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NWR No.106 'Perseus' - Full Story





Here's the combined build story for my little Avonside-esque 0-4-0ST, NWR No.106 'Perseus' (or Percy for short)








NWR Name:


Wheel Arrangement


Avonside Engine Company (19??)
Rebuilt Peckett and Sons (1920)
Rebuilt Hunslet Engine Co. (1946)


Purchased by NWR


The loco known to Sudrians as 'Percy' first arrived on the island in 1920. Originally built by Avonside Engine Co. of Bristol, No.106 underwent a rebuild by Peckett (including a new boiler) before transferring to the NWR.
Some time after the merging of the TK&F into the NWR, a short wheelbase 0-4-0ST was desired at Knapford docks. Crews were used to using the small wagon turntables to turn the vertical boilered 'coffee pot' locos, but as these fell out of use or struggled to keep up with train loadings, something more powerful but with the same operational flexibility was desired. Thus, 106 was assigned to Ffarquhar from 1935.
106 ran as such until May 1929, when it gained the name Perseus, a ceremony undertaken to coincide with the launch of Barrow-built submarine HMS Perseus, for which the loco travelled to the Vickers-Armstrong works.






Much as I do like to model big express and main line engines, my layout is a shunting puzzle so perhaps not best suited to them. Time for some shunters.


In terms of NWR locos, I have 308 'Montague', which sadly is non-operational and currently relegated to static display due to the motor issues previously described.


301 'Thomas Allen' is in the queue and, while fully working, needs a lot of work cosmetically (such as conversion to the second batch of E2 locos with extended side tanks) which I would like to get right, so would like to practice some more on something a bit more freelance.


What I had noticed when using 'Portbury' (see the cobbling thread) was that the short wheelbase actually allowed an extra wagon in the headshunt compared to using the SCC Jinty or 301.


I had scrapped a rather battered Hornby 'Pug' to use the cylinders and motion on Portbury, which left a good starting point for 106 'Percy'.


Percy is described as being a mongrel of different manufacturers, Awdry writes in TIOS:



Percy is believed to have been built by Avonside of Bristol, but fitters at Crovan’s Gate have found components by Hunslet of Leeds and other builders.


I've skewed things a bit in this universe, a lot of things happen earlier than in the original RWS timeline, where Percy arrives in 1949 - I'm under the impression that Awdry was trying to get his stories to catch up to contemporary events rather than being set in the past. I've gone for 1928.




I think the LBSC Terrier cab bears a lot of similarity to Avonsides, especially the door cutout and the bunker. Luckily I had a spare A1X body bought from ebay.
It nearly fits... Think the distinctly LBSC cab roof needs changing for a curved one.


Also bought from ebay was a set of motion and pistons from the Hornby Adams Radial tank loco.
A bit of chopping and a bit of stretching to make them fit....


This is actually motion bracket Mk3 after a few false starts


The pug running plate is rather bendy and threatening to snap, I would quite like to make one but we shall see...


After much fernaggling and confundering, I concluded the A1X cab wasn't going to give me what I was after without major surgery.


I did have another 'Polly' in the drawer though, having chopped one up to make the cab for my model of Avonside 'Portbury', so this one went under the knife.


Step 1 - reduce the bunker length




Step 2 - lower the bunker level with the top of the door


Step 3 - start conversion to saddle tank


Step 4 - lower boiler pitch, new cab front, new running plate


Step 5 - test look of saddle tank


Step 6 - splash some paint around to even things out


Lots of filling and sanding to do. I'm aiming for something a bit like an 0-4-0ST version of 'Woolmer'


Sorry, Smokey Joe (and thanks once again to Peter's Spares).




Sand, glue, paint, sand, repeat




As sanding and filling gets a bit repetitive, it was time to get some colour on No.106
First some green, Halfords paint again


Then some cheap satin black. Added the safety valves (a bit wonky) for some pics.


2 Avonsides posed together


I've got some transfers on order from Fox, hoping they'll get here soon.


Really trying to get as much done as possible before the winter break.
Got the handrails on last night


Completely by chance, the boiler weight from the Pug donor fits snugly inside 'Percy's boiler.


By chopping up some Stanier Jubilee cabside lining, managed to get one side of the cab lined out. Saddle tank is next, or I could leave it as-is, similar to how PBA S9 'Henbury' was lined out in the latter years of steam at Avonmouth Docks.




Nearly there!
Weight added to bunker, body fixed to chassis, motor fitted and soldered back in, tank lining and lettering, injector pipe added, lubricator fill up tank thing (from one of the pug's dumb buffers) added, a few adjustments to pick ups and she's a runner! The other side needs the lining finishing off, but I've run out of transfers for now. Need to add frame extensions and detail under the front end, and fit Kadees, but I'm very happy with how 'Perseus' looks (number and nameplates on order from Narrow Planet).


Once all that's done I'm going to weather it a bit to hide some of the dodgier bits, and add some coal and glazing.




It's not all that different from my initial photoshop mock-up I did a few years ago...


Perseus has gained some Kadee couplers, which meant I was able to do some shunting with him on the layout. Works great! The tiny wheelbase means that you can squeeze one more wagon into the headshunt compared to using 301, the Jinty or the Pannier. Runs a lot smoother than 'Portbury', too.


I had a go at adding some detail to the front in the form of a curved handrail, formed around a screwdriver handle, I drilled the holes slightly oversized, dropped some glue in, then roughly positioned the knobs before threading the handrail through. This pic shows it nearly all the way installed, before a dab of paint.
It also shows the front frame extensions to get rid of the 'hovering front end' look.


I like my locos to look well-used, so mixed up some weathering powder (smoke) with a bit of micro sol and water, then applied liberally to the body, let it dry, then rubbed most of it off with a damp cottonbud. My aim was to create a bit of streaking and general grime where the cleaners couldn't get to.
I've also added some coal to Percy's bunker. This covers some 'liquid gravity' I glued in, to give the back some weight - the loco is very front heavy.


I've got some number, name and builders' plates on order with Narrow Planet, then have a few details like glazing (and some crew) to add, then I hope he'll be more or less finished!


Let's begin with the bad news.
I wanted to paint a few bits of black on 'Percy', stuck it in the vice without thinking, and promptly broke the motion bracket. Hours and hours of faffing and different attempts later, I could not make a replacement up and rather dejectedly gave up.


All was not lost, however. I had a second 'pug' which was disassembled to donate its motion and cylinders. I've retconned this by reasoning that No.106 works a lot on the quayside down at Knapford, and the tramway up at Ffarquhar, so in order to avoid more police notices, it's been fitted with covers on the motion, keeping the local bobby happy.




The etched plates for No.106 have arrived from Narrow Planet.




I've affixed them using some Klear for the time being but we'll see how well it sticks..

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  • RMweb Gold

Phew! That's the first post salvaged from the photobucket debacle.... 

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