Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Models from the depths of the cupboard: Metropolitan Vickers Gas Turbine 18100


Putting some paint away in a drawer full of train stuff, I found this interesting beast. Doubtless bought cheaply on some second hand stall many years ago for out roundy-roundy layout, I've kept it for a couple of good reasons.

First, I still fancy turning it into a descent model.

Second, no one else would give good money for it anyway.

The prototype is Metropolitan Vickers Gas Turbine locomotive 18100. Ordered by the GWR but not delivered until a few years into BR days, it was one of three gas turbine locos that ran in the UK. Not greatly successful, turbines are heavy on fuel unless you keep them running at full tilt, it was eventually converted to a pure electric loco complete with pantograph and then scrapped in 1972.

The model is, I suspect, a Q-Kits product. The body is a one-piece casting in a dark blue fibreglass. It's a bit crude in places but you certainly can tell what it's supposed to be. Whoever built it didn't stint on the paint, which is a shame as if it were a bit thinner, I suspect the result would be quite nice.

For a chassis we have either a Class 37 or Deltic from Lima. The number of wheels is correct but that's about it. I foresee some work in this area if and when I get to working on the model

At the moment, the loco lives in a drawer, part of the "pending" pile. Were it not already mine, would I purchase it now? Possibly. Although there is no chance I'll build a layout suitable for this engine, I have a soft spot for weird prototypes. Mind you, knowing my luck, Heljan will produce it ready-to-run...

If you want to know more, I can recommend Kevin Robertson's excellent book on the subject.

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