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Metr0Land

Weathered LT Panniers

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Since buying the Red Pannier book, I’ve become a tad obsessed with what I call the ‘mid life patina’ of the LT Panniers and how it might be recreated in OO form.

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Although the latest Bachmann offering of L89 seems quite accurate in terms of the original colours, it doesn’t have that wonderful weathering they had some way between ex-works and totally filthy.

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The way they got that sheen was described in the book, and although there is much source material on weathering model locos, I’ve never quite seen this done to achieve something resembling the LT patina. With a current Bachmann loco being £65-ish with p/p I wasn’t about to make a real mess of it without knowing where I was going, but fortunately had a couple of old Mainline panniers in BR black to practice on.

Note: I do not have an airbrush so everything had to be brush paints and powders. I suspected it may be a case of building up layers, and this turned out to be the case - no great skill, just a long elapsed time as there are several stages to this.

The transfers were rubbed off using T-Cut and the body cleaned. The next issue was - what paint to use? I took some colour photo books to my local model shop (Model Junction, Slough) who specialise in Americana but they also have lots of useful bits and bobs.

I had a feeling there was an American colour I could use for the body, and they had racks of Testors Polly Scale acrylics to check the photos against. I settled on Lehigh Valley Cornell Red, although D&RGW Freight Car red is similar - just a shade lighter and may be better if you want a loco nearly ex-works.

Over several days I brushed 4 thin coats of Cornell red, building up the coverage and leaving to harden. The LT pannier lining transfer sheet is currently out of print, so I used some old Pressfix GW lining for the tank sides, plus some gold fleet names I’d had from Radley Models for ages.

The dirt and grime on the body was built up by 3 coats of Modelmates oil brown spray - leaving to dry a bit then rubbing most of it off again in the places where the cleaner would have rubbed the paintwork with oily rags.

Finally (for the paintwork) a couple of thin coats of Micro Satin from Microscale Industries - I’m pretty sure the ‘active ingredient’ is actually the same as original Johnson’s Klear, but I’ve never been able to get hold of any Klear as it’s no longer sold.

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The cab roof and top of loco were heavily dusted with black soot, over-brushed with dark grey dust which I feel captures the look better than just plain black., plus replacing the coal in the bunker.

I know there are several faults with the body but this exercise was about ‘achieving the look’ of the paint and weathering. Things to fix are:
a/ I made a mess of handrail on LHS
b/ I need large gold L.92 for the bunker - no idea how to achieve this.
c/ Couplings are rubbish and will be changed (probably to Kadees) eventually
d/ There should be 4 hooks half way down the bunker to hold fire-irons
All the above can wait for now, so much to do, so little time……

The driving wheels and coupling rods had a couple of coats of Cornell Red, and the rods have a couple of coats of signal red on top. After weathering, the rods were cleaned along the top edge only, as that seems prototypical.

L92 simmers at Aylesbury Juction whilst the crew take a break:

 

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The wheels were then daubed with coats of dark grey and light dusty brown alternately as that seemed to capture the feel. A great thing about pastels is you don’t have to wait for them to dry and can add further top coats straight away. The whole chassis was then sprayed once with Modelmates oil brown and rubbed down. The close up pics are very cruel - you can see where I need to re-touch bits.

L92 waits to set off with a short goods:
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A comparison with the donor loco:

 

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All in all, I’m very pleased with this 1st attempt and happy with it a ‘normal viewing distance’. I’m less happy with the close- ups though pretty pleased with the cab and bunker bits. I’ve decided to call it a day on this loco for now and will probably attack my other Mainline pannier over Xmas. Hopefully that will give me enough experience to encourage me to have a go at the 65 quid model. At least on the Bachmann one, it’s already painted, so it’s just a weathering job to be done.

Edited by Metr0Land
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I’m working on another black pannier before I tackle the big one and have a go at my Bachmann L89.

It occurred to me that I hadn’t shown a pic of how the loco looks in Cornell Red before applying transfers and weathering. If anyone’s tempted to have a go (and I hope you are), note that the loco actually looks more like it’s in red oxide than anything like the patina I was aiming for.

Here’s a comparison between my L92 and the next loco in the workshops. As you can see, the application of 4 coats of Modelmates Oily Brown spray (rubbed down between each course), and 2 thin coats of satin varnish, radically enhances the finish.

 

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Edited by Metr0Land
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I know if i say this i'll open a can of worms, but i find Halfords Volkswagen gambia red presents and nice rich red, beter than either of the Bachmann efforts. But you may not be able to obtain the same patina with weathering as it is whole lot darker.

 

As it is, with a good deal of grot they look super!

If anything a little underweathered ;)

Edited by London cambrian

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If anything a little underweathered ;)

 

Thanks - I had thought about going the whole hog and having one with very little crimson showing, but by the time they got really disgusting it was a bit later than the time I'm trying to model. I don't mind using some modellers licence (see thread on 16T wagon weathering) but the 'covered in sh.. period' is just a bit later than I want to do).

 

Having said that, I do need to get some practice in for HEAVILY weathered locos as some of the steam types eg J39 were close to withdrawal and not getting any TLC. But.... I am erring on the side of under-doing things as so many people get it wrong with heavy weathering and I definitely haven't mastered that skill yet.

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L99 has now joined the fleet. Here’s a cruel close up:

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Like L92 it’s another Mainline pannier that’s been given the treatment. I’m still nervous about doing Bachmann L89 but at least I’m getting more confident I can repeat the exercise.

L99 has crew and canvas curtains (which the LT ones had for use in tunnels). As a consequence I’ve also added these to L92. I’m not too obsessive about loco details but to get a bit of difference L99 never had steam pipes (as far as I know). Also she was a bit more ’stripey’ as the tank sections were riveted not flush, and more grime got caught in the rivets - although the front sections got cleaned by water spillage.

I did have her a bit more stripey than these pics as it’s quite evident in some real life pics. However it looked a bit unreal on the model so I’ve softened the effect somewhat.

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And yes, the couplings will be changed eventually!

Edited by Metr0Land
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Many thanks for posting your photos, seeing what you have done has giving me the push to start mine.

 

Paul.

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Apologies if this topic keeps popping to the top for a while - I'm trying to recover the situation where Photobucket has stopped hosting pics

Edited by Metr0Land

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I should add that sometime since the start of this thread the large numbers for the rear bunker became available again, enabling me to finish the panniers (finally!)

 

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Not much good for weathering I'm afraid but you might be interested to see this photo taken at about 7:30 pm on a dusky Tuesday evening in 1970/71.

This is South Harrow and shows what, I remember, as the only regular working over the Piccadilly Line in 'daylight' hours. The loco is heading towards Lillie Bridge.

Edited by Nick Gough

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Of course on the last day everything had been cleaned up.

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(sorry about the focus)

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(and the heads)

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(that's better)

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The last photo above shows the trip cock and the cut-back roof with repositioned gutter - features the Bachmann model is sadly missing, presumably for production efficiency and to keep the price down. Easy enough to add if required though.

 

Metr0Land, great job with the weathering. My own model of the original L91 is still ex-works (Swindon) and in its short life with LT probably never got that dirty.....

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