|LNWR Precursor Tank No.44 c.1906|
LNWR 44 was built from a Taff Vale/Dragon Models kit with many improvements and additional detail. Ample motive power is provided by an MSC Models motor and gearbox with 3 stage 40:1 helical gears. The completed engine weighs in at just over 1kg with space for more weight if necessary. I intend to test run her with a reasonable load at the Running Day next weekend on the Carlisle club layout. The cab interior is finished now so construction of the engine is complete.
|LNWR 44 cab interior detail|
I did not have a GA drawing to help with details of the cab interior, I don't think one exists, so I've done my best with what information I have been able to glean from a variety of sources. I could have added more but restrained myself from filling the cab with dubious or speculative details. The cab rear spectacle plate features a coal hole at footplate level, access doors to the coal space and tool boxes and a brake wheel, note also the opening cab doors. All components are brass or nickle-silver, either sourced from LGM or made by myself, no white metal was used in the construction.
|LNWR 44 Cab interior and backhead detail.|
The backhead and front spectacle plate are a unit and can be removed for painting; the glazing slides between the inner and outer spectacle plates. The bottoms of the windows are six feet above footplate level so the crew needed some means of levitation to see out of them. The model's interior step arrangement is based on that of the LNWR Bowen-Cooke 4-6-2T which was introduced only four years after George Whale's Precursor Tank and which has a cab of comparable proportion and fortunately for which a GA drawing exists. The GA shows that the coal hole and shovelling plate of the Bowen Cooke engine was well above footplate level, a novel innovation which eased the fireman's task. I suspect that George Whale may have had a similar consideration for his crews, however the designer of the Precursor Tank kit thought otherwise so I 've deferred to his judgement in this case and left the coal hole at footplate level.
Contemporary photos of crew working in these engines confirm the existence of the interior step arrangement which served to elevate them well above footplate level and enabled them to see ahead through the cab windows.
The roof of the model slots into place and can be removed to facilitate painting and later examination of all the interior detail.
|Exterior of cab of LNWR 44 with door open and showing some interior detail|
|LNWR 44 smokebox and buffer beam details|
The removable lamps have brilliants set into them, clear to the front and red behind. The author's nickle-silver smokebox door replaces the white metal casting supplied in the kit. There are a large number of tiny brass rivets replicating the real think in the hinges of the "piano front" and larger bolts can be seen on the bottom of the smokebox wrapper, these tiny brass fittings are inserted into holes and soldered in from behind.