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BACHMANN DELTIC - Pete Johnson

 


The finished item is seen in the company of a class 40, using 'The Brewery' as a backdrop.


A rather unexpected development from the Canada Road work bench.... a Bachmann Deltic has come under the knife! I have long admired the general look of this model and wondered how one would respond to a bit of detailing.... (with thanks to Ian Manderson), I am now set to find out. This view shows the initial strip-down of Bachmann's 55 020 ‘Nimbus’, on the way to becoming a model of 55 011 in 1975/76 condition.


My impression of the Deltic is that it suffers from the same problem as the Bachmann Class 37 – that is that the windscreen opening in the shell is the right size for the glass, but is then spoiled by the beading being put on the glazing panel. To attempt to improve this situation I made a template in thin plastic for the shape of the windscreen using one of the removed panels, then used this to mark out and cut frame overlays in 5 thou plastic. These had a rough cut-out put through the middle before being bonded in position. With the glue well dried the centre is carefully cut and filed back to the edge of the original opening. The resulting frame should hopefully be a uniform width all round….Although I know that etched overlays are available, I do like the thinness that plastic allows and the ease and reliability of fixing with liquid poly.


Another view of the same stage as above. The nose end and cab door handrails have been remade using 0,31 wire, and the lower bodyside access panels have been lightly scribed and top edge hinges added using microstrip.


A profile view at the same stage showing the buffer heads after thinning.


A few days later, and the worksplates, lamp brackets, and buffer shank detail has been added. As have the cut-outs ready to take the sandbox filler covers. I considered trying to scribe these last items, but found that a drill-through-and-file-to-size approach was much easier to keep under control!


By the mid-70s the fan grill mesh had been revised to a fine spaced pattern. A piece of mesh fencing intended for N-gauge modellers was just the job, and has been fitted under the original covers after these have been thinned slightly.


An overall view of the bodyshell, now with the sandbox covers fitted.


One of the bodyside sandbox covers. The same drill-through method was used, before fitting a cover shaped to size in plasticard of the same thickness as the bodyshell. Microstrip has again been used for the hinges, and the handle recess was embossed using a tool made from a brass offcut.


The nose-side access panel has had framing applied, and some engraved rivet detail added along the top edge. The fire handle access panel has also been cut off and relocated further back as per the prototype on this side.


The windscreens and wipers are shown after fitting. The screens were cut from 0,75 ABS after first scribing the outline shape using the same template as for the framing. This template system worked really well for what might otherwise have been a difficult shape. The panels were positioned just below flush and then fixed using thinned gloss varnish. On the nose end the mounting bracket for the ETH plug has also been added.


55 011 has now gained her nameplates, fixed using gloss varnish, but only after degreasing of both plate-back and bodyside using white spirit and a clean cloth. Time will tell whether this method is successful in the long-term. Don’t expect to see this Deltic out on ‘Canada Road’ anytime soon as it doesn’t really suit, but they are a type that I have some good memories of (before HSTs ruled the world) and ‘011 was one of the two that I actually got a mainline trip behind.


The yellow of the nose end has been repainted to match in the handrails and other added details. (A slightly less orange shade than the original Bachmann paint job has been used).


A general view of the nose end after fitment of the ETH jumper cables.


A close-up showing one of the ETH plugs. These have been made from 2mm plastic rod and 0,45mm/0,31mm brass wire.


With the headcodes fitted and markings applied 55 011 really begins to take on a mid-1970s appearance.


On the chassis, the footsteps provided with the model have been fitted after careful thinning of the vertical sections. The speedometer fitting has also been added using more plastic rod and 0,45 wire. The bogie sideframe was drilled through in two places at 2mm diameter and the plastic parts set into the holes with superglue to ensure a robust result.


A more general view of the chassis showing the added pipe detail on the buffer beam (brass wire) and the sight blockers for the rear cab windows (on the prototype these were the recesses for the sliding cab doors). These were built up from 80 thou plasticard laminations, before filing to shape.


A general view of the completed bodyshell before weathering begins. 55 011 spent several months being mended at Doncaster in both 1975 and 1976 so light weathering, as if not long after a works visit, is planned.


Number 11 poses for the camera.