1990s ‘N' gauge Class 950
Rail Express|March 2021
Work on the ‘N’ gauge Class 950 Track Recording Unit project, a conversion based on a standard Graham Farish Class 150/1 model, is concluded by finishing the model in 1990s condition.

THE CLASS 950 ultrasonic ‘Track-Recording Unit’ is the only Class150 design to receive BR blue and grey livery, albeit enhanced with the red stripe routinely applied to departmental and research stock in the 1970s and 1980s.

This was the second livery to be carried by No. 950001. On introduction, the lower body was finished in light blue, a colour close to Provincial light blue. Legends were applied too: ‘Director of Civil Engineering BRB’ to the right-hand end of each vehicle.

Along the red stripe, the Class 950 was marked with ‘Track Recording Unit’ applied to vehicle No. DB999600 and ‘Testing and Evaluation’ which was applied to No. DB999601.

By the time rail blue had replaced the light blue as in 1990s condition, the ‘Director of Civil Engineering’ lettering was removed, although the legends applied to the red lining survived.

1990s livery

Rail blue and grey is the chosen colour scheme for themodel allowing it to span the 1990s through to the autumn of 2000 prior to its repainting in Railtrack livery. The unit carried miniature snow ploughs while carrying both Railtrack and Network Rail liveries. For much of the 1990s, this was a changing picture and snow ploughs were not always fitted.

While it is a simple enough scheme, there is some tricky lining to do and transfers came to the rescue in achieving a neat finish. Bespoke transfers for ‘N’ and ‘OO’ gauge Class 950s are available from Railtec Transfers with sheet No. 2mm-2911 being used (www.railtec-models.com). It also holds transfers for modelling the ultrasonic test unit based on a Derby Lightweight DMU (Nos. RDB975007/8) should anyone fancy having a go at an earlier track recording unit.

Materials

Primer was required for the exposed metal components, while gloss paints for the main body colours were used as far as possible to assist with transfer adhesion. If gloss is not available to you, gloss varnish may be required to create the right finish for applying transfers.

The remaining materials consists of glazing sheet for the smaller windows added during the conversion; a tiny piece of plastic rod for the end couplings (with something to represent the protective bag fitted over them) and a couple of additional etched metal windscreen wipers – found on a Shawplan ‘N’ gauge locomotive detailing kit.

As painting progressed, it became increasingly apparent the best way to apply the red band would be to use transfers. The same decision was made for the fine white piping between the blue and grey bands. On the plus side, when modelling in ‘N’ gauge, it is possible to adapt other products to suit, particularly from ‘OO’ gauge. To help apply the lining transfers, Carr’s Transfix was used. Despite the use of transfers, some careful masking was required alongside a steady hand!

Preparation

In last month’s instalment, the project had progressed as far as a completed conversion with replacement windows, door plating and window blanks applied and the joins filled as efficiently as possible. Johnson’s Klear floor wax was used as an adhesive for its strength and ability to dry in hard thin coats.

A tricky conversion to finish well, preparation for the painting stage was a little involved to achieve as good a finish as possible along the window line where the modifications to the Graham Farish body shells were made.

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