Monday, March 24, 2008

How I made the Peckett locomotive

The locomotive was made from a kit purchased from Garden Railway Specialists (GRS). The kit contains all the parts needed apart from the chassis which is needs to be pillaged from an 0-4-0 LGB starter set loco such as 'Rusty'. My 'Rusty' was purchased for £30.00 from eBay.

A fine cross-head screwdriver is needed to dismantle 'Rusty' until the chassis is revealed.
The instructions for the model are sketchy, particularly when it comes to the fine detailing of the cab controls. The whitemetal parts are beautifully finished, however, and needed only a minimum of filing to remove the flash.

The whitemetal parts were fixed in place with Rapid Araldite - which sets in ten minutes. There was a certain logic to the positioning of the controls, though I did try searching the internet for photos - none of which were particularly helpful in the end. My apologies to experts who may spot I have misplaced a dial or handle.

Once the cab was completed, I tackled the footplate and buffer beams. This fitted snugly over the chassis with very little adjustment needed. The styrene sheet was bonded with MekPak solvent adhesive.
Next, I tackled the saddle tank assembly. This is pre-formed and required very little adjustment to fit into place.

The saddle tank assembly was then attached to the footplate, making sure there was sufficient space for the cab to be added. Before the cab was constructed, I added lead to the saddle tank/boiler assembly. A piece of lead flashing was cut into suitably sized pieces to fit into the tank. On reflection, I would also have added lead to the firebox in the cab as the loco is now slightly front-heavy - the benefit of hindsight!

Finally the cab interior and cab were added, together with the whitemetal fittings such as the handrail knobs, spectacle surrounds, springs, sandboxes, chimney, etc.. Again, Araldite Rapid was used, though I had a few problems fixing the springs in place so Super Glue was used for this. The guard from the LGB starter-set was butchered slightly (I cut off his paddle) and glued in place as the driver. I may have to buy a fireman to keep him company, though.
A few gaps and blunders were filled with Milliput and then the whole model was smoothed over with fine wet and dry to remove any unwanted blobs of Araldite and disguise a few imperfections (mine, not the kit's).

Before paining, rivet detail was added to the buffer beams using Cambrian rivet heads carefully glued in place with solvent adhesive.

Firstly, the cab orifices were masking-taped over from the inside. I realised that I needed to remove the cab roof to achieve this so prised it off (I'd suggest making it removeable from the start). A couple of coats of Plasticote grey primer from a spray-can was followed by a a couple of thin coats of Brunswick Green acrylic spray from Humbrol. It may be me, but I found it very difficult to get an even finish with the Humbrol spray. The roof was spray painted black (much easier being removeable). The buffer beams were picked out in red Plasticote enamel. I tried Humbrol enamel initially but this took ages to dry. Plasticote brass paint was used for the fittings such as the spectacle surrounds and the top of the chimney.

I'm not entirely happy with the finish and so may have another go at it when the weather warms up a little (I'm banished to the conservatory and leave the doors open when spraying. The family (cat included) does not like the smell!). I will then do a little light weathering and seal it all with a couple of coats of satin varnish.

Just noticed that the cab steps need to be glued back in place. These were knocked off by the abutments of the viaduct - which needs to be tidied up anyway - another job for next Spring!



Anonymous said...

Great article! I too am building this kit, although mine must be more up to date as many body parts are now cast resin. The instructions are still poor and so you article was a real boon to me. I would have had several cab fittings left over otherwise!

Ge Rik said...

Yes. I've since constructed one of their Hunslet locos which included mostly resin parts. I tried finding a picture of the inside of a cab to guide the positioning of the various bits and pieces. I couldn't find a picture which was exactly right but it gave me some idea as to what might have gone where. Good luck with the build. It's worth it in the end!