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Mallard and her sisters

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Having renovated the Z Club-GB A3 my thoughts turned to the other bodyshell I got off Graham Jones years ago. It was a whitemetal casting of Gresleys famous LNER A4 4-6-2. The streamlined locos that ran the crack expresses from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh and whose most famous class member 'Mallard' set the steam world steam speed record of 126 mph that has still not been bettered to this day.




I finished it as sister engine  4486 'Merlin' in Garter Blue and to be honest it was one of my first attempts at a Z gauge British loco and not up to the standards I hope I achieve now but it served its purpose back in those days. Seen with Atlas edition's underwhelming effort



Now this model, which shares its chassis with my Streamlined Pennsy K4 Pacific has done a serious amount of shows since 2007 and was also in dire need of restoration


I have always said that if you get a good Marklin chassis you get a good 'un and if you get a bad one you get a dog. This chassis, which has had the sides of the cylinders shaved off to fir under the streamlining is one of those that works every time you get it out of the box despite the hundred of hours of exhibition running it has done. And it is a three pole one


If I was to model it as I remember it on family picnics and holidays in the 1960s it would have the side valances removed and be running in BR Green and it should have the Kylchap double chimney fitted which is much bigger than the original single blast pipe one




I carefully prised off the nameplates and then chucked it into the paint stripper to get back to the bare metal. Once dried  I made a start on cutting the valances off





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The cab windows were just shapeless holes really so i fabricated brass window frames to go in. added buffers and drawhook to the front amd gave it a good buffing




I decided against doing the larger chimney as it was a lot of effort for not much gain


The big gap around the trailing truck was filled with a cast resin truck that sits on top of the Marklin one. Green was once again Hycote Rover Brooklands green




Merlin in action again at Portobello in Scotland



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The original nameplates were used again but I havn't found the smokebox numberplate yet. Lining, numbers and crests were from Fox transfers




A gathering of Gresleys




Seen in front of two more restoration projects. The 00 scale A4 is an original Hornby Dublo 60023 'Golden eagle' given to me many years ago. It is pretty rough and has been converted to 2 rail, halt the valve gear is missing and the tender is damaged. I'm not going to attempt to restore it to factory condition but make some big improvements ( Coreless motor etc)


Behind that is an 0 scale Varney 4-6-0 that also neeeds some TLC. This has a solid cast brass boiler and weighs a ton!




having to use N scale nameplates means choosing a short name one to minimise the overscale look


For that reason I didn't choose 60009 Union of South Africa!




Even the prototype ones look to big


long before I got a HD Camcorder I filmed 60009 on railtours in Derbyshire where you can clearlt here the chime whistle





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I wouldn't bother changing the Dublo motor. The originals are actually very good if properly serviced, the magnets have frequently lost their pull in the decades since they were made but "Super Neo" magnets will do wonders for reducing the current draw and improving haulage. Everything on them is adjustible including the armature end play, and parts are readily available on eBay.

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