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 No. 2876 was built at Crewe in 1930 and withdrawn from service in 1962.