Construction of Air-smoothed Bulleids

The Merchant Navy is fairly advanced, so this page will mainly concentrate on the building of the West Country - this particular model will probably be shelved in favour of a Martin Finney kit - more below.

Merchant Navy Class 35003 Royal Mail

The prototype minus front valence panels otherwise the right build state for me.

The model: a lot to do yet! As can be seen from these two pictures the basic metal bashing is complete - a lot of razor saw action was needed. Shame I didn't tighten-up the nut holding the smokebox door before taking the picture!

Just for fun my model has been fitted with a smoke generator. Picture taken of it running on
Weymouth MRA's test track at the 2005 May open day. Note I have tweaked the smoke deflectors.

Much more work than I realised was needed to finish-off the model...

Here she is, finished in British Railways Blue (steam) livery.
This photo provides further evidence of how the blue has been miss-represented in models over the years.
Note the actual colour the model is painted can be seen on the tender above the lower lining - the lightest blue visible.

A closer view of the Royal Mail's front end - more weathering needed on the slide-bars.


West Country Class 34091 Weymouth

The prototype minus small front casing panels otherwise the right build state for me.

Two views of the basic bits. Chassis more advanced than the body. The cut away for the chimney in the top casing needs tweaking. Most of the body parts are only placed in position for the pictures. Note sandbox filler holes in casing - I've still got to cut Royal Mail's ones.


Two views of the chassis:- Motor is just sat in place (Crailcest with 25:1 gearbox - no problem fitting these monsters into an A/S), I've got to fix the slide bars first and make sure it still is free-running - at present just a little push results in the chassis coming to rest with the coupling rods (laminated nickel-silver etchings) at the lowest point. The chassis and rods are made from etchings designed by Jim Harris (same as the MN). Note the absence of tender parts, that's because I've been talked into building an eight wheel (condensing) tender for Weymouth - haven't I Howard!

Close-up of the chassis and Crailcrest motor. Behind are the Guilplates name, crest and class plates resting against the body.

August 2005: Yes, following the completion of Royal Mail work has recommenced on my model of 34091 Weymouth

Sept 2005 - Royal Mail overseeing the construction of his little brother Weymouth. The chassis now runs under its own power and is fairly complete; outstanding are the cylinder drain cocks and piping, and some detail is to be added to the bogie once the cross-strut has been replaced for the correct type - see above photo of the real engine. Oops almost forgot, the buffer beam is attached to the chassis so there's the buffers, pipes and draw-gear to fit. The body is coming on with the basic parts of the cab together, however the worse task is yet to be tackled: the front windows of the cab and the triangular shaped extensions to the side casing. I'm concentrating on the front of the loco at the moment. Although the smoke deflectors are ready to be fitted, the next job is to fit the smoke-box door. This I need to open for access to a DIL switch - more of this later.

May 2006 - STOP PRESS The light pacific under construction is now to be a model of Battle of Britain Class: No. 34064 FIGHTER COMMAND

After much deliberation I've decided that I want my model of Weymouth to be practically perfect (i.e. I'll build it from a Martin Finney kit) as the more I worked on the present model the more I realised it was becoming a major compromise. The model is being built from what was originally marketed as a collection of parts to aid scratch-building i.e. none are the right size!

So, why the BoB Fighter Command? The answer is that it was the engine that pulled the train from Waterloo to Weymouth that I rode on in August 1957. I've yet to come across some decent photos of the locomotive so I'm working from a colour drawing I did of 34064 in 1957, aged 11 - how about that for an excuse! The tender has presented a major dilemma. I really wanted 34064 running with an original SR tender, but the parts I have are for one of the BR cut-down styles. I did consider making new sides and rear, but did not want to spend the time needed, now. Consequently, I've built the tender in separable assemblies such that I can replace the top half with one of the original form, at a later stage. A further interim compromise will be the livery as the engine will be lined-out in the early BR style that was revised when they received their modified tenders.

BR Modified tender under construction for 34064

Rather an unsightly gap between engine and tender using the drawbar made from the etchings provided. It will do for initial test running. The front of the tender is just about complete and is ready for removing excess solder and cleaning-up. Water treatment tanks and fillers are yet to be added, likewise all the rear detail i.e. ladders, lights and lamp/route indicator irons. Note the loco's cab hasn't progressed,  I've still yet to make the window surrounds and casing extensions - not looking forward to that! This photo, for those that are familiar  with the West Country/BoB class, shows the compromises I found necessary to achieve sufficient swing on the rear pony truck. The really bad news is that I've got to scratch-build the injectors and pipe-work so that they are adequately clear of the pony truck.

Another view of the tender. Note buffing and draw-gear fitted ready for some early test running as I'm a little apprehensive as to whether the torsion bar springing system I've fitted to the centre axle will work.

Overhead view of 34064

As for the loco, chimney and smoke-box top casing have been fitted which sports a smoke generator unit (as same as Royal Mail). Whistle and safety valves (in revised siting) have been attached as well as the smoke deflectors and opening smoke-box door. Note smoke deflector top stays require removal of excess solder and cleaning-up. As with the tender, buffing and draw-hook have been fitted for test running with loads. Runs to date have been fairly successful and despite being very front-end heavy it appears to have better grip than Royal Mail probably due to the fact that the motor drives the leading axle. Hopefully when balanced properly it will have some prototypical slip like Royal Mail!

Photo of the front-end of 34064 revealing what's inside the smoke-box: a double pole changeover
switch (upper) and a DIL bank of 8 single pole on/off switches (lower).

The double pole changeover switch known as the 7P/5F switch allows either full (7P mode) or reduced voltage (5F mode) to the motor. This switch also has a central 'off' position that isolates the motor (0P/0F mode?????). When I mention the fact that the smoke generator unit is permanently connected to the electrical pick-ups, hopefully it all becomes clear. Essentially, this switch allows good quantities of smoke to be generated when the loco is either sat on shed or pulling a slow goods as well as hauling a fast passenger train. It just goes to prove how things can be taken to an extreme! The scheme was inspired by the fact that the West Country/BoB class engines were given this dual power classification by BR i.e. power class rating 7 for working passenger traffic and 5 for freight duties.

The 8-off DIL switches will control the 6 electric Route Indicating Lamps (thinly disguised LEDS) that are yet to be fitted. As there will be 2 spare switches, I'm considering fitting (mock-UV) cab lighting and the under-casing inspection lamps, as well. Note buffers have just been tacked in position as there's going to be a lot of heat around when fitting the front steps which I've yet to scratch-build - another task I'm not looking forward to!

July 2006 - The Battle of Britain is finished - well almost!

Here she is, my model of "Battle of Britain" class locomotive No. 34064: Fighter Command.
I've cheated with the tender and used plastic sheet overlays for mock high sides.

A 3/4 rear view - I'm still deliberating as to what finish to give the boiler back-head.

Rear view of loco and tender - note evidence of  the characteristic over-coaling of the tender.


And now for the gimmicks...

Fighter Command displaying its electric route indicator lamps (should have switched all of them on for photo) and smoke.

Click here for a video clip (596KBytes) of the smoke effect.