Just completed a full overhaul of a Hornby GWR Prairie Tank for a work colleague at Bauer, involving replacing an entire chassis and revamping the bodywork of a rather elderly model.
As supplied, the motion was knackered, motor a bit rough and bodyshell a bit bashed. Luckily we had a spare chassis in the Model Rail store so that was a very quick swap, although the body needed much more work. New handrails and other small details like brake pipes and real coal chippings in the bunker made a massive difference, plus a driver and fireman squeezed into the cab.
The main improvement is in the finish, with the body stripped and scrubbed at the beginning of the project and the lining removed in favour of a more appropriate plain black finish with early-style BR crests and etched numberplates (luckily available with the same running number as the original model: 6167 – from Fox Transfers). Blue circle and ‘D’ route restriction legends have also been added.
I took the opportunity to try out a new tin of Alclad2 Gloss Black cellulose paint - it worked a treat - no need for varnish before adding the decals, just a spray of clear satin enamel to finish off.
Although it’s been around for ages, the Hornby model still looks pretty good and the new chassis runs very smoothly. It felt hard to resist going for a full super-detailing and weathering job on this loco as I’m sure the work would be rewarded with an even better looking model. But that wasn’t what my colleague had asked for. Maybe I’ll look out for another donor model and have a go for myself...?
Right, I better pack my bag for Glasgow tomorrow – got an obscenely early start in the morning. Really looking forward to three days north of the border and catching up with lots of readers and traders over the weekend... Maybe see you there?