Class 47 detailing project. Conversion of Bachmann 47. "A P4 Brush 4". Part 1
shawplan detailing brush 4 bachmann class 47 p4
As some might have read, Iâ€™ve had a bit of an issue acquiring the necessary to â€œP4â€ a Bachmann 08... so Iâ€™ll not touch on that here. I also had to strip Nimbus down to basics and replace the motor due to a unsettling growl which disappeared if he loco was turned on its side (bearings?) Lubrication didnâ€™t help, so a spare was sourced and all was put back together again... although with that level of detail to cope with it wasnâ€™t without incident, but all broken chains and bits were repaired and sheâ€™s whole again. Iâ€™ll do another entry on that.
Here, I will focus instead on the next loco project which is a detailing exercise of a Bachmann Class 47.
I started this, really as I wanted something quick and easy after spending well over a year on the 55; so, just a re-wheel and address the known issues with the bach 47... â€œsimplesâ€ (gawd I hate that term... now kicking myself for using it... but you get the gist)
But.., the project has turned out to be anything but simple.
I had a Bachmann BR Blue 47035 [32-802], the one with the â€œwrongâ€ domino headcode â€“ i.e. itâ€™s a black solid panel with marker lights and not a â€œDominoâ€™d headcode panel. OK, so â€œwrongâ€ is a bit strong.... â€œnot of much helpâ€ would be closer for this project... and why..? because I wanted an East Coast 47/4 to sit with my Deltic... so in approx 1974 condition. Yes, I know, Iâ€™m just awkward.
Right... so, I thought... I know, Bachmann did a 4-digit headcode version didnâ€™t they..? Iâ€™ll keep an eye on e-bay and if a â€œbody onlyâ€ comes up, Iâ€™ll try and bag it. It did; I did! Great! Not great! Hang on.... whatâ€™s that on the roof â€“ three grill panels per side? Whereâ€™s the Serck thermostatically controlled panels. Damn. Now what? Think think think (in best winnie the pooh fashion).
To be honest, hindsight now tells me that I should have kept an eye out for one of the Bachmann green ones - some of the early ones had the serck shutters and as I'm probably going to end up respraying in total... it would have been no real hardship. C'est la vie... oh for 20-20 hindsight. As you read on though, you'll see that this still might have been the better (if not certainly the much easier) option. Hey ho!
A phone call to Brian Hanson â€“ best options? Cut off the roof section of each and fit the rad shutters to the 4-digit headcode version..? OR, drill out the headcode and replace that on the â€œDominoâ€ one. Brian thought the latter the better option... and until some etch rad shutters are available, I agreed.
So, here we have some photos â€“ of each unit â€“ the bodies now swapped over so I can work on one.. and still â€œplayâ€ with the other on my friendâ€™s fairly big OO layout until I start on the chassis â€“ esp as thereâ€™s a Howes sound unit in there. Quite fun last night, three of us, some beers and the 47 and his 37 thrashing around the loft layout ... 37 with cement wagons, my 47 with a 7 coach rake of Mk2s. A fun evening!
As can be seen from the photos, the roof sections are quite different, so opting for the front end work was certainly the best option... if only itâ€™d been without so many engineering issues!
Oh, and to complete the picture, I have the Shawplan/Extreme etchings roof fan/grill mesh as well as the windscreen surrounds and laserglaze set... enough to be starting with.
Diversion - my father's L1 that he wanted to be late crest (was early crest) - old one removed and my first attempt at pressfix... satin varnished and handed back. No weathering ... Dad likes them like this... and so be it. A nice model though. Thanks to Tom (was it) for the clue re pressfix. Work done just before Christmas... so warranted a diversionary mention I thought!
The 47.... to start, all glazing and cabs were removed, and the headcode panels drilled and filed out. I didnâ€™t open these out to quite the same size as the full opening, detail photos show that thereâ€™s a slight lip around the inside... so I left a fraction of a mm to represent this.
I also removed the upper handrail (which didnâ€™t look too fine) and then set about cleaning up the edges and profile... just a clean up â€“ no reshaping.... yet! Oh, but the (class 57) riveted windscreen surrounds were removed.
