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.
North Eastern Railway Tennant 2-4-0 no. 1477. Expertly scratch built and painted (circa late 1950’s) by Bernard Miller with hand painted lettering and numerals in the fully lined NER passenger green livery. Built with very fine quality cast wheels and a John Hart RM (short) type motor no. 862. She collects power from the tender wheels and from plunger pick-ups on the loco. A belt and braces job and there is nothing wrong with that. This model was built for the famous layout of Stanley Norris and featured in the Model Railway News magazine of February 1960 and in the Railway Modeller magazine of January 1971 when on a visit to Wally Mayhew’s Stanley to Stratford St. Andrew layout.
On Bernard’s passing in 1980 she was obtained by Arthur Dewar and is shown on Arthur’s layout in Jack Ray’s book ‘Model Railways and their builders’ published by Atlantic Press. She also featured in the Gauge O Guild Gazette on Arthur’s layout (see page 338 of the link at the bottom of this page). On Arthur’s death she passed onto Wally West and as part of his collection she has now found her way into my collection.
When obtained, her paintwork had deteriorated with age, the black paint on the outside frames in particular had become unstable and had worn away completely in places. Fortunately, most of the green areas have survived well. I have now had Bernard’s paint restored by the museum conservator John Cockcroft, who has managed to preserve the hand painted numbers and lettering. I must say that he has made a superb job of it. A powerful loco, I have had her pulling eight coaches with ease. A good load for a 2-4-0.