It is 13 years since I completed my first 'scale' locomotive in O9, constructed from drawings of the Ravenglass-built tram locomotive 'Flower of the Forest'. These were published in the only copy of the 'Ratty Modeller' newsletter I ever got my hands on, obtained when Owen Ryder exhibited his 'Boot' layout at Wakefield many moons ago. It's all his fault...
Construction and finishing are covered here - the basic finish was all I felt I could achieve at the time and the name 'Cumbria' chosen as I had the plates and it seemed appropriate. As I reached one of those round number birthdays this year I decided to investigate what might be possible to commission re-finishing the loco to more closely resemble the real thing.
She arrived back on shed at Shifting Sands this morning, seen here raising steam with 'St Edwin'.
The model has been expertly re-finished by James Hilton Custom Model Railways with the green repainted to a more appropriate shade, and custom lettering on the sides and "smokebox" end.
I chose James for this work as I needed someone who could not only refinish the locomotive in the desired colour, but also to create the artwork for the lettering and plates as a one-stop shop. James took great care working from my reference photographs to get the lettering to look right, especially as the real thing is hand-lettered to no standard font.
Whilst the etched plates are not legible they do have the correct pattern of lettering, the real locomotive is dedicated to the memory of Ian Fraser, the Ratty supporter who commissioned the real locomotive to run in his garden.
Having the model in this condition is a great reminder of the time the real thing spent running at Cleethorpes, and the influence it must have had on Shifting Sands!
Some readers may be wondering why I chose to take the unusual (for me) step of contracting this work out. Well, my own time is presently quite limited and quite frankly I decided to treat myself!
I'm really pleased with the outcome and can recommend the service James provides, even working around existing paint finishes and details is no obstacle....