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M & SWJR Sharp Stewart 4-4-4 Tank


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Rain has today returned to the Southern Cairngorms after a long warm dry spell, so needless to say not much work has been going on the workbench in the shed. Among other things much needed work in the garden and general maintenance to windows and other woodwork has been the order of the day along with plenty of forays into the mountains enjoying the bone dry conditions before the midges descend.

 

After the Fowler Dock Tank i came up with a list of a few other models to draw up and get some etches produced, these were mostly whittled down from the drawings that i have collected over the years. The first of which is as the title suggests a M & SWJR Sharp Stewart 4-4-4 tank engine, similar locos seem to have been built for the Wirral railway. I have very little other information apart from there seems to have been 2 engines built for the M &SWJR numbers 17 and 18. I've only found a couple of photos to enable visual checks to be made before they were rebuilt as GWR engines. 

 

I had a copy from a Railway Modeller mag from Sept 1996 of Ian Beatties drawing that i drew up

 

360546535_sharpstewartMSWJR4-4-4T.jpg.530fdf8da81993178c84a4f58ceb5030.jpg

From this the artwork was produced and sent off to the etchers to do their stuff. This was duly received back a few weeks ago but has sat awaiting the drizzle to return before i made a start.

 

1.jpg.a7bad3de6740dfc7972d71cde6df406a.jpg

 

On to the build next.

 

Dave 

 

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Posted (edited)

Volume 2 of Wild Swan's 3-part history of the MSWJR has photos and a drawing that may interest you. One of them – no.18 I think – suffered a cracked spoke so spent the rest of its life with a splint! They were  handsome engines. I started scratchbuilding one many years ago before a good drawing was available.

 

Might have another go if there was a good set of etchings available...

Edited by wagonman
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I've never built a 4-4-4 before, in theory it should be reasonably balanced as long as the weight distribution isn't way out. I've included compensation beams on the etch but as a precaution i've decided to build this as a rigid chassis. I'll add some bogie side control and allow some vertical movement to one pair of wheels on each bogie.

 

Frames, bogies, spacers all cut out holes reamed for the bearings, cusps removed on the spacers so they fit snug to the frames. 

 

20210621_170905.jpg.eb2c2f88b1ddc36070ad9e2ca3e30304.jpg

 

The frames are very shallow so i took plenty of time soldering the spacers to each side so as to not introduce any twisting. I've added the balance beam hangers and the balance beam itself which also stiffens the assembly up to.

 

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I'll work on the coupling rods, bogie pivots, side control and the sand boxes next. I've a set of slightly smaller Romford wheels i can temporarily add crankpins to and use to test the chassis running.

 

Dave

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The sandboxes were folded up and soldered to the the frames and a pair of coupling rods were sweated together.

 

20210624_172441.jpg.401ad6971a12720b0d98f1b5f74549f9.jpg

 

I've added an arrangement to the underside of the bogie frame spacers to allow some side movement via a slot in the bogie, wire either side of this on the bogie stretcher gives some side control.

 

20210623_161341.jpg.ebd8ef3a82e2043ffd893854d8a1370d.jpg

 

20210624_201131.jpg.7afbd3ec154e5fc13964960b5e35d2bc.jpg

 

I tested the chassis with the smaller Romford wheels and all runs smoothly as an 0-4-0 so i can get this painted up before adding the Gibson wheels, motor and gearbox (i hopefully won't need to remove these once they are pressed on then).

The footplate has had the valances and buffer beams attached to allow me to check the chassis fit and the fixing hole alignment.

 

20210625_111759.jpg.40cddbf8955396aa5ca2ae9c256fb791.jpg

 

On with the body assembly next.

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I made one of these way back in the late 1970s.  It was an Albion Models white metal kit with an etched brass chassis.  I think the kit is now available from Roxey Mouldings.

 

My model was made to OO.  I forsook modelling for some 25 years and when I returned to the hobby, I did so working in P4.  However, I have a soft spot for my 4-4-4 and want to make a new P4 chassis for it.

 

Dave, will your chassis have spacers and be suitable for P4 and if so, would you make the chassis available separately?

