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Making an Edwardian 3111 Class Large Prairie from an Airfix 6110


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After doing the two 2721 Class saddle tanks on the other thread, I was planning on a quick remodelling of my Bachmann Mogul to 1913 condition. However, I’ve been looking at my 45-year-old Airfix 6110 Class large prairie tank engine to see how it could be recast into one of Churchward’s original 3100/3150 Class large prairies.

 

It has been done before. Some of you may recall that Knobhead did a conversion a decade ago with quite impressive results:

 

 

Whether I do as well remains to be seen. (I should have taken a before picture, but I think everyone knows what it looked like.)

 

Jim Champ’s “A Beginner’s Guide to GWR large prairie tanks”: http://www.gwr.org.uk/no-prairies.html) provides an excellent overview of the varieties operated by the Great Western. I’m thinking about doing one of three pre-1914 versions. In all cases, the outside steam pipes and bunker extension have to be removed; the cab needs altering to give it the higher arched roof of the prototype; the front footplate has to be replaced; and the chimney should be replaced (although its probably fine if the engine is in 1920s condition).

 

The first and easiest version would be a 3150 Class circa 1914, by which time most of the engines had received top-feed and superheating. This would save shortening the smokebox, and I could leave the moulded safety valve cover/top-feed in place.

 

The second option is to do a 3150 Class as built 1906-8, which needs the smokebox shortened and safety valve cover altered to remove the top feed (or a completely new valve cover). The front end struts can be kept, as these were pretty-much fitted to the class from new.

 

The third option is the 3111 Class of 1905-6, which had a smaller cylinders and boilers (Standard No.2 rather than Standard No.4 fitted to the 3150s) than their successors, but were otherwise similar. These are notable in having prominent tool boxes on the footplate on either side of the smokebox, and no struts as built. Presumably, these came out with Indian Red frames. I rather like this option, and it would better fit my present plans. Plus, there are two good photos available.

 

This first one is a profile view in works grey of No.3120, as built in 1905, from The Boys' Book of Locomotives (1907). This gives a good view of features and livery.

 

 

2006033287_GWR2-6-2TNo.3120March1905(fromHowdenBoysBookofLocomotives1907).jpg.22b25cf9b51a5897a0deabbccdfa66f4.jpg

 

The second picture (poached from Jim Champ’s prairie tank overview) is No.3121 in service shortly after completion. This clearly shows the front footplate arrangement

 

214042752_GWRNo_3121.jpg.42adffe12783ef7190e0e65ce60d7469.jpg1505524578_GWRNo_3121.jpg.7003a88190e1409e3d41935d76955d60.jpg

 

I presume that the cylinder jackets were painted Indian Red to match the frame and wheels, although the piston covers looked to be polished steel.

 

This view, from W.J. Gordon, Our Home Railways, Volume I (Frederick Warne & Company, London, 1910), shows a 3111 Class (possibly one of the 1906 engines?) hauling a train of 100 wagons. The date is not given, but handrails have been fitted on the front footplate. However, there are no struts and no top-feed. Although the resolution isn’t great, you can see the rear of the cab and bunker.

 

 

2079195663_3111Classwith100-wagonCoalTrain(GordonW.J.OurHomeRailwaysVolumeIFrederickWarneCompanyLondon1910).jpg.705b0c9c3f5affd15ef1651aacd2d8b9.jpg

 

The first thing I looked at was the chassis. Its a fairly chunky metal casting, with the motor snuggled down inside the mid-section. It fills most of the cab interior, but its not too noticeable. The mechanism — even after sitting in a box for several decades – still runs quite well, but… The metal tyres on the drivers have become loose. I noticed this when doing the surgery on the chassis described below. On the test track, the tyres quickly slipped off so I had to superglue them in place. Ideally, the drivers should be replaced, but if they stay put with the glue I’ll leave them be.

 

The pony truck wheels have been replaced with new Gibson wheels I bought for it several years ago. The Airfix axles are rather thin, so the holes had to be opened up to get the Gibson axles through. I used a square awl on the front truck, which was plastic; and a drill to ream out the metal on the rear truck.

