Some progress has been made on my Vi-Trains/Lima Class 47 hybrid, with final detail painting, varnishing and basic weathering out of the way. What remains now is glazing, adding cab interiors and final reassembly before some extra bits of weathering. Talking of which, I’ve a set of the wonderful etched windscreen masking templates from PH Designs for the Class 47. These help create the distinctive sweep of the prototype’s wipers over a fly- and dirt-spattered windscreen. See MR155 for a review of these templates.

47280 is being depicted a little dirtier than I’d initially envisaged, following a bit of a cock-up in the varnishing stage. Well, a few cock-ups in fact. The first coat didn’t take at all after I forgot to give the body a thorough clean/degrease beforehand. Plus, I’d put the nameplates in the wrong place (secured with the varnish). After laborious rubbing down to prevent the paint being disturbed, I tried again but this time using some pre-thinned Humbrol SatinCote left over from another project. However, this mix had been sitting around for a few days and, although kept in a lidded container, it had gone decidedly off.

It really was one of those moments when you know you should have known better, but by then it’s too late. Although it looked fine during the application, after an hour or so it started to ‘pickle’, leaving a very rough, slightly misty surface; Duh! So, more abrading but this time the overall finish started to suffer and it showed through the third clear coat and, thus, a few dirty streaks here and there, plus the odd scratch and rust patch have covered a multitude of sins.

One thing that I need to resolve is the incorrect fuel/water tank arrangement between the bogies. My replacement Vi-Trains chassis portrays the twin banks of battery boxes, but 47280 Pedigree ran with an original-style set of boiler tanks into the 1990s. I’m sure that I’ve got a set of spare Heljan tanks somewhere... but exactly where I’m not sure...

This has been a long, drawn-out project and I’ll certainly be glad when it’s finally signed off.

Here is the list of detailing parts used on this model so far:
Radiator roof fan & grille – Shawplan DP47-00
Engine room window pipes – Hurst Models WP4
Headcode panel with light lenses – Shawplan DP47-05
Headcode panel with white marker dots – Shawplan DP47-04
High intensity headlight – Replica Railways
Turned brass Oleo buffers – A1 Models
Etched coupling hooks – Mainly Trains MT356
Brake pipes & hoses, wipers, buffer beam steps & lamp brackets – from Vi-Trains Class 47 detail pack
Boiler compartment covers – A1 Models
Handrail wire, 0.33mm diameter – Alan Gibson (via Mainly Trains)
Flushglazing, Lima Cl47 – South Eastern Finecast
Pedigree nameplates – Shawplan
Bogie footsteps – PH Designs
Decals: black TOPS numbers - Howes Models (N gauge Class 58 numbers); RAILFREIGHT motifs – Replica Railways; OHW flashes - Fox Transfers; large double arrows – airbrushed through DIY stencils.

This image of a sun-blessed 47280 is from the excellent Class 47 website ( 


  1. I've rather enjoyed seeing you rebuild a Lima 47 - I still think that it has a lot of potential if you happy to do the work. I'm part way through my own take on reviving a Lima model and it's been a very satisfying project!

    Although there seems to be a large degree of snobbery from some people about slightly older models, regardless of how good the moudlings actually are, I think they make excellent learning projects for the less experienced as well as projects where the more experienced modeller can really tailor it to meet his or her exact needs, and have a lot of fun on the way!

  2. As my first attempt at detailing, I am going to bite the bullet and update a Lima 47 into Scotrail Highland loco. I am at the moment collecting all the bits and bobs that I need. I am thinking of replacing the wheel sets with better quality ones.

    1. Wow, Scotrail livery sounds nice. Ultrascale do a drop-in replacement wheel set for Lima 47s and it makes a massive difference to the appearance and performance and are simple to instal.
      Good luck with your project!


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