Motherwell Class 37

Although not very old at the time, this 4mm scale Bachmann class 37 was purchased as a project and in poor condition. Considering how expensive these models were when new, it's astonishing how often they turn up in this kind of condition.


Upon examination, the model was determined to have originally been the factory released model of 37049 in BR blue, although the original chassis had been switched with an inoperable replacement. Also missing were the original round buffers.


The first job was to purchase a complete new chassis and dispose of the faulty one via eBay. Unfortunately it was not possible to replace the round oleo buffers and so the more common oval variants had to suffice.


The body had been renumbered and was patch painted. Super glue marks were everywhere and a mystery substance of what appeared to be PVA glue had been poured over one end. Everything was dismantled and stripped to bare plastic.


Whatever super glue was used on the nameplates was too strong for plastic and had melted the surface. There were scratch marks everywhere, the sides of the cab were especially bad. In the end, everything came off cleanly and the surfaces only required careful sanding and filler skimming to repair the damage.


A full respray in British Rail blue was carried out on the body only, leaving the noses in their original undamaged factory paint finish of warning panel yellow. Once again, the model was finished as 37049 as it was a personal favourite.


I did however decide to depict the locomotive in it's alternate guise of 37322, a number that was carried between 1986-1988 while assigned to Motherwell and dedicated to the Hunterston pool for British Steel traffic.


It carries the Imperial name that was fitted at the same time, named for British Steel Imperial, which was the tube plant in North Lanarkshire.


The salmon emblem of Motherwell depot, with a combination of airbrush and dry brush weathering completed the model. Photos below show the complete renovation.



The model as purchased.



After initial paint stripping, and with damage clearly visible prior to filler skimming.


Completely restored and operational again.

Unlike the model, its real life counterpart has long since departed. New in 1962 as D6749, it has been renumbered 37049, 37322, reverted to 37049, and briefly carried 37343 just prior to withdrawal in 1995 (indicating re-gearing). It spent its working life allocated to the Eastern and Scottish regions and was cut up for scrap in 2003.