I had good intentions, but somehow a 101 didn't feature in them...
I've got a 101 - I've had it for years. A Limby 3 car 101 in blue/grey was one of the things acquired in the RTR buying spree when I started building Blacklade a few years ago. Being ex Lima and a dowdy Modernisation unit it was rather looked down on as a quick placeholder. After all Bachmann would no doubt displace the Limby model with a splendid state of the art model in a few years
Then the power car took a tumble, resulting in the pivot pin of the trailing bogie fracturing and detaching. A panic-stricken repair with superglue took a turn for the worse when I noticed I'd managed to get a superglue mark on both sides of the bodyshell. A hasty attempt to patch paint the mark with an elderly tin of what was supposed to be BR Grey only left it looking much worse. I then found the repaired bogie left one end sitting about 1.5mm high. At which point the wretched thing was bundled back into its box and buried under other stock.
Where it remained for 4 or 5 years. I managed to source some better rail grey point, and also a spare trailer chassis frame and power car chassis frame, along with a pair of what were supposed to be class 101 bogies . But nothing was actually done. The list of jobs to be done was long and resuscitating one mediocre RTR DMU when I have a perfectly good 108 wasn't near the top of it.
Having some modelling time available I thought about patching up the bodyshell damage. I dug out a copy of the shortlived MRM magazine which featured an article by Rich Bucknall on a simple conversion to a 2 car power-trailer unit . This seemed very quick and simple - and had always been on the cards as 3 cars is really a bit awkward on Blacklade.
So one Thursday evening the poor thing was dug out of its box. An emery board and the 1500 flexgrit soon cleaned down the small damaged area on the DMBS bodyshell, and a little Precision Paints Rail Grey made a good job of touching in. It looked like repair might be a success. On the other side damage was confined to the glazing on one window - and after a little scraping with a finger nail , essentially confined to one quarterlight on that window. A little gloss varnish patched that .
The chassis was robbed from the TCL for use under the second driving vehicle to turn it into a DTCL. The exhaust pipes on this were pulled out.
And at this point it all started to get a bit more complicated....
Firstly the holes left by the exhaust needed to be filled (Squadron green putty did the job) and patch-painted (Railmatch BR acrylic was to hand and was a reasonable match) . Not a problem
Then the interior needed painting . That took a good deal longer than it sounds . Seats blue - except in First which was left unpainted to represent the faded gold upholstered armchairs one found there. Duckegg blue is a decent representation of the pale blue-green formica that featured in many Modernisation Plan DMUs , but which bits are duck-egg blue and which bits should be brown is a bit more complicated and I'm not sure I've left as much brown as I should. The interior needed populating - a raid on the figures box managed to cover that. Drivers were added at each end - Springside I think.
At this point I realised there was no drivers' desk on the TCL interior - which by this stage was nicely painted and peopled for the DTCL. I had to cut it off the moulding I had swapped into the centre car, and fix in place on the DTCL interior
The interior of the cab end glazing was painted dark grey where it is between the windows - this greatly reduced the prism effect round the edge of the cab windows
One end of the DMBS was sitting about 1.5mm high because of the bodged repair . I was under the impression it was the chassis frame that had been damaged, but in fitting and removing the interior - to discover that the problem only manifested itself when the interior was clipped in - the repair to the pivot pin failed and I found out exactly what the problem was
The bogie had to be stripped down - neither Humbrol solvent nor Plastic Weld would touch this plastic - and a rather better repair made with Hafix thick superglue. To avoid any repeat fracture I did not plug the bogie back into its hole until very late in proceedings , and I countersank the hole in the interior moulding underneath (using a craft knife) and opened it out with a rat-tail file, since clearly the top of the pivot pin had been fouling against this since the initial repair
When Hornby retooled the power car chassis to take the new Limby motor bogie, they provided NEM pockets on the bogies. However the underframes on the non-powered cars remained exactly as Lima tooled them, complete with great big old style tension-locks . Those had to go and the hoops were trimmed off with Xurons . A suitable platform was left to mount replacement Kadees - I used #27 medium underset , with a single shim underneath, glued in place with a nylon Kadee screw taken through from the top and cut off below as a peg to anchor them. (These were obtained from Charlie Petty at Railex)
This improves the front end appearance no end
I also found a Craftsman DMU detailing pack . There were enough buffers for a 3 car unit - so I replaced the Lima buffers at the cab ends , since the Craftsman buffers looked a bit bigger - but left the buffers at the inner ends, which are less obvious. I still have enough buffers for a 2 car unit.
However it became apparent that I could not fit the cast jumper cable connections , or buffer bean pipeworth as they would foul the swing of the bogie- mounted Kadees. Since I run parcels tail traffic - and it would be nice to work a DMU in multiple occasionally - Kadees are essential. As and when I build the parcels unit I could form up a 3 car rake, and with a considerable squeeze it may just be possible to run a 4 car short underframe set (101 + 108)
A shot of the bits at this stage of proceedings is attached:
Then I made the mistake of getting out the books to research a prototype identity , and things got more complicated......