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Class 47 detailing project. Conversion of Bachmann 47. "A P4 Brush 4". Part 1

Posted by Jon020 , 26 January 2012 · 2,470 views

shawplan detailing brush 4 bachmann class 47 p4
Workbench update January 2012. I’m going to create a few work bench updates here to reflect what I have managed to achieve since “finishing” Nimbus at the tail end of 2011.

As some might have read, I’ve had a bit of an issue acquiring the necessary to “P4” a Bachmann 08... so I’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 didn’t help, so a spare was sourced and all was put back together again... although with that level of detail to cope with it wasn’t without incident, but all broken chains and bits were repaired and she’s whole again. I’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... “simples” (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.
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I had a Bachmann BR Blue 47035 [32-802], the one with the “wrong” domino headcode – i.e. it’s a black solid panel with marker lights and not a “Domino’d headcode panel. OK, so “wrong” is a bit strong.... “not of much help” 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, I’m just awkward.
Right... so, I thought... I know, Bachmann did a 4-digit headcode version didn’t they..? I’ll keep an eye on e-bay and if a “body only” comes up, I’ll try and bag it. It did; I did! Great! Not great! Hang on.... what’s that on the roof – three grill panels per side? Where’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 – 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 “Domino” one. Brian thought the latter the better option... and until some etch rad shutters are available, I agreed.

So, here we have some photos – of each unit – the bodies now swapped over so I can work on one.. and still “play” with the other on my friend’s fairly big OO layout until I start on the chassis – esp as there’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!
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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 it’d been without so many engineering issues!
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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!
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The 47.... to start, all glazing and cabs were removed, and the headcode panels drilled and filed out. I didn’t open these out to quite the same size as the full opening, detail photos show that there’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 didn’t look too fine) and then set about cleaning up the edges and profile... just a clean up – no reshaping.... yet! Oh, but the (class 57) riveted windscreen surrounds were removed.
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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.
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Looking at prototype photos, underneath this is what one might refer to as “eyebrows”. Now, these seem to differ depending on whether the loco was Crewe built of Loughborough built (for our American readers that’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... there’s an American warewolf in London (I think) line in there about never trusting a man whose eyebrows meet in the middle – 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.
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Right, now, I’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 “bit”... 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 “fit”... 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 “scale”... there’s a bit of a mismatch and the glazing is smaller than the internal dimensions of the frame. So, the frame won’t do anything to hold the glazing in place. I need to talk to Brian about this... and I’m wondering whether use of the Heljan laserglaze items might be better... as they’re a bit bigger (aren’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 – but that doesn’t matter – 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 (I’ve some to hand). Cut to size – 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 – thinner one is closest... but not right. I’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 – this is not as easy as I’d thought... and I’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!) – actually, I prefer the 4-digit code, so if I can find a solution, a 47 with a suitable “deltic deputising” headcode will be chosen
    Attached Image

I’ll wrap this up now... as that’s it for now on the 47.

Oh, I’ve managed to make my first P4 turnout kit too... still need to work out how to actually “do” the TOU... but I’ll be dropping Mark T a note very shortly... I’ve had the explanation – just need the right flux/solder and skill to put it into practice. Wish me luck!

That’s that for now. Jon’s doing some modelling again. I hope some of this is of interest/use. Warmest wishes to all and Happy New Year (if it’s not too late to wish it to you all - 2012 or Dragon)

Thanks for reading... as ever... Jon
  • Like x 7





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James Hilton
Jan 26 2012 22:23
Jon an interesting project. I just ended up finding the Duffs a little dull and mundane and sold my Freightliner body snatcher (57) and Heljan 47 on in the end (when I was still in OO). On that subject, I finally skipped Paxton Road last week. A sad day but it had decayed too much through not being looked after...

Seeing you working on this though - wow - usual attention to detail and incredibly fine work. I'm finding my small scale wings again with 009 stuff, but it's your work in plasticard that has been quite an inspiration on this front so I hope to be able to emulate some of the finesse of your Deltic (and I'm sure ultimate efforts with the Duff) on my latest work.

Enjoyable read and great to see you back :)
Hi James, wow that was a quick comment. Yes, I saw that Paxton Rd was skipped - the cat seemed quite content on his/her perch in the skip. Shame that, but understood. Thanks for the comments; I know what you mean about the 47s, but for me no east-coast depot would be right without one at least (if not 4)... so, time to give it a go. They are the box-on-wheels though aren't they!
Glad the 009 stuff's progressing - something to do in the warm on those winter eveings - a slight difference to your fabulous G stuff! I still read your blog with interest; sorry I've not been commenting much; I'll amend that next time :)
I hope the detail will live up to expectations ... we'll see.

