Painting some Southern Region favourites

April 30, 2018

In recent times, I have been replacing my large collection of Hornby and worn out Lima Class 73s for five new Dapol ones now having resolved the poor current collection problem. Every time a new model is bought, it represents a new project: fine tuning, decoder installation and sometimes when the livery is incorrectly applied, a full repaint. Many new models can be refinished with a simple replacement of one or two colours. In the case of the Dapol Class 73s, that was not possible.

Knowing that the livery colours applied to the first batch of Dapol Class 73s was far from satisfactory, I snapped up heavily discounted models of the one based on No. 73 138 as repaint fodder. The five new Class 73 models were stripped, with four now done or nearly done and one to be reworked during May as No. 73 129 in NSE livery.


During this process, my aged and faithful old Bob Moore lining pen gave out. It’s performance had fallen off dramatically in recent times – it was clearly on its last legs and proceeded to give me no end of trouble during the lining of these models. A replacement arrived in the shape of an Easi-liner pen set. Some of the orange stripes were adjusted and redone accordingly.The models together with two Class 33s, one as No. 33 051 and the other as No. 83 301 (the latter model being finished for a friend) are making their way through the paint shop now having reached the tiny detail touch in stage and varnishing.

There’s an odd-one out in the pictures…one that is not what it seems… Clue: it’s not the Class 33! Nearing completion is this Heljan Class 33 make-over as 83 301 – a full repaint of a Class 33/1 body shell. My friend will complete the underframe and bogie conversion once the body is returned to him. Tiny bits of touch-up of the paint finish are needed before varnishing this week.

Once this batch of models are done, repainting this April will see four Dapol Class 73s; two Lima Class 73s (as un-powered trailing units for double-heading); two Bachmann Class 47s (RfD 47/3); A Hornby Class 60 as No. 60 011 and a much messed about Class 33/0 repaired and reworked as No. 33 051 in engineers yellow/grey livery complete their journey through the paint shop. A reworked Bachmann 4-Cep to become a refurbished Class 411, 4-Cep is not far behind!

 

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A pair of critters! One Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST and a Baldwin…

April 16, 2018

Modelling is becoming ever more interesting with some fascinating locomotives appearing during the Spring of 2018. Following on from Hatton’s Model Railways  SE&CR P Class comes its brand new model of the Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST industrial loco in 14- and 16-inch formats. The Baldwin OO9 gauge model which is set for imminent release by Bachmann (at the time of writing) is a further sign of things to come – it’s fun having both on the photo stand to draw some comparisons. Livery application on models has certainly become quite advanced…

The Andrew Barclay will join the small fleet of industrial locos that are inhabiting my Loch Dhu Distillery project – the nameplates are already to hand for its renaming. The ALR Baldwin…well, I am not so sure how that will fit in! Time will tell…


NSE livery on 4-Ceps and its variations.

April 9, 2018


It’s easy to think that the final version of Network South-east (NSE) livery was standard until reference pictures are examined for setting up a model for painting. I have some Bachmann 4-Cep models working their way across the work bench to convert them to post 80s refurbished type with hopper windows and relocated guards van. As shown above, although No. 1101 is a 3-Cep with the TSO removed.

4-Cep No. 1525 stabled at Dover Priory. In both pictures, note how wide the up-swept the red band is across the cab side window…

4-Bep No. 2305 at London Waterloo, part of the same family of units. The red band across the cab-side window is also wide.

No. 1554 has a different width of line across the cab side window. Not as wide…

No. 1542 is the same…enough to catch the unwary modeller out. My first refurbished 4-Cep for Folkestone East is nearing completion – I have the window glazing and window frames to fit. The model will be No. 1520 (below)…photographed on the Sheppey branch. Steelworks in the background is now history. Always a fascinating selection of wagons there.

So, that’s just one variation on NSE liveried 4-Ceps and related units. The same can be noted on 4EPBs too. That’s before you start counting different roof vents on different Cep vehicles within one unit…

 


A little idea with a Hornby 4-Vep and…

April 6, 2018

Hornby released its BR (SR) 4-Vep in numerous liveries a few years’ ago and in the main, it is not a bad model – easier to work on than trying to build one from Mark 1 coaches and brass sides. It has its difficulties, namely a poor drive system (which can be replaced relatively easily); under size roof vents and end gangway corridor connection mouldings which are not accurate. The cab windows are slightly under-size too – all issues to be addressed on my models.

Livery colours applied to the  Network South-east (NSE) face-lifted version of the model are pretty good except for the application of an orange line along the rain gutter at cantrail level and not an NSE red one. Some serious modellers commented on the poor representation of the corridor compartments in both of the DTC vehicles. I have been upgrading my pair of Hornby 4-Vep models with new dome roof vents of the correct size, EM gauge wheels to run on Folkestone East and adjustments to the livery. The roofs are not painted with Railmatch ‘roof dirt’ to weather them in a little. Although black is the correct colour for NSE, the roofs were either never painted or became dirty very quickly.

Roof work on the Hornby 4-Vep vehicles.

Recently, the Bachmann/Kernow Model Rail Centre 4TC set was released. Here’s one DTS vehicle…

Both the full-size 4-Vep and 4TC sets shared the same cab design. It is interesting to compare the two models.

