This remains my only essay in scratch building and was constructed more years ago than I care to remember when I was a schoolboy. It is a model of one of the Robert Stephenson 2-4-0Ts which was developed from the GWR Metro Tanks after the B&M borrowed one of that class for trials.
Unfortunately it shares a fault with many other models of this class (including an etched kit) in that it is a scale six inches too narrow - the legacy of an error on a drawing that appeared in the model press many years ago that had been derived from an inaccurate GWR Weight Diagram of the locomotive.
The chassis is compensated on the “Flexichas” principle. It used to be are driven on the leading coupled axle with the compensation beam operating on the frame of a 1616 Portescap motor. This arrangement led to slight changes in the height of the front of the loco as the loco changed direction so I rearranged the drive to act on the rear axle using a High Level Kits RoadRunner+ gearbox, which I am very pleased with.
This is based on the Cotswold cast kit for a Rhymney class R. Fortunately this needed little modification other than the firebox and cab as the prototype B & M class 39 was built for the B & M with the aid of drawings borrowed from the Rhymney. The chassis is sprung using Studiolith profile milled mainframes and hornblocks with a Portescap 1616 motor/gearbox unit.
The prototypes were built for the Inland Docks and Waterways Board during the Great War and disposed to various companies after hostilities ceased. The B & M bought one and numbered it 35.
Centre Models, who specialised in industrial locomotives, produced a whitemetal kit of the class though I am sure not with B & M modellers specifically in mind but nevertheless I eagerly snapped one up when it arrived on the market. No. 35 has scratchbuilt chassis with hand-cut brass frames and a ‘flexichas’ type three-point suspension. It is powered by Portescap 1616 motor/gearbox. unit.
Manning Wardle Class I
The B&M took over three of these Manning Wardle Class I engines when its contractor, Savin collapsed. One of these, Hereford, was renamed Lady Cornelia in 1871. It worked mainly in Merthyr area and was sold out of service in 1882.
This model was one of a pair built in tandem by Andy Wiles and myself. I built (in principle at least) two bodies and Andy the two chassis. Andy's model was based on the Cambrian Railways' Merion. It is based on the Impetus kit but modified (chimney, safety valve cover, spectacle plate and bunker) for the specific prototype.
The passenger stock modelled up until now has depended on similar circumstances to most of the locomotives; in 1920 the Midland sold various carriages to the B & M and by happy coincidence it was these that PC used as the prototype for their excellent etched brass kits. The only drawback I have encountered with these kits in the suspension system, so I modified the chassis to incorporate with prototype springing units which IKB Models were developing at the time. The re-built chassis run very satisfactorily, though it should be said that Llanastr being less than six feet of straight track does not present an arduous testing ground. To redress the balance I ought to say that I have seen these coaches with the original suspension system built by other modellers working perfectly satisfactorily - it is just that I can’t get on with them.
Goods stock is a motley collection of scratch built and kit built models. A small number of B & M wagons have been scratchbuilt.