As a prototype, the Metropolitan Vickers/Crossley Type 2 Co-Bo is unlikely to be anyone's favourite. Ungainly and deeply unreliable, they didn't last awfully long, although miraculously one has survived into preservation at the East Lancashire Railway. Heljan's 'OO' model, produced for Hatton's Model Railways, a decade or so ago, has proved popular with modellers of the 1960s transition era of BR and I couldn't resist adding one to my collection.

It took a while before it made to the head of the queue for detailing and weathering but, now it's ready for service, I'm thrilled with the results. As showcased in the latest issue of Model Rail magazine (MR257), the Heljan model didn't need too much in the way of detail upgrades, with the biggest impact being achieved by simply replacing the printed BR logos for superior decals from Fox Transfers. A few other decals were also applied, with a change of number, addition of overhead line warnings and the red circle coupling compatibility codes.  

Most of my effort went into the weathering job, with a number of stages employed, beginning with artists' oils to create a subtle fading effect prior to the generic grime coats. The fading didn't quite turn out how I intended, but on reflection that's probably for the best. Indeed, I'm more than satisfied with the results and I'm looking forward to seeing my Co-Bo pootling about my layout in the near future.

Heljan's printing process usually results in the BR logos appearing dull and lifeless. These were removed and replaced with superior screen-printed waterslide decals from Fox. 


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