 

 

The early large prairies had their rear sandboxes inside the cab, not hanging below like the Airfix chassis. So, after removing the body and pony trucks, I slipped the chassis into an old sock to protect the motor and drivers and clamped the cab end into the vice. With a hacksaw, I cut through most of the sandbox on one side, then snapped it off with pliers. Then I turned the chassis over and repeated the process. With care, you can nearly make a flush cut with the bottom of the chassis.

 

I noticed that the screws holding the pony trucks in place also secured the plate that holds the driving wheels in place. There is a wire from this plate to the motor so, rather than cut the wire, I just left the plate loose while sawing of the sandboxes — that way I could move it and the rear drivers out of the way when required without completely removing the drivers.

 

Even with the sock, some metal filings were still stuck to the chassis. What I couldn’t blow off, I removed with an old paint brush.

 

586992159_1-Chassisrearbottomsandboxesremoved.JPG.9f5561675a5ec2774c301fdd9a4c2d27.JPG

 

 

 

The plastic cylinder moulding fits snuggly into a recess or notch at the front end of the chassis, which leaves part of the chassis protruding beyond the cylinders/smokebox saddle. This doesn’t interfere with the curved footplate of later classes, but if you want an early large prairie with the square front, the protrusion has to go. At first I tried grinding it back to make it thinner; but that would still leave part of the chassis sticking out in front and, if its too thin, it might snap off. Then I thought, why not remove it entirely. After making sure that the body would fit without it, I took out the hacksaw and cut it off as well. The rough edges were then ground off on my hand-powered grinder.

 

916287941_3-Chassisfrontfrontpieceremoved.JPG.f3e1171a9845bc87c5879955280eae28.JPG

 

So far as I can tell, the cylinders are still quite secure when the body is screwed on, so there is no longer anything to stop a square-fronted footplate from being fitted accurately.

 

1710506078_4-Chassisfrontwithcylinderblockinplace.JPG.33137fd52919abea34c5e12ef924be00.JPG

 

 

The question now: How do I best secure the new footplate at the front? This was a weak spot, even on the prototype! If fixing it directly to the body proves difficult, I might attach the front footplate to the cylinder block instead.

 

I actually thought about gluing the cylinders to the body, which would give the front footplate something solid to attach to, but that would make refitting the piston rods and crossheads nigh on impossible.

 

More to come....

 

 

Dana

Edited by Dana Ashdown
Restoring pictures.
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It might be an idea to use the Dapol/Kitmaster construction kit large prairie body parts as the basis for a Chuchward 31xx, although the raised lining mouldings have to be got rid of.  This allows the Airfix body to be retained to share the chassis should you wish to run it as a 5101 or 61xx, and with the separate parts it is probably easier to carve off the bunker extension, curved running plate drop, and the top feed.  Biggest problem IMHO will be removing the sliding cab shutters.

 

An issue with the Airfix body tooling and the construction kit is that the smokebox door is too small and needs replacing; this makes a big difference to the look of the model as does replacing the handrail knobs to position the main handrail closer to the boiler and smokebox.

 

I am taking a break from it at the moment, but I am converting an Airfix 61xx into a 1938 Collett 31xx, a smaller driving wheeled variant of the Churchward 3150.  A 3150 is an easier conversion than my job, and what I have done is to use an eBay Mainline mogul body tooling for the boiler, in an unholy and perhaps ill advised union with a Mainline 56xx cab and bunker, using the original Airfix running plate and side tanks.  Another approach might be to use the Hornby 42xx/5205 body as the basis, in which case you'll need to cut into the bottom edge of the tanks and replace the rivets.  The high roof cab on these big boiler prairies is essential to the appearance.

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It might be an idea to use the Dapol/Kitmaster construction kit large prairie body parts as the basis for a Chuchward 31xx, although the raised lining mouldings have to be got rid of.  This allows the Airfix body to be retained to share the chassis should you wish to run it as a 5101 or 61xx, and with the separate parts it is probably easier to carve off the bunker extension, curved running plate drop, and the top feed.  Biggest problem IMHO will be removing the sliding cab shutters.

 

An issue with the Airfix body tooling and the construction kit is that the smokebox door is too small and needs replacing; this makes a big difference to the look of the model as does replacing the handrail knobs to position the main handrail closer to the boiler and smokebox.

