October 25, 2008

"Doncaster or Darlington..."

Otherwise titled: ah, damn it!

One thing I managed to miss was that the Peppercorn A1s were built at two different locomotive works - Darlington and Doncaster. The main difference (in fact the only difference I can see, visually) is that the Darlington examples don't have the riveted cab sides and tender sides of the Doncaster built examples - the rivets used on the real locomotives were flush riveted, and therefore the sides are smooth.

Kestrel was a Darlington built engine, and had smooth sides. Therefore...

Hands in the air: I made a mistake with 60130, whose donor engine was 60161, North British, which was Doncastor built and thus showing a lot of rivets...

This is a grand example of checking your information before modelling! What irritates me somewhat is how many photographs of Kestrel I have and she clearly doesn't have any rivets visible on cab side or tender whatsoever...

But it has to be said, the reason I picked this particular Bachmann model was so that I could have 60130 in the express passenger blue - the livery my grandfather remembered seeing her in, and my favourite of the BR liveries. It seems Bachmann has not done another run of their Peppercorn A1s in blue, and definitely not any Darlington examples, as opposed to Doncaster built examples.

Having said that, I have decided to leave Kestrel like this for now. The rivet issue is annoying, but it doesn't jar on my eyes nearly as much as the latest A1, King's Courier does. It has a split smokebox handrail which the real King's Courier, it seems, never carried. It's also aesthetically odd: I much prefer the early or the last design of smokebox doors the A1s carried.

Also, beggars can't be choosers, and you have to work with what you have. Thus, this model has the same problem as Kestrel:

But to be honest, I'm not really bothered at present. I wanted a few bird namers on the layout, and I like the names immensely. Both were 56C/37B engines, and to me, they are fine (even if they are non-authentic)

Besides, the smoke deflectors can be swapped over to another A1 model, as can the smokebox door, when/if I get a few donor models with the correct cab sides and tenders!

Just think: fictional locomotives don't have these sorts of problems!

I can see why Robin Green over at Treoch likes his fictional machines - it does actually save on counting the rivets!!! Plus, you can get some lovely names which make your own models a little more unique.

So, perhaps I could continue with the bird namers a little - 60166 Herring Gull, 60169 Gadwall, perhaps 60171 Capercaille? Hell, I could even choose donor models for 60166 and 60169 that were "built" at the same works as their A4 predecessors!

And I haven't forgot that I still have the plates for a certain 61676, Charlton Athletic either...!!!

October 18, 2008

"60130, Kestrel"

Dedicated to my late grandfather, she was his favourite engine:

60130, Kestrel

Finished in ex-works condition, 60130 Kestrel is ready for her first run!

You may notice some changes that have been made to the A1 besides the numbers and nameplates - I wanted this engine to be completely ex-works, so the smokebox straps and dart have been picked out in "boltgun metal silver" (from the Games Workshop range), as have the buffers, and the reversing rod (which is my biggest complaint on the Bachmann A1, and the one least relevant to the model - which is still an absolute stunner). Numbers were done by the cocktail stick/nail varnish remover method and then sealed using a light cover of varnish (which, after some light weathering next week, won't show up so shiny, hopefully).

I've been pondering over my next renaming - Kestrel has been made as a tribute - perhaps an actual Copley Hill A1 should be my next locomotive. With that in mind, I plunged into my "bible" for Copley Hill - Great Northern Railway Engine Sheds, Vol.3.

There's a few choices: Sea Eagle, Abbotsford, Foxhunter, Bongrace, Alcazar and Kittiwake amongst them. Hence, I got these:

I think another blue Peppercorn A1 may appear sometime in the next month...I also have a green liveried one to renname and number too...

Until next time!


EDIT: Unbelieveably, I missed something in my reading - Kestrel WAS a Copley Hill engine - too late in life for my layout (1959-1963) - so my locomotive may be slightly out of time, but no less a 56C engine (but not a 37B engine!)

October 15, 2008

"Early Bird"...

A hint at things to come on Copley Hill...the locomotive in question is 60130 Kestrel, renumbered/named from a spare 60161, North British (of which there is another, and will be renumbered and renamed accordingly).

The smoke deflector will get a touch up of black paint this afternoon, when I return from a fencing match, and tomorrow (my day off!), I shall be picking up a few essentials for removing the numbers from the cabside to replace 60161 with 60130 - and thus, the transformation will be complete!

I have been experimenting with a track planner, and the early results are not bad if I say so myself! And once they have been finished, I will post up the first finished track plan for 56C - which is based on the plans of Copley Hill I found, in 1949, 51 and 56 - it is possible for maintenance and ease of operation's sake, that the final track plan will be an amalgation of the three original drawings.

More next time!

October 06, 2008

"Suburban steam"

Firstly, apologies for the lack of updates!

Having returned to university, I have found myself inundated with work - 60113, Great Northern, has had to put on hold (though she is looking delightfully A1/1 like, if I do say so myself), and the new layout plan - much simplified from the first design all those weeks ago - will be uploaded soon for your interest.

However, I did manage to buy a rather handsome Eastern Region tank engine, from the Loughborough Model Centre - a rather smashing little shop just a cycle ride away from the university.

Seen above, it's of the "N2" Gresley 0-6-2T class, and will make a splendid addition to the Copley Hill fleet, once appropriately weathered. That will be the next subject of my Copley Hill Works blog...!