Thursday, 12 February 2009
The Class 24 is a favourite loco of mine - the original locos with the 'bald' cab roofs give them a delightfully old fashioned look, despite them representing a new technology when they appeared originally. They're a loco of which I have early memories, despite their withdrawal before I was born! They have a long association with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and I remember seeing them when I was quite young - not crystal clear memories, but a feeling of familiarity whenever I see them - much like my memories of blue Peaks at York by National Railway Museum! Anyway, before I go off on a tangent...
This liking for the Class 24 meant that when I found out that one, D5096, spent a week when it was brand new working passenger trains on the York - Beverley line, I jumped at that the chance to model it! About ten years ago I converted a Hornby Class 25 into a Class 24 using the Craftsman kit, following an article in an old copy of Model Railways by Tony Geary - I've always enjoyed his articles, those on loco building in the early copies of British Railway Modelling were a huge inspiration for me. The end result wasn't that bad, I even managed to re-wheel it (in 00) using Gibson coach wheels! In the end I wasn't completely satisfied with it, so it quietly fell out of use.
The want and need for a twenty-four for Eastmoor has remained ever since. About four years ago (see none of my modelling is ever quick!) I bought a Bachmann Class 24 in original BR green, sans warning panels. Initially I intended to just renumber the loco before weathering and detailing. However, the green just isn't right to my eyes - a common problem with many ready-to-run locomotives in BR green - so it was left for a rainy day some time.
Now I wondering what to do with the loco. I'm not convinced by the profile and shape of the roof and cab windows. It can look OK with some liveries, but the white band at cantrail height just emphasises the 'flatness' of the curve of the roof. What are the options?
Firstly I could live with it. Hmmm... not sure with that, not meddling isn't my style! There are two options that have come to mind - either modify the existing cabs or fit modified Hornby Class 25 cabs. Trevor Hale has tried the former and the result was very promising. I wonder, however, if using the Hornby cabs would allow for easier consistency over a series of locos. It needs careful thought, especially before cutting large chunks out!
Other work is minimal really - normal detailing but also some remedial work around the roof. One key part is to re-wheel despite it remaining 00. Gibson produce some rather nice wheels for this type, complete with the multiple lightening holes! I will keep you all updated as ever!