Singing the Blues - by James Bowden

A small timescale project for a Class 73 electro diesel

Being a man whose thought process runs along the path of 'if it’s not very good, make it better' I decided to have a bash at the Hornby (Ex Lima) Class 73 electro diesel to perform a little old fashioned model making before the current days that are filled with super-detailed models.

I used the current Hornby model as a base and grabbed a bargain Bachmann Class 25 from a well known internet auction site and began the work.

I heavily modified the Hornby chassis to accept the Class 25 motor, gear towers and other running gear and removed the wheels (too big for a 73) and replaced with Bachmann B4 coach wheels, cut off the Class 25 side frames and glued the now detailed Class 73 bogie sides in place. The body was treated to new nickel hand rails, lamp irons and Heljan push/ pull fittings. Class 25 wipers have also been re-used along with the PCB from the same loco. I self-etched the cab lighting boards to give me bi-coloured end blinds that are red and white in the approriate direction of travel, fitted a sound decoder....chassis done.

The body was airbrushed with Railmatch paint from Fox Transfers and gloss varnished to accept the livery elements, again all Fox transfers. I used the large logo numbers (F4315) with BR insignia (F4301), overhead warning flashes (F4214) and the loco data panels (F4360. These are also available in a multipack, with a discount, and including sheets of white headcode discs and a big sheet of orange cantrail lining. Order reference is F4301SP). All were sealed in the day after with satin varnish and the model was lighly weathered using the trusty airbrush with a few powders for a little extra touch.

The end result is what you see and finished in just over 4 weeks and just over two weeks before Dapol announced their new Class 73 model......modeller’s luck I suppose.