Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Improving the breed

After a few months of working on my 7mm NG stuff I've finally got my 4mm scale "Mojo" back! Not that it ever went away that much. "Steam on the Cambrian" has it's first outing of 2014 on the 12th-13th April at the Stourbridge Railway Club exhibition, so, It's really time I got my finger out and did something towards that.
Among my latest purchases was the new "Dukedog" from Bachmann. I had pre ordered this from Modeller's Mecca nearly 3 years ago and had decided on the factory weathered version hoping to save myself a bit of work before letting it loose on Morfa Bach / Penmaenpool.

As it comes "out of the box" it's not a bad model at all, quite a lot of work and changes seem to have gone into making this model, one of the reasons for the long wait I suppose?
The "coal" in the bunker is a metal casting and easily removed, so this was the second job after removing the carbuncle tension lock couplings and fitting Smiths screw links. nothing looks as good as real coal so the tender was coaled up with the real stuff.Fire irons and pick axe were added at the same time.
Originally numbered 9022 I ordered a set of etched brass plates from Gary Wells at 247 Developments and these were duly fitted to change the running number to 9017.
The factory weathering was a little disappointing to be honest, just a quick blow of track dirt brown from an airbrush.The brownish colour being applied to the frames, boiler and smoke box. Now,this, to me as I remember steam in service, did not look right, most engines towards the end of their lives were filthy dirty but not that colour!
So, out with the weathering powders and an afternoon of brushing on and off various shades of browns, blacks and greys until I was reasonably happy with it. Extra light grey was applied to the front running plate to represent ash from the smoke box that had not been cleaned away 100%.

The smoke box door was given a touch of "red rust" to simulate the corrosion that seems to occur on the real thing if the door is not 100% air tight and the door over heats with the resulting paint flaking off and light rusting appearing.
A BR (W) lamp has also been added to the right hand lamp iron bracket.

A couple of small criticisms of the model are that the front bogie swivels 360 degrees, and you have to make sure it's facing the right way when railing the locomotive, Not a problem if you use the tension lock couplings.

The other small criticism is the chimney, it looks a bit on the narrow side to me, but without accurate drawings or sizes I'm not sure, it just looks too narrow to me. Also the Inner bore of the chimney is very much too small, this is a common fault on much RTR stuff though, I suppose the mouldings and tools used to make the body account for this. One day I will probably get a lost wax cast chimney and solve these last two problems in one go. Sprung  buffers would have been nice too at the recommended price that Bachmann suggest!
Well that's it for this entry another load of drivel from me soon!


  1. Lovely Loco Frank, any chance of a video of it running please.

  2. Yes, Phil, soon as I get the chance to do that I will post a video here or on Facebook.

  3. Well thanks for tempting me to open my wallet again Frank, are you on commission from Lucy :-)

    You've made a nice job there and she will look at home with your other Dukedog which has a top feed if I remember correctly. Perhaps a nice photo of them on shed together wouldn't come amiss ?

  4. It's a lovely model innit Frank, well like pleased with mine. Mark