Being stuck next to a Dean Goods locomotive for most of Saturday gave me the opportunity to properly examine the beast. And I was not impressed. I mean how badly built are these things ? Was every day at the works Friday afternoon ?
Take, for example, the rivets running along the footplate. Are they in a nice straight line like we endeavour to achieve on our models ?
Are they heck. Look at them, wobbling all over the place. I appreciate that this is a Great Western, or Great Wobbly as many people call it, locomotive, but you think someone in Swindon works would have owned a ruler.
Moving to the front, we find the hole in the smoke box for the sandbox lever.
This could have been a nice neat hole but no, what we get is a gap. If I did this on a kit people would assume that I'd left a bit out, or that I'd cut the metal wrong.
At the very front there is a flap which doesn't shut properly either.
Finally at the firebox end there is the hole for the reversing lever to exit. And yet again we just get a gap. Now this is reminiscent of some of my less than brilliant model making. I've often wondered exactly how this bit of a locomotive looks. In my ignorance I'd assumed something nicely squared up.
Yet what I find is just a gap. In the photo the flash actually makes it look better than it is. You can represent this on a model by not soldering the corner and then waggling a sharp knife to open the hole up enough for the operating lever to poke out of.
All I can say is, I am very disappointed. We modellers go to great lengths to produce nice, neat work and yet again we are let down by the real thing.It is just not good enough I say.