Whilst browsing in a local Model Shop at the weekend, I came across an interesting orange diesel shunter from Jouef. This HO loco, representing a French prototype looks to have been taken from a cheap starter set as the bodyshell and chassis are a bit basic. However, it has potential.
Not long ago, I upgraded a similarly cheap and cheerful Lima 0-4-0 diesel shunter to a semi-fictitious War Department loco for use on my embryonic layout set in North Africa during WW2 (although not intended to be totally authentic - merely 'inspired by...').
The SNCF loco will follow suit eventually, although it will need a lot of work. The motor is ok but noisy and jerky, so a new unit will be installed, perhaps with twin flywheels. I'm not sure if I'll retain the existing drive unit or upgrade the entire chassis with something like a BullAnt unit. The bodyshell will have to be modified to a large degree to suit the WW2 period, maybe as some kind of requisitioned industrial machine? By not sticking 100% to prototypical accuracy, there's much more room for your imagination to run riot!
See Model Rail issue 133 to see how I converted the Lima model, while the Jouef project will also appear in due course.