Thursday, 17 January 2008

North Eastern P1



The P1 in black awaiting its red bufferbeams and lining.
Work has progressed on my first loco for Botanic Gardens - a North Eastern P1 (which became a class J25 under LNER ownership) London Road Models kit. It features Alan Gibson wheels and a Mashima motor with Ultrascale gears from Branchlines. The loco has three point compensation and the tender is set up so much of its weight bears down on the rear of the loco. The decoder is a Lenz Silver Mini which came from 53A Models of Hull.

The kit has been constructed very much as intended. The kit isn't perfect, but the instructions are up front about this! Not that any problems are hard to overcome. For the most part is straight forward and with care the results are extremely pleasing.


Once finished the loco will be numbered 2035 which was a Selby engine at the time the Botanic Gardens is set. Numbering isn't the most straight forward thing though - at this time the North Eastern Railway were using large cast brass numberplates. Only a limited range is available and most aren't suitable. We have been very lucky to be able to have 'plates etched to our specification! The results are superb, as can be seen below -


The numbers refer to the first three planned locos for the layout. We're hoping to have all the other loco numberplates produced in the same way.

The final tasks with the loco concern finishing the cab roof for fitting once all the cab details have been added; brake gear for loco and tender; full lining in NER black and then weathering. The last point seems to be something which is rarely tackled on pre-1923 models - a myth of the spotless railway in pre-grouping time seems to never cease. Whilst labour was cheap and the amount of filth present on locos was not like it was by the 'fifites and 'sixties, these were machines putting out smoke, soot and carrying coal so some dirt would be expected. However, the result needs to be subtle in order to convince the viewer. It's a task I'm looking forward! Just got to get the lining out of the way now - that's not something I can say I'm looking forward too!

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