Loitering around after the show at MOSI a week ago and wearing an "Exhibitor" badge prominently, I spent a lot of time crawling all over the "William Francis" Garratt locomotive taking lots and lots of pictures. Not exactly holiday snaps but very useful for working out the details.
Thanks the helpful staff, I was even allowed to nip up on the footplate and see just how small the inside of the cab was. It seems ironic that Beyer-Peacock seemed to bless the locos with automatic stoking devices with ballrooms at the firey end, yet when the fireman would be shovelling, he was cooped up in a cubicle. I doubt I'd have shifted much coal before bruising my arms and legs as well as those of the driver through inept use of the shovel.
Anyway, from the cab I could see into the coal bunker. This has always been mystery to me as there aren't any pictures of this area and if there were, most of the detail would be covered up by coal. My modelling efforts have been best guesses with lots of black Welsh gold to hide the errors.
No more though. As you can see, the vents are supported on substantial boxes. There are actually parts for these in the kit but no-one has ever known what they are except the pattern maker and I don't even know who he was. Now I know, I can fit them and the vents in the proper place. Sadly this means I can also see I need to fit an awful lot of riveted material too. And an interesting looking pipe. And the lifting lugs hiding behind the box. Then try not to cover it all with coal.
Still, it's nice to have a challenge isn't it ?