Saturday, 29 December 2018

Merrie Carlisle...first moves.

King Arthur lives in Merrie Carlisle,
And seemly is to see
And there with him Queen Guinever
That bride so bright of blee 

When I mentioned recently that I intended to make a start on a model of the LNWR's "Merrie Carlisle", one of the club members at CDOGG remarked that a plain engine such as a Precedent should provide few problems, well I beg to differ, it's just one problem after another. Of course that's probably because it's a scratch built engine and as such it's a prototype and I'm running into all the problems and unforeseen snags that are bound to crop up building any prototype. So it has been slow going, a tale of trial and error and of two steps forward and one step back! Nevertheless, as the accompanying pictures show I have the beginings of a Precedent taking shape in the studio. There are no correct Slaters' wheels available for this engine, which I mentioned to their technical department, however my revelation was met with a decided lack of interest. So I sourced the wheels from JPL Models and I have them in hand now, they are cast iron and nicely turned to size though demanding a good deal of work on the spokes to finish them. My drawing of the engine shows 6ft 9"wheels, those made for me by JPL are, at my insistence, 6ft 6" across the treads, though they measure 7ft across the flanges; I hope that the splashers will house the wheels without having to be made oversize. The boiler will have to be cut away to allow the front driving wheels clearance, a necessary compromise when working in gauge O fine scale and a reminder that this is a model, not the real thing.

There is a kit available for an LNWR Precedent from Mercian Models (ref. LNW1 @ £250 ) which is based on the old Modeller's World kit, however I chose the scratch building route as I thought it probably less bothersome and a good idea to put the saving into some quality brass castings.

"Merrie Carlisle" was built at the LNWR's Crewe Works in 1894 as number 860 and took its name from the opening line of a fifteenth century poem, "The marriage of Sir Gawain". It was one of only four Precedents turned out in the LMS red livery after the grouping and at the moment it is in that guise as LMS 5050 that I intend to finish the engine.

Note the double skinned cab spectacle plate. Rivets are absent from the cab sides though I intend to add them from Archers' Surface Detail resin transfers at a later stage.

Frames are cut from 0.7 nickle silver and are a respectable 27mm wide. The troublesome curly footplate is from 0.4 n/s.
Cab floor in place with locations for square wooden inserts on the upper level. The distance between splashers on the real engine is a miserly 4ft 3". The model splashers are only 3ft 10" apart, leaving even less working space for the crew.

Slaters' brass hornblocks slide in slots in the 0.7mm frames and are held in place by an "L" shaped keeper plate.  

The frames stop short of the open footplate behind the buffer beam. The wider cosmetic front frames are attached to the footplate and overlap the working frames in an obvious manner though when the wheels are in place the join is hardly noticeable.