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Blog- Barry Ten's GWR/WR Blog - A Mink and a Mystery

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Just off the workbench is this David Geen diagram Y3 Mink C/D, one of two that I've got to build. The kit went together well, any problems being more to my lack of experience with the entirely white metal kit than the product itself, this being only the second of such that I've done. Unlike a plastic kit, where you can build the chassis and then "spring" the wheels in later (or remove as required) the nature of this beast is that you have to trap the wheels in during assembly, and once in place, there isn't much scope for adjustment. It took a bit of fighting to get it level and square, but after some cussing and cups of tea I got there in the end. The instructions left me in the dark when it came to the brake gear, and my reference material wasn't much more help, so there's an element of guesswork going on there, aided by reference to other GWR models in my collection.


I took a chance on adding the lower footsteps, not sure how they will stand up to handing, but we'll see how they go.






Anyway, one down and one to go - and I'm not sure whether I'll dive into the second one now, while the build is still fresh in my mind - and then paint and decal them as a batch - or put the other one aside for a rainy day. I know what the sensible person would do...


Anyway, onto the thrilling "mystery" part of this episode. Here's a model that's been in my ownership for the better part of forty years, but about which I know very little...






It's a wholly scratchbuilt model of what I presume is a Sentinel of some description. It was given as a gift to me by a friend of my father's, whom we visited one evening in Cardiff. This would have been in the mid-to-late 70s, at a guess - between 75 and 77, I'd estimate. My dad's friend (who may have had some connection to my dad working for Glamorgan county council) was an older man who had a large collection of what I took to be German HO models, black engines with red frames. But he had also scratchbuilt some models, of which the gift was an example (and, in hindsight, an extraordinarily generous one). Beyond that, I don't know anything about the modeller in question but I'd imagine he must have been known to some of the older faces on the Cardiff scene. His name may have been Mike but I could well be imagining that.


Here's the chassis:




The wheels are coarse across the treads, but the flanges are fine enough that it will still run through modern Peco track. The motor looks ancient - can anyone identify the make? Transmission is via a chain of gears driving both axles, in the style of a tender drive. I presume the chassis is scratchbuilt - it has a handbuilt look to it - but I can't say for certain.


Does it run? Well, it used to - but because it had chain couplings, it didn't get a lot of use on my 70s train set. As it turns out, at some point since then the pickups have suffered damage but the motor still turns when power is applied, so there is no reason for it not to run again. Here it is, anyway - showing some signs of age, but otherwise solid, and a fine memento of the kindness of an older modeller.

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