'CHOPPER TANK' Class,  No 2234

The history of this class is curious. Fifty were built between 1876 and 1880, and in the late 1890s forty of these were converted to 2-4-2 tanks while the remaining ten continued as 2-4-0 tanks. No 2234 was one of those ten and spent its days working on the Cromford and High Peak line. In 1908 five of the 2-4-2 tanks were converted to 2-4-0 tanks!

The model is built from the LRM kit which was designed by the same person who designed the overlong kit for the 2-4-2 tank and it suffers from the same problem. Fortunately I realised it was too long before I painted it, but only after I had built it. I had to dismantle most of it but LRM were kind enough to supply me with a second set of superstructure etches which I could correct before I used them.

After all that it turned into a delightful model. The front axle rocks on a central support, the centre axle is sprung and the rear axle is rigid. An LH21 motor drives the rear axle via a simple worm and wheel gearbox located in an underhung position. The side tanks are full of lead as are the bunker and smokebox. Fortunately I have not used the fatal liquid lead and pva combination so this loco is unlikely to burst!

The loco weighs 225grms and exerts a pull of 50grms - not bad for such a little'un. I am really rather fond of it!

Please do not ask why it has arrived on my layout when it should be working in Derbyshire. Perhaps it was on its way to Crewe and got lost.

Side view of the 'Chopper'

The underside of the 'Chopper' showing the front pickup wires also acting as lateral springs

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