Quality Approved

I really can’t apply that title to my modelling! However, I have managed to get a few hours on the class 47 this week. The last time I had worked on it I’d drilled some holes on the cab sides, ready for the grab rails, before painting some staples white to act as said grab rails. Yesterday I was able to spend a bit of time fitting them. Of course, I broke one, so fitted a ‘naked’ staple and then painted it in situ. The bonus of using acrylics was that, having made a slight white mark on the cab side I could quickly wash it off.

Next up was the water slide transfer numbers. I spoke to John Peck at Precision Decals and he very kindly – and very quickly – made up just what I was looking for. His decals are easy to use. Apply varnish – Johnsons Klear in this case – to the area you want to apply the decal to, leave to dry and then place the dampened decal on, sliding into place. At this stage I leave it to dry for a day before adding a second coat of varnish.

Finally, for now, the nameplates. Courtesy of Fox Transfers, I decided to add the ‘Quality Approved’ plate underneath, meaning that my 47 is in the later guise of this name. There are lots ways to apply nameplates but I tend to use the varnish approach again. Brush a layer of it on the back of the plate and then place in position. Again, leave to dry and seal again with another layer.

So that’s it so far. The hand rails are added to both sides, however the number and nameplates are just on the one. So that is on my ‘to-do list.’ This list also includes the following:

  • Fit front handrails (wire is on order)
  • Fit front detailing parts
  • Remove coupling bracket from number 1 end
  • Weather – and paint where required – underframe
  • Weather bodyshell (lightly)
  • Fashion, and detail, a better inside cab
Plenty to be getting on with. Why, then, is my mind flashing to thoughts of modelling a small Heritage Railway terminus?


A Helping Hand

Having done a bit of research of my chosen subject, 47489 Crewe Diesel Depot Quality Assured, I discovered that the 47 had white handrails. Initially I thought I’d just painted the moulded effect that is already on the loco cab side (as seen below) but, pretty quickly, I decided this was a little lazy and, if I was making the effort on the loco face, I might as well do so on the side.

The picture above is how the loco looks ‘out of the box.’ It’s ok, in all fairness, but I thought ‘why not give it a go.’ I’d read somewhere on line that 26mm staples do the job as grab rails and so, armed with a small needle file, I set about filing the moulded detail.

As you can see below, the right hand one (my first go) is a little rougher around the edges than the left hand side one. Both sides needs plenty of tidying up with a bit of ‘wet and dry’ (and I’ll now need to repaint too – something I was hoping  to avoid) but generally I’m pretty pleased.

The holes for the staples to go in where drilled with a small twist drill and a 0.5 drill bit and they made short work of the job. I’ve only placed the staples in loosely for now, as there is far more work required around them required before I reach that stage.
In addition, I’ve ordered a buffer beam detail pack from Bachmann and am debating how to go about adding the front grab rails. Thought process on that is to be continued…

‘Duff’ Update

Work on the ‘Duff’ has started this afternoon. It’s only baby steps, but it’s work none the less. The main aim was to remove the moulded grab rails off the front of both cabs in preparation for some proper rails to be fitted.

All in all, it was a pretty simple job; remove the glazing from the inside (to protect it… but then I’m toying with replacing it with Shawplan lazer cut windows anyway) before sanding it gently down with a sanding stick. Five minutes spent on each side and the job was done, as you can see below.

You’ll notice I’ve nicked the black cab window surrounds, but again, I’m very tempted by the etched cab window surrounds to improve the face of the loco. Initially, I was thinking of only doing very minor changes, plus the renumber, but already I’m beginning to think about a few more bits and bobs such as the lazer glaze and cab windows. Watch this space, I guess…

Duff Love


My loss of modelling mojo has many factors, I believe. One of which is the absolute bonkers way that
prices in the hobby have gone up. Recently I’ve downsized my stock, selling lots of items that were just
gathering dust on a shelf. One of the items included a prized class  47 locomotive that I own. Why was
it prized? Well, I ‘cabbed’ the loco when I worked on the railway. However, just sat in a box, I decided to
sell it on rather than let it go to waste… which, ironically, the real version of the loco did!
So with my stock list at a low ebb, I decided to add a loco to it. However, I knew what I wanted but
couldn’t bring myself to pay the – to my mind – extortionate prices asked for it. Therefore the decision
was made; go low-tech. Or retro, whichever you prefer. Going retro meant buying a Lima 47. I love
them and already have a chassis (and a good runner at that) which I could have used for this project,
having bought a body shell for it. Despite that, I found myself a bit of a bargain, getting a full loco for
a little more than the cost of a spare body.

The Lima 47 is low-tech, particularly by today’s standards. Very low tech in fact, however the tooling
on the shell is really rather lovely. I’ve seen many examples of people ‘up-cycling’ them and they
always look pretty swish. I’m not going to do too much to it really but it should make a difference.
The plan is to add the front end details on the buffer beams – pipes, etc – and then file away the
moulded details on the front of the cabs, fitting proper grab rails. Finally, I want to renumber the
loco to 47489 ‘Crewe Diesel Depot Quality Assured’ before adding some weathering to it. I want it to
look ‘lived in.’
Old school? Yes. A ‘Duff’ on a budget? Very much so. Excited? Yes, more than I have been by
the thought of modelling for a long time.