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30 minutes ago, davidbr said:

I made one of these way back in the late 1970s.  It was an Albion Models white metal kit with an etched brass chassis.  I think the kit is now available from Roxey Mouldings.

 

Dave, will your chassis have spacers and be suitable for P4 and if so, would you make the chassis available separately?

 

Yes i believe the Roxey kit is for the GWR reboilered number 18, i've not seen one.

 

The etch does indeed have spacers for OO (12mm spacers), EM (14mm spacers) and P4 (15mm spacers), however the chassis comes with the rest of the model too and has been spread around the etch to achieve as small a size as possible. I sympathize with your position on keeping the original model but to make just the chassis available would mean new artwork with it's associated etching setup cost and to be honest i'm not sure if many would want just the chassis. 

At present assuming the bodywork goes together fine i would make it available to others as i did with the Fowler Dock tank, probably once again with chimney, dome, smokebox door and whatever else i can sort out in resin. If enough wanted just the chassis to fit under an existing model i could investigate how much it would cost as a stand alone etch without the bodywork.

 

 

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Thanks, Dave.  I quite understand fitting bits on to the etch economically.  Some kits come with the body on one etch and chassis on another, which is why I asked.

 

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39 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

There you go. 

 

https://www.roxeymouldings.co.uk/product/294/4l5-mswjr-4-4-4t-gwr-rebuild/

 

Even though it's just been reboilered and has a new cab roof profile it looks very different.

 

 

Jason

 

Thanks Jason,

 

I've seen the one on the website just never seen one someone has actually constructed. You're right though they look like a very different beast.

 

Just a little more done, cab front window frames added, there was no glazing to the rear. 

 

20210625_112531.jpg.e908069b677b63b33e5df17731fe2dc3.jpg

 

The balance pipes i made up from some heavy walled 2.5mm diameter tube, heated and bent around a pin vice into 4 pieces, then with a piece of rod between the 2 halves spliced together. 

 

20210625_145806.jpg.e093581a44889db6c4a3963010aae027.jpg

 

The pipes in the cab will be covered by the floor.

 

20210625_145829.jpg.c1def39ac348cb382303cbbb6a1556db.jpg

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I don't think I've seen one in the flesh either.

 

In the current issue of Model Rail (August 2021) there is a photo of a MSWJR one built by Chris Leigh back in the day. Worth a look as it's a pretty good attempt.

 

 

Jason

Edited by Steamport Southport
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On 08/07/2021 at 22:28, k22009 said:

At present assuming the bodywork goes together fine i would make it available to others as i did with the Fowler Dock tank, probably once again with chimney, dome, smokebox door and whatever else i can sort out in resin.

Expect I’d put my name on the list for that (although it remains to be seen if I can actually assemble a kit...)

 

There’s a simple elegance to a lot of the MSWJR’s fleet - I’m a big fan. I believe the 4-4-4Ts were one of the companies poorer acquisitions, lacking adhesion, barred from freight turns and only run facing forwards (I think the short coupled wheelbase-long overall length combination made them quite unstable, particularly in reverse although I’d have to check my Mike Barnsley Vol.II again). The MSWJR spent most of its existence short on motive power and money and had relatively few sheds for its route length, so versatility was very much the name of the game.

 

There are some photos (prototype and models) available on this site, if you’ve not seen them:

http://swindonsotherrailway.co.uk
It’s an excellent resource, but you do have to dig around a bit to find what you’re looking for. 

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Lovely stuff Dave, I'd certainly be keen on an etch. 1210293136_MEMO0021(2).JPG.4394de08c83a2476439beea0c51d6200.JPGI agree that the MSWJR had some beautiful locos, particularly the 0-4-4 tanks, one of which I one day hope to build in Great Westernized condition.

 

Here's a 4-4-4t that I scratch-built a few years ago...

 

Cheers

Simon

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3 hours ago, sej said:

Lovely stuff Dave, I'd certainly be keen on an etch. 1210293136_MEMO0021(2).JPG.4394de08c83a2476439beea0c51d6200.JPGI agree that the MSWJR had some beautiful locos, particularly the 0-4-4 tanks, one of which I one day hope to build in Great Westernized condition.

 

Here's a 4-4-4t that I scratch-built a few years ago...

