June 21, 2014

"LNER no.97, Humorist"

No prizes for guessing the identity of my latest Railroad Flying Scotsman conversion I hope…? 

This particular model was second hand off eBay and advertised with a broken buffer beam. I decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up, and besides, I had always fancied a model of no.97. Since I was going to carve up a body shell extensively to make it right for a 1947-49 era Gresley A3 anyway, why not go the whole hog and modify an already broken model into something rather nice and unique?

This build took place over a three day period and is perhaps the quickest project i've undertaken, intended for running in at Little Bytham tomorrow…but that's a by the by for now.

Humorist is going to be painted in the LNER's apple green livery, albeit with her Thompson renumbering scheme number, 97, to be applied. I have followed the same methods I undertook for no.103 here and grafted the replacement cab from a GBL Flying Scotsman model onto the body shell, once the cab was completely removed.

At this point, the buffer beam was glued back on and worked on using Gamesworkshops green putty to seal the gaps.  

The round dome was cut off using a hacksaw, and the remnants filed down. A small cut off of plasticard (0.2mm thin) was stuck underneath the gaping hole, and Gamesworkshops green putty was used in conjunction with this to fill the gap. Humbrol filler went over the top later and was filled down to make a smooth, strong bond.

Note also that at this same stage I took a scalpel to the right hand drive steam pipe, also filing and sanding it down to smooth the sides of the boiler out. In the same session, I fitted the Graeme King resin super heater headers. 

I then put the boiler and smokebox into grey primer to check the finish of certain parts, before fitting the resin stovepipe double chimney after removing the original single chimney using a hacksaw. At this point I fitted the Graeme King resin dome to the boiler, simply gluing it in place with super glue.

The GBL Flying Scotsman cab was test fitted, and then later glued in place with super glue. Fitting the cab requires cutting down the lower sides of the boiler's back head and filing down all around the edge of the cab space. Once done though, the fitting is pretty clean and looks neat enough.

On Friday, Isinglass delivered a set of drawings for no.97, and I set to work creating its unique smoke deflectors. I photocopied and then printed the smoke deflector drawings, and then created a paper template from which to cut and file back a spare set of Graeme King A2/3 deflectors (left over from my A2/2 build a few years ago).

Returning to the locomotive, a further blast over with primer showed I had a long way to go with the scars on the cab and boiler from removing moulded handrails and the like.

I used a GBL Mallard's steam pipe, suitably shortened, to make the model left hand drive instead of right hand drive.

One detail I forgot to mention last time around is that if you fit super heater headers, you will need to move the second set of handrail knobs from the front of the engine forward slightly to compensate, as they did on the real thing as it happens!

I used a scalpel to remove the reverser on the right hand side of the model, and then relocated it to the left hand side. Sprayed all over grey Humbrol primer. Lots more still to do but she is at least presentable for tomorrow.

I finished off, and then fitted the smoke deflectors (which have had their handrails added).

White metal buffers from the usual supplier were fitted too. 

I also did a bit of tidying up around the buffer beam area, which had originally been broken off prior to receiving the model off eBay. In retrospect, more needs to be done but at least it looks straight and true now, if a bit rough and ready!

Humorist was then paired with one of my spare GNR tenders in LNER livery, a perfect companion for the intended no.97.

And to round off the blog entry, here's a "before and after" shot with another of those Railroad Scotsmans, currently not modified at all and waiting to take its place in the works queue.

You know, I know, everybody knows that my modelling is not perfect. It really isn't: it's flawed, sometimes rough and ready, but I strive to do better with each build and with this one, I feel there's a lot I could have done a lot better.

However I had never up to this point converted a right hand drive Pacific into a left hand drive one so had no point of reference with which to work with. Therefore the results above should be indicative of a successful first conversion using the Railroad 4472 model as a starting point. Lots to do better but not bad for a first attempt.

Truly, budget modelling is going to be the way to go for me. I've already had to sell a lot of my more expensive models and take up modelling, I figure why not continue in this vein and enjoy it for what it is.

On that note, enjoy the sunshine, and until next time.

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