January 30, 2012

"Thompson A2/2 build - 60503 Lord President"

Whilst I wait for the transfers for 62678 The Morpeth to arrive, I have been working on another conversion, this time using a set of Graeme King's superb A2/3 resin castings - you can inquire about their availability here - to create a Thompson A2/2 using the Bachmann Peppercorn A2 as a basis.

So the current progress is as follows, after a day's work:

The original Bachmann valve gear has been carefully remove, and the chassis filed down in the necessary locations to fit the conversion components (seen in the milky white colour). The front bogie has been test fitted using a bit of Pritt Stick to check spacing, and the same goes for the chimney and front extension ring for the smokebox.

The cab comes from a Hornby Railroad A4 Mallard bodyshell, which was going spare after a few wins of spare parts on Ebay. The cab was simply cut straight from the bodyshell, and filed back to fit, whilst the boiler of the Bachmann A2 was modified to fit.

The tender was a surprise win on eBay for £20. It's the super detail Mallard tender from Hornby and is perfect for this conversion. I take my cue from Mick who put up such a splendid "how to" of his A2/2 build here, and on the LNER forum.

The boiler has had a few modifications done, but there's a lot more jobs to do including, but not limited to, removing the washout plugs and replacing with correct shaped ones in the right locations, and removing two boiler bands and installing one to match the original style of the boiler cladding on the A2/2 I am modelling, namely 60503, Lord President.

This locomotive is destined to be in a filthy LNER livery, as it was in 1949 prior to overhaul and repainting in BR Dark Green with the cycling lion emblem. It had been allocated to Leeds Neville Hill for a short time (there were problems with with a few of that shed's Pacifics at the time) and was used on trains into London King's Cross.

My excuse for running 60503 on my layout, is that it was borrowed to work a train into Leeds Central and has been coaled/watered at Copley Hill before working into London to work back to Leeds Neville Hill!

I'm thoroughly enjoying the build thus far, though I know that the simplistic adapation of the Bachmann A2 valve gear using standard Bachmann V2 components won't be as attractive as the etched Comet conversions which Graeme and a few others have undertaken on theirs. In my defense, I'm not as skilled a modeller as they are, and will be happy with something which runs for the moment, until I can learn and build up the necessary skills that will allow me to replace my crude alternative.

I was initially nervous about chopping up a £100+ model but the conversion is going together so nicely that I feel much happier at having a go myself. So much so that I am certain an A2/3 conversion and an A1/1, again using Graeme's superb castings, will follow later this year.

60503 is my project for February and destined to run at a friend's church fair on his small end to end later this year, so I'd best get cracking when I find the time after work this month.

Until next time!

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