Thanks to the Railway Modellers Ireland Facebook group and Jonathan Beaumont in particular I have received the following information:
JB – Originally olive green – quite dark, and with lining. No actual details of the lining survive but perusal of early photos suggest black and white. The letters “S L N C R” were in shaded gold or yellow on the tank sides. It is not known what colour the nameplates were, though during the “black” era (probably about 1910/15 onwards) these were variously black with red writing, or red with polished writing.
MB – There is a photo of classmate “Lurganboy” on the smugmug website, with “SL&NCR” lettering on the tank sides, but the rest of the loco looks to be unlined. Would this lettering have been carried in the olive green days with the lining?
JB – Yes.
JB – After they started painting them unlined black I believe, but cannot be certain, that the lettering continued for a while (on the unlined black background). Connecting rods are often seen (copied) on models as red. Evidently they were not – they were black or more likely, unpainted.
Built from the Gladiator kit, which was originally designed by Adrian Rowland under the North Star Design label. I started building this model on the 11th November 2019 and finished it on April 30th, taking 131 hours. It has been built with sprung hornblocks on the first and second axles, otherwise straight from the box, with Slaters wheels and an ABC motor/gears unit. He will soon be with Warren Hayward for painting into BR green livery.
During the final stages of the build I got myself into a spot of bother with the left side motion. Throughout each stage of the build I had kept ensuring that there were no tight spots, with the coupling rods, then with the slide bars and crossheads, as any experienced builder does. Then when it came to the Walchearts valve gear. I built up each set exactly the same, (other than opposite hand of course) and fitted the right side first with no problems or tight spots. But when it came to the left side, something was wrong, too tight when the crosshead was at it’s end of the stroke on the slidebars. It took me some time to find the problem. As the right side had gone together so well, it couldn’t be a fault with the etches and I checked each side was built exactly the same. I can only put the cause down to tolerances (there is always a plus or minus tolerance on the location of everything) stacking-up all one way, needing the crosshead link to be extended by 1.5mm. All’s well now and he runs very smoothly.
When this kit was originally released, I was in the market to buy a King Arthur to build for myself and had a choice between the Modern Outline Kit and the North Star Design. I chose the MOK and enjoyed building it and have never regretted it. So when asked to build this on commission I looked forward to making the comparison. I can now advise that the MOK is a superior product, but is a good deal more expensive to buy. Sir Urre of the Mount here has built into a very nice model and I would say is good value for money. You pays yer money and makes yer choice.