 

Cheers

Simon

 

You did an amazing looking job Simon on the 4-4-4T, i'll be chuffed if mine is anywhere near. 

 

I've made a start on the bodywork, once the cab front was in place everything else is positioned for you. The extended tanks in the cab are a separate item and also form the splashers over the rear drivers. With no photos inside the cab which is quite deep so i have added an extension to the firebox/back head, i have a casting that will fit onto the front. Tank tops fit into etched recesses and the beading is also recessed but needs curving up the cab sides. 

 

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Most of the assembly can be soldered from the inside or from underneath.

Bunker base once again fits into half etched recesses and the rear fitted finishes it all off.

 

20210625_200634.jpg.63c626ae92e4a470b932cc2716555d5f.jpg

 

Dave

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Hi,  what a super job you are making of the MSWR 4-4-4T. Very nice NS etch you have drawn up. It is difficult to use the space on the etch so well. 

I to fell in love with the MSWR. At the time we lived in Oxford and a friend was keen to so we set off from time to time to explore the route, but apart from one of Harding Osbourne's sketch drawings in the RM and a weight diagram in Russel's GWR locos in 1977 there was not much that was available.  Having collected what I could and a few photos I set about  scratch building No16 in OO gauge.  The end was reached at a model railway show put on by the Oxford Club in the town hall. I spent the exhibition turning the boiler fittings on my Unimat lathe as a demo of scratch building.  The loco has a gearbox  on the loco connected by a shaft to a can motor in the tender.  The cross head pump works and the cab is reasonably detailed.  For the last 42 years it has sat in its case with two outings recently where surprise, surprise after an oiling it ran very well on a friends GNofS layout.

I would add what a poster above wrote, the 3 volume set of books on the MSWR is an interesting read and the loco drawings in volume 2 quite excellent. I have added a couple of photos of my No 16.  I think I painted green because of an entry in Carter's British Railway Livery book.

 

mswr 16 52.jpg

mswr 16 54.jpg

mswr 16 53.jpg

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25 minutes ago, M Wright said:

Hi,  what a super job you are making of the MSWR 4-4-4T. Very nice NS etch you have drawn up. It is difficult to use the space on the etch so well. 

I to fell in love with the MSWR. At the time we lived in Oxford and a friend was keen to so we set off from time to time to explore the route, but apart from one of Harding Osbourne's sketch drawings in the RM and a weight diagram in Russel's GWR locos in 1977 there was not much that was available.  Having collected what I could and a few photos I set about  scratch building No16 in OO gauge.  The end was reached at a model railway show put on by the Oxford Club in the town hall. I spent the exhibition turning the boiler fittings on my Unimat lathe as a demo of scratch building.  The loco has a gearbox  on the loco connected by a shaft to a can motor in the tender.  The cross head pump works and the cab is reasonably detailed.  For the last 42 years it has sat in its case with two outings recently where surprise, surprise after an oiling it ran very well on a friends GNofS layout.

I would add what a poster above wrote, the 3 volume set of books on the MSWR is an interesting read and the loco drawings in volume 2 quite excellent. I have added a couple of photos of my No 16.  I think I painted green because of an entry in Carter's British Railway Livery book.

 

mswr 16 52.jpg

mswr 16 54.jpg

mswr 16 53.jpg

 

Was No.16's chimney really so tall - it looks to be way outside the loading gauge?

 

CJI.

 

 

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Hi, interesting comments.  Looking back at the weight drawing in Russel's Locos of the GWR I see the height of the loco to its chimney top was 13 foot 2 inches.  Measuring the model loco from rail head to chimney top is 53mm ie 13 foot and 3 inches.  Looking at the lovely photos in Barnsley's SMJR book, published in 1991 I think the error is in the height of the chimney's boiler flange I recon it is about 2inches too long.  Still it was 1977 when it was built and there is more available today if you dig arround.  I think the reason I liked the look of it was how very odd it looked what with the large outside cylinders and very odd cab.  So I do not think it will be going back on the bench to have O.33mm knocked off the chimney after 44 years!

