Friday, August 12, 2011
Lots of cranes today. In the background you can see a Coles mobile crane made from parts from the Airfix recovery set. This is a very old conversion, the sort thing model makers have been building for railway layouts since the 1960's and none the worse for it.
The thing you are all looking at though, is the Neilson crane tank locomotive. Two of these were bought by the SECR and one survived into BR days. My model is a South Eastern Finecast whitemetal kit. It's an interesting model to build - there aren't many parts so assembly is quick and pretty easy. The problems come thanks to a tiny gear set resulting in sprightly performance if you aren't careful. Combine that with a massive overhand behind the wheelbase, on the real thing this would have helped counterbalance the weight of the crane, and the result is an engine that will perform wheelies !
Always a popular loco in the stock display, we don't actually run it that much but then I've never worried too much about building only practical chuff-chuffs.