While my commute has been extended dramatically due to the line being missing between Dover and Folkestone I finally have an opportunity to get some more words down about my Austerity.
Since Stoating I had swapped and sold the old fleet of austerities to Chris. So when the planning was finalised on ‘Top Shed’ it suddenly became obvious I didn’t have a single austerity down in Deal. So although I can call on the old stoating fleet at Exhibitions I still thought it prudent to have one by the seaside.
I’ve tried not to model an exact prototype, and this will continue throughout the locos for the NCB pool as they need to remain generic of location and time as much as possible. The plan with Top Shed is that the BR locos that make an appearance will vary, from my incoming NBR J37, through to a BFYE class 71 and Welsh blue 37s.
In terms of modelling Austerities obviously as most of you know DJ Models has been promising one for a long time now and it’s worth mentioning that here. A lot has been published online about DJ models and the company’s ability to produce models. I am going to avoid these discussions and regardless of what I or others think of the man, the business and the models I have actually preordered a Hattons limited edition. I will judge the model by its ability and quality. I only hope DJ Models first ‘proper’ model is vindication for such loyal devotion from the believers and the others who have sat in silent patience.
According to Hattons the limited editions seem to be due between now and March so the next Austerity should be a DJ one and you can expect an indepth review from OTCM towers.
But back to the Dapol/Hornby model. The things wrong with it are well documented online but for those who do not know, the chassis isn’t right at all, the wheels are wrong, the body has a seam line and lumps underneath to disguise the motor, the detail is heavy, the handrail configuration can be wrong. So lets face it there’s a lot not looking good. So for me it’s a compromise over ability and finished looks. A lot you cannot change without splashing some cash or building a new chassis. But there are simple mods you can undertake to get something a little more believable.
Anything Austerity you should always think “RT Models” and it’s his online shop that will help you decide how far you want to go with your loco. There are plenty of options and bits for detailing. My detailing work is in no way comprehensive and people online have gone a lot further.
My shopping list for this model is as below:
Dapol ‘Warrington’ Austerity
RT models standard chimney
RT models buffer beam etch
RT models chassis detailing etch
RT models brass Austerity steam cocks
RT models smokebox dart
Railtec Wasp stripes for industrial locos
Lanarkshire Austerity Buffers
Narnshire Models Short Handrails and wire
Smiths Three Links
Bachmann 60s/70s coal miners (for crew)
The last two haven’t been fitted as of yet (in the post)
For those who want to go further you could think of new Gibson wheels (if keeping the chassis) and RT offer bits to completely rebuild the cabs etc.
Visually you can improve the austerity massively by pulling out all the handrails and filling the holes. And carving off all the detail off the front. Repositioning the hand rails and rebuilding the front end detail with Plastikard changes the model dramatically.
I then added RT steps, steam cocks. I even tried to chisel the chassis into a familiar shape but not sure I would bother again.
But the pictures speak louder than words, thank you for the interest in this little 0-6-0 and if you ever need inspiration either follow Gordon Edgar on Flickr or grab his book “British Austerity Saddle tanks”. Without Gordon’s work we probably would not be modelling what we model. So this model is going to be unofficially named “Gordon” after the man himself.