SLW Class 24 – Taking a Brave Pill!

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.

D5021 at Manchester Victoria – presumably at some point between 1970-1974 before application of TOPS numbers. (Original photographer unknown)

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.


9 Replies to “SLW Class 24 – Taking a Brave Pill!”

  1. Cracking Job, There was a Cockshute to Healey Mills freight in the 1970s fits your time period. Healey Mills men knew 24’s for this job possible it could have failed and be used on a tripper before going back over the hills……

  2. I wonder if it’s worth picking out the window frame in dull aluminium, as that jumps out to me as such a neat detail in the original photo too! I’m amazed at the results you get with just washes and pastels, I hope one day you add airbrush too, because I find hencombination of the techniques is what gives a weathered finish real depth and believability and in all my year s I’ve not found anything that gives the same subtle blending effect that a light waft of airbrushing can… or a heavier coating when appropriate.

    1. Thanks for your kind comments James, although this one has definitely benefitted from the airbrush treatment too – I tend to use a mix of washes and airbrushing while Oly often avoids the airbrush…. I’d agree on the blending effects though and personally find it key to effectively toning down roofs in particular.
      The window frame in silver is something I thought a

      1. The window frame in silver is something I thought about for a while as to whether to include or not – it’s a tricky one as I tend to like to present my models as part of, and blending into, the larger scene. I’m the first to admit that what I aim to achieve is, I’m essence, an interpretation rather than an absolute in detailing terms, and for that to work I generally think consistency across all models is required.
        Therefore, while the prototype inspired the model, the weathering is still intended to be consistent with my other models, all of which avoid specific ‘stand out’ features – I felt the window frame would likely fall into this category and therefore decided to leave it as is!

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