I took these photos of HR53 as I was assembling her ready for the monthly Running Day at the Carlisle club yesterday. I was however disconcerted to discover that her tractive effort was rather feeble. I know that my rolling stock is mighty heavy... nevertheless I'd not expected that a four truck train would be beyond her! Though the motor whirred and the wheels went round, nothing was moving, I didn't want this embarrassment at the club, I wanted her to make a good showing, so I spent the rest of the evening experimenting with various lead weights in various positions and found that weight was needed up front. I packed a roll of lead into the boiler, 125g in all, and matters improved. Another similar weight, experimentally carried over the buffers, had even more effect, so though I was only able to add the weight in the boiler I had at least found the solution. Ultimately, in addition to the weight in the boiler, my intention is to pour "liquid lead" down the chimney into the smokebox to get weight over the front driver.
On the day, at Carlisle, she performed very well despite carrying only half the weight I plan on adding, effortlessly cruising round the layout with a creditable ten wagon train.
The backhead and cab interior detail is at an advanced stage as is the superstructure. I've modelled one of the tank top water fillers which will serve as a pattern from which I'll make a mould next week to cast out its companion. The brake cylinders, which sit under the footplate between the rear bogie wheels, will similarly be cast from a silicone rubber mould in the workshop.
In the unlikely event of there being anyone else out there who's making a "Lybster" and who would like castings of these items... they will be available, just give me a ring or send me an e-mail.