It is an amazing fact that one of these unique locos still exists and is part of the national collection. I first managed to see it when it was hidden away in a corner of a dilapidated shed in Bury, Lancashire. Happily it has now been moved to the railway museum at Preston, Lancashire and can be seen by everyone.

Once I had seen it I had to build a model of it, but the problem was how. I had previously built a 'Special Tank' from an LRM kit and it appeared that certain features were shared by both classes of loco. I later found out how few! Even the saddle tanks differ - that on the 4ft. Shunter is not only shorter but narrower and also shallower. Fortunately the tank provided in the kit is cast in resin and I could carve it to the required size. I cut away the front section of the frames and arranged the front axle to rock, the rear axle being rigid.

The loco has a narrow, marine type, firebox placed under the rear of the boiler. Therefore in the model there was very little room in which to hide a motor, so it had to go into the boiler. Unfortunately the boiler is so small that no motor then available would go in so I chose a round can motor of similar diameter to the boiler, cut the boiler to fit around the motor and glued them together. This combination I then married up to a suitable 'High Level' gearbox and fixed into the frames. To assemble the loco the boiler unit is passed through the footplate and the boiler eased into the underside of the saddle tank. The chassis can then be pushed against the footplate and secured.

The loco has 4ft. diameter 'Crewe' type wheels. Fortunately these were available from Alan Gibson. Unfortunately they are made from some form of aluminium alloy and get dirty extremely quickly. This is the only one of my many locos that has to have its wheels cleaned halfway through a two day exhibition.

The loco weighs 120grms and exerts a pull of 30grms.

The complete loco

The  cab, tank and footplate unit


The chassis/gearbox/boiler unit

The two units being put together

Link back to Locomotives