Cheap kit provides basis for super-detailed static model.

This project is based on an idea that I had years ago. The old Airfix Drewry diesel-mechanical shunting loco, now produced by Dapol, is a great little plastic kit that can be had for around £10, which makes for a useful static feature for a quiet corner of a loco depot or factory yard. 

The plastic parts are showing their age a little, so some remedial work is necessary, especially on the wheels (the flanges are enormous!). And there's plenty of scope for detailing work, such as replacing the moulded handrails with fine brass wire. 

But the kit is also ripe for a more intense upgrade. The soft styrene is easy to cut, so I thought I'd have a go at chopping up the bonnet section to reveal an engine and other internal equipment. With this in mind, I obtained a fantastic kit of a Maybach diesel power plant from The Airbrush Company a few years back (they no longer stock these kits, alas). 

The Great Wall Hobby kit is a 1:35 scale rendition of a WW2 German engine and transmission designed for tanks and armoured vehicles, so it looks a little cramped within the humble Drewry. But, to me, it adds to the fun! Besides, who's to say that this industrial loco hadn't been upgraded with a replacement power unit at some point in its life...?

Although there's just enough headroom and width within the bonnet to accommodate the engine, with only minor modifications, the engine actually looks convincing, especially with the gearbox and driveshaft installed, along with a random array of pipes. The Great Wall Hobby kit provides plenty of detail parts, including a radiator housing for the fan to sit within, which looks at home within the Drewry's nose end.

The project is to appear in Model Rail magazine issue 245, on sale 15 February...

The Maybach engine kit is a pleasure to build, with a high level of detail.


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