Exciting new announcements…. and a modelling update!

You don’t have to dive into the history books too far to find a time when, if you wanted to model an industrial loco, your only option available off the shelf was the Hornby (ex Dapol) Austerity…. I think about 5 years should be sufficient – certainly when we set out to build Stoating Bank in 2013 that was the case, and industrial modelling was relatively unusual as a result…

Roll forward to 2020 and 4mm modellers are spoilt for choice, with a plethora of choices available, whether you model steam or diesel. This has, I’m sure, led to a massive increase in the number of layouts based on, or featuring, industrial systems.

The clever chaps at Planet Industrials cottoned onto this a while ago, and started marketing a collection of parts to customise these locos, consisting of 3D printed and etched brass components. They also produce whole loco kits and last weekend, as part of the virtual BRM show, announced a new RTR model – the Kerr Stuart Victory class.

Readers of this blog probably know that we are well into anything that helps bring industrials to a wider audience here at OTCM towers. Therefore, there is a degree of excitement here about this, and Planet Industrials are already talking about marketing parts to allow you to customise your new loco! We also got mentioned as an inspiration when they announced the model, alongside Pempoul (no, we didn’t think we would ever hear that either!), so it would be rude not to buy one when they come out!

More details and production dates are expected in the future – initial information provided at the announcement is replicated here:

Not to be outdone, Accurascale also jumped on the announcement bandwagon with the latest coal wagon they are producing – the humble 21 ton mineral, or MDO/MDV if you like your wagons with a post 1974 twist. You may remember we were massive fans of Accurascale’s entry into the wagon market, the 24.5T hopper (HUO) – if not why not have a read here and here!

Much is written on this subject so I won’t repeat it here, but these represent the later, welded, body design. A handful of these will supplement the collection of earlier, riveted, bodied examples built from Parkside kits already in my collection. Detail on these, particularly the underframe, looks top quality and will no doubt show up my efforts!

We have both got back up to speed modelling wise – it feels like ages since we posted any actual models, and the dark evenings with nowhere to go have provided good opportunities to get stuff done. `I’ll leave Oly’s stuff to him, for now this is what I’ve been up to:

Opening proceedings is a Bachmann 37 I picked up second hand a couple of years ago that has been waiting for me to do something with it. I always think the model as it comes sits a bit too high (to allow it to negate 2nd radius curves) and this takes away the heavy, low slung, look real class 37’s have. To that end, as with my other 37 I’ve lowered this by about 1.5mm, removing material from the bogie towers. Otherwise I’ve backdated with some Precision Labels headcode blinds, renumbered, detailed the bufferbeams and weathered. She just needs some lamp irons before being ready to enter service. The polish in the grille highlighted in this photo needs removing too!

Next up, this Bachmann class 20 has received the same treatment as the 37, with the exception of the headcode blinds (obviously) and lowering (there doesn’t look to be an easy way of doing this to the Bachy 20 unless anyone knows otherwise?)

Moving onto the wagon fleet, this month I’ve been focussing on coke. While Hornby produce very nice models of the diagram 1/150 and 1/151, the 1/152 requires a bit more thought. These will run as a decent length rake and as such I’m not after finite detail, more trying to create an overall picture as they role across the layout. As with the last batch produced, I’ve used some 3H examples purchased pre built, and removed the top (above the hopper slope), replacing this with styrene sheet and some microstrip to represent the body strengthening. Rivets were removed from the lower hopper side as these later examples were welded, before being weathered into something representing the state most of these wagons spent their time. Various patching adds variety and interest to the rake, period photos showing this was prolific.

All of these need new brake handles and a bit of finishing off before they are loaded and added to the stock box.

Also awaiting their turn to be completed are the rake of BAAs I was working on during the first lockdown, which have now been finished other than transfers and weathering. I need to get transfers made up specially for these, to represent the first batch turned out at Ashford (actually BABs as they were also through vac piped), finding photos of the initial markings is proving somewhat challenging!

These will remain pretty clean as they would have been in traffic for less than 6 months in my modelling period.

Next up is something I can claim no credit for – but rather nice nonetheless. A rake of PTA wagons for some iron ore traffic – these have been detailed and had the correct bogies added by the previous owner. British Steel had obviously modernised the steelworks served by my layout at the same time as Scunthorpe. Eagle eyed readers may notice these are P4, so they will be retro-graded back to OO at some point, as well as having Kadees added as per the prototypes. A repaint into the original paint colour of dark grey is also on the cards.

Lastly, I’m working on this ALD Models 02, which is a 3D printed kit – this is my first time working in this media and it is a reasonably old print (having sat on a shelf for a couple of years) so we will see what the output looks like – I’m going for a cross somewhere between an 02 and a standard industrial spec YEC 0-4-0, and still coming up with ideas so am a little unclear of the final result!

I’ll try and post a bit less a bit more often from now on! Thanks for reading!



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