Oh, and I forgot my other diversion that's distracting my railway modelling attention where it should be focussed - those photos that have appeared from Brain Moore on the gallery pages of those fantastic HO US outline diesels (and some steam - did I see a big boy or cab forward yesterday?) have really inspired me. Brian's kindly offered to put me in touch with some local layout/groups (thanks Brian) and I've been wondering about tinkering with a SD40-2 or something similar. The detail on some of these RTR models is so far ahead of what we're currently seeing in brit RTR... although I suspect that this is being addressed by more recent offerings... and fingers crossed the Dapol Western will be as good as it looks (fingers crossed)... so we're catching up.... but maybe a Southern Pacific Dash 2 wouldn't go amiss... Hmmmm?
Looking good Jon,
There's always a catch when you find the prototype you want to model and realise it makes a lot more work than you had intended, I get that a lot!
Have you re-wheeled her yet? what wheels are you using because I know that these can be a pain because of the Bachmann middle axle, I know JSW uses a smaller centre wheel as its been noted that straight conversions like being in the ballast more than being on the rails. ( A reason I'm happy with P4'ing Vi duffs )

Dave
A detailed SD40-2 would be good to see hint hint...
Should this be as entertaining as ones Deltic epic, a good read beckons over the coming weeks.

They are the box-on-wheels though aren't they!


Absolutely not! How can you even say that Jon... :O

Seriously, its great to see another new blog from you on the humble class 47 workhorses. I shall look forward to see it receive a thorough makeover as per Nimbus, and am already enjoying Part 1.

As mentioned above, good to see you back Jon...having chosen a duff for your next project, I am sure you have a soft spot for them really... :lol:
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James Hilton
Jan 27 2012 13:00
Oooh SD40s - yum yum, and the Southern Pacific 'Rio Grande' style lettering used on the later units is very eye catching. Have you picked up a copy of Model Railroader? They're doing an online subscription for the e-mag for $29.99 a year - I think it's on a Kindle app.

I've got a ton of Canadian HO stuff (http://www.rmweb.co....=14061&p=222460) still in Chester at Mum's house. Mainly Athearn units with a light re-working and detailing. I'm currently resisting getting back into the scale, because to do it justice you need a LOT of space. Oh for North American home style basement railroad!

Looking good Jon, There's always a catch when you find the prototype you want to model and realise it makes a lot more work than you had intended, I get that a lot!Have you re-wheeled her yet? what wheels are you using because I know that these can be a pain because of the Bachmann middle axle, I know JSW uses a smaller centre wheel as its been noted that straight conversions like being in the ballast more than being on the rails. ( A reason I'm happy with P4'ing Vi duffs )DaveA detailed SD40-2 would be good to see hint hint...


Dave, thanks.... Wheels will be Ultrascale (order reached "in progress" status two weeks ago). Yes, I'm aware of the bogie issues... but at the moment these ones seem ok... but I'll watch out. However, the "layout" will eventually only be a smally one... so no high speed running, so fingers crossed it'll be ok. I quite like Vi Duffs too... just not got one - mind you, given what I've had to do here maybe I could've!
Yes, a Dash 2.... another project to ponder - if only there was more time.

Should this be as entertaining as ones Deltic epic, a good read beckons over the coming weeks.


"Entertaining", well, I'd not seen it as that... but that's good. I'm glad it's taken this way. I admire yoru optimism though - looking for a read over the "coming weeks"... I suspect it'll be months... but not too many hopefully.

Absolutely not! How can you even say that Jon... :OSeriously, its great to see another new blog from you on the humble class 47 workhorses. I shall look forward to see it receive a thorough makeover as per Nimbus, and am already enjoying Part 1.As mentioned above, good to see you back Jon...having chosen a duff for your next project, I am sure you have a soft spot for them really... :lol:


He he... but you know what I mean Pete. Yes, I know.. these days, it's "gosh a 47!!!"... back then, oh no just a Brush 4! Never mind. Yes, I've a soft spot for the work horse of the day.... and didn't they get everywhere - a diesel Black 5 IMHO. Thanks for the comments.

Oooh SD40s - yum yum, and the Southern Pacific 'Rio Grande' style lettering used on the later units is very eye catching. Have you picked up a copy of Model Railroader? They're doing an online subscription for the e-mag for $29.99 a year - I think it's on a Kindle app.I've got a ton of Canadian HO stuff (http://www.rmweb.co....=14061&p=222460) still in Chester at Mum's house. Mainly Athearn units with a light re-working and detailing. I'm currently resisting getting back into the scale, because to do it justice you need a LOT of space. Oh for North American home style basement railroad!


