Wednesday 12 May 2010

The Austrian with the English Accent

This conversion has been loitering within the depths of my website for some time; I however thought it worth elevating to my BLOG - if only for the fact that I haven't posted anything for a couple of days! Here goes.....

Having thoroughly enjoyed a feature in an old 009 Society newsletter on how to anglicise the Bachmann Liliput HO Zillertal Bahn 2-6-2, it reminded me that I had one of these locomotives hidden in the garage collecting dust. It was from one of those spur of the moment purchases a couple of years before, probably because I feared it was going out of production.

Anyway, back to the conversion, I followed the instructions as in 009 News closely as possible as my spare parts box allowed, using plasticard to deepen the body and to revise the cab windows to something more British is style.

I then had to improvise, not having a suitable smokebox door, I removed the flat head from a drawing pin, this becoming the door! A hole was drilled into the middle to take and old handrail knob from a Kays kit (there must be hundreds of these dreadful kits never finished?) and a pin head to act the lever for opening it.

Further handrail knobs and bits of brass wire were used for the cabside handrails. British locos have less in the way of steam spaghetti than their foreign counterparts, so some of those bits were removed (I’m non technical, I know steam locos use coal, fire and water, that’s about it!). Some thin beading was added along the edges of the side tank tops from fine plastic strip. Then, some coal rails were added at the cab end of the tanks, after seeing a picture of the Former Welsh Highland Railway loco ‘Russell’ in a book of ‘The Railways of Purbeck’ by the late R.W. Kidner. The little loco then had a couple of ‘buffer beams’ added out of some spare girder section from a Walther’s Cornerstone building kit for that real DIY bodged repair often seen on industrial loco’s. I’ve always liked industrial grot over twee pretty engines, I think it would be true to say that it has been achieved here!

That’s just about it, the loco was then sprayed matt black from an aerosol, had brass elliptical maker’s plate from a Class 52 Western of all things! It was then weathered up in my usual fashion using matt colour washes and dry brushing, until it started to look suitably decrepit.

The loco, after a good couple of hours running round and round Arne Wharf it runs beautifully. The only problem is that due to the large overhang and my tight curves, non-bogie stock, irrespective of which way around the loco is facing, tends to get pulled off the rails on the bends so it's likely to only be seen on passenger trains for the time being.

Whilst I’m not sure it looks totally British in style, it maybe could pass as something UK built for export to the colonies. My story is that it came back from war torn France after the Great War.


  1. What a superb alteration! I like the subtle use of weathering around the smokebox and cab steps. Certainly doesn't look out of place on Arne Wharf. Hopefully I'll be able to start experimentation with weathering.
    Top stuff as ever!

  2. K's kits are dreadful ! OK the chassis wern;t up to much but that's what you get for building down to a price. The bodies were always pretty good. In fact one of the locoso you photographed on my Hospital Railway is K's.


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