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Boiler rolled  and formers added, i've added locating holes in all of the formers to allow everything to be fitted accurately between boiler/cab and boiler /smokebox. As it's half etched nickel silver it rolls fairly easily and the formers help to guide it into shape.

 

20210626_112205.jpg.272940a9cd12107a9f1e6a547c83b518.jpg

 

20210626_112312.jpg.39765ed925b598a243ffb06739ccfd82.jpg

 

The smokebox formers i assembled first with the base and it's 12ba nuts, once again the smokebox forms easily.

I made a mistake here, on the artwork i had shown the rivets etched at the base of the smokebox where the frame extensions fit. Rivets are also on the extensions so those on the very bottom of the smokebox needed filing off. i didn't notice until i looked at the frame extensions which i'll fit next.

 

20210626_123838.jpg.ebb08f804ea547cd1416d0201b08a70c.jpg

 

Small parts, castings and detailing next.

 

Dave

20210626_113647.jpg

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On 11/07/2021 at 20:18, M Wright said:

Hi,  what a super job you are making of the MSWR 4-4-4T. Very nice NS etch you have drawn up. It is difficult to use the space on the etch so well. 

I to fell in love with the MSWR. At the time we lived in Oxford and a friend was keen to so we set off from time to time to explore the route, but apart from one of Harding Osbourne's sketch drawings in the RM and a weight diagram in Russel's GWR locos in 1977 there was not much that was available.  Having collected what I could and a few photos I set about  scratch building No16 in OO gauge.  The end was reached at a model railway show put on by the Oxford Club in the town hall. I spent the exhibition turning the boiler fittings on my Unimat lathe as a demo of scratch building.  The loco has a gearbox  on the loco connected by a shaft to a can motor in the tender.  The cross head pump works and the cab is reasonably detailed.  For the last 42 years it has sat in its case with two outings recently where surprise, surprise after an oiling it ran very well on a friends GNofS layout.

I would add what a poster above wrote, the 3 volume set of books on the MSWR is an interesting read and the loco drawings in volume 2 quite excellent. I have added a couple of photos of my No 16.  I think I painted green because of an entry in Carter's British Railway Livery book.

 

mswr 16 52.jpg

mswr 16 54.jpg

mswr 16 53.jpg

 

Hi Malcolm

 

It is lovely to see 'Galloping Alice' again after all these years - was it really 44 years ago - gulp!  I well remember seeing it evolve and poor old Tim Dixon (was that his name?) and his ideas for an MSWJ layout that sadly was never to be.

 

Hope you are keeping well up there in Scotland and thanks for the trip back in time to Headington.

 

Best wishes

 

Gerry

 

P.S.  Off topic I know but how is that ROD coming along?

 

 

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High level Roadrunner+ gearbox made up and mounted with a Chinese Mitsumi motor. With that made up the wheels were pressed on and pickups were addressed along with sandpipes and brakes. 

 

20210628_155817.jpg.652aba125d1e271680bcf11aa467e054.jpg

 

I've added some detail, the trickiest were the lamp sockets. I couldn't find any brass smaller than 1.58mm square (1/16th), i tried it but they looked a bit too well fed, so i resorted to filing 4 sides onto a thin walled 1.5mm diameter tube to make a square profile cut them into small slivers and then soldered onto some 1mm wide scrap etch or some rod for the rear ones.

The cab roof, handrails and blower pipe are still loose for painting. Lubricators on the tank fronts were made up from 1mm solid square brass drilled to accept 3 off 0.4mm dia copper wire.

 

20210716_131640.jpg.73cda0caae4f36a3b9ac16379d8259e8.jpg

 

20210716_131654.jpg.f21822260c0e5e1e1d9f392294c25ff5.jpg

 

20210716_131701.jpg.8e1738fb8f1bd2cdd51237d0fa559922.jpg

 

Dave

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On 11/07/2021 at 23:56, Steamport Southport said:

 

 

Presumably they didn't have anything that it would have hit.

 

 

Apart from two tunnels and numerous overbridges, nothing...

 

 

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I'd be interested in buying a set of the etches too – have another go after all these years. Somewhere in my bottom drawer I have an EM gauge Black Alice – she really is black, with monogram so c1914 – which desperately needs titivating.

 

 

 

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