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A Bird for Brent

The Fatadder


One of the key missing classes of loco for Brent is the Bulldog / Bird.  With the class providing the assistance on the front of many workings.   Eventually I will need 4 bulldogs for assistance and a 5th for a freight turn.


a chance find one Facebook resulted in a purchase of a non running unidentified  etched kit built example (based on a couple of grainy photos) 


the model arrived today and I have set to work.   Looking at the design it looks pretty old (X04 motor, lack of rivet detail on the smokebox, no detail on the fire box.). I’m thinking Jericho or Jamison maybe?  Edit: having looked some more I am now tending to conclude it is a possible scratch build.

This was the model as it came (all be it now separated from its chassis)



While it’s not up to the standard of a potential Bachmann model, yet alone the Finney kits that I am planning to build.  It lends itself nicely to some upgrading and will make a good stop gap until high spec model replaces it.  To that end it will stay as it’s current identity Nightingale despite it not being a Devon loco (I have found an undated photo of Nightingale assisting 6016 at Rattery, but from the red lamps it’s clearly pre war.)  If nothing else it saves £10 on a new name!


Onto the model

On the whole it was well built and well painted, although for some reason the black frames had been hand painted red.   Due to the below work it needed stripping off anyway.  This was achieved with oven cleaner and an old toothbrush.

The curved front of the firebox had not been formed (just a square joint between former and wrapper).  

The handrails were formed from pins not handrail knobs.  
There is no beading on the cab cut out (or cab end handrails).  

The firebox is missing detail, there are no washout plugs or mud doors.  These will need to be added from brass tube / rod for the former and to be purchased parts for the latter.  Incidentally now Dave Geen isn’t trading, who makes the best mud door covers?

the smokebox will need rivers adding, so it looks like I finally have to buy some archers transfers.

There are also some minor repairs to make, one frame has come loose, as has the end of the cab roof.  A tender step is missing, while the other steps are pretty basic.  I’m going to check the scrap box (I am sure I have a Comet steps etch) otherwise more parts are needed. 
the motor slightly protrudes into the cab, which has no back head.

the chassis quartering was out on one wheel  (now fixed). while the tender chassis has no bearings as is pretty tight on one wheel.


The plan is to fix the majority of the above over the next few weeks before repainting in post war GWR green.  I am in two minds about the chassis, ideally it could do with the X04 being replaced with a decent motor / gearbox.  But there is a logic which says remove it all together and have the loco unpowered.  The King or Castle will have more than enough power to push it while pulling 8 coaches...


The two jobs I am undecided on is replacing the crude con rods (due to no idea what I would use) and replacing the handrails with handrail knobs.  

The current state:


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A little more progress this evening, the curved leading edge has now been files onto the firebox.   The name and number plates have been removed (they will now have any remaining paint removed before refinishing), and the handrail has been removed while I decide what is the best solution.


as I look at the model more, I am starting to wonder if it was actually scratch built originally.  Lots of components just don’t look like they are from a kit...


next job is going to be fixing the soldering, which can wait until tomorrow...

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Just found the photo of this before you started....Brother you have your work cut out for this! Can't wait to see the next steps...good luck



(I bought a Stannier 2-6-4 tank off ebay based on the pictures taken - an incomplete model - once received I realized why it was incomplete. Dreadful build quality and not salvageable, not in my lifetime anyway)

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I’ve added a photo of the model as it arrived to me.  Compared to the drawings in Russell it compares favourably shape wise which is something.  It will be a challenge to sort out that’s for sure.  But a few more evenings work should result in something that will fill the gap until I get round to building the core fleet.

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