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How to re-paint an H Class & it's a cold start for the Class 08

How to re-paint an H Class & it's a cold start for the Class 08

Hello and welcome to another edition of The Engine Shed! After last week’s surprise STOP PRESS edition, we have had a chance to take a breath now that our HUGE Warley surprise is well and truly out in the open. We have read with fascination the comments that have come flooding in both on Social Media and on various forums and I know the team at Bluebell Railway, as well as ourselves, are very much looking forward to speaking to you some more about the project when Warley weekend arrives on the 25th November.

In this edition we wanted to take a closer look at the simply marvellous re-livery that was achieved on the H Class by the team at Heritage Painting. We sat down with Ian Hewitt who headed up the project to ask him a few questions.


Take us through the process involved in a re-livery such as this? How does it all begin?

“All the jobs we do begin in the same way, with a clean down of the accumulated oil and grease on the main surfaces. This ensures that the sandpaper doesn't clog when we begin the process of removing the old paint and allows us to keep up the pace that the team work at. My Foreman, Mike, will assess the engine in terms of which parts require the most work to allow these to be tackled first. These areas are usually the ones which require signwriting as this is a time-consuming job that can't be rushed.”




“Once the team have removed the old paint back to a suitable base for new paint, they'll apply body filler to any areas which are chipped or have sustained damage during the course of the locomotive's working day. After dressing the filler back to a lovely smooth finish, the team will prime and then begin applying undercoat to start the process of building layers. Each coat has to be keyed on to the previous coat by a light sand or a 'knock back' depending on where we are in the process. Usually, we'll dress the first gloss back as a sacrificial coat as it allows us to see any imperfections that may still need addressing.”



“We'll normally apply two-three undercoats to each job, followed by two-three gloss coats. This engine then received a coloured varnish before the process of applying lining and signwriting could begin. Once the details of the ornate livery have been applied, everything received 2 clear coat varnish layers to add depth of shine and protection.”


Looking at it as an observer, the project appears mammoth! Overall, how long did the process take?

“The team took 15 days to complete the work with around half of it taken up by the lining, signwriting and varnish process on this engine as the SE&CR livery is a complicated one to complete properly.  Obviously, these are intensive days for the team as there is a lot to accomplish in a fixed time period allocated by our schedule.”



You mentioned that the SE&CR livery is particularly complicated, were there any other challenges you and the team faced?

“As with all of our work, each job does present its own challenges.  This particular engine was a relatively simple strip and paint initially but, as we were painting everything from top to bottom, it's a lot of square foot to work on during the three weeks.”



“The greatest challenge exists in the lining process due to the number of colours and their location on the engine. There's an awful lot of lines on this livery and maintaining concentration to ensure that everything is completed as per the livery specification is a challenge on its own! However, due to the level of work the team have achieved in the past with the recent repaint of the Bluebell Railway's Class O1, there was a very good understanding of the timescale required to complete these works before we began the job.”


What has been achieved is, in a word, 'outstanding', what part of the overall project are you most proud?

“The team are always proud of every job we complete, whether it be Flying Scotsman or a small tank engine for a private client. Each have a special place for both the client and us and the aim is to deliver the best work we can for everyone. That said though, we have a very special relationship with the Bluebell Railway which we thoroughly enjoy as we're always made to feel welcome and find it's a pleasure to work with such a great organisation.”



“To have the honour of working on two SE&CR railway locomotives in quick succession brings a huge degree of pride to us. To complete such an ornate paint job in three weeks shows the level of skill and ability of my team and I'm hugely proud of their achievements as it's a demonstration of the successful team we have. We're looking forward to having both the O1 and the H Class together for photos as I think that will end up on my office wall! To then have our work displayed at Warley is another huge moment of pride for us as it's a wonderful recognition for my team and the standards of work they can achieve.”



There simply aren’t enough superlatives to describe the work that has been done by the team at Heritage Painting, we are very grateful to them and the chaps down at Bluebell for all their hard work and we know that visitors to our stand at Warley will not be disappointed.

Now our hard work begins, the task of transporting the locomotive up the M40 to the NEC on 23rd November. We are really excited to see your pictures as they come in, remember, the loco will be uncovered so this will be quite a sight to behold! So, between the hours of 09:00 and 12:00, get yourselves out there in a safe position armed with your cameras and upload your pictures to any of our Social Media channels with #HornbyHClassRoadTrip or to our Official Forum. We mentioned in our previous blog how complicated the logistics are for a project like this and Paul, our researcher, will be going into this in more detail in a future edition of The Engine Shed as well as in an upcoming Club Magazine. But that is not all, we will be there at Bluebell as the process gets underway so be sure to tune in tot updates on our Social channels as and when they happen. 

We will have more information about this closer to the time so make sure you stay tuned to our Social Media channels for all the latest news.


Lights, ‘H’, ACTION!




Carrying on with our H class theme, our friends over at Hornby Magazine recently got hold of the R3539 '31518' in BR Black and straight away put it on their magnificent layout! Check out the video below to see how it faired.



The Wainwright H Class gets a full review in the December 2017 issue of Hornby Magazine, which is available now. 


Our Class 08 gets a cold start



Ever since its first release, our Class 08 shunter has been very well received, so when we decided to fit the model with our Twin Track Sound, we want to do something a little different,.We decided to introduce Cold Start function to our list of available sounds to accompany the release.



A common character trait with any diesel engine is the distinctive noise that is made when started in cold weather, mainly due to the fact that vaporising of the fuel is much harder in cold weather, making it harder to propagate a flame between the vaporising fuel and the air. In our quest to bring you the most accurate sounds and details to our models, we would be amiss if we did not include this sound on a diesel engine (although the flames and white smoke commonly seen during a cold start, will not be included, for obvious reasons…) and we thought, what better way to introduce it than with the much-loved Class 08 in the extremely popular 'DB Schenker' livery. Our sound engineer visited one of the 300 remaining Class 08’s armed with his microphone and captured the real-life sound which was then written on to the TTS chip.

Take a look at the video below, shot by our friends at Hornby Magazine, to see both cold start and warm start in action.



As a special bonus to this release, we will be improving our website functionality which will allow you to hear the sounds present on the TTS chip before you buy – bear in mind though that the sound's quality will be representative of the speakers through which you sample the sounds. This new feature will be in place VERY soon so keep an eye out in the coming days.

Eventually we will add this website functionality to all our models that include Twin Track Sound, so keep an eye out for more news coming soon.


Warley 2017: The Countdown Begins




And so we come to one of the highlights of the model railway calendar, the annual Warley National Model Railway Exhibition that takes place on 25th & 26th November at Birmingham’s NEC. As you’ll know by now our stand will be the biggest yet featuring the awe inspiring re-liveried H Class but we’ll also have plenty of other OO gauge models on display as well, featuring the highlights from our 2017 range including, Decoration samples for the Class 87 and Hitachi IEP Class 800, final samples of the Princess Coronation Class as well as much, much more. We will have a working layout where we will be showing off all our latest models so you can see them in as much detail as possible, and of course we will be on hand to speak to you and chat about the world of model railways, take your ideas about future models and just chew the fat. It will be great to see some familiar faces and lots of new ones and we can’t wait to get going!



Tickets are still available, and can be purchased here.

Well that is all we have time for in this edition. As always, please let us know what you think of this month’s blog in the usual places (Facebook, Twitter & our Official Forum), we just love to read your feedback. We will back before the year is out so until then… 

Happy Modelling! 


The Engine Shed Team


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