Diamonds are a girls best friend

Let me start by wishing you a Happy New Year! Thank you for your support throughout what has been a very difficult year for everyone.

Recently, it seems like I’ve dedicated much of my time on Class 47’s so for the sake of variety, I’ve finsihed a class 37 that has been on the workbench for a few months.

I usually like to at least renumber my locos, but this Bachmann release is a loco I remember well from the early 1990s. There are however, some easy changes required to back date it.

The out of the box Bachmann model.

First off, I masked up the split head code boxes with masking tape and masking fluid and once the fluid was dry I sprayed them matt black. The bufferbeam was detailed and screw link couplings were installed. In 1990, 37 049 carried Motherwell depot plaques, so etched items were fitted along with the BR arrows. The nameplates supplied with the Bachmann loco are red, which suits the loco in a later period. Using black enamel paint, I flooded the nameplates and once dry, I used a sanding stick to polish the paint off the lettering. They were secured in place using a small amount of varnish.

The split head code boxes masked for painting.

The loco comes with round buffers fitted, which were also only fitted later in the decade. These were swapped with oval buffers from another Bachmann class 37, but normally I’d swap them for Hornby class 50 items which look so much better. Unfortunately, they’ve not been available anywhere for some time.

Painted head code boxes and bufferbeam pipework added.

For the weathering I started with the airbrush, using Railmatch Frame Dirt for the bogies, fuel tanks and lower body side. Roof dirt for the roof and cab nose tops, followed by some matt black for the exhaust soot and greasey areas on the bogies. Finally, a Flory Models dark dirt wash was applied all over the loco and left to dry before wiping with a damp sponge in a downward motion. The result is a work stained loco with some oily residue and water streaks down the body side.

Weathering Heljan BOC Tankers

The Heljan BOC tanker is an expensive wagon, but when they were offered at half price I was keen to get them added into the Farkham roster.

Shortly after receiving the seven tankers I purchased, and after looking at Paul Bartlett’s photographs of the prototype, I got started on the weathering. Using Railmatch acrylic Frame Dirt in the airbrush, I blew over the bogies, chassis and lower bodyside.

On the prototype, the top half of the tanks seem to rust far more than the half below the identification band. In fact, the lower part of the tank remains almost rust free. After the frame dirt was dry I gave the wagons a coat of matt varnish, which is an essential part to the next step, the washes. Using a flat brush and the Flory Models Rust and Sand washes, I applied a generous amount to the upper bodysides and left it to dry. Then, with a damp sponge, and using a downward motion, the wash was manipulated to give the desired effect.

Airbrushed chassis and wash applied

I’ll clean the handwheels before I consider them finished, but otherwise I’m quite pleased with them. A short blog post today, for what has been a time consuming but simple job.

The finished BOC tank wagons

Recreating 47 363 ‘Billingham Enterprise’

This week I’ve finished the iconic Railfreight class 47 workhorse, and it’s ready to enter service on Farkham.

The base model for this loco project is a Bachmann 47301, part number 31-655. The loco is already in Railfreight Red Stripe, but there are some differences that needed to be addressed first.

Bachmann 31-655 was the base for this project

Once the body was separated from the chassis, I removed the orange cantrail stripe, white body side stripe, numbers and the BR double arrows. I do this by placing the body in an old baking tray, and spraying oven cleaner onto the unwanted livery details. After 20 minutes, I repeat the process and after a further 20 minutes I rinse the oven cleaner off the model. Under warm water, the printed details can be easily scratched of with a thumbnail without affecting the paint work. It basically softens the factory printed details.

Factory printed details removed

The red stripe on 47 363 was only present on the grey bodyside, so I set to removing it from the yellow cabsides with a cotton bud and T-Cut.

Red stripe removed from the cab ends

One of the initial attractions to modelling this class 47, was the black faded numbers present on the body sides. Plenty of thought went into how I would recreate this feature, but I decided to use a sign writing vinyl cutter to make a stencil and spray the numbers. I then used a fine sanding stick to flat the painted numbers back, fading them like the prototype. The windows and cab interiors were then removed and a coat of acrylic gloss varnish was airbrushed over the model ready for transfers.

I used Railtec Transfers, which I highly recommend when using acrylic paints and varnishes. The numbers, BR double arrows, kingfishers and white cantrail stripes were all applied before a coat of matt varnish.

The transfers applied

The glazing and cab interiors were refitted to the body. Smiths screw link couplings and bufferbeam detailing were added before the body was reunited with the chassis. The marker light panels were flooded with thinned matt black paint before my thoughts turned to weathering.

47 363 ready for weathering

I usually like to combine a range of techniques, depending on the look of the prototype. Starting with the airbrush, a dusting of Railmatch Frame Dirt was applied to the chassis and lower bodysides. The roof had a coat of Railmatch Roof Dirt and the exhaust port received some matt black.

Next I applied Flory Models washes, starting with Dark Dirt to the roof. Using a flat brush in a downward direction and wiping the excess off with a damp sponge, again in a downward motion. To fade the bodysides, I used the white wash in the same way. Dark Dirt was then applied again where the oily deposits run down the body.

47 363 ‘Billingham Enterprise’ arrives at Farkham ready for its next Speedlink train.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with how this project has turned out, and 47 363 is now ready to be put into revenue earning service on Farkham.