74XX in the making

Without sounding like a GWR expert (which I am really not!), the 64XX has been a welcome model for GWR modellers, and with Bachmann’s forthcoming Hawksworth Autocoach, is going to look rather nice trundling up many GWR branch layouts. Of course, as I’ve said before, the Bala-Blaenau line wasn’t your typical GWR Branch. There are no records of 64s being used as the line wasn’t served by auto coaches. However the very similar 74XX class were utilised heavily on the branch.

The main visual difference (as can be seen in the two links below) between the 64XX and the 74XX, other than auto gear fitting, is the cab and bunker arrangement. The straight edged join between bunker and cab (plus no cab lip at the front or rear) was introduced to the last 10 64s built, and the whole of the 74XX class.

64XX drawing

74XX drawing

I was left with two options. I could wait and see if Bachmann produce a 74XX. The likely hood is high as a 74XX is basically a subclass of the 64XX. The other option is to do some modelling and make a 74XX from a 64. I have gone with the later! 🙂
The way I see it, Bachmann’s new 64XX has only just come to market, so it’s going to be at least a year (more like two) before any more are announced. Even if a late 64XX design, or 74XX is announced, with what appears to be supply issues from Kader, it could be three or maybe four years before said loco arrives on the shelves. Of course this is all guess work on my part, Bachmann might not even bother to do the later cab!

So last night I made a start with the scalpel. As can be seen below, we now have a nice right angle join between cab and bunker, and the cab overhang has gone.

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In removing the curved join, I was now missing the lip that runs around the bunker top where it joins the cab rear, so I filled this with some microstrip and filed to a correct profile.

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I’ve removed one of the battery boxes on the chassis (74XX only had the one) plus the Auto conduit cable that runs behind the rear buffer beam has also been removed.

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Auto gear from the front and rear has been removed, the holes will require filling and patch painting. Although the smokebox dart is a full separate fitting and is finer than the offering on the 57XX, I decided to replace with the finer Markit’s dart, which I think looks that bit better.


I would suspect I have the difficult stuff out of the way now. The rest of the detailing is pretty much what i have done previously on my 57XX (running plate hand rails, masokit lamp irons and screw links). I was rather apprehensive regarding the cab mods, but they have turned out better than expected.

I certainly think I’ll be doing another 74XX with this method! 🙂


Pannier Progress – Final Stages

Evening all, and I trust you have all had an enjoyable Christmas?

It’s always a funny time between Christmas and New Year…ample time for modelling and getting this Pannier finished! This 8750 is now in it’s final stages of completion. I’ve added all the Masokit lamp irons (minus the bunker one…which I’d forgotten about) and is almost ready for patch painting before weathering.




I’ve also added the screw link couplings (Masokits) steam heating pipes (Markits) rear vac pipe (MJT) and chequer plate for the top of the buffer shanks (Mainly Trains).

Next photo will be in a week or two once completed. 🙂

On a different topic, Activity Media are closing down with all Right Track DVD’s now reduced into a clearance sale. Very sad new on an excellent series of modelling DVDs, but if it’s any consolation I would say now is the time to pick up any missing programmes before they are gone forever.




Pannier Progress

With my work finished until January, the plan is to get the first of my 8750s detailed. As I posted in my last blog update, I had made a start adding the Mainly Trains etched grills to the rear spectacle plates. Already, this has enhanced the cab area in my opinion.


Yesterday, I made a start on forming the Masokit Lamp Irons. I was somewhat apprehensive of this because the instructions state they are fiddly. I have to say, with my new ‘Hold N Fold’, the process was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Once some 0.4mm wire has arrived (on order from Eileens) I shall do as Michael Clark suggests, by using a wood block and inserting the wire into it, you can use both hands for soldering and securing the lamp iron to the wire, ready for insertion into the model.

Below you can see how the Pannier currently looks. The Lamp irons are sat on the running plate, for appearances sake. The Vac pipe is a Markit’s standard offering, which I shaped with pliers to resemble the prototype (George Dent method). I’ll be adding the steam heating pipe once the front coupling is in place.

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The smoke dart is a Markits product, and is a big improvement over the part moulded offering. This way I can set the handles to reflect prototype photographs. This loco is to be 4543, which on the cover photo of the ‘Foxline’ book, has them set at 8.30.

I intend to crack on with the lamp irons next week, before putting together the masokit screw link couplings. Thanks to Mr Ian Fleming, who has been helping me on goods rolling stock, I have a few wagons to be working on over the festive period.