Friday, June 14, 2013
Not Welsh Pony, but close
I spotted on the Bron Hebog blog that the iconic Ffestiniog Railway engine, "Welsh Pony" is to be restored. This is great news, not just because it's another steam engine put back in working order but because it says loud and clear that everything is OK on the FR & WHR railways as far as motive power is concerned. The line has reached a level of maturity that allows it to progress "nice to have" projects instead of working hand-to-mouth to keep that trains running.
Anyway, a couple of days after I read this news, I found a photo of one of my old garden railway efforts. The loco is based on "Duke" from the Rev Awdry railway series, which in turn was based upon the George England engines.
My model dates from an era when I had no cash and so needed to make everything if I wanted a model. Duke's saddle tank is an old coke can cut up. Most of the superstructure is Daler board card. Frames are 2mm thick plasticard but the wheels are cast in Isopon car repair resin. Axles are brass tube, the motor a cheapo 6v item with Proops plastic gear which could be bought in a big packet for a quid. The tender wheels are slices of plastic drainpipe. Con-rods will be lengths of copper-clad sleeper intended for building OO track, probably using Peco track pins as crank pins. Power came from a couple of D-cells in the tender.
The nameplate and face can be removed, they are held on with magnets, augmented in the laters case, 3 Peco track pins. The face is Milliput by he way and could be replaced with a more realistic smokebox door.
Looking at the photo, the model doesn't look too bad. Sadly, I don't recall it every working that well. Some of the materials were a bit iffy too, the tender body is that thin card you get in with a new shirt for example. Despite this, with rose tinted glasses on, I'm still quite proud of my achievement. There's a lot to be said for having to be inventive in your model making and 16mm scale is good for this as even the grown-ups are heavily into bodging if they aren't proper engineers.