Having recently completed the building of my Gladiator Duchess and with my L1 from the same stable going through the paint shop, my thoughts turned to what to get next. I was leaning towards the Scorpio Std 3 2-6-2 when purely by chance, I came across this unbuilt Martin Finney A3 plus non corridor tender and a full set of Slaters wheels for a very good price on ebay. Long story short, the Std 3 will have to wait.
Having said the price was very good, it was still a considerable outlay and therefore a bit of a gamble, although the seller stated that as far as was know it was complete. I have checked all the etchings , castings and other bits and bobs and all is there. There is a slight problem with the Slaters wheels which I was aware of before purchasing, but I'll come to that.
Here are the loco etchings. There was some minor damage to a few of the smaller more delicate parts which I have easily straightened and which will cause no issues in construction.
And the castings etc. plus the wheels.
No problem with the driving wheels, but the leading and trailing wheels are the standard type with 3/16 axles instead of the special Finney variety with 5/32 axles. I am confidant I can use the leading wheels without problem by opening out the holes in the bogie frame to accept larger bushes. I am not sure if that is the case with the trailing wheels as I do not think there is enough metal on the cartazzi slider arrangement to take 3/16 bushes, but we will see.
Now the tender etches.
There is an extra loose part in this photo which is a duplicate of the coal hole and front panel. This was taped over the corresponding part on the fret but is slightly different in terms of having some extra tabs. I believe this may have been added to correct an error in the original artwork but as yet my scanning of the instructions has not spotted any reference to it.
As with the leading and trailing wheels, the tender wheels are the 3/16 axle standard Slaters type. They are also spoked wheels not disc. However, I believe I can use these also by widening the slots in the inner tender frame to except the larger diameter axles, and converting them to discs should just be a matter of making some disc inserts.
My initial impression of the kit was WOW!! I never expected to ever purchase a Finney pacific kit due to the high cost which puts them outside my budget, or at least what I am willing to spend on a locomotive kit. In this case, with the inclusion of the wheels (even if I replace the leading and trailing wheels), the cost of the loco and tender works out at less than the cost of the Gladiator Duchess, so I am very lucky to have spotted it.
However, some of the etchings are very thin and quite fragile, so extra care will be needed to avoid damage. I was also surprised to see that the couplings are supplied as etchings, and the brake rigging and crossbeams are very thin and will need replacing or beefing up, but we'll see.
Luckily I had already amassed all the relevant works of reference mentioned in the instruction and I have found and bookmarked three builds on here, which is always useful. I need to get my head around all the information and decide which prototype to model. However, my preference is for single chimney variant running in BR Green in the 1950s. Happy days!