 

I am taking a break from it at the moment, but I am converting an Airfix 61xx into a 1938 Collett 31xx, a smaller driving wheeled variant of the Churchward 3150.  A 3150 is an easier conversion than my job, and what I have done is to use an eBay Mainline mogul body tooling for the boiler, in an unholy and perhaps ill advised union with a Mainline 56xx cab and bunker, using the original Airfix running plate and side tanks.  Another approach might be to use the Hornby 42xx/5205 body as the basis, in which case you'll need to cut into the bottom edge of the tanks and replace the rivets.  The high roof cab on these big boiler prairies is essential to the appearance.

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On 30/01/2022 at 13:08, The Johnster said:

It might be an idea to use the Dapol/Kitmaster construction kit large prairie body parts as the basis for a Chuchward 31xx, although the raised lining mouldings have to be got rid of.  This allows the Airfix body to be retained to share the chassis should you wish to run it as a 5101 or 61xx, and with the separate parts it is probably easier to carve off the bunker extension, curved running plate drop, and the top feed.  Biggest problem IMHO will be removing the sliding cab shutters.

 

An issue with the Airfix body tooling and the construction kit is that the smokebox door is too small and needs replacing; this makes a big difference to the look of the model as does replacing the handrail knobs to position the main handrail closer to the boiler and smokebox.

 

I am taking a break from it at the moment, but I am converting an Airfix 61xx into a 1938 Collett 31xx, a smaller driving wheeled variant of the Churchward 3150.  A 3150 is an easier conversion than my job, and what I have done is to use an eBay Mainline mogul body tooling for the boiler, in an unholy and perhaps ill advised union with a Mainline 56xx cab and bunker, using the original Airfix running plate and side tanks.  Another approach might be to use the Hornby 42xx/5205 body as the basis, in which case you'll need to cut into the bottom edge of the tanks and replace the rivets.  The high roof cab on these big boiler prairies is essential to the appearance.

Being budget minded, I'm going to use as much of the Airfix body as I can. But you're right, removing the sliding shutters was a bit of a problem, but nothing that  some large files couldn't handle, albeit at the loss of rivet detail. I did manage to pop the smokebox front off this morning, so I'll see if it can be reasonably reworked/replaced.

 

One thing, now that I've settled on an early 3111 Class, I can concentrate on making it look more like the Nos.3120 and 3121, at the top of the page.

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Body work has begun.

 

I started by removing the outside steam pipes. Basically, a horizontal cut flush with the footplate, another close to the smoke box, and one or two in the middle. Then nibble away with snips and a sharp knife, and finally clean up with files. The smokebox saddle will need some modification, so I’ll wait and see how much filling will be required, if any.

 

1258674748_5-frontsmokeboxsaddle.JPG.78c069f71fbeae7a16f595657eac9c22.JPG

 

The moulded hand rails have all been removed, or nearly so. And the cab shutters have been filed off. This has all come at the cost of the rivet detail, but we can’t have everything. The cab roof was also filed down to remove moulded details.

 

1972753641_6-bunkerextensionremoved.JPG.294f7c7486a83297916db2d49033eaf2.JPG

 

The bunker extension is also gone, and the remaining lower wall of the rear bunker has been filed back. All but the very top of the opening created was filled with thick plastic card, then the entire back was covered with a thin piece of plastic card to cover the two holes that receive the lugs on the chassis. The top of the bunker was then finished off with the top bit from the bunker extension, and the corners filed to match the the top bit. A piece has also been installed to receive the coal.

 

1151423451_7-rearviewofcab.JPG.97de0856628575f2d494d58abd3c090c.JPG

 

The back of the cab is part of the moulded coal load, and only came out after the extension was sawn off — it refused to come out before! I separated it from the remaining “coal” for reuse.

 

The cab side openings on the early Large Prairies were noticeably taller than the Collett versions/rebuilds, so these were attended to. First, the semi-circular projections on the lower rear corners were removed. Then I used a round file to raise the upper corners, followed by a flat file to do the part in between. I readjusted the height as I went, but basically took it to the base of the old roof. The beading around the cab openings that was lost to filing will be restored with some micro strip or rod.

