Ever since Mr Tatlow invested in an SLW 24, and we were lucky enough to get to play with it on Portchullin, it’s fair to say we have always wanted one – earlier this year I finally had the opportunity to obtain the model of D5021 in its unusual Chromatic Blue livery with small yellow ends.
Enough has been written about these that I don’t need to repeat any of it here – the second production run addressed most of the issues raised by people with the first batch and to my eyes this model is just about spot on.
I was left with a bit of a dilemma over what to do with my new investment though – D5021 got this livery due to poor communication between workshops in 1966, and wore it for a couple of years. It is, therefore, too early for my usual timeframe of 1972/73. After a few ideas of building a layout just for it had come and gone, the seeds of an idea were planted when I found the below photo on Rmweb, somewhere amongst the waffle and froth. Sadly the photo was given no credit and I have been unable to find the original photographer to credit them here.
Noting that the only significant alteration to occur through between the condition of the model and my time period was the application of full yellow ends, this would be a relatively straightforward conversion that would leave me with something a bit different. Although 24’s rubbed shoulders with 76’s frequently, this was only at the western end of Woodhead, with a good number of the 24’s being allocated to Manchester in the early 70’s – the same could not be said at the Eastern end where they were rare visitors…. so I’ll have to come up with a dubious back story as to why it is in South Yorkshire!
When we got involved in weathering Mark’s 24, Which he wrote about here we were in relatively safe territory – weathering is usually removable should something go wrong. (Plus if anything went really wrong we could just blame Mark). However, I definitely needed a brave pill before I attacked the front end of this model, first removing the various details then thinning the yellow panel with a fibreglass pencil to disguise its outline. Next it was out with the masking tape, remembering time spent here was time well spent.
Once done, the front of the model was primed using Halfords white primer – a number of very thin coats being required to build up sufficient density without the risk of runs…. something I often seem to suffer when spraying yellow. To counter any chance of this I decided to brush paint using Phoenix Warning Panel Yellow, thinned a little to allow a smooth application of what is relatively thick paint – a technique I’m far more comfortable with.
Once dry, the masking was removed, the details refitted (apart from one wiper which sprang off and has hidden in a dark corner of the workbench – I’ll have a proper search for it at the weekend!) and a little time was spent with some polish removing the D prefix from the numbers.
It was now time to move onto the weathering – a brown/grey mix for the underframe followed by my usual grimy black/grey on the roof. The black/grey was then VERY gradually applied to the ends, the yellow enamel acting like a glue for any subsequent paint finishes added.
After a little bit of work with the PanPastels, adding some variation and streaking to the areas that had been airbrushed, I was left with the finished result:
Overall I’m really pleased with the results – and will be even more pleased when I find that wiper! The prototype photo appears to show the footsteps up the body side plated over – I’m more than happy to live with this not being the case as there is no way I could do a repair justice. Similarly the TOPS panel is missing – I decided to retain the builders plate given this is so well printed instead.