I have a lot of model trains. Maybe not as many as a lot of modellers, but a lot by the standards of someone who lives in a 750 sq.ft two bedroom apartment, isn’t a member of a club, and doesn’t have a layout, I have a lot. There are seven 80L plastic tubs with boxed cars and engines, and structures from my former layout in our storage locker in the building. With that in mind, and with not taking over our entire apartment, I try to have as much out on display as I can, but that can be tough with cleaning, especially with a long haired cat that sheds like leaving hair behind is going out of style.
That said, during our recent trip to the UK, I used my aunt’s house where we were staying as a post office to have a number of items shipped there to avoid costly international postage on small items. Amongst them, was a headboard/detail set from Fox Transfers to decorate a rebuilt Merchant Navy class locomotive for the “Golden Arrow” boat train. The Golden Arrow ran from Waterloo Station in London to Dover, connecting with the ferry to Calais in France, there, the passengers boarded “La Flèche d’Or” (hows your translation? Clever eh?) for continued travel to Gare du Nord in Paris. The train was an all-pullman luxury train for first class passengers.
Golden Arrow Headboard and Arrows on “257 Squadron”, a Battle of Britain West Country Light Pacific class at Swanage in 2004. The West Country is a slightly smaller sister type to the Merchant Navy class, designed by O.V.S. Bulleid for the Southern Railway.
I have a model of British Railways Merchant Navy Class 35005 “Canadian Pacific” from Hornby that I bought probably 15 years ago. The model is in not prototypically accurate BR Experimental Blue paint, as the preserved locomotive briefly ran in. This paint scheme was a bit of a fantasy applied in preservation (and as anyone familiar with the UK preservation scene, galons of ink have been shed over the years arguing about authenticity of liverys). The locomotive did run in expermintal blue before its streamlining was removed, but not afterwards as it is preserved and the model represents. I bought it as I love the BR blue look, and the obvious connection with the locomotive being named after the shipping arm of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Fox Transfers “Golden Arrow” Headboard, Arrows and Flags installed on Canadian Pacific.
The headboard set from Fox Transfers includes brass arrows for the smoke deflectors, the circular headboard with another large arrow, and the French and English flags for the buffer. In addition, I added Southern Region head code disks from a brass fret by Roxey Models I purchased on a previous trip. British trains didn’t use headlights/lamps for visibility, but for indicating what class of train it is to signalboxes along the line. On the Southern Railway, and later the southern region of British Railways, they didn’t even always use lamps, but used white disks to indicate the class of train, and sometimes the route it was on. The final touches for now were to pick out a couple of the footplate gauges in white, and add an engineer and fireman into the cab.
Crew figures on the footplate.
For now, the locomotive is in one of my display cases that wasn’t filled, and is on a bookcase in our spare bedroom/office. My intention is in time to start rotating different locomotives and models on and off display. I certainly have enough that I can do this and keep a good mix of things I’ve built/detailed or which are purchases out to keep me motivated when I look around the office.