Last Month Dapol announced that their class 68 model thats now in the tooling stage would be produced in the Scot Rail livery. What are my thoughts on this announcement? Well lets dive right in there shall we, i will leave the warning out of this blog given people should automatically know this blog is opinion based.
Why did they choose the Scot Rail livery? Of all liveries why specifically the Scot Rail scheme for their new upcoming class 68 model? The Scot Rail livery is a poor choice of livery for the model but thats not because i hate the livery, i don't i think it looks rather smart and its not because i hate the company either, again i don't
its because there is nothing on the market for the class 68 to pull at least in terms of Scot Rail anyway.
The class 68's in Scot Rail livery haul Scot Rail services formed of MK2 coaches, nobody has produced any coaches let alone a MK2 in this livery for the market so anybody who buys this model will have a model that will have nothing suitable for it to pull! One could argue that there have been a few units on the market in Scot Rail scheme but hauling units is not something the Scot Rail class 68's do and for granted it would be hard to couple up a class 68 model to a model unit anyway.
Anything in Scot Rail livery looks much better with matching stock because otherwise if its paired with anything else it just doesn't look right. At the same time they could have announced a set of Scot Rail MK2s to go with the 68.
I know some might think ''Well Hornby could release some in the future'' but that will be a matter of if rather than a when because it could be years down the line before we even see any Scot Rail MK2s released for the market and although these are my opinions just how highly sourced after would a set of MK2s in Scot Rail livery be? The answer varies some might say ''yes we need Scot Rail MK2s for the 68'' some however may disagree and use other stock to run with the 68.
I guess you could couple it onto a freight train but the 68's in Scot Rail livery are at present allocated to work on passenger trains until Scot Rail gets new trains delivered to them (yes the 68's don't belong to them, they are on loan to them) and they wouldn't be seen on freight workings at least not in Scot Rail livery anyways, DRS livery they have been seen on freight.
Lets talk about the DRS and Chiltern Railways liveries for a moment!
Firstly with DRS there are plenty of modern era wagons for a DRS class 68 to pull, picture it with Railtrack Auto Ballasters, JNAs or Network Rail Yellow Boxes there are plenty of wagons of your choice. You could even have it pulling the Bachmann FNA Flask wagons, yes i know 68's don't haul FNA wagons but this is where you could allow your own imagination to flow and do something creative with the model, the possibilities are indeed endless.
You could also have it running with various railtours round your layout and also how would a DRS 68 look with BR Blue/Grey coaching stock? The answer to that is stunning!
Then there is the Chiltern Railways, well we have the DVT and MK3s on the market already so you can easily recreate the 68 hauled Chiltern services to London Marylebone and back and it would look fantastic running round the layout and they have worked on freight duties too in Chiltern livery so you could do that too.
In the case of the Scot Rail livery what have we got that is decent to go behind the 68? Nothing! One could argue ''well can't you couple it onto wagons or coaches'' well in short yes you can, i am not stopping anyone doing that but for my own personal bias i would want to have the MK2s to go with the locomotive the MK2s would be more suited to go with it.
With the DRS and Chiltern livery 68's they have been seen on a variety of trains both passenger and freight but since the Scot Rail ones were allocated to Scot Rail services and painted in Scot Rail livery they have only been seen on the Scot Rail services they were allocated to do and they haven't been seen on anything else no freight workings or any other passenger trains.
Just out of curiosity how many of you would want to own a 68 in Scot Rail livery? what is the Scot Rail 68 without its MK2s? Its like a rail enthusiast without the railway, its nothing. I am not having a go or bashing at Dapol i was just hoping for a different livery as despite what i said about Scot Rail it isn't really truth be told my cup of tea, if they decide on a second livery for the 68 it will be great, that said they may not do so.
However despite me giving my own opinions i think the Scot Rail class 68 could still sell well but its fair to say it isn't going to be everyone's choice for livery. Thats about all i will say.