 

1264405010_8-sideviewofcab.JPG.a8444af04c85a2768f94e6e3b49471d6.JPG

 

Speaking of roof, the early Large Prairies had a plain arc roof that was a little over six inches higher than the flatter, three arc Collett roof. Some views make the earlier roof look quite tall and curved, others not so much. I wasn’t sure what to do about the roof, but after examining a few options decided to use an extra plain roof that I think came with a Coopercraft Mink kit (probably one of the Diagram V4 kits — No.1007 or No.1008 that came with both a ribbed roof and a plain roof.) The roof curvature may not be quite correct, as it does not quite add the necessary six inches, but it looks fine. It will gain a little more height when I apply a thin overlay of plastic card.

 

You could actually remove the original cab roof along with the front spectacle plate (the rear is a separate piece), and make new front and rear cab pieces, but this isn’t really necessary. Besides, keeping the roof intact keeps the body square and supported.

 

Anyway, having settled on the Mink roof, I raised the window openings at the front and back with small files. At first I took these up to the bottom of the existing roof. However, with the Mink roof, that wouldn’t be enough; so I filed the openings back into the original roof, undercutting the top of the openings to decrease their visibility. The front window sides are not quite even, and if I were to do this again, I would have used a razor saw instead. The taller windows certainly do enhance the sense of height that you see in the pictures.

 

992951805_9-topofcab.JPG.caf1608a309619ec62c27dbf965286a6.JPG

 

2108581780_10-topofoldcab.JPG.742aaf8af9ca8e45c31659d506ebf6c7.JPG

 

The portholes in the cab front were then drilled, using a small pilot drill, followed by a larger drill to make the final hole. They might be a touch too big, but the next drill size down would have been too small. (There’s a small gap just under the new roof that needs filling.)

 

410437768_11-frontofcab.JPG.c579bc4e65951b66146246f964a7d73b.JPG

 

The next step was to cut the Mink roof to length. I did this with a razor saw and small mitre box. Don’t use the ends of the Mink roof as these have a raised strip. Ideally, you should allow a little extra length and make final adjustments after the roof had been glued in place. The Mink roof is also a little wider than the cab, but again, this should be adjusted after the roof has been glued on.

 

I glued the roof on and clamped it in place with elastic bands until the glue was set. Then it was out with the files for final adjustments. If you’re careful with the files, you can continue the beading from the tanks and bunkers to the top of the new roof. The height of the cab openings can now be finalised — they should go to the bottom of the new roof.

 

To finish the roof, I’ll fix a piece of thin plastic card that overhangs the roof all around, as per the prototype, then apply the three battens seen on the prototype using micro strip.

 

2095291271_12-leftsideofcab.JPG.a41915c78fdb63bae2d95aeda9db467b.JPG

 

 

Still to do. Probably remove/replace most, if not all, of the moulded detail on the tank tops. Alter or replace the safety valve cover and chimney. Fit higher flanged motion brackets to the footplate in front of the tanks. New front footplate. Shorten the smokebox. Add new handrails…

 

Regarding the chimney. The present chimney suits a 6100, and even the rebuilt 3100 and 3150 classes, but not the early Large Prairies. The thinner, tapered cast iron chimneys first used are quite distinctive.

 

One possibility I’m considering is making up a new chimney using the old chimney(s) removed from the Hornby Panniers that I turned into saddle tanks. These have about the right taper, so a bit of cutting and shutting might just do it. I can only find one of them at the moment, but I do have another thicker bit of tapered black plastic from something or other.

 

Another option is to adapt a chimney from a Mainline Dean Goods. I have two second-hand ones, at least one of which will be backdated to something a little more Edwardian, meaning a new chimney. But would it be too brutal to leave a poor defenceless engine without a chimney? I might get into trouble with the RSPCDGE (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Dean Goods Engines).

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  • Dana Ashdown changed the title to Making an Edwardian 3111 Class Large Prairie from an Airfix 6110

To better reflect the ultimate goal now, I’ve retitled the thread “Making an Edwardian 3111 Class Large Prairie from an Airfix 6110.”

 

Livery will be green body with Indian Red outside frames and wheels, but I have two questions:

 

1) Are the cylinder covers painted Indian Red? 3121’s look to be, but Slinn doesn’t mention anything about engines with outside cylinders, nor does GWR.org entry for the 1904-6 engine livery.

