English Electric built about a hundred 350 hp shunting engines for British Railways, and also some batches of very similar engines for Nederlandse Spoorwegen. The British engines became class 11, and the Dutch ones became classes NS 500 and NS 600. Roco make a 1:87 scale model of the Dutch engines, and it is straightforward to convert this into a class 11.
There are a few batches of the Roco models. The later versions have a flywheel and an NEM 652 socket, and this version is the subject of this write-up. I dismantled the model to convert it to DCC operation, and with the model in pieces it seemed sensible to do the conversion.
Most of the work involves removing unwanted detail. For me, the most difficult part is drilling new holes for cab handrails in the right places. The second photo here shows some filler where a hole went in the wrong place.
1. The body shell is in two parts, split along the footplate and secured by a tab behind the radiator grill. Prise off the radiator grill and then pull off the top of the body. On my model, the body was very tight.
2. On the chassis, trim 2 mm from each end of the front buffer beam:
3. Pull the two light guides out of the main body, and cut off the clear moulded spigots which form the lamp lenses. Also remove the window glazing. Set all these parts aside for reassembly.
4. On the main body, pull off the blue lamp and the four loading gauge markers. Also pull off the horizontal handrails on the sides of the cab, and the vertical handrails beside the cab doors. Remove all of the lamps too. All of these parts can go into the spares box.
5. If you are making a model of an engine running on BR after 1969, remove the ladders as well. I suppose, some industrial users might put the ladders back, but I haven't found a prototype of this yet.
6. On all of the tool boxes, trim away the moulded hinges and fasteners.
7. On a class 11 (but not a Dutch engine), all of the doors nearest the radiator are full height. So on the left side of the engine (see photo), cut away the front part of the tool box and fabricate the missing bottom of the second door and a new front for the tool box from styrene.
8. On a class 11, the hand rails each side of the cab doors are rather longer than on the Dutch engines, extending about half-way up the windows on the doors. Drill holes for handrail knobs on each side of the cab doors.
9. Fill all of the unwanted holes in the body, I used Holts knife stopper to do this.
When you put the body shell back onto the chassis, you now have the essence of a class 11, minus hand rails and paint:
I used lighter fuel to remove the printed lettering, and then gave the model a few coats of Halfords aerosol primers. I put grey first and then white over the top so the grey would act as a witness coat. Then I added a few tiny pieces of extra filler (the knife stopper shrinks as it dries) and fettled the body.
I added the new hand rails on the cab side and bonnet using 4 mm scale "short" handrail knobs from Nairn Modelling Supplies (these are more compact than the Markits ones) and some 0.45 mm brass wire. The hand rails on the front steps have Markits "medium" knobs.
Many of the BR engines were sold off into industry, so the paint job sets up the model as either a class 11 or a former class 11. I settled on a simple livery inspired by a sister engine used at Day Aggregates and later preserved at the Mid-Hants railway.
The hand rails on the front steps kept falling off so I removed these before painting the model, the mouldings here are rigid polythene and nothing stays put for long.
I used Halfords 'Vauxhall Reed Green' and Railmatch 'faded warning yellow'. Halfords recommend their grey primer for the Vauxhall green but I chose white because it was easier to use the same primer all over the model and the yellow needs a white base if it is ever going to cover. The cab roof is a pale grey from the Revell Aquacolour range. I finished the model with a very light dusting of Humbrol enamel matt varnish, applied a few weeks after the acrylic gloss. This hides the brush marks on the yellow paint and kills the high gloss of the green.
I do not intend to number the engine, but a nameplate would be good when I find something small enough. The camera is unkind to models but I am happy with my results here. This is my first attempt at repainting a model I bought brand new - there was some trepidation here but it has turned out nicely.
The Roco chassis runs well. Its main weakness is the use of plunger pick-ups on the treads of the wheels. The pick-ups get just as dirty as the wheels, and you have to drop the wheels out to clean everything. I try to not add too many Continental outline models to my collection, but I think the model looks business-like with this Roco hopper wagon, and representative of a private British operation.
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