I basically followed the instructions when putting the body together but I will highlight a few of the problems that I ran into and changes that I made. The body is cast white metal and comprises the following principal parts.

  • 2 halves comprising footplate, coal bunker and cab side
  • 1 front spacer that forms the front footplate
  • 1 rear spacer that forms the cab floor
  • Cab front
  • Cab back
  • Top and bottom halves of the boiler

The slot in the bottom half of the boiler needed opening out to allow the motor to pass through. I had done this earlier so that I knew what size to make the false boiler bottom. There are several discrepancies between dimensions in the kit and those on the prototype. I couldn't do much about most of them but I did raise the height of the openings into the cab.


The next problem was a bit more serious as with both spacers located between the two sides, the footplate was almost 1mm wider at the front than the back. I decided to reduce the width of the front spacer, probably not a good decision but widening the rear spacer would have been a lot harder. However, although the cab front was now a good fit, the cab back was too wide. This did mean that, when trimmed to fit, the rows of rivets were very close to the edge. There was also a bit of scraping needed here and there to get everything to sit level and square. Prior to glueing it all together (no, I don't like soldering white metal!), I removed the rear section of the cab floor to accommodate the DCC speaker. The bottom of the cab front and back head nedded trimming to allow it to sit level with the sides. When fitted, the boiler sat a bit shy of the cab front so I made a 20 thou plastic card spacer to fill the gap. I now had a rigid body to work with. Fitting the buffer beams was a lengthy job. On the prototype the footplate projects over the beams. This means that the whitemetal footplate, which is about 1.5mm thick needs a fairly deep recessed mitre to allow a very thin (and very vulnerable) projection to overhang the beams. The mitre on the beams also needed paring back a bit. There was a further problem with the front buffer beam. Remember the earlier problem with the location of the boiler support bracket? Because the bracket passes through the footplate, there is no longitudinal adjustment between the body and chassis and the error in the position of the support bracket meant the chassis projected too far forward. The easiest way to overcome this was to recess the back of the buffer beam, I didn't want to start butchering the chassis. This does highlight how important it is to check the fit of the body on the chassis at each stage, it would have been much moredifficult to recess the buffer beam aftyer it had been fitted.


It was now time to start fitting some of the detail.

The chimney was modified to fit that which was fitted to the prototype in the 30's, the period being modelled. This involved removing the flat band cast onto the cap and replacing it with the band as shown in the photograph. The cap was also drilled out and secured to the chimney with brass tubing that was an interference fit inside the chimney tube. The same system was used to fix the chimney on its base which is part of the boiler casting. The flare was created with Milliput shaped with needle files once it had set hard.

Prior to fitting the smoke box door, the front of the smokebox was trued up. In retrospect, I should have made an overlay for this as the front of the smoke box should be rivetted.

The changes to the smoke box dart and coupling hooks are detailed opposite. On the prototype the single link sat loose in the coupling hook, can you imagine the nightmare of coupling and uncoupling at shows with a loose link! Consequently it is modelled captive in the hook. The link is brass wire, formed to shape and soldered up after passing through the hook. The whole hook/link assembly was them weathered with gun blue prior to fixing into the buffer beam.

The lamp iron was shaped and folded up from some scrap etch, drilled and fixed with epoxy and brass wire which also represents the rivet head.

The cab roof comes as a thick white metal casting so this was discarded and a thinner replacement made up in brass.

There's a lot exposed pipework which was made up from brass wire of various thicknesses using drawings and photographs as a guide. The pipework changed from time to time, so it's essential to find a photograph of the loco for the period being modelled.


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