Hi James (again)... just looked over your old thread... wowser! That's nice. There is a huge appeal in this subject matter... but yes, space is needed. Brian has already suggested I go along to a local group... I think they have largish layouts, so that might be a useful thing to try out. I'd like to focus on detailing and weathering a loco - and the Dash 2 seems an obvious choice ... although I keep lookling at the tunnel motor versions and wondering about how much soot you could apply and get away with.
I actually picked up Model railroader last week - local WHS had one... not a bad read... but a bit generic. Some nice ideas though. Been browsing stores and ebay.com since... nothing pulled at the wallet yet though.
If this is your thing, take a serious look at BrianXMoore's photos - there is one on the front page still I think - of a Cab Forward... have a look at the"Anson Road(?)" gallery... and you might just see what grabbed my attention.
I saw that you've picked up your next kit... I'll have a full read and follow that over there.

Thanks all for your comments... I hope I can provide the progress that the model deserves.
My word Jon - first time I've ever seen someone do the eyebrows in any scale, let alone 4mm. Top stuff.

Now... how about doing one with the tail light hinges at the different positions?!

Pix

My word Jon - first time I've ever seen someone do the eyebrows in any scale, let alone 4mm. Top stuff.Now... how about doing one with the tail light hinges at the different positions?!Pix


Thanks for the eyebrow comment - it's just one of those things that I find... that having done the new rain strip, I thought, well, why not. Now... yes, those hinges. I think that to do this, I'd need to look back at the eyebrows.... Mine is a crew machine, so I think the hinges are fine; they're the other way on a Loughborough machine - a lucky escape there I think.

I only hope that I can get the rest of the front end to look right and sort out the glazing... cause otherwise these details will be lost... so, I've set myself some good and hopefully achievable goals.
Working serck shutters on the next one though... not this one thank you very much.
Eyebrows? You diesel types are a bit odd! :-)

Only joking. Despite this being way out of my era I can't wait to follow this one Jon, its simply such good modelling.
Mikkel, thanks pal. That means a lot. Just wish I had all your skills, especially the scenic ones, which I so admire.
Right, lets see if this works - it usually doesn't. I think I've solved the headcode problem. A piece of plasticard was cut to the same shape as the opening, and a rectangle cut in the centre... leaving only a thin frame. This was sanded to shape finely and stuck in place with zap a gap (pink/thin to hold; green to fill gaps) and left to dry. I made up a new thin sanding tool - strip of plasticard reinforced with thicker strip, with 380 grade paper stuck to surface... and once dry, sanded the opening "square". Clear screen will now sit in against this and look right. The frame will be black and the headcode digits will sit inside... that's the plan. Glazed part still needs tidying, but hopefully this pic will show the result. If it doesn't work I'll just add the flickr link.

Jon (fingers crossed)
http://Posted Image IMG_2649 by Nimbus20, on Flickr
Worked well I think Jon - I am still trying to work out how to post images into a blog reply...

Oooh SD40s - yum yum, and the Southern Pacific 'Rio Grande' style lettering used on the later units is very eye catching.

Ahh yes, I don't think I could resist a Tunnel Motor in the later 'speed lettering', I just hope I never happen across one at a show!

Phenomenal attention to detail Jon, which is what I'd expect based on the De*tic that you did such a good job on. This will be one special spoon 8)

Worked well I think Jon - I am still trying to work out how to post images into a blog reply...


Pete, I've struggled with this recently; I thought we had to post the BB link into the adding "image" box... but I've not managed to get that to work for a while. But Andy's now set this all up to link directly to flickr (and youtube I think....) so I inserted a link, with the "link" button to the image on flickr and the results are as above. So that's what I'll do from now on.
Jon
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Portchullin Tatty
Feb 01 2012 18:45
Jon,

One look out on the Bachy 47's.

I understand that on some of the bogies the centre axle is a smidgeon lower than the two outer axles so it is a little inclined to rock. I have seen a number of converted 47's, so this clearly can not apply to all but there have been complaints.

Check very carefully with a straight edge and if you are not certain, bag some replacement bogies?
Thanks Mark... just replied to your e-mail actually. Yes, well aware of these (Jim's been advising too) - mine seem ok with the original wheels - but I will check when the replacements arrive. Fingers crossed.

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