16mm Projects

Michael Bastow : Loco Lining

Back in the summer I was having problems with my Bachman Double Fairlie, track powered as purchased, which I had converted to battery power some years earlier. It would only start up very slowly gaining some speed after running for a while. The batteries appeared to be charging to full voltage but when checking the short circuit currents some were found to give only milliamps as opposed to the amps given out by others. Having changed the defective cells performance was restored but the bodywork was showing signs of wear, literally coming apart at the seams.

As supplied the model was supplied painted satin black all over, not very prototypical, and it has been run like this ever since. I have put off painting it as it only splits down to two motor bogies, a footplate and the rest of the bodywork which is one piece. Having re-soldered the joints where needed and replaced some other parts which were missing it did not look pretty and the decision was made to try painting and see how it went.

The footplate was easy as this only needed a coat of gloss black.

Only the smoke boxes and chimneys were to be left in the original satin black so these were masked off along with the inside of the cab which would have been difficult if not impossible to paint. The bodywork was then undercoated over the original paint. I wanted to spray paint the major areas and this meant a complex and tedious masking up in order to first spray up the maroon areas. I did not have what I judged to be the correct colour for these areas but by over spraying an initial coat of red with a dark burgundy the two blended to give something that looked right to me. When this had dried then it was a case of masking again to spray the gloss black. This still left some small areas to hand paint where this could be easily achieved.

The model now looked far more like the prototype but should I attempt to line it? On talking to Keith Parkinson he asked if I had thought of vinyl lining tapes. I looked these up on line and deciding I had nothing to lose by trying I ordered several colours, I could after all remove them again if they did not look right. The lining comes in sheets pre-cut to widths from 5mm down to 0.5mm on each sheet. The smaller widths are fine for our use and I started with 1mm wide red strips for the simplest part of the lining. Having done that it was a case of do I carry on. After some experimentation I found that I could lay a length of 1mm width black down the middle of a 1.5mm width strip of yellow before applying it to the loco. What I could not do was bend it to form the incurved corners but as the square corners looked pretty good anyway I decided to leave it at that.

After adding some decals and name plates which I already had, a thin coat of gloss varnish and the transformation is amazing.

Whilst doing all this it got me to thinking about Russell, still in its original Roundhouse finish. After all it is a much simpler lining scheme, the cab and tanks come away from the boiler and the Westinghouse pump can also be removed. After masking and painting the black sections it was then on to lining with 0.5mm yellow tape, 1mm is just too bright. The lining on the pump is 1mm yellow with 0.5mm black down the middle. A coat of varnish and job done. Well you do have to put it back together again and I did do some other minor modifications but there you have it. What next?

December 2020

The lining I used is BECC self adhesive vinyl lining. This is available on line from BECC at £6.50 per sheet, but I got mine from maritime-models.co.uk for £5.50 per sheet. It is available in all the colours we would use for lining. The wider strips can also be used as a good quality masking tape for painting.

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