coach types are available in all liveries, so please see the chart for the full breakdown.
SK - Second Class Corridor
CK - Composite Class Corridor
BSK - Brake Second Corridor
FK - First Class Corridor
TSO - Tourist Second Open
BCK - Brake Composite Corridor
RMB - Resturant Mini Buffet
RU - Resturant Unclassified with Kitchen
RSO - Restaurant Second Open
RFO - Restaurant First Open
SLPF/C/S - Sleeper (supplied as an SLPS (second class) it can either be a sleeper first or composite by removing all or some of the bunk beds)
BSO - Brake Second Open
BG - 57' Full Brake