Thursday, August 30

37401 from ViTrains - Part 1

Now to a new project, this one is for the 1986 era. At DEMU's DEMFEST event at Swanwick a couple of weeks ago, I picked up ViTrains recent Large Logo 37401 ("Mary Queen of Scots"). There are a couple of really good pictures of her in the Train Crazy book, Scottish Class 37s: Part 2 (Nick Meskell) and a Fotopic search will bring more. The object of my project is to detail and weather her as running in summer 1986, about eight or nine months after the 37/4 revolution on the WHL, but during the period when 37/0s were still running too (albeit only on freight trains).

A quick review of photos shows the main defects of this version of the notoriously difficult 37 are the cab windscreens (too high by perhaps a scale 2", and with too little of the 50p shape on plan) and the absence of the large roof panel which includes the engine room access covers and exhaust ports and lies between the circular radiator grille and the no.2 end panel (above the cantrail grilles).

It's a pity about the windows, particularly as large logo livery means that there is a colour boundary between the black cab window surround and the yellow strip surrounding them. This tends to make the error more obvious. On the forthcoming 37/0 in BR blue this won't look so noticable. The roof panel is also a little hard to understand, and trick to fully correct. The options are either to leave well alone, add a microstrip outline to indicate where the edge of the panel should be (but this would then have a recess on the inside which is wrong too), or to cut the roof section out and rebuild. This might be the way to go - more when I get into it...

Anyway, progress to date has been limited to adding lamp irons and snow ploughs to one end, installing a Bachmann 2-function decoder (possibly temporary if I decide to make all the lights independant), and sorting out a Kaydee coupling (actually a Bachmann E-Z Mate because it has a plastic shaft). This was done by cutting the shaft short and then notching it to fit into the ViTrains mount. A glob of epoxy (not shown on the photo below) secures the coupling, and I'm sure that the pulling capacity of the coupling is now related to the strength of ViTrains' mount and not to my bodge. I can't claim credit for the idea - I'm sure I saw this method somewhere else on the web.

More on this project as it progresses...