Monday, May 5, 2014
Quarry Hunslet: The Backstory
There were quite a few companies making steam engines in the local area, but one specific company caught the factory owner's eye. The Hunslet Engine Company were making little engines for working in the Welsh slate quarries, and if they could handle that then surely they could move a few crates around his factory. The factory owners wife wasn't really sure he needed a railway at all, but she was supportive of the idea and even helped to choose the colour for the new locomotive.
So the day finally dawned when the new locomotive would arrive, and the factory owner insisted his wife join him for the delivery as he had a surprise in store. The engine arrived on the back of a wagon under a large tarpaulin to keep it clean. The factory owner climbed up on to the back of the wagon and pulled aside the tarpaulin to reveal the locomotive in all it's crimson glory. He then looked at his wife who was smiling, even though she still wasn't sure he really needed a railway, as there on the side of the locomotive was her name, and no one had ever named a steam locomotive after her before.
Firstly, my apologies to Oliver Postgate for the origins of the backstory, especially as I couldn't quite manage to maintain the same style throughout. As the final post on the building of this kit we have the fitting of the final detailing components; the name and work plates.
As I discussed in the previous post the plates were ordered from Narrow Planet and are a customized set of these plates. As well as customizing the name I also had the work plates read as "No 1. 2014" given this is the first steam loco I've built and it was completed in 2014, not that you can read the numbers at this scale. Given that I hadn't known what colour I was going to paint the plates when I ordered them they arrived as unpainted etched brass. Painting with acrylic black was easy and then I brushed on some acrylic satin varnish to protect the paint during handling, and so it would match the rest of the locomotive.
The plates were then carefully removed from the fret (the brass is very fine and so easy to distort) and with the help of some paper templates glued into place. I actually don't use glue for this, after a previous renumbering disaster, instead I brush a small amount of Humbrol enamel satin varnish on to the back of the plate (I find the enamel works better than the acrylic). This gives plenty of time to position the plate before it dries, and doesn't tend to mark the already varnished paint.
So there we have it the locomotive is now complete. At some point I'll probably glue the driver into position (a moving train without a driver looks wrong), but for now I quite like being able to look into the cab and see all the controls I spent ages painting.