If 2015 was the Year of the Tree, then 2016 is the Year of the Train.
Kyle of Sutherland began 2015 as a typical work-in-progress, but metamorphosed into a fully-fledged scenic model with over 50 trees by the time it went to Scotland in September. But this was at the expense of stock building.
In the last three months of 2015 I switched to rolling stock: the HR TPO, then more detailing of the Dunalastair IV and its tender (see Gallery for the latest), and in December I started a new loco, Pickersgill 54495 of Helmsdale. I first increased the height of its kit tender, which involved rather more new parts and modifications to kit parts than I expected. After solving most of the tricky 4-4-0 loco design problems on the Dunalastair IV, my first objective with 54495 is simply to get the footplate/cab/boiler geometry and construction right. The cab shell was first carefully tacked to the assembled footplate (see “Project progress: A new loco kit”) to form an accurate base on which to test the loosely assembled boiler unit.
Pickersgill mock-up with card height gauges
The smokebox is about a quarter of a millimetre too high, but it’s only temporarily tacked together. When unsoldered I’ll trim the height, add rivets to the smokebox front and, being sure of the position of the upper frames, I can add more rivets to the wrapper and general details before re-soldering.
With help from the Devon Finescale Modellers Group, there is enough rolling stock, but not locos, to make a 10-train, exhibition sequence. Fortunately, I enjoy loco building. Let’s hope I continue to do so during the coming months as I try and complete 54495 as well as return to Black Five, 44722, whose tender I started way back in 2001 as my first soldering project, and later dismantled because it wasn’t good enough.
Happy New Year!