The loco is a tweaked Bachmann jobby I performed around 10 years ago shortly after I returned to the hobby. Initial work involved removing the hook and bar couplings and replacing with the Smiths etched screw couplings. The gap between the loco and the tender was closed up by shortening the existing bar and inserting a small screw into the end for the tender to hang off, the screw replacing the spigot which was chopped away with the shortening.
This loco is an older ready to run release from around 1996 and has no fall plate (it's the floating floor than stops the crew falling between the loco and the tender) as you'd expect with more recent releases, so one was fabricated from a small oblong of black painted business card as recommended by George Dent who is far more of an expert in loco matters than I'll ever be. Thanks George! Why a business card? Well it flexes just enough to allow attachment of the tender into the drawbar, other materials would require some kind of hinging like the real thing, something that would be far too complicated for a bodger like me.
The engine was weathered up and renumbered as Templecombe's 3206 using bespoke plates from Narrow Planet, these were only applied at the weekend and could still do with a little more toning down. Coal is the real thing, crushed up and glued into place with some PVA.
A crew provides the finishing touch, and were from that chap whose name I cannot recall who frequently appears at shows in the south with ready painted pewter loco crews in different poses, many of which are produced to match popular ready to run locos.
This is a great loco for shows, it runs very well indeed through the entire speed range when using a feedback controller, something I always favour for any slow kind of operation. There is no need for DCC, that would in fact mean more button pressing. Another good thing about this loco is that the wheels hardly ever appear to pick up any dirt, that probably being the result of good wheel and rail contact and well laid track. I have a relaxed view of many things, but track must always be well laid, and I think that homebuilt track will always win over ready to plonk pointwork because it can be tweaked to match ones stock perfectly thus reducing slop, wobble of roll of a tracksystem designed to work with a wide range of wheels from different eras. Along with well aligned track, wheel back to backs must be consistant, with a strict 14.5mm adhered too, most tready to run locos, especially Hornby needing attention in this area.
The layout is Polbrock which has been serialised in recent issues of Mode Rail as below....
- Polbrock Part 1 - Model Rail 169 / May 2012
- Polbrock Part 2 - Model Rail 171 / July 2012
- Polbrock Part 3 - Model Rail 172 / August 2012
- Polbrock Part 4 - Model Rail 175 / November 2012 (on sale 4 October '12)