Improving Model Locomotives – Coal, Crew and Lamps

A key aspect of being the proprietor of a model railway is improving model locomotives. These two images demonstrate how the simplest of improvement can enhance what are now very good examples of particular classes of locos. The first is a Triang/Hornby GWR 27XX half cab pannier that I have possessed for many years. I cannot recall now what exactly I did but it appears I changed the funnel and safety valve cover. The other was to add a crew, coal, vacuum pipes and lamps and a fairly heavy weathering. Finished it looks the ancient loco that it is and on the Hintock Branch it spends its working days pottering up and down collecting empty wagons. It is shedded at Hintock and the regular driver and fireman too are getting on in years. I was disappointed to find the current Hornby version differs very little except in respect of improved wheels.

A 004 Improving model locomotives Half cab 21XX Pannier shunting Farmer's Siding

Half cab 21XX Pannier shunting Farmer’s Siding

The second is of a Bachmann  57XX Pannier tank loco c2012, and an excellent product in all respects, but but even here they can be simply improved beyond their pristine ‘nierout of the box’ appearance to that of a working loco by the same additions of crew, coal and lamps plus a gentle weathering. Of more significance is removing (with a sharp razor blade) the paltry ‘GWR’ from the tank sides and replacing it with the more glorious ‘Great Western’ (from Fox).

JF 071 improving model locomotives

JF 071 A GWR locomotive showing the improvements

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