Here, now, is the second of our two most recent locomotives to be weathered and, since D8568 will be working the coal depot following her withdrawal from BR, she just had to have a suitable coating of coal dust.
We wanted to convey the impression that her new owners are taking care of her but, because she is working in such a dirty environment, she is always going to look at least a little bit grubby.
Of course, this particular Clayton is the only one of the entire class of 117 to be preserved so it is fitting that we have chosen her to live out a similar scenario in model form. I had thought of changing her name to better reflect her new role and might still do this but I am not sure what to call her.
She, like all of our other diesel locos, does have a sound decoder fitted. However, the only Class 17 sound currently available is from Olivias Trains and this is of the Rolls Royce variety of engine which was, in fact, only fitted to two of the class - and neither of those was this one!
Clearly we will change this whenever a proper Paxman sound file is produced and, apparently, Howes plan to do one as soon as the preserved prototype is no longer in bits.
I would say that fitting sound into these models is not the easiest of tasks since there is very limited space into which a speaker can be fitted. This job is made even more fiddly by the fact that the buffers have to be removed to gain access to the chassis and these are held in place by tiny clips, which can easily get lost!
Anyway, due to this lack of room, we have fitted a smaller speaker than we would normally use and this is installed in the cab space. Subsequently, the sound is not quite as punchy as we would like but it is not too bad.
Actually, when she is running on her own, she does sound quite acceptable. It is only when we have a larger loco running as well that her sound can get a little swamped.
I have to admit here that I do rather like the Class 17s although I realize that they were a total failure and most definitely one of the least successful of the Type 1's produced. Maybe it is because of their short working life and because of their quirky looks that I like them and this particular one was an obvious choice to raise the dust a bit in the coal depot and for trundling up to the tipper and back.
Of course, as you probably know, there were problems with the initial batch of these models when Heljan first introduced them and, unfortunately, ours was one of those duds - talk about art echoing life! That is why our model has a black chassis rather than a green one since, after waiting almost a year for a replacement, some black ones eventually became available. So we decided to have one of those rather than wait any longer for a green one. Not that is really mattered about the colour since it was going to be hauling coal so black would probably be more suitable!