DJ Models Class 71 Overview

December 17, 2017

Despite the Class 71 being introduced as long ago as 1959/60 and with the virtue of being a very interesting locomotive in its own right, it has taken a crowd funding effort with DJ Models to see one appear as a ready to run OO gauge model. The sample kindly supplied by DJ Models is finished in the interim livery of BR green with full yellow ends, a livery which seems to be becoming better represented in model form as enthusiasts come to recognise that the transition between BR green and BR rail blue eras is indeed an interesting one to represent on a layout.Class 71 were unique electric locomotives built to operate on the BR Southern Region third rail network, primarily the South Eastern Division (or Eastern Section depending on your point of view) where they operated a wide range of trains from freight to prestigious cross-channel traffic passenger trains such as boat trains and the ‘Golden Arrow’.That pantograph is no mistake on the part of the designers. Conductor rail was not laid in many yards or berthing sidings due to the danger it posed to ground staff. Trolley wires were hung from sometimes quite basic poles or sophisticated gantries such as those at Folkestone East sidings to allow a Class 71 to collect current when running off the third rail. Whilst Class 73s were equipped with an auxiliary diesel engine for running off the third rail and to deal with the problem of gaping in the conductor rail when running at slow speed over complex track work; Class 71s used a ‘booster generator’ instead of an auxiliary diesel engine to avoid gaping.There two sides of a Class 71 feature different equipment. The photo above shows the grilles located on one side of the model – nicely cut in detail and accurately represented. Class 71s only had one traction motor blower with air drawn in through the body side grilles. and ducted to the four EE532 traction motorsThe opposite side of the DJ Models Class 71 model with its large window.

Bogies are rich in detail and the correct spoked wheels are fitted too. Pick-up shoe beams fitted to the bogies are add-on parts supplied with the model, as is a bogie to body bracket which should be left in the box when operating the model on a layout with sharp curves.

The holes in the underside of the bogie frames are not there by accident – they make it easier to pop a tiny drop of oil on the drive gears when necessary.

DJ Models has come up with a neat way of representing the head code blinds. The body is removed (clips only) and the desired head code blind inserted into the frame behind the middle window of both cabs. There is no need to take the cab fittings out with the chance of disturbing the lighting circuits.
It’s a smart model with good flush glazing and other good features including space for a 21-pin decoder and digital sound speaker. The body is simply clipped in place making removal easy to do.Some of the buffer beam detail is factory installed with the remainder left for the modeller to fit if the buffer beam valance fill-in moulding is fitted instead of the tension lock coupling. NEM coupler boxes are fitted as standard with close coupling cams which work well with the deep buffer beam valance.

That’s the DJ Models Class 71 in OO gauge – perfect for Southern Electric modellers. A yard scene with a trolley wire system instead of a conductor rail would make an interesting compact layout theme in which the DJ Models Class 71 would be very much at home. There lots of potential in such a layout which could include engineers stock or BR standard revenue wagons such as 12t vans and 13t general merchandise open wagons together with a continental van or two – there’s quite a few locations on the former Southern Region which would provide inspiration for such a layout. The fine running of the DJ Models Class 71 would make for some satisfying shunting operations – Class 71s do not have to be restricted to the main line. You could, of course, add a Hornby 2HAL to the mix if a bit of secondary line with conductor rail was to be added to the track plan. Or perhaps a Hornby 2BIL for a Central Section themed layout?

My thanks to Dave Jones of DJ Models for supplying the model which will be reviewed in detail in the Railway Magazine Guide to Railway Modelling.


‘Large Logo’ Class 47

December 16, 2017

An attractive BR ‘Large Logo’ Class 47 features in the current (2017) Bachmann catalogue with an anticipated release in either January or February 2018. It represents a popular Class 47/4 No. 47 444 ‘University of Nottingham’ (31-660A) and is finished in pristine condition. It is always good to see an ordinary every day locomotive modelled well; a model which will fit in on most 1980s or early 1990s layouts (Era 8) without looking out of place.The model is supplied with etched nameplates to fit over the printed ones together with numerous separate detail parts including flush glazing, wire hand rails, windscreen wipers and bogie fittings.The paint finish on the featured model was flawless and the blue a pretty accurate shade for BR blue. Despite misgivings by enthusiasts when ‘Large Logo’ livery appeared in the 1980s, it is now a popular scheme on Class 37s and 47s. printing of livery details is sharp and the paint colours dense and opaque.

The model features a six axle drive powered by a frame mounted motor. It’s a heavy model, requiring no traction tyres to deliver impressive haulage capability.Bachmann Class 47s are produced with loco specific details and these can include the steam heating boiler ports and marker lights.Technical specifications include NEM coupling pockets, all-wheel current collection, LED marker lights and a 21-pin DCC socket. A nice model and a good representation of the once common BR Large Logo livery.


