Class 37

Class 37/5, no. 37514 – a Bachmann model rebuilt with a whole host of Shawplan parts running on Penbits sprung bogies. See Model Railway Journal No. 253 for the full story.

Class 37s are one of my favourite types of traction  – there’s something very appealing about their rather dated noses, workmanlike appearance and the soundtrack they have provided for those who have watched trains since the early sixties.

The Bachmann model in fairly standard form – albeit the chassis has already had some work around the underframe, opening up the tanks, the bufferbeam valances have been cut away and it sits on Black Beetle wheels. However the key issues around the front windows remain, although not that bad, the replacement Shawplan items will transform this area.

I personally like to use the Bachmann model as the base for my class 37s – it captures (original misshapen version aside!) the shape and bulk of the type very well indeed. It’s not perfect as it comes but it forms an excellent basis to to work on. When combined with Shawplan parts the potential is enormous.

An early example of the current style of Bachmann class 37 modelled on 37501 in its distinctive light blue livery. This was the first instance where I used Brian Hanson’s superb windscreen etches and the difference was amazing! The model is now in the hands of Rail Express Modeller’s editor.

Even simply using the windscreen and fan grille etches from Shawplan make a huge impact on the model – the Laserglaze pack makes glazing an easy task. This was once a long and involved task when each pane had to be shaped by hand!

Almost before and after! 37048 at the early stages and 37514 fully finished. It gives a good idea of how the replacement Shawplan windscreens are fitted.

Another area which has seen a huge amount of movement in recent times has been sprung suspension for RTR diesels and for class 37s Penbits provide a wonderful kit to convert the Bachmann model to a fully sprung model with both primary and secondary springing.

The basic structure for a sprung bogie from Penbits, doesn’t look too intimidating, does it?

The rather basic underframe moulding can be enhanced with a little bit of time and Plastikard – adding the pipework and supporting structures for the tanks is a brilliant way to really lift the model well above the out of the box product.

The rebuilt underframe for a class 37 – a few hours work in this area can make a huge difference.

The full story of 37514 can be found in Model Railway Journal No. 253.