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

Kerr, Stuart 'Wren' 0-4-0ST

Kerr, Stuart built a number of 'standard' types in its range of locomotives. The 'Wren' type was the smallest of these and yet the largest numerically of the types built. These diminutive 0-4-0ST's first appeared in 1903 and continued to be built into closure of the company in 1903. Hunslet built a further four. Fortunately a number have survived into preservation.

Despite its diminutive size, I did fancy having a go at one of these cheeky little steam engines. Tyneside Models produce a 3D printed body available via Shapeways. The bodies supplied are either the cabless type or fully enclosed cab. Needless to say, I wanted to build a semi-enclosed type, of which 'Peter Pan' at Leighton Buzzard is one. The bodies are designed to fit onto the Tsugawa Yokou TU-KOPPEL A chassis available from Plaza Japan.

The 'Wren' hauling twelve skips

The body was ordered from Shapeways and duly arrived a number of days later. Printed in Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD), the photo below shows how the print looks out of the box. The first thing to do with any print, is to wash it to remove the waxy residue that is often present.

3D Print in Frosted Ultra Detail as supplied

Body primed and mounted on chassis

As usual I primed the body to reveal what needs doing to it. This is a tiny locomotive and photographs do not show it at its best! There are a number of print lines visible that will have to be rubbed down. The hole in the chassis is a little visible so will have to be filled. As this will be a semi-enclosed cab version, I will have to build the cab and replace the chimney with a taller one. Other details will be  some couplings, safety valve extensions and regulator will also be needed.

The shape of the firebox is not quite right, but I'm not sure if I'll ruin the print by trying to change it.

Some of the extra detailing fitted

The two views show some of the extra detailing fitted. The cab is rolled brass sheet soldered to the uprights and then fixed to the body. The front cab sheet is plasticard shaped to match some drawings I have. The problem now is how much more detail to fit? There comes a point I think on these tiny models were things can look 'cluttered'. I think the water level indicator, pressure gauge and clack valves will about do it.

The Wren with a bit more added detail and primed again. Still a few rough patches to sort out before painting green.

Looking rather 'bright', the Wren has now had a coat of green paint. This will be toned down a lot when the other detail parts have been painted, particularly the smoke box and roof in black. Looking at the picture it is surprising how far you can get without noticing that a small piece of the rear buffer beam behind the handbrake has chipped off! I have noticed that FUD can be a bit brittle. Obviously this will be corrected.

The rest of the painting has been completed along with lining, varnishing and the fitting of nameplates and works plates. I chose the name 'Elf' (from Narrow Planet), as it seemed appropriate for such a small locomotive. A driver (Bachmann) has also been fitted and all that is now needed is some coal for the bunkers.

All in all, a nice little locomotive to have, fairly easy to build and looks good running around.