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A J72 for Bethesda Sidings - Part 3

Captain Kernow



It's been a while since the previous blog entry covering the refurbishment of this loco and in fact, the remaining work was completed fairly soon after the previous blog entry, but I've just not got around to posting the remaining photos.


'Jennifer' portrays an ex-LNER J72 that was sold-out-of-service to the Vale of Radnor Light Railway, which is an outrageously improbable line that ran to Capel Bethesda station on the line between New Radnor and Rhayader in Mid-Wales, near the English border. The light railway has running powers into the goods yard, which forms the basis for my 'Bethesda Sidings' cameo layout.


I tested the chassis under power (with wires from the controller temporarily soldered directly to the motor) and was happy with the way it ran. Pick-ups were then added and the loco again tested 'under it's own power. Again, I'm happy to report that it ran nice and smoothly and is capable of a very slow speed crawl if required (not necessarily prototypical, however).


The Perseverence chassis kit doesn't provide sandboxes and I scratchbuilt a pair of these from plasticard.


All that remained was to paint the chassis and weather it and the loco body.


These days I tend to brush-paint a red oxide primer straight onto the chassis and also to spray the wheels with the same colour, having masked the treads off first.


I then mix up a dirty, gungy 'weathered chassis' mix of enamels and brush-paint both chassis and wheels. Other colours are then added to portray lighter rust, grease and other types of dirt.


When the paint on the wheels is fully hardened, I remove the masking from the treads and tidy up the border between the metal tread and the painted sides, by putting each wheel on an axle in turn and putting them one at a time in an electric drill and using some cotton buds dipped in cellulose thinners to get the unwanted paint off the edges of the treads. If it goes well, you should be left with a nice neat separation between wheel tread and wheel side.


The chassis is then put back together, pick-up ends checked to ensure they are clean, backs of wheels cleaned and the chassis tested again under it's own power on the test track.


The loco body is next to be weathered. I wanted 'Jennifer' to be slightly grubby above the footplate, so I airbrushed a weathering mix of enamels as described by Martyn Welch in his book 'The Art of Weathering' and let it get touch-dry for a few hours.


Much of the weathering is then wiped off the loco body (particularly the dark green livery areas) with cotton buds dampened with enamel thinners.


Additional weathering effects are then added with a brush and/or powders and a second overall misting of the weathering mix is done with the airbrush again.


Once I am happy with the overall effect, I leave the loco for several days to fully harden off.


I then re-unite the body with the chassis and give the loco a further test on the test track under power.


The last job (apart from providing a crew, which is actually still to be done) is to make up one of my standard loco boxes from Dalerboard.
















If I was starting from scratch with another ex-Mainline J72, I would probably replace the smokebox/boiler handrails and provide additional detailing, but the point of this project was to re-use an existing loco that I had initially finished some 30 years ago, without changing it too much.

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Nice work CK..Looking forwards to seeing Jennifer in action one day..


Any chance of a modellers masterclass in the construction of Dalerboard stock boxes?

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  • RMweb Gold

I do like that sheen, seems just right. The stockbox is a work of art in itself. Must be satisfying to do. Can I ask what thickness of Dalerboard you use?

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  • RMweb Gold

Any chance of a modellers masterclass in the construction of Dalerboard stock boxes?

I certainly could do, although I recall doing something like that a few years ago.


Still, next box I make can be the subject of a more in-depth explanation.

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  • RMweb Gold

The stockbox is a work of art in itself. Must be satisfying to do. Can I ask what thickness of Dalerboard you use?

Thanks Mikkel. I'm not aware that Dalerboard comes in any thickness other than 1.5mm, so that's what I use, anyway.


The whole object of this type of stock box is to keep the loco upright and to minimise handling when taking out of the box and putting it back again.

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  • RMweb Gold

Thanks Captain, we don't seem to have Dalerboard for general sale here in Denmark, so I'm looking for something equivalent. I suppose I could order some from the UK but it seems a bit excessive to have cardboard flown across the North Sea :)

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