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CKPR's journey to the the dark side...pre-grouping GWR.

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Started actively modelling again (Mrs CKPR-to-be is in Prague this weekend visiting daughter, hence I've got the kitchen table to myself) and returned to where I started back in the mid-1970s. Long before I knew anything about the M&CR /C&WJR/FR , my first layout, which was much influenced by Dave Howsham's  "Porthleven", was a Cotswolds GWR branch line with Prototype Models buildings, a Hornby pannier tank, a Tri-ang clerestory coach and whatever wagons Wrenn decked out with 'G' and 'W' on the sides . Then  I saw Bill Hudson's 'Tideswell' at the York show and went all Midland, after which I became more interested in punk rock and hi-fi and gave up active railway modelling until the mid-1980s. Don't worry, I haven't abandoned the M&CR and 'Mealsgate' but the latter is still up in Cumbria and so I thought I'd build a small 'out of the box' (i.e. no scratch building of entire engines, coaches, wagons, etc ) pre-grouping GWR layout just for fun. For motive power, I am building the Mallard / Blacksmith Models  kit for the '517' class 0-4-2T  and immediately decided to do it as a Swindon rebuild as described by the inestimable Iain Rice in the November 1980 copy of MR. The main alterations required are a parallel boiler and firebox and a new bunker - you can see the parts for the boiler / firebox/ smokebox  awaiting assembly and if I can't get my 60W iron to do the job, Mrs CKPR-to-be might be getting that miniature kitchen blowtorch she has been coveting for her cake making activities rather sooner than she thinks !

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Edited by CKPR
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Expect an update this weekend - Friday evening is earmarked for fitting the now assembled firebox/boiler/smokebox to the rest of the body whilst Mrs CKPR-to-be is out on her third WI jolly of the week.

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Hmmm, Mr Rice's breezy instruction to amend the clearance in the spectacle plate to clear the new round top firebox involved rather a lot of work in practice but we're getting there. In the meantime, a visit to the aged P's in Keswick and a quick scout around their attic has produced a lovely Geo.Norton turned brass dome, ostensibly for a Dean Goods but seemingly spot on for a Swindon 517 rebuild (that's GWR standardisation for you), together with a LWB GWR round top firebox safety valve bonnet  - those hours spent rummaging through the trays of fittings at Norman Wisedens old shop in Greenfields have finally paid off. Mind you, the fitting of these might have to wait until next weekend as having mown both front and back lawns, your writer has necessarily partaken of four bottles of rather good French beer...

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Work, both mine and  that of Mrs CKPR to be, together with social engagements, gardening and work on the house, not to mention the heatwave,  have all conspired to bring modelling to a halt so no progress on the '517'. in recompense, here's something I did earlier in the year - a couple of NOS Prototype Models buildings made up rather more skilfully I hope than I when I last attempted them back in 1976. Here's Chalford station building and goods office (with apologies for the usual wonky Macbook picture).

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Edited by CKPR
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Not too sure how far you have got with the 517 CKPR but Ricey either ignored or glossed over the fact that the footplate on the Mallard kit is too wide for an early 517.  You may have read on my thread that I rose to the challenge and have built 2 which required cutting down the footplate etch and narrowing the side tanks.  It can be done and I think it was worth it.

 

There's a lot of an M&L whitemetal kit in this one but the side tanks and footplate are Mallard:

 

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This one has more Mallard bits:

 

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Ah, now this I didn't know about ! Trouble is, my Mallard 517 kit was bought S/H and the footplate and buffer beams had already been soldered up so I just cleaned this up and proceeded from there onwards  using IAR's article. I think I'll probably have to leave it as it is but your 517 has inspired me to try to crack on with mine.

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Hi CKPR,

 

Just found your thread and wondered if you have made progress?

 

Many years since, my dear departed Dad found a Mallard 517 s/h at an exhibition, and snapped it up "for later". Sadly, it never got built, but I have plans/intentions/hopes in that direction, so any clues are a boon!

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

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Very slow progress alas - I was sent a copy of the instructions and have made some progress on the 517 but I need to make a new bunker given my decision to go for an open cab  & round top firebox version. As my workshop is still packed away, I haven't even started on this even though it's fairly straightforward. However,  the news that Mrs CKPR-to-be has decided that we need a new dining table means that I might now get access to the old and rather battered pine kitchen table for a spot of sawing, filing  and soldering of the old nickel silver sheet ! 

 

As for building the Mallard 517, I've found it to be quite straightforward with the only awkward step being the very thin overlays - they were a bit of a pig to solder on but do look very nice once in place. and after some post-soldering cleaning up with a fibreglass pencil.

Edited by CKPR
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On 13 December 2018 at 22:21, CKPR said:

Ah, now this I didn't know about ! Trouble is, my Mallard 517 kit was bought S/H and the footplate and buffer beams had already been soldered up so I just cleaned this up and proceeded from there onwards  using IAR's article. I think I'll probably have to leave it as it is but your 517 has inspired me to try to crack on with mine.

 

If you got that miniature blowtorch it would be fairly simple to desolder he whole thing.  IIRC there might be a vague throw-away reference to the footplate width in Ricey's article but its a long time ago now!

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15 hours ago, Brassey said:

 

If you got that miniature blowtorch it would be fairly simple to desolder he whole thing.  IIRC there might be a vague throw-away reference to the footplate width in Ricey's article but its a long time ago now!

 

I've already had to de-solder much of it after I bought it S/H, so I might have to pass on that suggestion !

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Some progress on the 517 for 'Weston Standen' as I've made the new bunker, which was the final major modification required. Hopefully, it's all detailing from here onwards. I thought I ought to return to the 517 not just to get some practice before tackling the tender for M&CR No.7 [see the 'Mealsgate' thread for more on this saga], but also because  Edwardian-era GWR 'Weston Standen' is in danger of turning into late 1920s ex-L&YR 'Denley Moor' if I'm not careful. The fact that Clayton West had a track plan pretty much identical to that planned for 'Weston Standen' doesn't help to keep me focussed on the GWR. I'm also ashamed to admit that I haven't attempted to reduce the width of the footplate of the 517 - I've dismantled a couple of S/H assembled etched kits in the past to correct faults and neither went back together quite as I had hoped they would so I've decided that I can live with this error.

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Edited by CKPR
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Very nice work. 

 

The Denley Moor situation is understandable, but worrying. Quick, think of all the hours you have invested in the GWR stock! :)

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"It were always raining in Denley Moor . . . I remember that . . . 'cept on days it were fine, and there weren't many of them . . . not if you include drizzle as rain . . ."  

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"It were hard to accept that I were boring. Especially with my interest in the Maryport & Carlisle Railway"

Edited by CKPR
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