Saturday, March 12, 2011

Revell BR 50

One of the most successful classes of German steam locomotives is/was the BR 50. Designed to haul goods trains, the BR 50 locos were built as standard locomotives (Einheitsdampflokomotive) between 1939 and 1948 by almost all major locomotive factories. A total of 3164 pieces were produced for the Deutsche Reichsbahn and they received IDs between 50 001 and 50 3171. One of the important advantages of the BR 50 design was the low axle load (15.2 t), which even permitted the use on branch lines with light track beds. The Br 50’s wheel configuration is 2-10-0 and total weight is 86.9 t. The locos were originally fitted with Wagner smoke deflectors but some of them later received Witte smoke deflectors. They were coupled to tenders of type 2'2' T 26 or 2'2' T 30.

The BR 50 locos were part of the war preparation effort and the ones that were built later were called provisional war locomotives (Übergangskriegslokomotiven) and classified as 50 ÜK. Also, class 52 (BR 52) was derived from BR 50 by omitting all possible components, making the locomotives as cheap to produce as possible. Some BR 50 tenders were fitted with a front shield, to protect the crew and some were also equipped with a driver’s cab, thus reducing the volume of carried coal.

After the war a large number of BR 50 locomotives were taken over by the Deutsche Reichsbahn (2159) and together with class 44 they took care of most of the goods hauling operations. About 1000 of them had boilers made of ST 47 K steel, which was not very resistant to ageing, so many of these locomotives were given the boilers of scrapped BR 52s. Most BR 50 locomotives were retired up to 1977. A few remained in service until 1989. Towards the end of their service they were used for pulling both goods and passenger trains.

ID: BR 50 519
Wheel arrangement: 2-10-0
Built: 1939-1948
Builder: Henschel & Sohn/Hohenzollern/Krupp/BMAG/etc.
Top speed: 80 km/h (both directions)
Power: 1195 kW
Gauge: Standard (1435 mm)
Length: 22.94 m
Weight: 86.9 t
Axle load: 15.2 t
Couped wheel diamater: 1400 mm
Driving wheel diamater: 1400 mm
Leading wheel diameter: 850 mm

A few days ago I assembled Revell's BR 50 static steam locomotive, which contains a beautiful H0 scale model of the famous original locomotive. The kit was produced in 2002 and has item number 02165. It wasn't hard to assemble, the 41-step instructions were pretty clear and contained enough detail, but it required a lot of work, especially the painting of the parts. It took me about 10 days and a total of over 30 hours of work to complete the locomotive. Most of the time was spent on painting and repainting the parts (some of them require two layers of paint to look really nice and the paints need to dry for 4 to 6 hours before a second layer can be applied). Some spots require a steady and precise hand, to paint adjacent areas of the same part with different colors. In contrast with Revell's Big Boy steam locomotive that I assembled over a year ago, this kit contained some water slide decals that were surprisingly easy to apply. They adhered to the plastic with ease and did not dry off at all.

Used colors (in order of importance):
- 302 - black, silky-matt (used extensively)
- 330 - fiery red, silky-matt (used extensively)
- 91 - iron, metalic (used moderately)
- 301 - white, silky-matt (used only for a few surfaces)
- 93 - brass, metalic (used only for the bell in the cab)
- 87 - eart brown, matt (used only on the tracks)
- 83 - rust, matt (used only on the tracks)


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