 

2) Are the front tool boxes also painted Indian Red, or are they green? Judging by the picture of 3121, they’re green, although I think the usual practice for anything mounted on the footplate was Indian Red.

 

 

A delivery of bits and pieces arrived Wednesday in the mail, including a Gibson brass safety valve cover. So off with the moulded Airfix cover/top feed and on with the handsome new brass cover. It really does set the engine off, but I’ll wait until I finish painting before I glue it in place. (It will be the “piece of resistance”/“cup of grass” if you’ll pardon my French!)

 

1916744130_13-NewSafetyValveCover.JPG.645efa0fb0a922ac7fa699928d93e27f.JPG

 

While I was removing the old cover/top feed, I also took off all of the moulded detail on the tank tops. I still have two or three vents from the Hornby Pannier/Saddle Tank conversions, so I’ll use these — they are a bit small but so are the ones on 3120 and 3121. I’ll make new tank filler tops and lifting rings from plastic tube and wire.

 

As The Johnster noted earlier in the thread, the smokebox door on the Airfix is on the small side — maybe to use oversize handrail knobs? Compare 3121’s with Airfix’s:

 

27205262_14-GWRNo.3121smokeboxfront.jpg.010898b9a21012e8cbec91f7599156bd.jpg

 

10632192_15-AirfixSmokeboxFront.JPG.191511ecff21a6967cfa31f1d5bd53df.JPG

 

With a bit of care, a new smokebox front and door should be easy enough to fabricate from plastic card. Shortening the smokebox, and keeping the cut square, is the hard part.

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The front end has now been rebuilt, allowing the engine’s Edwardian character to show through.

 

First, I cut off the smokebox front and front footplate. Before removing the footplate, I scribed a line just in front of the cylinders with a knife, and used this to guide the saw. A little extra was allowed for the cuts so that I could file back and make adjustments where needed.

 

1761744310_16-SmokeboxFrontandFrontFootplateRemoved.JPG.b8b65356672dbfb2077a14dea11914c9.JPG

 

A new smokebox front and door were then made from thick plastic card and glued in place. The door is drilled for the handles, but the hinges have yet to be done.

 

445749088_17-NewSmokeboxFrontandDoorFitted.JPG.9a08ae55ef39910c7e5793d340285f3c.JPG

 

I again used thick plastic card to fabricate the replacement front footplate. It primarily consists of the upright riser and the horizontal footplate. These effectively form the frame for the footplate and are about the same thickness as the outside frames of the engine.

 

1730128116_18-NewFrontFootplate.JPG.df8fc3f855014bafdc6386e913d3de08.JPG

 

1798620748_19-NewFrontFootplatebottom.JPG.39d4d8057b514cb3a4ea00fdcfb6cdf3.JPG

 

The riser is notched at the upper corners to clear the frames of the main footplate. It is glued to the horizontal piece and reinforced at the centre rear with a piece of plastic angle. The original Airfix buffer beam has been grafted onto the front. The front steps were cut off because the early 3111 Class members were built without them; presumably the engines built in 1906 had steps when new.

 

Before gluing the footplate in place, I checked the height of the riser and found that it had to be reduced. That done, it was glued to the bottom of the upper footplate. The new plate makes for a snug fit in front of the cylinders, but not tight, so its about right.

 

1440622769_20-SideViewwithnewFrontFootplate.JPG.638c1a74c982b0ca7a030bcc1591257f.JPG

 

1071203416_21-FrontRight34View.JPG.e7364d9edacf76a140ab26921a38ded8.JPG

 

898897752_23-FrontLeft34View.JPG.54f049f199a8f985a96e4a7da9c706f1.JPG

 

One small problem, though, is that the footplate angles up slightly to the front. Nothing serious — at least I won’t need struts to hold it up! I have tried to flex it down a bit, but the joint is actually quite strong and I’m worried that if I apply too much force I might snap the footplate off. I think the white plastic makes it look worse than it is.

 

The footplate still needs a thin piece of plastic sheet applied to the riser and horizontal section to make the actual footplate surface, which will overhang the sides slightly. The piston valve covers can than be made and added to the front of the riser, as well as the pony truck swivel cover.

