Friday, November 28, 2014

What makes a good Radial?

Subtitle: Why I can't be bothered to fit lamp irons to this loco.

Primered Radial

With the Radial now in it's first coat of primer, I've been pondering how I will finish off the model.

A couple of months ago, I ruminated on exactly how good a model needs to be if you are planning to use it on a layout. My feeling was that once you look something as part of a complete scene, it's more important that everything is to a similar standard rather then be perfect to the tiniest detail.

One detail I have always had a bit of a blind spot over is lamp irons. Yes, I know they should be on the ends of the model but if they aren't, I don't miss them. Sacrilege I know, but that's me.

The Radial should be festooned with the things including a pair of entertainingly shaped ones sticking out the sides of the smokebox. I looked at these and decided I couldn't be bothered. Maybe the straight ones could be made out of staple but those "wings", that's a job for brass strip and doing things properly. Mess up and it would be better to leave them off. An added benefit is that the pretty front end of the model is, to my eye, enhanced by the lack of sticky up bits.

This isn't madness. You can report me to the finescale police all you want, but I think it's the right decision.

Too much detail would be inconsistent within the model. Look closely and you'll notice a lack of brake gear. Well, the frames are made from armour plate cut out of a decommissioned battleship. Drilling through this for hanger wires would technically be possible but hard work. I'd have to take the wheels off and I'm not sure they would go back on the axles properly. Some brake gear would also need scratchbuilding and I don't have a plan to hand.

Even if I did this, the cab is full of mahosive open frame motor. One of those bombproof jobbies from the 1960s that runs sweetly but at a cost of being the size of a small car. Really I ought to replace it with a more modern smaller unit and then build a cab interior.

But then the fit of the body around the splashers isn't perfect. There's some work to do shown in the photo along the footplate - I said this was the first shot of primer.

No, basically this kit is what it is. Attractive but on the basic side. If I want a hi-fi model I need to build an etched kit, or just wait for a RTR model to appear. I've seen the first shots from Hornby and they are better than my version if you want to look closely.

So, I'll build the kit and enjoy it. Maybe my model won't win any prizes but I think it's going to capture the character of the prototype and look very nice indeed. At the end of the day that's what matters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks good to me. It is in a way a period piece and should be approached as such.