This loco has been superbly built in what I would call a robust style, around a very powerful motor/gearbox unit, the like of which I have never seen before. The pickups are wiper blades to the backs of the wheels. The wheels are of cast iron construction with fine spokes and are slightly thicker than fine scale. They negotiate Peco fine scale track and points well. The Poachers test track at Lincoln https://www.7mmloco.co.uk/poachers/ was built using Peco track and this loco can fly around there with six blood and custards in tow, no problem.
One hundred and ninety five engines of these Henry Fowler developed locos were built by the LMS. Adding to the 45 similar locos that had been designed by Richard Deeley and built by the Midland Railway, to which they were almost identical. The most obvious difference is that the driving wheel diameter was reduced from 7 ft 0 in on the Midland locomotive to 6 ft 9 in on the LMS version. The Deeley locos had been developed from a 1902 design of Samuel Johnson which had a three cylinder compound arrangement. This had a layout of one high-pressure cylinder inside the frames, and two low-pressure outside frame cylinders. The modelled loco, number 41186 being one of the Vulcan Foundry built engines built in 1927 and the class were still being built at Derby works in 1932. A long and complicated building history, but they got there in the end. The class were withdrawn between 1952 and 1961.
Built and painted, using PC lining transfers, by myself. When I started O gauge modelling I soon set myself a target to build a Crab, one of my favourite locos. As soon as I heard of the Chowbent kit I had to have one. Over 20 years later and I have not been disappointed. Lots of people complain about the narrow tender, but I think it adds to the character. As does the high running plate over the inclined cylinders. The paint is starting to look a bit worn, but it is still a great livery and she looks a treat hauling my train of of six Peter Cowling LMS series one coaches. Portescap motor and gears, with fused protection. Current collection is by the American method, where the loco collects from one rail and the tender from the other. The insulated Slaters wheels have been shorted by thin wire behind a spoke on one or other side of the loco and tender. An insulated drawbar and fallplate is needed with this system and in my experience, with care, it works very well.
These very useful locos were designed by George Hughes, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London Midland & Scottish Railway. His background was with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and they were developed using L&YR practice. In 1925 Henry Fowler, previously of the Midland Railway at Derby, succeeded Hughes as CME and he tried to have the design changed to use Derby standard parts, but because the build process was so advanced, only the tender and some boiler fittings became the only obvious changes. Production commenced at the L&YR Horwich works and L&NWR Crewe works in 1926. A total of 245 engines were built, five of which were experimentally fitted with Lentz valve gear in 1931. In 1953 that was replaced with Reidinger valve gear. Otherwise the class remained virtually as designed throughout their thirty plus year life. No. 2876 was built at Crewe in 1930 and withdrawn from service in 1962.