Having previously created a care-worn 'Hymek' and 'Warship', in typical 1970s condition, my triumvirate of WR hydraulics is now complete with this rendition of Western Consort. Using various distressing, painting and weathering techniques, this is the most neglected looking loco of the three, with faded paint and patches of rust and primer showing through. Since this image was taken, I've also added a few patch repairs to the paintwork, which in turn have started to degrade. 

Having spent many hours on this model, I'm really happy with the end result. The Heljan 'Western' has been maligned in terms of it's rendition of the cab roofs, but a decent weathering and detailing job (both inside and out - the cab interiors being highly visible) really brings the loco to life. Considering some of the extreme distressing visited upon this model, the choice of the Heljan version over the newer Dapol product is a sensible one - it was almost half the price and simpler to dismantle!

A good many individual steps have gone into this project and a full, illustrated demo will appear in Model Rail issue 186, along with details on the 'Hymek' and 'Warship' weathering jobs. 


  1. Hi George... I have to admit that I don't often buy MR... but the article on this job, the Warship and Hymek made purchase a must; I've just scanned through the article and glad I picked it up. This is what weathering is all about, getting that really worn look so typical of the class. I was going to get a Dapol one but they've become the proverbial hens' teeth ... so I'm waiting for a 2nd batch and hope to give it a finish much like you've achieved... they were a class that really wore their coat differently to others. The step-by-step serves as a good reference. I didn't dwell too much on the weathering in my deltic article that finally appeared in BRM this month... but hopefully the results are close enough. Wonderful work George... let's keep the torch for good old faded BR Blue going!

  2. Thanks, Jon. Glad you enjoyed the article and I hope it encourages you to try Model Rail again soon! Funnily enough, I was just looking through your Deltic article in BRM while in the MR office yesterday and you've done a cracking job with the Shawplan bits n bobs. It really is worth the effort to get such a stunning model. The laser-cut glazing makes a big difference too. When I did my Deltic a few years back, Brian hadn't done the windows, so I had to make my own, which were nowhere near as good.
    I liked your weathered finish too - captures that early late '70s/'80s look well.
    All the best,

  3. To be honest, I do pick up MR from time to time, but as I'm not a subs holder it will depend on content; nowt wrong with what's been in it, it's just not been my thing of late. Thanks for the comments on my article; when I did my first deltics, I used your article as a guide on what might be feasible... whilst pestering Brian to productionise the parts he passed to you for yours; I did end up with a spare fret of bits that were the same as those you had... but then the proper bits came along and I set to work with most of them... blogging it on RMW as I went so that others could learn from my mistakes. I still had to do quite a bit of scratch building, but that's what the etched parts tend to do... they make you look a little more closely at what else can be achieved. I suspect that the advances in 3D modelling will enable more to be done and remove less of a need for kit-bashing. It's all still fun though. My current project has taken longer than the 55... I'm doing a 47, using the shawplan bits on the body and a few others on the underframe but lots of scratch building has gone into correcting the bogies and tanks... adding details like the brake linkages and new cosmetic springing to give a decent depth to it all. It's been a mammoth task and I'm just adding the glazing (Laserglaze for the Heljan 47)... to fit in the scale etched frames of this ex-Bachmann unit... it's been quite a project, but finally the end is in sight. It'll be at Scaleforum... entered for the armchair modeller's challenge (with no layout (yet) I suppose the armchair is where I spend some time still)... so it'll get an outing and it's nice to have a deadline. Again, BR Blue, 1974 era, 4 digit Headcode Serck Shutters and TOPS numbered. It'll get a little weathering, but not too much. I must get a Western at some point though; do some detailing and then the weathering that the model and prototype cries out for. Again, thanks for the kind comments...
    best wishes



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