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A dog with a bone? Improving the Heljan 58...

James Hilton


When Heljan released the Class 58 a year or so ago I swore I wouldn not buy one, until some kind soul posted a video link of one shunting an engineers rake during a weekend possession!! With Hattons selling them off at a bargain price I picked up a two tone grey Mainline branded example. The model runs very nicely and well captures the heavy utilitarian appearance of the prototype, but was put to the back of my modelling cupboard as a number of small niggles bothered me and meant modification was required rather than simple weathering...


Out of the box the livery is well applied on the whole, although the spelling mistake in Mainline (spelt out as Mainine - comical) and the incorrect arrangement of cab window black surrounds is quite obvious - it was good to see the tricky painting of the grills in the side doors appear on this model compared tot he initial release.


A read of an article in Rail Express Modeller, and a quick look around the model hi-lighted a few areas for improvement. The body side handrails were to be replaced with finer wire representations, the exhaust moulding was to have the ports drilled out, the numbers would be removed and the cab black surround modified, the model would be renumbered and then weathered to represent a locomotive circa 2000.


So where are we up to?

Well on the old forum I showed a teaser of the bodyside handrails. I've started to fit these as of this week, carefully slicing off the original plastic handrails leaving the holes plugged with the handrail moulding. I then cut down the twisted 5A fusewire eyelets to a shorter neater length, and offered this up to mark the new holes. These were carefully drilled and the handrails fitted with superglue. The long one with 6 eyelets was a pain, and some of them came free from the main handrail causing a few blue words!


Photos of progress so far... :)


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