Tuesday, January 13, 2015
My first scratchbuilt locomotive
In the same box as my first model loco, I also found my first efforts at scratchbuilding a locomotive.
Based pretty accurately on a plan in a magazine for a Hunslet loco I now can't identify (I've looked but the piece of paper eludes me) the body is made from plasticard as I lacked the ability to work metal finely enough.
The chassis is a couple of brass strips and the surprisingly free-running wheels, Romford, also the makers of the gears. A cheapo motor was supposed to provide the go but as it's no longer in there, I assume I couldn't make the set-up perform as well as I had dreamed. I still can't mesh gears for toffee so nothing much has changed although I suspect it didn't matter much as the motor was so high-reving it would never perform at the crawl of my railway modelling friends kit built locos of the time.
There's a bit of sophistication here - the handrail knobs would have been a major purchase on my pocket money. Buffers are nails with wider heads glued on. Hand rails show some early less than perfect soldering.
I didn't do a bad job with the wasp-stripe buffer beams. Maybe I remembered to mask and paint before putting the buffers on, something I still don't get right nowadays.
I can't remember how old I was when I built this but I'd guess around 15 or 16. The modelling has come on a bit but if I find that plan, it would be fun to have another go at building this prototype so I could see how far I've progressed over the years.