Unlikely stable-mates…71 plus 119…

December 2, 2017

All manner of models pass through my studio – the latest pair are the most unlikely to come together, even as models, never mind the full-size locos. I guess anyone enjoying more than one area of railway modelling can boast a few unlikely pairings in their layout room.
DJ Models lovely Class 71 (foreground) is a BR Southern Region electric locomotive intended to take its power from a conductor rail. They were famous for operating named trains to the Channel ports and turned in many a good performance elsewhere too. As a third rail loco with no auxiliary engine such as that fitted to the Class 73, they relied on current collection using a simple pantograph from overhead tram wires in yards and berthing sidings where there was no conductor rail.

The second model is a TRAXX Class CE 119 ac locomotive – contemporary traction used on heavy freight traffic – very powerful machine indeed. The model is by Brawa which offers it in several electrical configurations. Not cheap!


In the hour before dawn…Kingussie.

November 26, 2017

The station is not a quiet as you might think – local passengers are waiting for the north bound Caledonian Sleeper to use it as a convenient early morning service for Inverness.

Class 67s are back on the Sleepers and have been for a while on the Highland line. With all respect to the plucky Class 73s, they were never built for this sort of railway.

No. 67 012 – one of the locos allocated to Wrexham & Shropshire services and latterly Chiltern Railways. Now lost its nameplates.

New stock for the sleepers is due soon…

If you wish to photograph the last remaining Mark 2 air-con stock on sleeper services, you don’t have much time left.

LED lighting has improved low light photography on many Scottish stations – so much better balanced.

Dawn at last…the signal box at Kingussie. Like mark 2 and 3 stock on the sleepers, you do not have much time to photograph this sort of infrastructure on the Highland line.

Images taken of the north bound 1S25 Euston-Inverness Caledonian Sleeper service on the morning of Saturday 25th November 2017. In the snow!


Bachmann Anglia Railways Class 47/7.

November 21, 2017

One of the Bachmann OO gauge ‘Regional Exclusive Models’ has come to light – the Anglia Railways Class 47/7 No. 47 714. It will be available from stockists in the Bachmann eastern sales region which covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, East Anglia, East Midlands, East Yorkshire, Northamptonshire and South Yorkshire.It’s one of the early privatisation liveries which as simple, but colourful at the same time – a popular one with enthusiasts.

The model is equipped with 6-axle drive, frame-mounted motor and twin flywheels. Electronics includes working head and tail lights and provision for a sound decoder. A sound decoder version is also available (32-817SDDS).

Catalogue number is 32-817SD; Era 9 and with a suggested retail price of £154.95.

Distillery progress

November 19, 2017

I did say that I wished to make some significant progress on Loch Dhu Distillery – the aim is to complete the layout to exhibition standard by the end of the year (2017). I have other projects to progress and the reality is that Loch Dhu is really becoming a bit of a log jam in the studio. So, the Lifecolour paints came out to create stone colours and to weather the yard pavement and the buildings prior to fitting windows and other details.

It’s a fun little layout with some nooks and crannies in the track plan to make the scenes appear larger than they really are. The colour blending work with rust colours, grime, dirty black and various other shades from the Lifecolour range has been interesting to do. The Lifecolour paints are durable and quite subtle when thinned around 4:1 with thinner and applied with an airbrush.

The over bridge located in the distillery yard was built up of individual stone blocks cut from South Eastern Finecast embossed random stone sheet and laid in courses varying slightly in width. Some blocks were smoothed over with a little Squadron Putty before being rubbed down and painted. The iron oxide staining of some of the stone is from the Lifecolour ‘Rust and Dust’ set which is a very useful set of layout finishing colours. It looks far better than the Wills material used in the exchange siding scene.

The stone work in the exchange siding scene was built up from Wills materials which at the time looked fine. Having experimented with making my own dressed stone courses in the yard over bridge, I am considering reworking the walls in this part of the layout – but not for some time. There’s too much detailing and scenery to complete including wagon weathering (those Bachmann 12t/13t opens in the front of this view are far too clean!) and detailing the distillery yard. This little layout has certainly taken on a life of its own!

Not much layout work this last year…

November 12, 2017

Layout work has been in hibernation during the summer and Autumn of this year – a little burn-out perhaps? Or plenty of outdoor stuff to do. Whatever the reason, I have been busy (distracted) with other stuff until recently when I restarted work in a determined effort to complete Loch Dhu Distillery; both the siding scene and the distillery yard itself. Last year, the yard looked something like this:

Progress on buildings over the course of last winter saw this:

Recent activity in the distillery yard scene has seen this emerge – the usual and fun layout building activity – organised, tidy and very well defined and planned activity:

The engine shed together with a low relief building representing a second kiln house have appeared among the pieces of styrene off-cuts – the model is based on the one at Dailuaine Distillery which still exists today.

The front of the yard scene is tidied up with a retaining wall and culvert. The kiln house pagoda top was reworked too.

Buildings are currently being painted and detailed with more doors, windows, ventilators, chimney pots and other fittings. Missing details are added such as rain water goods. The yard surface is concrete with wooden boarding together with cobbles in places. That had to be painted and finished at the time this picture was taken. So, even though the layout is considered to be a micro or diorama layout which would comfortably travel on the back seat of my classic Mini Cooper, there is a huge amount of work to do to finish it – the level of detail required to create the scene is quite surprising!