Sunday, April 20, 2014

Quarry Hunslet: Whistle While We Work

As I mentioned in a previous post the loco is essentially built apart from adding a few detailing parts. Last time I said this there were three parts left from the kit as well as some extras I wanted to add. There is now only the reversing lever left to add from the kit which I can't add until the cab is fixed in place. I've added the steps but they weren't really interesting enough to warrant a post of their own.

Just as no steam locomotive would be complete without a proper smoke box door it also wouldn't be complete without a steam whistle, yet the kit doesn't include one. This might be because on all but one photo of Dorothea I can find I can't see a whistle. The only hint of a whistle is in a photo on page 126 of Quarry Hunslets of North Wales by Cliff Thomas (Thanks to Paul for recommending this book). This seems to suggest that the whistle is somewhere towards the rear of the left side cab wall, or possibly sticking through the roof. As I've mentioned before I'm not intending to have an exact replica of Dorothea so not knowing where her whistle was isn't the end of the world. What I've done is look at photos of a number of similar locomotives and here we can see that usually the whistle is mounted on the front of the cab between the two windows, with the steam pipe feeding through the wall into the cab. The main problem I had was working out where to find a suitably sized whistle.

If you remember I discovered, after almost ruining the smokebox door, that detailing parts designed for 4mm scale are usually meant for use on full sized locomotives and not the smaller narrow gauge ones. Fortunately in the comments to that post Paul made a genius suggestion; use parts designed for 3mm scale modelling instead. I thought this ideas was brilliant as all the parts will be essentially 3/4 of the size of the equivalent 4mm scale part and much closer to the size needed for narrow gauge modelling.

A quick internet search led me to the website of 3mm Scale Model Railways who appear to sell almost anything the discerning 3mm scale modeller would need including a varied selection of locomotive detailing parts. Looking down the list we quickly come to part L159 "Loco Whistles, Turned Brass x 2". When the parts arrived yesterday quickly holding one up against the loco and they seemed the perfect size so I set about attaching one to the cab.

As you can see I fabricated a small right angled bracket to hold the whistle in place, which seems to be fairly prototypical. This was made using a piece of the waste from the sheet of etched brass parts. There wasn't much in the way of fancy measuring, and in fact it was filed down a little after folding to better fit. I bent the stem of the whistle by clamping the very end in the hold and fold to get a nice 90 degree bend. I then glued the bracket in place on the cab wall and left the glue to full set. The whistle can then be easily slid into the hole. Currently the whistle isn't glued in place (it's actually being stored in the box with the rest of the kit parts) as I'm only going to finally fit it after painting; given it should be brass it seems silly to paint it rather than leave it as it is.


  1. Thats a very nice little turning! Mounting it on a scrap etch bracket works rather well. Must be nearly time for some primer.

    1. Yes, just one more detail bit I need to do and then it'll be time for the primer, although I think painting could be as complex as building it, given I need access to the inside of the cab etc.

  2. Lovely. Yes, it's painting time! No pressure, Mark. :-) Feel free to gloat when I start painting my quarry Hunslet...if I ever get round to/pluck up courage to building it!

  3. That really does look the business.

  4. I'm still marvelling at the meticulous attention to detail.