Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Something Old, Something Blue

Being a pair of gypsies at heart, me and Mrs D seem to move around a fair amount and rarely get time to unpack all our stuff before getting itchy feet again. After looking through a thousand-and-one packing crates the other day (for something completely unrelated), I came across this old Lima single car Class 121 DMU.

Not a true single-car unit, it was converted from a driving trailer car of a Class 117 using (I think) a Craftsman Models kit sometime in the late 1980s. It’s funny how memory works as I’d almost forgotten that I had this model. However, now I’ve found it, I can picture buying it second-hand from a swapmeet at the Masonic Hall in Warrington in 1988 on a Saturday afternoon. I can even remember what I wore!

My older brother actually did the initial conversion although I ‘refined’ the job a few years later and applied a rendering of blue & grey livery using some aerosol cans. Not having seen the light of day for over 10 years, the motor is no longer up to the job and a few small parts have gone missing. Using Modelstrip paint stripper, the various painting efforts have been consigned to history and the shell now awaits some detailing work and a new paint job, possibly in green.

A new motor is necessary and I’m weighing up the options: a Model Torque drop-in upgrade for the Lima ‘pancake’; a Black Beetle; or perhaps a custom Bull Ant unit. I fancy that this project will morph into a full feature for Model Rail in the near future...   


  1. George, I have a Calder Valley unit which I am bashing into a BRCW 104. It is missing some gangway connectors; I may as well replace them all. Who manufactures brass/whitemetal replacements?

    1. Hi Duncan,
      For metal connectors, you could try Comet, MJT (c/o Dart Castings) or No Nonsense Kits (c/o Phoenix Paints). DC Kits would also be worth a try, although I think they may be mostly plastic bits.