 

Apart from the chimney, that about completes the major alterations to the chassis and body, so now its on to cleaning up the body, adding detail bits, and finally painting and lining.

 

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On 09/02/2022 at 15:34, Miss Prism said:

What month of 1905 were they painted?

3111 was completed in January 1905; 3120 was completed in March 1905; 3121-3130 were finished over June and July 1905.

 

Deliveries of the next members of the class, started in January 1906 with 3131.

 

So I'm looking at either January-March 1905, or June-July 1905.

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On 12/02/2022 at 15:01, Dana Ashdown said:

So I'm looking at either January-March 1905, or June-July 1905.

 

Things were changing quite quickly at that stage. The outer faces of the inside frames of goods locos were being painted black by then, and probably had been painted black for a couple of years. Outer faces of inside frames of express passenger locos were still being painted Indian Red in September 1905. So I guess it comes down to whether those Prairies were regarded as goods or passenger locos. I don't think there are any contemporary pictures that will tell us.

 

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On 13/02/2022 at 16:45, Miss Prism said:

Things were changing quite quickly at that stage. The outer faces of the inside frames of goods locos were being painted black by then, and probably had been painted black for a couple of years. Outer faces of inside frames of express passenger locos were still being painted Indian Red in September 1905. So I guess it comes down to whether those Prairies were regarded as goods or passenger locos. I don't think there are any contemporary pictures that will tell us.

Thank you for this.

 

I believe the Large Prairies were considered to be mixed traffic types when built, so black inside frames it is.

 

Would I still be on safe ground painting the outside frames, wheels and cylinder covers Indian Red for this period?

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3 hours ago, Dana Ashdown said:

Would I still be on safe ground painting the outside frames, wheels and cylinder covers Indian Red for this period?

 

Probably, but 'safe ground' is perhaps not the most appropriate phrase for any 1905-6 painting!

 

 

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8 hours ago, Dana Ashdown said:

on safe ground painting the outside frames, wheels and cylinder covers Indian Red for this period?

It will at least be difficult for anyone to say definitively that you are wrong... 

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  • RMweb Gold

Dana, I've only just found this. Another interesting project.

 

Photographic grey looks good on this class - now there's a thought! :)

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On 17/02/2022 at 02:23, Mikkel said:

Photographic grey looks good on this class - now there's a thought! :)

Absolutely, but I think you really have to be good to make it work in photographic grey.

 

If it were a few years earlier, when the GWR couldn't make up its mind about the new livery, then I think grey could have been used as a finished livery, albeit a temporary one.

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1 hour ago, Penrhos1920 said:

When did the front struts first appear?

 

This is a bit murky.

 

3160-70 had them from new apparently, which means midway through lot 169, of 1907. However, struts seem not to be fitted initially on the later 3171-90 (lot 172), which is a bit weird. Struts began to be fitted on the 3111s from 1909 onward.

 

That seems to indicate bunkers were modified a lot earlier than I thought or there were locos with struts and original bunkers but we haven't got photographic evidence of them.

 

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Update time.

 

The front footplate is now complete. I fitted the smokebox saddle extension first, and then added the riser faces on either side — it seemed easier that way. Technically, the riser should have three layers: the plate along the back; another plate from the piston valve covers to the smokebox saddle; and the smokebox saddle itself in the middle. However, if I was to include the intermediate layer, the forward extension of the smokebox saddle would not be as prominent as it should be, so I dispensed with the intermediate layer. Its a compromise, but then, the locomotive is a compromise.

 

607674179_24-FrontLeft34View.JPG.6056c6eb9087f1859d37a61d26fd7ed9.JPG

 

The piston valve covers are made from thick plastic card that has been cut out and then reduced in size with a file — not ideal but it got the job done. The rod covers are made from some round plastic bits I had, which have been inserted into drilled holes for strength. Ideally, the piston valves should also be extended to the rear, but there isn’t much clearance there so I’ll leave things as they are.

 

The pony truck pivot cover is similar, only the part on top is another stray bit that was glued on.

 

400145201_25-LeftSide.JPG.7c1b253d9431651e841adf313afb71fd.JPG

 

The smokebox door hinges are on, as are the higher motion brackets in front of the tanks, and the beading around the cab openings has been restored. The final layer of the cab roof will probably be next on the to do list.

