It has been a long time since I last posted on this blog. This is mainly due to the domestic demands of moving house!!
I have been involved in building a club layout at the Launceston and District MRC, my local. The layout is a reincarnation of a 14.2mm gauge 3mm scale layout first started over 25 years ago under the guidance of Iain Rice as a demonstration of the possibilities of 3mm scale.Due to a loss of club rooms the layout was dismantled but the trackwork and buildings were all saved. The layout is based on the ex Furness Railway in Cumbria, more about which I will blog later.
Modelling a different part of the country and a railway company I know little about has been a challenge. Discussing the stock we will need with Iain Rice it was felt that a Precursor would be useful. I have managed to acquire, courtesy of Ron Shuttleworth of the 3mm Society, one of the original GEM kits for a LNWR Precursor/King George Fifth, in whitemetal.
I have made a start on this by building the chassis. The original kit was designed for 12mm gauge and had a cast whitemetal chassis!! This has been discarded and a 14.2mm gauge compensated chassis built instead.
The side frames are from 3SMR and were deigned for the LSWR T9 which has the same wheelbase. The rear drivers are in fixed bearings while the front ones are in High Level hornblocks. The gear box is a 54:1 High Level Slim Liner one with a open frame Mashima motor. The bogie is the original GEM cast one with the addition of plasticard overlays to bring it too the correct width. The pivot point has been moved rearwards to allow the compensation beam to bear on the centre of the bogie.
I have found that this arrangement has stopped the front tipping forward with the weight of the cast boiler. As with all 4-4-0 chassis weight is need on the rear axle to get it to move and pull anything. This has been done with the usual arrangement of the tender applying the weight. I have again disposed of the cast chassis supplied in the kit and used an etched brass tender chassis supplied by Brian Golding. This allows the middle and front wheels to float in the chassis while the rear axle is fixed and the tender bears on the loco draw bar at the front. With extra weight in the tender this gives enough to provide good traction from the loco.
Now to build the rest of the loco!