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  1. A very good summary I would say. Starting off is the big challenge. Cheers Ray
  2. Thank you Alun and John Good literary comments to boost my morale. Yes there has been a lot of discussion here about shades of brown Some people very close to the project have been very supportive but are still not sure about the suitability of the colour. Desert Sand was a very adventurous colour for 1961. It would be 1973 before British Leyland felt confident enough to entice the public with 'Tobacco' and other such brown colours on their Triumph / Rover 2000 ranges. Western Enterprise came from Swindon the cradle of all things Great Western. I don't know for sure but I am guessing that Swindon forced the hand of the British Railways Board to let them paint some of their Mk1s chocolate and cream rather than blood and custard. I am suspecting that by 1961 when D1000 appeared that Swindon might have been forced back into line and would be turning out Mk1s in the corporate BR maroon livery. Back to the garden Cheers Ray
  3. Heljan to my knowledge have produced three models of D1000 Western Enterprise painted in its experimental Desert Sand livery. Heljan model number 5204 represented the prototype when it first emerged from Swindon Works in 1961 with no warning panels. Heljan 5213 had small yellow warning panels as applied in November 1962. Both 5204 and 5213 had a satin varnish finish. Heljan 5221 also had small yellow panels but it had a gloss coated ‘ex works’ finish. When the opportunity presented itself I would buy Heljan 5213 - D1000 Western Enterprise, with small yellow panel. This would be my second Heljan 5213. My first was purchased in 2010 when the model was introduced and subsequently replaced in 2012 with Heljan 5204 – with no yellow panels. Heljan 5213, 2012 sales listing My 5213 models appear to have had a couple of manufacturing issues. I think they would have been made around the time that Heljan was transferring production to China. Firstly the body shell can be difficult to clip on to the chassis and secondly the shades of Desert Sand on the bodyshell, front valance and around the fuel tanks are all different. Might this be why I parted so readily with my first model? (A search for images of Heljan 5213 on the internet provides further confirmation of these issues.) With the bodyshell removed it was evident that the plastic cover for the wiring to the front lights was not sitting flat. This plate presses against the underside of the cab seating unit and hence keeps the bodyshell and chassis apart. (The seating unit appears to be a clip fit to the cab side glazing.) Heljan 5213, raised plastic cover to front wiring Heljan 5213, seating unit Heljan 5213, excess glue to front wiring The plastic cover can be prised off and in my case revealed surplus glue around the wiring. My glue was soft and could be peeled away to allow the plastic cover a better fit. I was not totally convinced that I had sorted this issue and so I also filed away some of the plastic from beneath the seating unit. I had a better fit. Heljan 5213, underside of seating unit My latest purchase seemed to have three different shades of Desert Sand, the front valance and around the fuel tanks. looking to have different amounts of red colouring compared to each other and to the bodyshell. I don’t know what shade is correct – if any. However since the fuel tank and valances are removable I set myself the challenge of recolouring those parts to match the bodyshell. As a starting point I bought some Desert Sand from Phoenix Precision Paints. Heljan 5213, as first out of the box on my layout with red shading on the lower parts Shades of Desert Sand, Heljan 5204 left, Heljan 5213 right, Phoenix Precision Paint front valance right The Precision Paint was to my mind too light compared to the bodyshell and I set about making it darker. I had pots of Phoenix GWR locomotive green, orange lining and black. Over a period of a few days I mixed proportions of these colours and painted test strips on the old lids of cream cheese cartons and on an old CD case. Samples and Mixes I thought I had a solution simply by adding black and went ahead and repainted all the offending parts. I was particularly pleased to be able to expose the white battery box tabs with a cocktail stick whilst the paint was still drying. However I was not convinced about the outcome! Heljan 5204 back, 5213 front , lower body repainted with Phoenix Precision Paints Desert Sand with added Black The removable parts had now had two coats of paint with a third in the offing. The moulded detail was fast disappearing. I had previously researched removing enamel paint from plastic and had bought a bottle of Dettol. I had spare front valances and I used these to trial the process. Placing the painted plastic in a solution of one part Dettol and one part water for around one hour worked a ‘treat’. The fresh paint disintegrated, the underlying old paint softened and was brushed off with a toothbrush under running water. I took the plunge and placed the fuel tanks in a measuring cylinder of my Dettol solution and left them for an hour. Fuel tanks soaking in Dettol solution, one part Dettol, one part water, for one hour Again the recent paint could be washed off whilst the underlying older paint needed some encouragement. I did use some white spirit to remove the final traces of old paint and the underlying black plastic moulding whilst undamaged did develop some white patches. Detail items after soaking with Dettol and brushing in running water. Paint residue on the fuel tanks was removed with a little white spirit Back to more paint samples and this time I made a mix of five parts Desert Sand, two parts orange lining and two parts GWR green. In certain lights it was nearly very good! Now what about the white tabs on the battery boxes? Plan A involved purchasing a white fine liner. I sourced a Uni Posca white paint marker with a 0.7mm tip. It was nearly very good and would draw a permanent fine white painted line on a painted or plastic surface. The problem that I had was that the nib has to be pressed down at the start of drawing and this produces a rush of paint /small blob. Perhaps in more skilled hands this could be controlled. For writing and general art work it would not be an issue but for highlighting discrete items such as the battery box tabs the pen did not appear suitable. I noted that the white paint whilst ‘permanent’ could be removed using white spirit before it had completely dried. uni POSCA fineliner, 0.7mm tip Plan B, I had some surplus Railtec water slide transfers for smoke box numbers. The number ‘1s’ were a perfect match for the white tabs. I don’t have much success at fixing water slide transfers and in this instance I finished off by applying a coat of slightly thinned Humbrol Satin Cote. I must have been lucky as nothing moved! Smoke box door ‘1s’ used for the white battery box tabs Something else that Heljan got wrong was the size of the Western Enterprise name plates. The Heljan printed plates are too small. In myBlog Post in November 2019 https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/entry/22891-enterprising-plates-–Heljan-westerns/ I described fitting correct size C.G.W. plates and Crests to Heljan model 5204 – with no yellow panel. This time around I went to ‘Shawplan’, and their range of ‘Extreme Etchings’. (Interestingly Brian at Extreme Etchings tells me that he owns the C.G.W. range.) D1000 Western Enterprise (Heljan 5213) with plates and Crests from Extreme Etchings Brian also said that Extreme Etchings use a two stage process which results in a three dimensional etch. I was impressed. I think the crests from Extreme Etchings are in a higher league compared to the earlier two dimensional offering from C.G.W. A comparison, C.G.W crest to the fore, Extreme Etchings at the rear I have not acheived a perfect colour match. The various body parts seem to change colour with different lighting conditions (and monitors). The body shell is moulded in red plastic whilst the removeable parts are black plastic. I think that could be part of the problem. Heljan 5213 etched crests and plates from Extreme Etchings, lower body repainted Heljan 5213 etched crests and plates from Extreme Etchings, lower body repainted Heljan 5213 etched crests and plates from Extreme Etchings, lower body repainted I still think a good outcome and the Heljan model does run superbly. There is a video on YouTube prior to adding white to the battery boxes. And another on Flickr https://flic.kr/p/2jbu88L
  4. Hello Ben If Heljan are still producing models with this family of motor, can they make them more readily available for modellers to fit? Cheers Ray
  5. Apologies - I should perhaps have said 'sunshine'. Then of course I should have looked elsewhere - maybe Luffenham! Cheers Ray
  6. A great sense of achievement - well done. 'This Afternoon'? Why not in the garden? Cheers Ray
  7. Hi Dan, I would have said more soot and rust. I think you have to think salt spray and steel. Maybe need weathering to match some of your engines? Cheers Ray
  8. Looking good Bill? These two vans seem to be getting finished. I had a couple of Airfix meat vans - the plastic was a funny bright red colour. How have you fitted the metal wheels. I don't think there were pin point wheels available in the late 60s when I built the kits. I used Jackson wheels which in thosed days had domed ends to the axles. I had them running in Peco brass bearings heat pressed with a soldering iron into the plastic axle boxes. I also had a long wheel base Triang cattle truck. It had the orginal coupling cast as part of the underframe and a split pair of plastic wheels. Latterly I must have spread the axle boxes and forced in some Jackson wheels. I used to cut tiny sections off the old Triang axles to glue into the outside of the axle boxes to block up the gap. I have seen that Bachmann have been selling one of their super detail catttle trucks badged up to carry Ale - what a great idea. Cheers Ray