 

The tank filler caps are also in place, but need hinges and clamps. Still to add are the lifting rings and tank vents (the latter are leftovers from the Pannier conversions). Also, the regulator lubricator pipe on the right side of the boiler and new handle rails.

 

I’ll leave the smokebox door handle, lamp irons, vacuum pipes, number plates and a builder’s plate for the front, until the rest of the bodywork is finished. I’m not sure what to do about the whistles. On the prototype, they’re attached to the front of the cab, not the top of the firebox, so either the Airfix whistles will need to be bent to shape, or new whistles made. New whistles might be simpler.

 

The tool boxes are essentially done (they still need handles and locks), and will be glued on last, after everything has been painted. The grey plastic is actually from the broken tonneau cover catch/bracket/thingies of the old Focus wagon (now long gone), but will live on in a new and unexpected way. (Lesson here: never throw anything that could be useful out!)

 

1957115264_26-FrontRight34View.JPG.e3358279cffb2082b84d6c707ef6df27.JPG

 

The chimney had to be done at some point, and so I cut off most of the Airfix chimney. As the  6110 has a fairly wide chimney, the base had to be filed back for the “new” donor chimney. As I threatened to do, I cut the chimney off one of my two Mainline Dean Goods engines. It’s tapered, so while not appropriate for an Edwardian Dean Goods, it’s not too far off the requirements for the Large Prairie… not perfect, but not bad either. The first time I glued the new chimney on it was slightly crooked, so with a little pressure I managed to lever it off safely. It worked better the second time.

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  • 1 month later...

Now that normal service is slowly resuming…...

 

The essential body work is now complete, so two quick shots with the body sitting loosely on the chassis. The tool boxes are likewise unattached at the moment.

 

I wasn't sure what to do about the lamp brackets on the back of the bunker, but I managed to make some from scrap brass leftovers from a Shirescene's kit. The buffers will be left as-is for now, because I don’t have the correct pattern of buffers.

 

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The engine is now in the paint shop. I’ll give it a coat of satin varnish before applying the lining, then revarnish afterwards.

 

 

Dana

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Good to see an update on this, Dana.

 

One thing about mods/rebuilds like this is that you really get to know the class, because you have to assess every item on the loco to see whether it's suitable for the period etc. Strictly speaking, you don't have to do that with a kit-build as you can choose to just build it as supplied, thereby not necessarily engaging with the subject in the same way or as deeply.

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On 14/04/2022 at 01:01, Mikkel said:

One thing about mods/rebuilds like this is that you really get to know the class, because you have to assess every item on the loco to see whether it's suitable for the period etc. Strictly speaking, you don't have to do that with a kit-build as you can choose to just build it as supplied, thereby not necessarily engaging with the subject in the same way or as deeply.

Thanks Mikkel. You're absolutely right about getting to know the class doing this sort of thing. But it is satisfying to see that at some point, yes, it actually does look like the real thing! The best part is that no one else will ever have one exactly the same, which might be a good thing.😉

 

Its now had its basic paintwork done, but there are a few tiny areas that need touching-up; and the handrails &c. need doing (probably followed by more touching-up!). Then varnishing before lining.

 

I'll post some pre-lining pictures next week when the varnish dries.

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Painting is mostly done now, and a coat of satin varnish has been applied before lining.

 

The fit is tight so I haven’t push the body down on the chassis, but you can get an idea of how it looks with Indian Red frames — rather Continental! As before, the tool boxes and brass safety valve cover are still loose.

 

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553992357_30-FrontRight34View.JPG.a3b2f514cf271964001ef1044af4290f.JPG

 

1908360381_31-RearLeft34View.JPG.820372e9a0b61e965043c3f6a49c736e.JPG

 

 

When I was painting the front of the tanks, I realised that I should have replaced the moulded steps with something plainer, as per the photo of No.3121. Its a small detail, though fortunately one that isn’t too noticeable… well, not until now!

 

I’m not quite sure about the front valve covers. I painted them to represent polished steel, but perhaps they should be black with just the rod covers in polished steel? It’s not too late to change.

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