June 02, 2015

"No.4480 Enterprise"

A quick recap needed on the building of my Gresley Pacific fleet, given I've actually finished one of them now!

So we start with one of Hornby's newest Railroad Flying Scotsman models.

Then some modelling happens...!

Essentially the cabs, washout plugs, cylinder blocks, smokebox doors and chimneys are replaced, and smokebox superheater headers and sometimes domes are added. The domes and superheater headers can be bought from Graeme King on the LNER Encyclopaedia Forum, whereas the chimneys are spares bought from Hornby many years ago. The smokebox doors are my own resin casts of the super detail Hornby A3 smokebox door. The cylinder blocks were cheap lined out spares from eBay.

The cab replacement method can be seen best here. The front loco has the replacement cab with the shorter cut out fitted, and the one behind has the original cab with the side sheets extended. Fitting the replacement cab requires cutting the original one off, filing down the top of the boiler backhead a little bit, and several rubber bands and slow drying super glue.

Truth be told, replacing the cab altogether gives a much better, more accurate finish, as the addition to the cab side sheets doesn't hide the fact the sides don't curve in as they should do. Plus, the replacement cabs (from the cheap Great British Locomotives magazine models) have full cab glazing - very useful!

The reason for replacing the cab is simple: this gives the cab type accurate for 1946-9 era Gresley A3s, as well as the right hand drive detail that I need for all of my A3s (except for Humorist, which as you can see above was actually converted from right to left hand drive in addition to all of the detail differences added including the stovepipe double chimney.).

The modifications also include adding lamp irons, handrails, couplings, vacuum pipes, smokebox door darts and white metal buffers, and cylinder drain pipes too. The white metal buffers

The chassis gets either a repaint of the wheels, or replacement with lined Hornby alternatives and a new front bogie in many cases.

Well, I finally managed to finish one - no.4480 Enterprise. The paint is just a standard Plasticote gloss black paint, bought from B&Q.

She looks very glossy here compared to the unmodified Railroad model behind.

Very, very glossy in fact! Note that although a lot of the detail is moulded on, it does look superior to older Hornby Gresley A3 models if not quite as refined as the super detail model.

The comparison between the two models - as bought and as modified - couldn't be more marked.

Enterprise received some light weathering and some lamp irons and lamps, in addition to some real coal in the tender. The weathering was mostly brushed on with some powders, and a light touch with a fine brush on the smokebox and around the front and on the tender. Games workshops' Purity Seal spray was used to seal everything in.

Toning down the shiny paint has still left something of a metallic look to the boiler, which I like.

Although annoyingly NONE of my transfers appear to be on straight. They looked it when I put them one, and they look it in real life. New glasses needed...?

Aside from the transfers problem (which I'll deal with in due course), I've really enjoyed turning a budget model into something more accurate. It was great fun, cost me a lot less to do than buying the top detail model from Hornby, and I've another seven to do to complete my fleet. The chassis of the Railroad model is a lovely smooth runner, and the flywheel drive is excellent. The diecast cartazzi and extra weight really add to the haulage stakes too, making it better in my view than the super detail alternative if you feel like putting some effort into your modelling.

Picking the wartime livery for 4480 wasn't entirely a cop out though, as I intend for four of my fleet to be apple green, and four of them to be wartime black. 

This way I have a variety of tender and boiler types and combinations and liveries ranging from NE Black to LNER apple green and British Railways on the tender. Lots of interest for the impending model railway!

Until next time.

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