Wednesday, 9 December 2009

DRS Class 20 Revisited

Although the Warley show is now a few weeks behind us, I only just got round to emptying my ‘samples box’ last week, working out how I’m going to feature some of the products that various traders were kind enough to pass my way.


I’ve already mentioned the lovely Shawplan Class 17 roof fans and grilles – so lovely that I was drawn to spend my pennies on a Heljan Clayton within days! Brian Hanson generously gave me a fistful of Class 20 bits as well, aimed at a DRS conversion.


I converted a Bachmann ‘20’ for my first loco detailing book (Detailing & Modifying r-t-r Locomotives, Volume 1 [Crowood Press 2009]) – as pictured here – but made  use of a series of A1 Models bits that were the only suitable parts available at the time. Now, I don’t want to do the A1 bits down as the finished model looks pretty good (if I say so myself) but, compared to these new Shawplan products, the A1 window frames do look a bit chunky.


A further boon for DRS Class 20 conversions is the availability of etched kits to form the extra bodyside fuel tanks, which I had to scratchbuild on my model from plastic card. Ironically, there’s now a choice of kits for this feature, from Shawplan and Peter Harvey Design, both looking supremely well executed and I’m looking forward to trying both. Mind you, it means that I need an extra Bachmann ‘20’!


For modellers of the contemporary scene, it’s worth having a glance at Peter Harvey’s website – - as there’s some cracking stuff available, some of the kits and finishing aids being highly innovative. I especially like the etched brass windscreen masks for use when weathering, leaving a clean area where the wipers have done their work. I’ll also be reviewing these for Model Rail soon.


Another consideration is which prototypes to choose as the basis for my models and which version of the attractive DRS livery. A set of new ‘Compass’ decals is in my reviews ‘Inbox’ from Lancaster City Models who are also offering numbering packs to compliment the logos for both OO and N gauges. Personally, I prefer the original scheme, so maybe I’ll do one of each.


Stay tuned for updates on this pair of ‘Choppers


  1. hi i was wondering do you replace the lights on the front of the class 20 and if you do where do you get them?

  2. Hello,
    THanks for the comment. The headlights have been replaced. On the model featured here, the upper headlight was scratchbuilt from plastic strip, while the lower WIPAC style units were castings from Shawplan (
    PH Designs now also offer packs of suitable headlights, see


  3. Hi there, I was wondering where did you get the DRS coloured paints? Many thanks,

  4. Hi,
    The DRS blue paint is from the Railmatch enamel range, courtesy of Howes Models ( Other Railmatch colours were matt black for the roof, and standard warning yellow (the modern shade, ref 210) for the ends.