Thursday, 24 November 2016


Another Class 37 project is complete - with some innovative transfers employed.

The latest issue of Model Rail magazine (MR229) went on sale last week and features a pair of Class 37s that I've recently detailed and repainted. As mentioned in the last Blog post, a number of interesting new decals have been employed across both models. In this instance, it's a set of 3D waterslide nameplate decals from Railtec.

Etched metal nameplates provide that distinctive relief of the real thing, capturing the raised surround and individual letters. They can be a pain to apply neatly though, with the risk of glue stains and wonky positioning. Cutting them from the fret cleanly can also be difficult, especially with stainless steel 'plates. Filing away burrs without bending the metal is yet another challenge.

Although, with practice and patience, these challenges aren't too difficult to master, but what if there's a quick and simple alternative that can also work out cheaper? Enter Railtec's three-dimensional transfers that really look the part. Some of the 'plates' can also feature screw and bolt heads where appropriate.

Application proved simple, following the same procedure as regular transfers, so there's plenty of scope for getting the names aligned exactly before the decals dry out. A coat of varnish seals everything securely. By the way, Railtec provides a one-stop option for 37424/558's markings, with a single decal pack offering all numbers and logos, plus the nameplates (including a spare just in case!).  

Over summer, the real 37424 was named and re-numbered in honour of the last airworthy Avro Vulcan bomber, that had recently retired. The 558 numbers are only cosmetic, with the original numbers retained on the front ends. This Bachmann model should be making its way to the NEC tomorrow, to be displayed on the Model Rail stand at this year's Warley Model Railway exhibition.

And what of the final '37' in the trio that I have been working on? That is just being finished off and will feature in the January 2017 issue of Model Rail...

Monday, 7 November 2016


Three different Class 37s in progress, each with a contemporary relevance.

A triumvirate of English Electric Type 3s has been taking up most of my time and energies over the past couple of weeks, each posing particular challenges. The most demanding has been 37800 in the striking Europhoenix scheme, that has required the mixing-up of appropriate paint shades, creating stencils for painting the phoenix's wings and a few physical modifications to the bodywork to mirror the real thing. 

A set of lovely transfers from Precision Labels eased the job, with the mythical bird's head and all logos being provided on one sheet of waterslide decals. The same source also provided a set of 3D-printed Dellner pivoting couplings.

Another '37' in the news has been 37424, recently named and re-numbered in honour of the last airworthy Avro Vulcan jet bomber. This is the first large logo blue '37' I've painted in a long time, the scheme being a staple of my youthful endeavours back in the 1980s. Somehow, I managed to mess up the masking of the black window surrounds and had to re-do them - should have paid more attention! Once I've sorted out the masking, this model will be receiving a set of the great new three-dimensional transfers from Railtec - watch this space...

Two of the 'tractors' (37800 and 37424/558) will be appearing in the next issue of Model Rail magazine (MR229 - out 17 November), while the third - a Class 37/9 conversion - is to feature in the following issue. The pioneer of the 1980s re-engineering programme, 37901, is the subject, the real locomotive having just been bought out of preservation by Colas. But more on this in a later post.

When working on multiple models at once, I try and keep them in similar stages of development, especially with similar livery schemes. Alas, I messed up with the black surrounds on the blue loco, so that has to be taken back a stage.
All glossed-up and ready for the decals - Precision Labels provide all you need for the Europhoenix scheme, with just the overhead warning symbols being sourced separately.