Friday, 23 December 2016


Ovine logo adorns a Welsh 'Tractor'.

With a longstanding interest in South Wales-based Class 37s, I recently came across a few images of shabby blue locos adorned with a small sheep logo. Apparently known as Selwyn, it seems that the sheep were the work of a driver from the Barry area, first appearing in the 1980s. Funnily enough, some present day DB Cargo Class 60s have sported similar black sheep logos with Margam Depot's initials.

My ViTrains model depicts 37284 in mid-1980s condition, with patches beneath the cab windows where the cast builders' plates have been recently removed and the frost grilles (Shawplan etches) are still in place. The sheep motifs are from Precision Decals, while the TOPS numbers, data panels and depot stickers are from Railtec.

I'm rather pleased with the weathered finish to this repainted model. Abrasives have been used to create patches of peeling/scuffed paintwork as well as introducing some tonal variety.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016


Quick weathering job sees 37901 finished.

As the Christmas holiday approaches and with the next issue of Model Rail magazine done and dusted, I've been able to concentrate on some practical tasks, tying up some lose ends and preparing upcoming projects. With a need to clear the decks of unfinished work, my recent Class 37/9 conversion has been treated to a quick weathering job, taking away the pristine look that made the ViTrains model look a little toy-like.

Resembling how I remember the real thing in the late 1980s, a mix of enamel washes and airbrushed paints has improved the model considerably.

Next in the queue for completion is another tatty EWS Class 60, a Welsh blue '37' and a change of identity for a Metals sub-sector Class 47...

Wednesday, 14 December 2016


Class 37/9 conversion complete.

With the new issue of Model Rail going on sale this week (MR230), here's a few images of the subject of this month's Masterclass feature. Portraying the first of the re-engineered Class 37s, 37901 had its English Electric power unit replaced with a beast of an engine from Stockport-based Mirrlees Blackstone. To allow the taller engine to fit, a new roof panel was required, making for an interesting modelling challenge.

I actually started this project way back in 2012 using a long-obsolete (and rather basic) A1 Models conversion kit. However, I didn't get very far before abandoning the model to the 'to do' pile. In the meantime, Pete Harvey brought out a much superior conversion kit for the Mirrlees-equipped fleet (37901-904), allowing for the modifications made to the exhaust outlets. 

The Model Rail feature explains exactly how the conversion was undertaken, with the etched parts going together - and slotting into a hole cut into the bodyshell - perfectly. It proved to be great fun and I'm glad to finally get the thing finished after nearly five years! Although, I haven't had time to weather it yet, so that might be a job for the next few days...

Friday, 9 December 2016


Shabby Class 60 ready for action.

Now sporting a set of faded number and logo transfers from Precision Labels, this Hornby 'Tug' really looks the part. The vibrant livery has been toned down with a dark grey filter coat, followed by dark washes added to all the recesses and seams. Airbrushed enamels then finished the weathering, giving the loco a more authentic look. I'm so pleased with how this has turned out that I've just started a second '60', this time with slightly less faded markings. 

Thursday, 8 December 2016


Ready-faded decals put to the test.

All shiny and ready for the new decals...

Those Class 60s still wearing EWS colours have been looking a tad shabby in recent years , with faded or peeling numbers and letters. Replicating this has just got a lot easier thanks to some great new waterslide transfers from Precision Labels. Based on images of the real thing, each pack is tailored to a specific locomotive and copies the extent and pattern of fading perfectly. Foil-effect nameplates are also available, but I've opted for a pair of etched 'plates from Fox.

A variety of faded decals are available for a variety of OO and N gauge Class 60s , including tatty Load Haul logos.

After rubbing away the existing numbers on my Hornby model, I gave it a generous layer of high gloss clear varnish, using Alclad2's Klear Kote Gloss, built up over several coats. This gives the transfers the best surface on which to adhere and ensure that the clear carrier film remains invisible.

Once applied, the decals were sealed with further gloss coats (sprayed in ultra-thin layers to avoid damaging the transfers), followed by satin or matt varnish according to your tastes. All I need to do now is add a suitable weathered finish to suit the tatty outlook of the transfers.