You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Over recent days I’ve been working on diesel locomotives. Specifically in BR Corporate Blue colors as I find this an era I can particularly associate with. There is also a lot of good reference material around, and as modellers we are particularly fortunate that the era was captured so well by many photographers, and subsequently printed in albums by publishers like Ian Allan, OPC, and Bradford Barton to name just three. From these images I can get clear ideas of how the locos and rolling stock looked in service, and in particular the way they weathered. With the quality of todays models it’s far far easier than it was even ten years ago to make an effective and realistic model, sometimes its just a case of adding the paint. A case in point is the Heljan Western, its a loco with an incorrect cab roof profile, however the rest of the loco for me, ‘balances’ this discrepancy out, particularly when I compare it to the three previous versions by Trix, Hornby, and Lima. This is a Heljan version, from a year or two back, not quite as I wanted it so the next one will look better again.

Out of those three, the Lima version was in my opinion the better of them, you did have to be lucky as far as the motor bogie went, some ran as smooth as silk and slowly, and others were rough running and only worked on full throttle. Again the Lima version had severe dimensional problems around the cab, hence the Brassmasters improvement kit. Having spent the time and effort on two of those, I know which is the better and easier option to work on, and its Heljan every time for me.


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