The removal of the windscreen wipers highlighted the feeble upper rain strip (is that the right term) over the front of the cab. So, I rubbed this all back a bit and attached a strip of microstrip (glued end on with Zap-a-gap CA Pink (thin) and filed sanded the corners smooth to match the correct corner profile.
Looking at prototype photos, underneath this is what one might refer to as â€œeyebrowsâ€. Now, these seem to differ depending on whether the loco was Crewe built of Loughborough built (for our American readers thatâ€™s pronounced luffburra... not louga barouga as we once heard one of our suppliers refer to it) (chortle)... I think the split eyebrows are crew... joined in the middle Loughborough... thereâ€™s an American warewolf in London (I think) line in there about never trusting a man whose eyebrows meet in the middle â€“ but I digress. The 47/4s I was looking at seemed (therefore ) to be Crewe built... so I used two pieces of microstrip again... to represent these items. Adding this changes the shape somewhat... and I think, for the better.
Right, now, Iâ€™ve almost run out of pictures.... but.... what else (one photo at end - sanded off details will be put back correctly at the end):
- These strips reduce the available area for a windscreen surround... and as the etches are (scale to the 47)... a little paring back of the eyebrow strip was necessary... and then a little work on the nose prow, to deepen the recess between screen mounting surface and almost horizontal forward surface of the node â€œbitâ€... but eventually, there was enough material removed to allow the etch items to fit in the gap.
- The laserglaze windscreens needed a little opening up of the openings to allow a â€œfitâ€... mainly in the corners and mostly at the outer bottom corner... to match the shape better. But these now sit in nicely. Unfortunately, because these were made to fit eh Bachmann model, and the etch surrounds are â€œscaleâ€... thereâ€™s a bit of a mismatch and the glazing is smaller than the internal dimensions of the frame. So, the frame wonâ€™t do anything to hold the glazing in place. I need to talk to Brian about this... and Iâ€™m wondering whether use of the Heljan laserglaze items might be better... as theyâ€™re a bit bigger (arenâ€™t they?) so adapting the model to take these might allow a better fit in this instance... but discussions re still to be had (sorry if you read this/hear about this before we talk... I hate to phone and disturb your evenings)
- Headcode panel. Oh dear! Right... the spare 47 body came with what looked like spare headcode glazing taped to the inside of the body. OK, so they were too long â€“ but that doesnâ€™t matter â€“ one was cut/sanded to shape/size and tested. All seemed to be working, but when polishing this, I must have bent it a little and it delaminated. Well, it was a nice idea!
OK, thinner piece of acetate (Iâ€™ve some to hand). Cut to size â€“ yes, but still very thin. This was not very strong, so I wondered about whether to replicate the headcode roller blind (plasticard having no etching means about me) which could sit behind the glazing, look reasonable and reinforce the thin glazing. Attemps shown in photo â€“ thinner one is closest... but not right. Iâ€™d still have to work out how to apply the headcode behind this (more glazing?) and assembly might be a pig. Current idea is to ditch this plan, and cut out a window the size of the headcode blind that will sit behind the glazing allowing only a rectangle opening... just like the prototype photos... all still an idea, but will be pursued.
But conclusion â€“ this is not as easy as Iâ€™d thought... and Iâ€™m beginning to question my sanity... but hopefully an engineering solution will be found.
(I knew I should have stuck to domino headcodes on that deltic (!!!!!!!!) Hindsight eh!) â€“ actually, I prefer the 4-digit code, so if I can find a solution, a 47 with a suitable â€œdeltic deputisingâ€ headcode will be chosen
Iâ€™ll wrap this up now... as thatâ€™s it for now on the 47.
Oh, Iâ€™ve managed to make my first P4 turnout kit too... still need to work out how to actually â€œdoâ€ the TOU... but Iâ€™ll be dropping Mark T a note very shortly... Iâ€™ve had the explanation â€“ just need the right flux/solder and skill to put it into practice. Wish me luck!
Thatâ€™s that for now. Jonâ€™s doing some modelling again. I hope some of this is of interest/use. Warmest wishes to all and Happy New Year (if itâ€™s not too late to wish it to you all - 2012 or Dragon)
Thanks for reading... as ever... Jon