I decided that this year would be the year of the "Pacific and the Atlantic" in terms of filling the gaps in my stocklist for these locomotive wheelbases.
So this portion of stocklist filling began about a month ago. An acquaintance of mine handed me a list. "A friend is breaking up his collection - anything you quite like the look of on there?"
I took some time to look through the list - totalling well over a hundred locomotives. This was, apparentally, a tenth of the collection.
It had engines from almost every region, most in pre-grouping, or grouping, liveries.
Then I got to a section where there were a few engines beginning with the letter C. Castle, City, Coronation, and then...C1, C12.
I emailed him back straight away, asking for photographs. He said it would be a few weeks, and so I waited patiently. Then one day,
"They need some work. Been sitting on the layout for some time".
And that was that. I had to have them. I paid up, and soon enough, two beautiful pre-grouping Atlantic locomotives of Great Northern heritage were sitting on Copley Hill.
I can't remember the last time a purchase made me genuinely happy to be a modeller. I am genuinely happy to have two more restoration projects, to add to the workload. Particularly when so little needs to be done to bring the models up to scratch.
The first, is a C1 Atlantic. I have always loved the look of these engines: genuinely brilliant and beautiful machines, which, like the Stirling Single, grabbed my interest at a young age, and have stayed there ever since. This is a DJH kit, I believe, and is it perfectly built? No, it needs some work to bring it up to scratch, but the mechanism has been built beautifully. There is a wonderful smoothness to its motion.
To my surprise, rather than having flanged cartazzi wheels, it has flangeless ones. This meant it could negotiate my severe curvature with no problems - and it has done so, continuously, for hours on end this week. It's such a brilliant runner, I am over the moon with this second hand purchase.
It will eventually become 62822, in the unlined locomotive and lined tender combination of 1949/50 when it became the last working ex-LNER Atlantic.
Next, we have a pair of C12s...which was originally supposed to be just the one! My purchase, from the same collection as the C1, is in front, but behind that C12 is another which a group of friends got together to purchase for me. I was rendered rather last speechless week - I have been going on about building a C12 kit for about a year for my Copley Hill stocklist, and along comes two at once! To say I was moved by their gesture is an understatement.
I am very grateful - it is an excellent runner and, like its compatriot, will be repainted in early 1949 British Railways unlined black livery to suit my layout's intended period. So I have ended up, somehow, over the last month, with a gorgeous and beautifully built C1, two nicely built and decent running C12s, and two more C12s...albeit, not built as yet (bought second hand, cheap, as kits! Like the two before them, they are South East Finecast kits).
So I think these, coupled with my A2/2 and A4 conversion projects, will give me enough to do until the summer, don't you?
And on that bombshell...time to get some sleep. Goodnight.