  9. Hello Bill Some nice pictures - I like the track ballast. Too much oil can be a problem with the old Mainline pancake motors - especially if it gets on the commutator between the copper and the brushes. A little bit of oil on the axles might be useful if the engines have been laid up for a length of time. The Class 4MT looks good with its sprung buffers. The original buffers were in my opinion far too small. It was a good model and the green version feature on the front of the Hammat and Morgan Controller box. Getting on e of our 'Scots' running will be a test of your ingenuity! I have popped in to your Blog. I like the CCTs - I must go back and add some comments. Keep watching Cheers Ray
  10. I am returning to one of my favourite subjects, Heljan Westerns. My sixties layout is shall we say ‘stuck in time’. Rather than purchase the latest model shop offerings I have been backfilling some gaps in my ‘stock book’ from eBay. Whether it is a sign of the times or just an ‘age thing’ but I have picked up a number of excellent ‘unused’ models, and in one case unopened from around ten years back. Heljan is a particularly interesting manufacturer in that their models seem to be designed to clip together with minimal use of glue. The upside is that models can be taken apart and repaired relatively easily. The downside is that the models are sensitive to impact and do not travel well. Western Queen – fresh from the Post. Spot the Reporting Number in the packaging Heljan 5218 aka D1040 Western Queen – missing one reporting number Judging by the number of advertisements for models with missing Train Reporting Numbers these parts appear to be particularly sensitive. A little knowledge is dangerous. I have spare sheets of numbers which can be scanned and reused. When a model was advertised with a missing number I thought, not a problem – I can make a new plastic window and cut a replacement number from one of my existing sheets. Heljan Train Reporting Number Window The little windows for the reporting numbers are a push fit and can be poked out from inside the body shell with a wooden cocktail stick. Mine measured 7 x 5 mm and I cut a rectangle from some scrap glazing out of an old Mainline coach (I was going to use the lid of a CD case). I don’t know the exact thickness but I used one of my wife’s emery boards to reduce the thickness to be the same as the existing. ]Heljan Train reporting Number Glazing The corners need to be rounded and then the plastic repolished using something like automobile metal polish. There is an element of trial and error in the polishing and fitting process. Time to fit the numbers - I should add that if the number needed is not already on the sheet or has been used then one way of making the replacement number is to save a scanned image of the sheet to a programme like Word and cut and paste the required number from another part of the scanned image. Heljan Western (Class 52) Train Reporting Numbers My model of Western Queen was missing its number ’27’. This didn’t feature on my Heljan paper sheet so I would cut and paste a ‘7’ into the top line to make the missing ‘27’. Heljan Train Reporting Numbers 5218 aka D1040 Western Queen compared to earlier models Oops – I don’t know how I missed this detail. Whilst the early Heljan Westerns had clear windows and paper reporting numbers, the newer models such as Western Queen came factory fitted with the numbers bonded to the rear of the window. Furthermore the font type and size on the two models is significantly different – note especially the shape of the number ‘2’. Don’t ask which is correct. I was only interested in matching and replacing the missing numbers on my model. (Carter’s drawing in his book British Railways Main-Line Diesels is not sufficiently detailed to estimate ‘window’ sizes and omits totally any font.) After some trial and error I alighted on the font and size combination shown below. Using Word it is a simple operation to insert a text box, add a black fill to the background and print in white. (I use the same technique to make smoke box door numbers.) Heljan 5218 aka D1040 Western Queen Train Reporting Number Font Size I would cut out my Train Reporting Number and use some varnish to attach the printed paper to the plastic window. It all looked very grey. First attempt using varnish for fixing compared to genuine numbers old and new The numbers on Heljan Queen had a white painted backing – I would use some Humbrol enamel. The varnish took time to dry – I would instead use some of Mr Wilkinson’s ‘Super Glue’ – it worked a treat. Heljan 5218 aka D1040 Western Queen – which one has the replacement ‘27’? (I forgot to make a note) For comparison I have