September 01, 2008

"Great Northern"

It's rather a brute of a machine, isn't it?

Seen here: This database is a mine of information for anyone modelling the LNER and I highly reccomend it.

The lone A1/1 was an Edward Thompson rebuild of Sir Nigel Gresley's prototype pacific - Great Northern, which was to form the testbed for the Peppercorn A1 pacific. Suffice to say, not many locomotives have formed the prototype and test bed for two classes. A controversial rebuild, even today arguments break out over the locomotive's looks and even a question of should it have existed at all...

I was rather surprised to find in my research, how many times the unloved 60113, Great Northern, visited 56C. It was enough times, both in photographs (I have found no less than six photographs of the A1/1 at Copley Hill over a period of five years), that I decided - now that the Clan model is almost complete - to try to build another locomotive for the intended layout.

And why not? I love unusual machines, (RMwebbers will no doubt know of my passion for Brush Traction's Falcon... and, euh, be tired of my obssession with it, mind), and anything that adds interest to the shed scene will be well worth the effort.

However, after the agonising time put into a second hand Nu-Cast A2/1 kit (and failing so miserably to build it, that it's been sent away to be sorted out!), and the misery of failure, I decided on this occasion to kitbash, rather than kit build.

I've kitbashed one locomotive already: a Trix A2 became a "Trixby" A2 (that's a Trix A2 body on a Hornby Railroad Flying Scotsman chassis), which turned out okay - as 60525 A.H Peppercorn. I'm doing a similar conversion here, except I fully intend to modify the cylinders and valve gear to appear more Thompson-esque.

I have a plan - the components are coming together - and I really, really want to build this A1/1. It's almost as if it'll convince myself that I can actually model - and well enough to finally get on and do some proper, soldering kitbuilding, instead of kitbashing.

So next time, hopefully, I'll have some pics up of the work in progress...

Until next time.

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