Saturday, 21 May 2016

HR58 Jones Tank 4-4-0T

HR58 Jones Tank in Drummond II plain green livery 1902-1912

HR58 was built some time ago with the aid of a Shedmaster/LGM kit or rather an "aid to scratch building" though the precise amount of aid derived from the etches, the provenance of which is shrouded in the mists of time, is hard to determine; precious little I thought at the time. Perhaps they could best be described as providing more in the way of moral support rather than being of any practical use. However on a positive note the castings that came with the etches were good quality and quite indispensable. When construction was complete the engine languished for a deplorable length of time in the sidings of despond before I got round to painting it...this month in fact.

I built the engine originally as it would have appeared in LMS days with appropriate buffers, lamp irons and steam heating fittings. Between building the engine and painting it not only did several years fly by but my interest changed, so despite the attraction of the post-grouping red livery which suited these engines so admirably, I decided in favour of  finishing the engine in its pre-grouping guise, in the unlined Drummond II livery of 1902-1912. The HR green livery of that period before the Great War though plain endowed an engine with gravitas which when enlivened by an abundance of brightwork could never be considered dull.

HR58 Note the bottle shaped buffers characteristic of this particular engine in HR days.

 As I considered the as yet unpainted engine it became apparent that by some curious process of thought I had made the boiler too small, a mere 3' 8" rather than the 4ft clearly shown on the drawing and the more I looked at the engine the more the deficiency glared at me! I think the confusion may have had something to do with the diameter quoted in Cormack and Stevenson which I now realise must be without the outer cladding. So I decided that, along with a few other modifications to set her back into HR days, I'd have to re-model the boiler.

De-construction was the easy part of the process... and rapid, a couple of saw cuts and the offending boiler was off! Rebuilding was more painful as not only the boiler but the front of the tanks had to be reconstructed though the end result, as I think is evident in the accompanying illustrations, was well worth the bother. The profile of the smokebox, boiler and side tanks not only conforms to the drawing but also, being correct now, carries its own conviction. The steam heating pipes were quickly stripped off the engine as they were an addition of the LMS as were the lamp irons which were altered to HR pattern.

The buffers were however a problem as there were no commercially available castings for the characteristic bottle shaped ones used by the HR on this particular engine. I can find no other instance of HR engines being fitted with these curious buffers so the lack of available castings is unsurprising. My mate Bob Goodyear turned a pattern for one of these buffer housings on his lathe and had a set cast in brass from me by one of his mates which solved the problem, I think they look the part. A set of number plates and a builder's plate for the bunker rear were commissioned from Guilplates who also provided the HR transfers.

HR58 The brightwork enlivens the plain HR green livery. The fireman in nonchalant pose sculpted by Pete himself.  

As a base colour for the engine I used Phoenix P727 HR Dark Green 1885-1912 Dull to which I added just a touch of black to give the colour a little additional gravitas. I then added some P727 Gloss to the mix, just enough to enliven the surface, the amount of gloss is a matter of personal taste. I masked up as much of the brightwork as I could then airbrushed the basic green overall. A lot of work then went into cleaning up the brightwork. The smokebox, chimney, footplate, roof and other black areas were brush painted with matt black, these areas were scrubbed gently with a stiff bristled brush later to give the surface a dull glow rather than remaining completely matt. Light weathering was applied with thin washes of paint in all areas and some dry-brushing of lighter tones was used to bring out highlights.

HR58 running through the station with six bogie coaches at CDOGG on Saturday