Any RTR model can be improved with extra detail and little effort, as we show with a Bachmann Midland 1F 0-6-0T.
What we used
Bachmann 31-431 BR black 1F 0-6-0T
MasterPiece FF95 1F driver and fireman figures
Springside DA16 Fire iron set
ModelU WD066 LMS/BR (M) Locomotive headcode lamps
TOOLS & MATERIALS
Deluxe Materials Glue’n’glaze
T-Cut car polish
Rust brown and smoke black weathering powders.
Modern 'Ready-To-Run' (RTR) locomotives rarely need fettling. The exquisite miniatures presented to us are so good at times it can seem there’s nothing left for the modeller to do.
Personalising a model to make it different to any other bought from a shop isn’t hard, and requires few tools - fine paint brushes and a cotton bud. The main item to address is the lack of footplate crew. The weathering is just a little powder dusted over the model. More fun was bulling up the paintwork using mildly abrasive car polish - it’s a simple technique used in other modelling hobbies but not so much on railway models.
Bachmann’s Midland 1F 0-6-0T is a lovely model straight from the box but even this little cracker can be improved and personalised by adding a few extra fine details.
The open cab looks better without the moulded spectacle plates running across the inside. Push from the front with a cocktail stick to break the glue joint and remove them.
Place a blob of Deluxe Materials Glue ’n’ Glaze on the end of a screwdriver and waggle it around the hole to form a skin. Keep the windows horizontal while drying.
To protect the crew, locomotives were fitted with a canvas weather sheet. Many had locally made ironwork on the bunker to support this, but not No. 41661.
Moulded coal never looks realistic, though Bachmann has tried by gloss varnishing it. Crushed with big pliers to a coarse dust, real coal is glued with PVA or Ballast Magic.
MasterPiece Models produce a crew for the 1F, making installation a breeze. Both figures are washed with Citadel 'Nuln oil' into all the folds in the clothes.
This prototype shot shows a set of fire irons on the tank tops. Springside’s set of whitemetal tools is simple to use, just remove the flash before painting.
Railmatch Weathered Black or a dark grey looks better than pure black. When the paint is tacky, roll each tool through Lifecolor black and brown weathering powers.
Looking at this image, the tank sides are shiny. Rather than use varnish, try polishing the paintwork with T-Cut and a cotton bud, avoiding the crests and numbers.
Apply weathering powders for rusty brakeshoes. The footplate and boiler top get a dusting of Humbrol Smoke colour powder. Both stick well enough without fixative.
The finishing touch is a headcode lamp from the ModelU 3-D printed range. These have a hole in the bottom so they can be pushed onto lamp irons without glue.
A couple of hours work transforms a fine model into something unique and personal. Have a go and you’ll find a great deal of satisfaction for little effort and cost.
In 12 simple steps you can transform a brand new model into something more unique and realistic. This guide applies to all locomotives, not just the one we've used above.
For even more weathering/painting articles, click here.