I realise that I left matters hanging with the tender for No.184, in my post of almost two years ago!
The awful truth is that I rather lost interest, when I found that I had made the frames of the locomotive too wide, so that the outside cranks tended to bind. I simply couldn’t face starting again from scratch until, quite recently, I hit on the idea of simply cutting off the folded edges of the plate which supported these frames and fitting new support members, made from short lengths of Broad-gauge bridge rail. These supports were placed closer together, taking advantage of the ‘narrow gauge’ represented by 00 wheel-spacing.
Once I had soldered the frames onto these rails, I found that there was now sufficient clearance for the wheels to rotate freely, when the outside cranks were fitted, so that, in principle, I now have a working engine – once I get around to fitting a motor and gearbox.
The tender was largely complete when I wrote the earlier post. Since then, I have added springs above the footplate, wheel-bearings, and wheels. The paint is Rustoleum Dark Green, which has the bluish tinge required for a Wolverhampton locomotive, with Burnt Umber acrylic on the frames. The grease-type axle-boxes on both the locomotive and the tender are simply small rectangles cut from a length of brass strip. Further additions, still to be applied, are toolboxes and a suitably high coal load – old photos often seem to show a remarkably large mound of coal on these small tenders!
Having made these changes, I decided it was time to wander down to North Leigh and see how it was looking in the evening light. The setting sun was floodlighting the hills near the lime kiln, beyond the buildings of the creamery, while the oil lamps on the platform had already been lit.
No.184 was heading the local service from Oxford to Witney, with its train of old coaches, probably dating back to the sixties. On the adjacent track, more modern Dean coaches can be seen, including a clerestory 6-wheeler composite to diagram U29, forming an Oxford-bound train, which was in the charge of Stella class no 3505.
I was not surprised to find Amy Wilcote with her easel near the station. She seemed to feel that I have been neglecting North Leigh and wondered why I was spending so much time “thinking about those old Broad Gauge things”. I assured her that I will aim to spend more time in future, attempting to finish a few of the many projects I started – not to mention Blanche’s dresses