4-Vep DTC is on the right.

4TC DTS is on the left.

So what is the connection between the two models as far as my layout fleet plans are concerned?A good question and it is one that a good friend of mine and I have been exploring. Here is the answer:
A Vep/4TC hybrid was formed in April 1992 when 4TC DTS No. S76725, late of a 6-Rep reform, was added to face-lifted 4-Vep No. 3473, both painted in NSE livery. This reformation was temporary and S76725 was placed in unface-lifted 4-Vep No. 3169 (above) making a very nice hybrid set which ran around until the unit was face-lifted in early 1995. Emerging from the works as No. 3582, the unit was painted in Connex livery and lasted, with the 4TC DTS, almost until the end of slam-door unit operation. S76275 was never face-lifted internally and is now preserved – a remarkable survivor.

So there you are – I plan to add the Bachmann/Kernow 4TC DTS vehicle, leftover from one of my friends departmental train projects, to a Hornby 4-Vep set. I could renumber it as No. 3473, but that unit was short-lived in Hybrid form. Alternatively, I could rebuild a face-lifted MBSO from the Hornby NSE model and add the DTS vehicle to the train in lieu of a DTC to create No. 3169. Rebuilding the remaining 4- Vep DTC cab front, gangway door together with renumbering of the vehicles and changing end numbers will be required. Now that would be so much more fun than a straight 4-Vep!

 


Tinkering with the Dapol Class 73

April 5, 2018

My enthusiasm for my Folkestone East layout has not been at a low ebb, but work being done to the layout is routine – little worthy of reporting. Refinement in some of the wiring together with a look at block occupancy detection for the main ‘Ashford’ staging yard has been the main activity together with working through piles of new equipment accumulated over the last few years.

One of those pieces of equipment is the Dapol Class 73 of which I finally bought in five to replace five old Lima models and a couple of Hornby ones. As soon as you buy new locos, there’s new projects to start and in this case, some reliability upgrades and repainting too. I must confess to not liking the Dapol model on sight – it was its poor livery colours, particularly the yeellow that did it for me initially. The roof colour on the model of No. 73138 is sort of okay when you see how Executive Dark grey faded over time, but not as uniformly as  applied to the model.

However, underneath the otherwise very neatly applied but less than accurate paint colours is a pretty nice model with oodles of detail. I have bitten the bullet and started some repaints of the model as well as upgrading the not so reliable current collection system. When a painting ‘mojo’ strikes, and they rarely do, masking tape and painting supplies takes quite a hammering! Thankfully, the Dapol Class 73 is reasonably easy to dismantle and work on.


First up is discovering how the bogies and electrical pick-up are arranged – parts may fall off the cosmetic bogie frame when being removed – note the middle retaining clip! As you will see, it is possible to add simple wiper pick-ups with either nickel-silver wire or its phosphor-bronze equivalent.

Pick up arrange on the Dapol Class 73 after the bogie frame has been unclipped.

Drill two holes clear of the bogie frame clip and on both sides of the frame to accept 0.4 to 0.45mm diameter pick-up wire.

Cutting a length of pick-up wire to the length of the bogie which after bending to shape, will be the ideal length.

The wire is bent like this and fed through the holes drilled through the inner bogie frame. Repeat for the opposite side and the second bogie.

Bend the wires so they will act on the back of the wheels as pick-ups.

Solder (very carefully) the wires to the existing connecting strips to complete the circuit. Adjust the pick-ups once the wheels have been refitted.

Painting of two of the models in Intercity Executive livery is underway and has reached the touching in stage to tidy up lining and prepare for transfers. Whilst doing this, my trust old Bob Moore lining pen finally packed in after 30 years of reliable service, so I resorted to a bow pen for the thin orange lining – less than successful. A new lining pen is on its way which will see the lining tidied up a little.


Other reliability work on the Dapol model included going over the finely assembled bogies and under frame detail with Plastic Weld to secure the individually moulded detail parts before the fell off and became lost. Thankfully, they seem to be moulded from a plastic which can be glued together with sparing amounts of a powerful solvent adhesive!

A decoder with ‘Keep Alive’ circuits is also being installed in each model and indeed, to as much of my collection as possible. I value reliable running and flicker-free lighting more than digital sound. The space left for a speaker in this model will accommodate a pretty big Keep Alive unit!


One of the really great things about the Dapol Class 73 as far as EM gauge modellers are concerned is the wheels. They are fitted to split axles inserted in insulating drive gears with large bosses on either side. With the current collection via axle bush rings, the wheels can be easily regauged for EM track. Fortunately, the wheel profile runs through my track work allowing me to place out the box models into traffic as soon as there is a decoder fitted to the model.
Also worthy of note is the nicely arranged interior and simple electronics which allows for the hard wiring of decoders for simplicity together with space for Keep Alive units. I remove the circuit boars and hard wire decoders allowing me to arrange lighting to suit my needs – the cab light is isolated as a result. Access to the interior of the body for this work is also very simple – undo four screws and the body slides straight off – no clips or anything like that to catch you out. So there it is – the Dapol 73 is being introduced to my Folkestone East layout at last.