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.

A Bescot Celebrity Class 47

One loco that has always been on my radar to do is 47 238 ‘Bescot Yard’. In fact, I’ve had the nameplates for this loco for a number of years, buying them at a Wolverhampton model railway club show from the orignal Shawplan owner, Graham Shaw.

The Bachmann Class 47 as supplied

The donor loco for this project is a Bachmann 31-663 Class 47, 47 209 in Railfreight livery. The first job was to remove the windows, which is usually a simple job, but not this time. Some of the windows were well and truely glued in, and on being a little too heavy handed, one of the cab doors cracked and came off with the window. I don’t know what they used in the factory when this loco was assembled, but its good stuff! As a precausion, the remaining glazing was removed with Glue Buster.

The broken cab door.

At this point, I decided to cut out the rest of the cab door so the loco could be modelled with the cab door open. It is the summer of 1990 afterall. Part of the chassis needed to be cut out to allow the door to be open, and the wiring for the lights was rerouted to the other side of the cab. The cab and bulkhead also needed modification with the razor saw, and a new cab floor and brace was fabricated with some plastikard. All these were painted after they were fixed in place. A rumage through the parts box found a suitable cab door from a Hornby class 56. Although not identical to a class 47 cab door, it looked fine inside the cab. You can’t see enough of it to notice it’s different. A kick plate was made and glued to the bottom of the door, covering the lower door handle which is found on the class 56. I then made a plastic bracket and located the cab door in place.

Part of the chassis removed.

Next, the loco numbers, nameplates and BR arrows were removed. The new numbers, etched nameplates, depot plaques and arrows were secured in place with some varnish. Attention could then turn to painting the window surrounds white, with a good quality brush and a steady hand. The same was done for the bufferbeam before fitting screwlink couplings and appropriate pipework. The glazing was then reinstalled using liquid poly, and the fuel tanks were also swapped to suit. The bogies were also swapped from another Bachmann model that already had the details painted in white. Yellow stripes were painted on the fuel tanks, and the buffer heads painted silver, as per the prototype.

BR arrows offset and painted window surrounds.
The finished loco.