Steve Johnson    Modelmaker




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Bagnall P51 4wPM

Bagnall 'Polar Bear'

Bagnall 'Sybil' 0-4-0ST

Hudson-Fordson Go-Go Tractor

Hudson-Hunslet 24hp

Hudswell, Clarke D29

Kerr, Stuart 30hp

Kerr, Stuart 'Wren'

Lister Rail Truck

McEwan, Pratt 0-4-0PM

Peckett 0-6-0ST 'Jurassic'

Ruston Proctor ZLH

Simplex 20/28hp with Cab

Simplex, Bow Frame 20hp

Simplex, Armoured

Simplex, Protected

Bow Framed Simplex 20hp 0-4-0PM

The Bow Framed Simplex locomotives, or Petrol Tractors, were used in the First World War by the War Department Light Railways moving munitions, goods and men from the main railheads to the front line. After the war, many found use on various narrow gauge industrial railways.

I've decided to tackle the Nigel Lawton kit of this 2ft. gauge locomotive. It is a tiny locomotive in 4mm scale and a challenge to build.

Below is a short video clip showing the Simplex hauling twelve skips on my test track.

Although it will run on my industrial section, I have painted it in the WDLR colours of Olive Drab and retained the number plate. I have changed the driver for a generic worker rather than military personnel!

Although the pictures below show Nigel Lawton's chassis under construction, I could never get it to work quite right, despite a lot of tinkering. I nearly sent the model back to take advantage of the 'get you running' service. However, in the meantime I had built the Lister Rail Truck using a Japanese EB4111 N gauge chassis. I though this might work for the Simplex as the wheelbase was the same.

The rectangular top plate needed filing to fit under the bow frame. I think the Simplex sits a little higher, but not too much. The now empty void under the bonnet was filled with strips of lead sheet to increase the weight of this very light locomotive. Performance has improved considerably. In fact it now moves and can pull twelve skips! The downside of this modification are that the lead weight is just visible under the bonnet cut outs, but not too obvious was painted black. The open nature of the chassis is lost as the black top plate of the new chassis is visible, more so at the radiator end. However, I am willing to accept this compromise as I can now use the locomotive. I will still tinker with the old chassis to see if I can get it going.

Chassis Components

Partially Assembled Chassis

Partially Completed Body

Completed Chassis

Body and Chassis united

Primed and ready to paint in Humbrol Olive Drab (No.155)