In the late 1980s i bought a cast white metal kit for a GWR 45xx Prairie. This was produced by Alan Searle in conjunction with the 3mm Society. The original kit included a cast chassis which I never got to work. In 1994 the Society introduced an etched nickel silver kit for the 45xx chassis. This was a reduced version of the Churchward kit for the 4mm scale chassis which in turn , I think, was reduced from the 7mm kit. The etchings arrived with 15 pages of instructions and promptly entered the ‘flat pack draw’!
Over the last 25 years they have been in and out of the draw but I had never been brave enough to tackle it. I really wanted a 45xx Prairie for a new layout I am planning at home. Recently I was given a Portescap motor and gearbox and also acquired a set of instructions annotated with all the correct sizes of holes, wire etc for building the 3mm version. This was done by the late Ralph Stueart, a member of the SW group of the 3mm Society, when he was building his model. Armed with this lot I have at last freed the kit from the dreaded draw and built it. With Ralphs instructions I have now found that it wasn’t as hard as I imagined.
One of the biggest problems in doing a 14.2mm gauge loco is the ‘fag paper’ clearance between the back of the cross head and the coupling rods. Taking Iain Rice’s advice I moved the piston tube and slide bars 0.5mm out. In the cylinder etching and used a countersunk crank pin on the leading wheels.
Much to my delight the chassis works!!
Those who know what work I have done in the past might wonder why it is finished in early BR black. Well I am planning a home layout based on Tavistock South in Devon and want to base it around 1948 which is my year of birth.
More about this in the future…………..