'O' gauge 'Gronk' in the works.
When Dapol’s ‘O’ gauge Class 08 appeared late last year, I couldn’t wait to get hold of a BR blue version, primarily with an eye on an enjoyable weathering project. Recreating that shabby look, with leaking fuel and oil stains and faded blue paintwork, would provide a welcome challenge.
As things panned out, I ended up having to do some significant modification work to the bodyshell in order to recreate a later version of the ‘08’. As my main passion is for the 1980s era of British Rail, most of the earlier Class 08s had been – or were about to be – withdrawn by the late ‘80s.
Dapol’s sole ‘08’ bodyshell tooling portrays the early pattern of bonnet doors, with long, chunky strap hinges, so these would need cutting away and replacing with low profile hinge detail. Moreover, one of the louvred equipment cabinets on the running plate also had to go, meaning that three of the doors would need extending to full height.
|Instead of a knife, I used one of my woodcarving chisels to remove the raised hinge detail. A shallow No. 4 sweep (London Pattern) proved the most effective, being less prone to 'digging in' than a regular knife blade.|
A few other detail tweaks were also necessary, including removing some of the headlamps and the radiator access ladders. I could have gone further with the detailing work, but time was a factor and, to be honest, I just wanted to get on and weather the thing.
Due to the nature of the modifications, I’ve had to repaint most of the bodyshell, so the opportunity was taken to create highlights and lowlights in the paintwork, as a prelude to the weathering job. Using a few different shades of Railmatch BR Rail Blue (the darker shade tinted with Railmatch Weathered Black), including Railmatch’s pre-faded shade, some careful airbrushing work guided the paint shades into specific areas.
|New bonnet door panels have been added from thin plastic card.|
Incidentally, I employed a fine airbrush for the job, despite the model’s large scale. An Iwata HP-HC, with a 0.3mm nozzle/needle combo, allowed me to target the paint accurately. An Iwata Revolution CR (0.5mm needle) took care of the primer and clear coats, where a more general, dispersed spray pattern was required.
I’m just waiting on the clear gloss coats to cure fully before adding the decals. Once they’re in place, I can get on with the rest of the weathering. Look out for the full feature in the next issue of Model Rail magazine (MR237), out on June 29th...