Talking Stock #3 A change of eras for Beattie Well Tank

Being a Southern Railway modeller of the period 1946 to 1949 it is not unusual for me to need to re-livery Ready-to-Run models that come on the market as generally they cater for either pre-war or post Nationalisation eras.  This is currently the case with the delightful Beattie Well Tanks that have been produced by Dapol for Kernow Models. I have therefore modeled one side as 3329 in its 1946 condition and the other side as 30586 in the early transition style with ‘British Railways’ and the number in Southern ‘Sunshine’ style lettering. I have a number of my locomotive fleet treated in a similar way with differing styles of letting / eras on each side, at the end of the day you can only see one side at once!

3329 in Southern post 1937 livery

I start by soaking the original printing to be removed with some good quality enamel thinners applied by a brush or a cotton bud. Once allowed to soak to for a few minutes I rub off the printing with a cotton bud soaked in the thinners. I have found that usually Bachmann printing comes off much easier than the Hornby or Dapol printing which generally requires some quite hard rubbing with the cotton bud, it works in the end but do not be tempted to apply too much pressure too quickly. Some people also use very fine wet and dry emery paper or cocktail sticks to remove the decals, but for simple renumbering thinners, a cotton bud and some patience works fine for me.

3329 now renumbered as 30586 and with "British Railways" in Southern Style Sunshine lettering

Even if I am only changing one digit, I always remove the whole number as no matter which supplier of new decals I am using, they are rarely a perfect match for the manufacturer’s original printing. In the case of 3329 / 30586 I used 2mm scale transfers from Fox Transfers for the Southern and British Railways lettering,  As on the original prototype they were much smaller than the standard sizes of letting used! The numbers for 30586 again from Fox Tranfers but for the 3329 I used Pressfix transfers from the Historical Model Railway Society (HMRS). When applying the decals I always start from the middle number / letter and work outwards in both directions as this makes it easier to keep things on the level.

Rubbing off of the original decals usually leaves a shiny finish on the cab side that on one hand provides a good surface for the application of new decals, especially if waterslide are being used; but means that additional work is needed to rectify the finish. I therefore mask off the area using existing lining or changes in profile as edges and lightly spray the area with satin varnish which nicely restores the finish pretty much matching the standard manufacturer’s factory finish. This also serves the purpose to seal the decals.

3329 / 30856 now awaits a little bit of light weathering and squeezing some crew on board to complete the look…

7 thoughts on “Talking Stock #3 A change of eras for Beattie Well Tank

  1. Nice one Graham.

    The sunshine lettering does lift the plain black locos as exemplified by your 3329/30586.
    As most people are aware I’m a big fan of Fox Transfers, but I have found that the slope of the ‘S’ on the Bulleid ‘SOUTHERN’ is slightly out of true and has to be cut off and reapplied to sit correctly with the remaining letters.

    When you renumber in bulk; like I do, it has to be the wet ‘n’ dry paper every time.


    1. Hi Glenn

      I must admit I usually use the Pressfix decals for most of my Southern stuff, but on the well tanks a non standard much smaller size was used about 3″ high so I used 2mm scale transfers from Fox and even they are slightly to big in reality.

  2. Which N-scale Fox transfer set did you use . I am re-doing 3314 ex 30585. Is there one with small enough “Southern” for the splasher?

    I am expecting the O2 will be a little simpler to do as I have ordered 2 Southern 0225’s and will re-number one to 0200.. But that is a bit in the future.

    1. Hi Ken

      For 3314 the Sourhern lettering on the front driving wheel splasher was approx 3″ high. On 3329 I used sheet FRH2403 from Fox Transfers which being standard 9″ lettering for 2mm scale is therefore 4.5″ in 4mm scale so might be a bit tight.

Leave a Reply