OK, I've been lurking around here for a while now, Time to actually show some work. So, time for a new project. And the answer is (drum roll.......)
It's a Mercian Models "Vivian Style" Beyer peacock Industrial Garratt. In 7 mm scale.
WF_Garratt_002 by Phil Mortimer, on Flickr
In fact I'm building two of them - one as a commission and one for me! So that's eight sets of valve gear to assemble! Along with my OO9 builds of a Backwoods miniatures NGG16, a Kitson Meyer and 2x Beyer Garratt K1, people must think I have a Walschaerts valve gear fetish!
Four locomotives of this type were constructed and the last one, William Francis, still exists at the Bressingham Steam museum. The first was built for and worked at the Vivian Copper works in Hafod, Swansea, with the second going to Cardiff Docks, the third to Sneyd Colliery in Staffordshire and the last (William Francis) to Baddesley Colliery in Warwickshire. I am building the Sneyd colliery Locomotive for my client and William Francis for me (though it will be in it's former livery of dark blue rather than the horrible mustard colour that currently adorns it.
I have a tenuous connection to these locomotives, which is why they interest me. I attended the University of Wales Swansea. The University is located on the former Vivian estate in Singleton Park, and the main House, Singleton Abbey, acts as the main administration block. Later, whilst working for my PhD, I ran an off-site student Halls of Residence located at Clyne Castle, another Vivian estate (I'm still recovering from the experience!). So the Vivian style locomotives interest me. (BTW, they are referred to as Vivian garratts due to the first going to the Vivian Copper works).
Although currently produced and released by Mercian models, this kit is very very old, having been hand drawn in pre CAD days for a consortium known as Avondale Models. The artwork was originally drawn by Jim Harris, but Avondale consisted of Jim Harris (Acorn Models), Trevor Cousins (Mercian Models) and Agenoria Models. By all accounts, the kit had a difficult gestation and the artwork was never completely finished or checked. As a result, there are a number of dimensional inaccuracies to the kit, which will have to be dealt with during the build. After a limited release, the consortium split and the members went their separate ways. Due to pressure from a number of modellers, Mercian eventually re-released the kit in it's original form, meaning that the inaccuracies remain. These include the firebox outer wrapper, cab front and side sheets, boiler barrel being too short, errors in the bufferbeams and cylinders. These will all require either scratch built replacements OR adjustment. So I consider this kit to be more of a "scratch-aid", but this should hone my loco building skills. In addition, the fit of the parts is not as good as I'm used to with the Backwoods Miniatures kits, and the instructions are far less detailed, basically consisting of hand drawn exploded diagrams. So it's going to be fun, if interesting build.
I'm fortunate that others have been before me and have documented their experiences, so I'm aware of some of the pitfalls before they arise. these include Phil Parker, who has built several of these kits, and Giles Flavell. Their experiences are documented below.
Phil Parker http://philsworkbenc...h/label/Garratt
Giles Flavell. http://www.rmweb.co....err-stuart-wren
In addition, some background on the real William Francis locomotive and the Baddesley colliery can be found in the following 1966 article from the Industrial railway Society. I love the picture of the loco crossing the A6 with just a flagman! try doing that today!
So here goes for an interesting build.
Edited by PhilMortimer, 29 January 2018 - 16:27 .