Steve Johnson    Modelmaker




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B141 Class

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General Motors B141 Class

The Prototype

Following the success of the B121 type locomotives, CIÉ placed another order with General Motors for 37 similar units which were called the B141 Class. However, as a result of operating experience gained with the B121's, a few modifications were made. The most obvious is the two cabs, giving the drivers a much better view and removing the need for turning. The second was a revised and more powerful braking system. Built as GM type JL8, they used the same 8-567CR V8 two stroke diesel producing 950bhp as the B121's.

The Model

Although there are two different but similar classes, B141 and B181, the two manufacturers who have supplied kits of this locomotive type market one kit for both types. They are MTK (IRL3) and MIR. The MTK version was of etched brass and white metal castings. I have not seen the MTK version. The MIR version is all white metal and this is the kit I have built. In common with all MIR locomotives kits, the castings are clean and a good set of instructions make for easy assembly. The model illustrated is of 150 in the current IÉ livery. Nearly all the necessary transfers and paints may be obtained from MIR. The overhead wire warning flashes are from Fox Transfers. Although MIR now supply Flushglaze for this kit, it was not available when I built the model so I used my own glazing technique.

Other additions I made to the kit were some Craftsman windscreen wipers and lamp brackets made from some scrap brass from a etched fret. Interior detail is provided. Unlike some of my other locomotives, I have used the motor bogies supplied by MIR. The MIR bogie comes with a DS10 motor, Kean Maygib wheels and axles to 16.5mm gauge and Romford 20:1 gearing. My locomotives have two power bogies but with a few changes. I substituted Romford 14mm disc wheels which use 2mm axles rather than the 1/8" Kean Maygib axle. This meant I had to use reducing bushes which came from Branchlines. I also altered the gearing to Romford 40:1. When it comes to re-gauging this locomotive to 21mm, it will be a case of using longer 2mm axles and changing the wheels.

Murphy's Models B141

Murphy's Models first venture into the Irish RTR market was with the B141 Class. Their model is extremely good and is a good contender for best model diesel locomotive in the British Isles! It's that good! A wide variety of liveries and numbers have been catered for and attention to small details well observed. This would, for instance, include LED clusters on later versions, even with the preserved loco's in black and tan livery! Provision has been made for a loudspeaker. The models also feature working lights.

My versions, B141 and B165 are both in the original black and tan livery. B141 has a Mr. Soundguy sound decoder fitted. Unfortunately the sounds on the decoder are not quite as good as they could be.

These models are also relatively straightforward to re-gauge to 21mm P4, which my pair will be at a later date.