At one time adding pipework to buffer beams all of sudden turned an older Lima or Hornby diesel into something ‘super detailed.’ There we all sorts of kits of pipe work and buffer beam details – from A1 Models, Craftsman and Westward in particular. Some parts were good, some were shocking!
All pipework in place and buffer heads ready for fitting.
When I was starting out detailing diesels, twenty years ago, these lumpy, white metal pipes seemed to me that I’d really achieved something but now I the pipework seems to just be one of those little finishing off items.
I now regard things like windows, glazing, body shape and other details as being more of a priority when it comes to capturing the feel of the prototype. But as with the couplings, sometimes it’s the little things which can really make it.
So whilst not one of the big items now, I still like to take a bit of care with this area.
The first pipes in place – the air pipes come from the detail pack from Hornby’s Class 56. The cantrail stripe transfer needs a little bit of attention above the windscreens!
I’d say, don’t use white metal pipes – they break far too easily and it’ll just lead to frustration! The only exception to this rule, there’s always an exception, is Shawplan’s steam heat pipes. These have a little more bulk and are much more durable. However, by 1992, they’re not needed for 47206.
At one time I made all my pipes from wire. There was a two part article in Rail Express, I can’t recall which issues, where someone was converting the Lima Deltic to scale length using Plastikard inserts, rather than the rather crude A1 Models overlays, along with Lima class 37 bogies. Really lovely article, very good modelling. The second part described using wire to scratch build buffer beam pipes. It obviously struck a chord with me. It makes for very durable pipes which will survive the odd little knock here and there.
However, in Rail Express no. 98 July 2004 (in the Rail Express Modeller before it became a supplement on its own) Gareth Bayer detailed a Bachmann Class 44 – I seem to remember the use of pipes from Hornby’s class 50, the detailing packs supplied with the model being available separately. Being made from a tough plastic, they withstand knocks very easily and are pretty much to scale. Possibly a little thin, but a massive improvement over the pipes that Bachmann were supplying at the time.
In time Hornby offered other models to the same specification as the class 50 with their own bespoke packs. If you’re modelling a class 47, the class 56 pack is very useful – the pipes are more detailed than the original class 50 pipes and supply, with spares, all you need for the class 47, aside form the vacuum pipe.
Finished buffer beams in place. Those ploughs need toning down though!
I made the vacuum pipes from a core of 30amp fuse wire (0,9mm handrail wire works just as well) with 5amp wrapped around to represent the ribbing. This is flooded with solder with makes an indestructible pipe! In this case I didn’t make the bracket/hanger which the end of the pipe sits on as it would be hidden by the snow ploughs – instead it tucks in behind the outer plough.
The buffer heads are taken from a Bachmann class 20 – one of the ones with those horrible, integral round head buffers. These should be the stepped shank Oleo type, so will be replaced with the new Sutton buffers. This left me with spare buffer heads, which were just perfect for 47206 – the Heljan buffer housings needed opening out ever so slightly to take them. I polished the shanks to mimic the polished shanks you see on real Oleo buffers of this type, the result is very pleasing. The buffer beam units will be fixed permanently in place once the final detail has been completed on the rest of the chassis to avoid damaging things.
So another step closer for 47206, think it’s only taken a couple of years to get to this stage!