Class 31 in BR Experimental Blue (pt1)

I have waited patiently for a few years for someone to commission the two Class 31s that were painted in experimental liveries in the 60s. As time has gone by I have decided that I might as well try the repaints myself. Unfortunately the most up-to-date model is Hornby’s super-detailed version, but they have not released a model in a suitable configuration for a few years now (head-code boxes and body steps near the cab are not present on many of Hornby’s recent releases).

Luckily, Hornby have a suitable loco for a repaint in their planned releases for 2013. There are actually x3 different liveries I want to produce with this new release and retailing at £120, I am a bit concerned at the costs (particularly as I have to completely repaint them).

Investigating some threads on RMweb, I have noticed that some people prefer the shape of the older Lima model and having seen some of the impressively updated Lima models, I investigated further. It seems that the new Hornby model has an excellent chassis compared to the poor running Lima model and some have taken to fitting the Hornby chassis underneath the Lima model. This is most certainly a positive for me, as it means I can purchase a Hornby model (irrespective of livery and moulding) and then buy a much cheaper Lima model with the appropriate body configuration and marry the two!

I received the Hornby model to be used as a chassis donor (31268) in the post yesterday.  I must admit it is a lovely model and I very much like the fan wizzing around as it moves, and the opening doors. I find the very faint moulding of the body banding a bit odd, but there we go. I think I can see what some are concerned about regarding the new Hornby model as it does seem quite straight sided, but I equally must admit that I probably would have never noticed unless it was pointed out. I now have to pluck up the courage to dismantle this model and attach it to a suitable Lima body (which has been purchased and is on the way).

IMG_5540PSLR

I have decided to repaint this model as D5578 which carried the experimental blue livery from approx 1960 to 1963. I will paint mine with the half yellow panels on the cab fronts.

D5578 was described as being in ‘electric blue’ livery, but this blue is much brighter than many of the pictures of D5578 indicate, which often appears as more of a navy blue (see below).

D5578 Stratford May 63 – Copyright Grahame Wareham

I have only seen one picture of the loco in anything close to electric blue, and have seen about three pictures of the loco looking more like it was a navy blue, so I am currently planning to repaint the loco in the darker shade.

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