included a picture below of Queen and I think Campaigner fitted with paper printed numbers – highlighting again the different font types and sizes. Heljan 5209 aka D1010 Western Campaigner compared to Heljan 5218 aka D1040 Western Queen Moving on to another unused model, Heljan 5213 aka Western Enterprise (with small yellow panel). This one recently arrived complete with signed health check dated 2010 from the Hereford Model Centre. I am thinking that Explorer might have been one the first Heljan models to have been produced in China because there are a couple of production related issues. Firstly and most noticeably the skirt and body shell are different colours. Heljan 5213 aka D1000 Western Enterprise Secondly the body shell was unclipped on one side from the chassis. Further investigation showed that the two cab ‘open’ windows were unglued. After not a little time I decided that surplus glue applied around the running lights was preventing the black nylon cover plate to the wiring from sitting flat which in turn was pressing against the cab seating unit, and since the seating unit is clipped to the opening side window this could account for both the window being dislodged and the body shell not sitting down correctly. Heljan 5213 aka D1000 Western Enterprise cover plate and wiring for running lights Heljan 5213 aka D1000 Western Enterprise – cover plate raised by wiring Relative position of cab seating unit As stated at the start, Heljan models are made to clip together and can generally be successfully pulled apart. I don’t know whether the cab side window is designed to be held in place by the cab seating unit or vice versa. I used a dab of super glue to hold the window in place before I clipped everything else back into position. For completeness the cab side window showing fixing slot for seating unit Even after removing surplus glue from the wiring I was not convinced that the cover plate was lying flat and I used a file to remove some the ‘thickness’ from the seating unit where it might be contacting the cover plate. Underside of seating unit highlighting areas where plastic was filed away Back together it is 90% sorted - but perhaps that is as good as it will get, given that the plastic body shell has likely been sitting in the wrong position for nearly ten years. Heljan 5213 aka D1000 Western Enterprise with small yellow panel For comparison – a picture I took earlier. I need to investigate some shades of Desert Sand! Heljan 5204 aka D1000 Western Enterprise no yellow panel
  11. How exciting - lots of projects. The J72 has different nylon axle joiners to any of the other models - when you speak to Bachmann Technical Department they will ask you if you need the joiners for the J72 or any other model. I too had a couple of Airfix 4Fs. I remember changing the emblem on the tender on one and blackening the edges of the driving wheels. One ran infinitely more quietly than the other. No problem with haulage of the tender drive! I still have one Airfix Castle which I converted to 'Swindon'. As has been mentioned elsewhere it has a Collet tender body from a Dapol County. I look forward to another update! Cheers Ray
  12. Hello again SF Your mention of the lining encourages me to add a couple of pictures of my Jubilee Connaught which has a centre black line to the boiler bands. All other pictures of the model on the web that I can find show a single orange band. I have drawn attention to this matter previously. This model was purchased second hand. The shade of green used by Bachmann on Connaught is similar to that used on Patriot 'REME' - which had a black centre line to the boiler bands - just like my model of Connaught. I am convinced that the lining was completed before the handrails were added and therefore was added in the factory - a nice touch. Cheers Ray
  13. Thank you SF - that really is rather neat and clever. Just a little thing like bringing the tender and engine closer makes a huge difference. I don't like taking a knife to my models. With the B1 family of tenders the 'hook' is a separate screw on moulding that can be replaced. The Bachmann Stanier and Folwer tenders are rather more 'cast in plastic'. I am well impressed with the arrangements for the fallplate. Thanks again Regards Ray
  14. Its a challenge and if something breaks you can usually find a similar model on eBay that you can use for spares. That in itself is a whole new interest. Bachmann technical department sells the nylon isolators / axle joiners for their split chassis models. Peter's spares (and others) sell the equivalent bits for Mainline and Replica models. As to the Airfix Castles they were great. I have a couple of their tender drives fitted into much newer Hornby Counties. They seem to be indestructable although I could never work out why some were so much noisier than others. I shall wait to hear more. Cheers Ray
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