This year I thought the train could do with a bit of an upgrade by providing Santa with a sleigh.
Houstoun Gate Locomotive Works produce a rather attractive and reasonably priced kit of a sleigh for this very purpose.
I did not order the kit until two weeks before the big day, so once it arrived, I had to get a move on. The kit parts are all laser cut and they fit together very easily. Once the edges of the parts had been given a light sanding the sleigh was glued together with PVA woodworking glue. The two trim pieces required painting before attaching to the body.
The whole thing was given a few coats of grey auto spray primer before the top coats were applied. The instructions show the sleigh in red with white trim, but I thought that as the driver wears red and white, why not go for another seasonal scheme; I settled for holly green with red trim.
The enamel gloss paint I had in stock was rather old, the green was OK once two coats were applied, although it took a long time to dry fully, remaining tacky for over 24 hours. The red however would not dry completely, and by Christmas Eve I was starting to think it would not be ready in time. My solution was to overpaint the red trim parts with some Railmatch Royal Mail Red satin enamel (good paint for buffer beams and signal arms). The satin paint dried quickly and I was able to apply two coats within 8 hours. The trims were glued to the sleigh body on Christmas morning, and Santa had his sleigh in time for the special,which ran at 3 pm on Christmas day!