Monday, February 01, 2010

The Return of Dr Cato - DX 5448 Gets the Blues

DB Says: Now that I've kicked the coal container habit, I suppose it's time to head back to the diesel depot and get some locos working. I pulled a few out of the box for those Moana pictures the other day and figured they could do with cleaning up.

Way back when, I proposed a few ideas for updating my 1990s Wellington locos for service down on the mainland, and now I'm actually following through with three loco projects on the go. Here's the DX 5448 story:
Strangely, I don't seem to have many pictures of the former incarnation of DX 5448, but it's partially visible here at the back

This was one of the small batch of zinc photoetched DXs made by Neville Caley (sp?) in Dunedin about twenty years ago. Rhys managed to procure me one and with some plastic, paper and wire, it made up into a very nice model of fruit saladed DX 5448, and put in quite a few miles on Otaki to Cass during its heyday.

It's almost a shame to cover up the superb etched grill detail with blue paint and tunnel motor ducting, but times have moved on for the real 5448.
The real thing looking clean in the Ethelton Gorge in July 2009
I used some of my DXB castings for the chutey protrusions, with the 'modern' grills shaved off the big ducts behind the cab. I'd hoped that 5448 was one of a handful of blue DXs that still have the early arrangement with no large chute on the driver's side, thus leaving one of the nicely etched dynamic brake intakes visible, but alas no.I modelled the front cab door open on the loco as this form of air-conditioning was a pretty common sight around Wellington in the warmer months, but is probably less so on the west coast, unless the door is open so the driver can shake out his umbrella.5448 originally ran on a Bachman Dash 8 and has been on this slightly modified and DCC'd Kato U30-C for the past 15 years or so, but it hasn't put a lot of miles on since then. The real 5448 has the new single-piece powdercoated side windows , but I'm not trashing the excellent etched sides for prototype fidelity. It also has really tiny cabside numbers as well which I thought might look a bit silly on a model, but I might revisit that at some stage.

1 comment:

Graham said...

well so much for the wet coast with todays high of 30.