Wednesday, 20 September 2017

LNWR Precursor Tank

LNWR Precursor Tank No.44 built 1909.  3' 3" bogie wheels, exterior sand boxes and Bowen-Cook buffers.

Pete's Precursor Tank was built with the aid of a Dragon Models set of etches and the brass castings that come with the kit though without any of the white metal fittings supplied which were replace by components sourced elsewhere or by scratch building, an example of this being the smokebox door. Construction is complete apart from the cab interior which awaits delivery of an LGM brass backhead casting. There has been a good deal of improvement made to the basic kit and additional work has been done using contemporary photographs as reference to ensure that all exterior detail is included in the model. The basic inside motion parts from the kit have been fitted, viewed from the angle of the photo the slide bars are just discernable in the gloom between the frames.

The engine is powered by an M1833 motor mounted in an ABCGears gearbox which is mounted upright on the rear driving axle. Current pick-up is through wires bearing on the treads of the drivers and the rear of the bogie wheels on one side of the engine; on the other side the wheels are shorted by means of a wire inset behind the spokes. Slaters' wheels are used throughout, the axles run in brass bearings which slide in slots in the robust 0.7mm side frames. The upright motor leaves no space in the boiler for a flywheel, however the running qualities of the model were more than acceptable when she ran on the Carlisle club layout last Saturday.

The cab front is double skinned which allows the inner skin to be removed at this stage for detailing. The backhead and all its attendant fittings and pipework will be attached to this inner skin, an arrangement that also facilitates glazing at a later stage. Similarly at this stage the rear bunker assembly can be removed to allow access to the cab though later this will be soldered into place; the roof will be soldered on too as this will add strength to the structure. Nevertheless the large cab side cut-outs, generously proportioned rear windows and hinged opening doors will ensure that the cab interior detail remains much in evidence.