I decided to re-number my Hattons/DJM 14XX today.
Much has been said about the 'sunken' number plates adopted by DJ Models for GW prototypes (14XX, 1363) and I have to say that I have yet to meet anyone who likes them.
Some folk have decided that they're happy to live with the 'sunken' plates, which is fine.
Those who need to re-number their model, however, have a choice - either remove the existing 'sunken' plates or simply stick new ones over the top of them.
It's been said by some that the 'sunken' plates are effectively level with the rest of the body work, thus making the gluing of a replacement plate on top a simple job. I'm not so convinced that no part of the 'sunken' plate rose above the level of the body work and when looking at examples of replacement plates glued on top of the old ones, I felt that a small gap could be discerned.
I decided, therefore, to remove the old plates and fit a small sliver of 5 thou plasticard in the resulting 'hole', to bring it up to the level of the rest of the body work.
For me, the clean removal of the old plate, without damaging the surrounding paint finish, was paramount, so not knowing how solidly they were fixed in place, I didn't want to risk trying to prise them out from the side with a small screwdriver or scalpel blade.
I'm not a huge fan of etched smokebox door number plates and I normally prefer to use transfers. As the Hattons/DJM model came as 1450, I had hoped to merely replace the 0 with an 8, from a sheet of waterslide smokebox door numbers, but unfortunately the replacement 8 wasn't quite big enough, so I had to gently scrape the rest of the number off with a curved scalpel blade and start from scratch:
I shall seal the transfers in with some matt varnish next and then continue with the last few jobs on the body, before painting and weathering both chassis and loco body.