How to apply the Class 800 Test Train livery
Hello and welcome to The Engine Shed. After a short break, we’re back with more access behind the velvet rope and a peek inside the VIP area that is the Hornby Development Office.
We were really pleased to see so many positive comment following our previous blog, where we revealed for the first time the decoration renders for the Class 87s. However, there was one thing we wanted to clear up after it was brought up more than once on various forums. Some people were wondering what the white box was on the under frame of 'Robert Burns' and others were commenting that it shouldn’t be white. This is the battery charger and would have been brilliant white when it's in pristine condition. After a matter of hours on the line, this box would have been severely discoloured with grit and grime and therefore it is rare to see it all cleaned up. Our Decoration Graphic Designer has visual references where it does appear white, and as technically speaking this item is not weathered, we chose to produce it in its pristine state giving the modeller the opportunity to add weathering should they choose to do so.
This week we have news about one of the most anticipated products from this year's range, a look at our plans for The Great Central Railway Model event taking place in Leicester this weekend, as well as a look forward to an update on a model that we’re sure electric locomotive fans will be excited to see! With lots to get through, what do you say we make a start?
Testing the water
Decoration renders for R3579 - Hitachi IEP Bi-Mode Class 800/0 DPTS & DPTF Test Train
The Hitachi IEP Class 800 Test Train is undoubtedly one of the stand out items in this year's line up, and one of which we’re incredibly proud. The response to the prototypes we’ve shown you here and had on display at model rail shows up and down the country has been overwhelming, and we’ve been excited to share the model’s progress with you every step of the way. As you may know, one of the challenges of the project has been how to apply the incredibly complex and detailed red Test Train livery and we’ve mentioned before that it would simply be too complicated to apply by Tampo printer. Therefore, another method has to be considered and we’ve been weighing up using either laser printing or water labelling. Today we can confirm that this livery, which has been described by out Graphic Designer as “as complex as it gets” will be applied using the water labelling process… AND… tampo printing!
Before we go into detail about how we came to our decision, let’s look a little closer at the water labelling process.
Water labelling is a manufacturing technique that allows you to print out a livery and apply it directly to a model. However, it is important to note that it isn’t just a simple sticker, rather a specially designed decal that once applied to a model, will never come off again. In fact, it’s almost impossible to tell that it was ever a ‘label’ at all.
Each layer of the design is broken down into different sections and you can read a previous edition of The Engine Shed where we’ve detailed exactly how many sections the Class 800 Test Train livery is made up of. Careful attention is paid when breaking the design down as the edges of the transfers have to be hidden, either with another layer, or in details on the model such as panel lines – and with the body of the Class 800 being predominantly smooth, you can see what a challenge this will be!
This animation shows just how many layers there are in the complex Class 800 Test Train livery
The sections are printed on a backing card and applied to the model by hand with great care, just like applying a decal to an Airfix model. This process is being used with fantastic results by our friends at Scalextric who are achieving unbelievable levels of detail, recreating racing car liveries they could never hope to model before.
A decision had to be made…
A decoration example of the Class 800 Test Train, showing how detailed and accurate water labelling can be
After having received a sample of the Test Train livery that had been applied by water labelling – not strictly a decoration sample, more of a decoration example - we were incredibly impressed with the results. However, it was evident that we simply weren’t going to get the straight lines within the red design and achieve the detail that we strive for and that model rail collectors have come to expect. Therefore, the decision was made to Tampo print the key lines of the livery and apply the rest of the design with water labels over the top to ensure the decoration is as accurate and as detailed as possible. This is not something we have done before so new ground is being broken here, which, we think, is indicative of the project, ours and Hitachi’s as a whole!
In an Engine Shed exclusive we've got some video, direct from the factory this week, showing the combination of Tampo Printing and Water Labelling being applied to the Test Train!
We will have more to come on the Class 800 IEP soon as the product moves through development so keep an eye out for future blogs.
A grand entrance to the Great Central Railway Model Event
Model rail shows and our attendance at them have been a key part of our plan for 2017 and this weekend is no different. Over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday (16th, 17th & 18th June) we will be take up residence at the Great Central Railway Model Event in Leicester where we will be on hand to talk to attendees about all thing model railways. We’ll have all of our 2017 prototypes and models on display, including the running samples for the Class 800 and the Duchess, decoration samples for the Wainwright H Class as well as a working demo of our recently announced Hornby Junior train set.
The show itself will have over 70 of the country’s top layouts and that includes Grosvenor Square which was built by our friends at Hornby Magazine back in 2016. This will be only the second public outing for the 21ft 00 gauge layout after its debut at Warley last year and models a British Railways Western Region terminus station - with seven platforms - in the early 1960s with a range of steam and diesel traction arriving and departing. The full story on its build featured in Hornby Magazine Yearbook No. 9.
If all this wasn’t enough, visitors will also get to ride on a full size steam loco to get to the exhibition hall! We’ll have a roundup of all the action and goings on at the show in a future edition of The Engine Shed.
Read all about it!
Keen readers of July’s edition of Hornby Magazine will not have missed a littler teaser in the “Inside Hornby” column and we’ve noticed a few readers have already put two and two together and realised that we have received the first shots of the one and only Class 87! We’ll have more info coming soon about the sample so stay tuned and if you’re visiting The Great Central Railway show, you might get to see even more of the project’s progress…
Well that about does it for this week. As always, let us know your thoughts on anything you’ve seen here today in The Engine Shed on our Facebook, Twitter & Official Forums – we really do value your feedback.
Until next time…
The Engine Shed Team
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