Thursday, 7 June 2012

Tarted up Chopper!

nevard_120606_CQx_DSC_5456 by nevardmedia
nevard_120606_CQx_DSC_5456, a photo by nevardmedia on Flickr.
A rather clean 20168 in Lafarge livery slowly pulls a train under a centrifugal hopper on Cement Quay.

In spotterdom these locos are often referred to as 'Choppers', this is gather is to do with the fact that they sound like a helicopter rather than looking like a male appendage. I might be wrong of course, but I'm sure I'll find out soon enough from chopper fanciers and class 20 aficionados.

Pete Harvey, yes that's him of Pete Harvey Etchings did this conversion a few years ago using home-grown transfters and the addition of a rather flash paint job. The real 20168 resides at the Hope Cement works in deepest Derbyshire, and is used to transfer wagons to and from the terminal to the exchange sidings (known as Earles Sidings). And in fact when I was last in the area I was lucky enough to capture this brightly coloured little chappy as it trundled over the concrete viadact next to the Cheshire Cheese Inn - here is the shot by the way. And yes the pub is worth a visit too, expecially if you like beer and trains, though the staff might throw you out if you ask whether they've seen any brightly coloured choppers recently.

I agree that 20168 lacks a little work-a-day patina, a little grubbyness to its nether regions at least wouldn't go amiss, but light weathering can be a tricky one, and whilst I've weathered dozens of locos during my life, this is one that I haven't plucked up courage to do yet. The reason for this is most likely down to the fact that I cannot simply strip it all off if I make a mistake and start again. I will in time though, but there again it's quite nice to have a pristine loco in my collection of grubby old heaps.

And no, it's not for sale!

If you're a modern image modeller, be sure to check out Pete's website  at to see all the goodies he etches for post steam modellers.

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