Cumbria - 'Flower of the Forest' in 7mm Scale

Part of shiftingsands.fotopic.revisited

Originally posted to on 12th October 2005.

Possibly the oddest locomotive to be built at the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, this locomotive was completed in 1985 for the 70-yard long garden railway belonging to Ian Fraser of Arbroath. 

I have now completed a scratchbuilt 7mm scale, 9mm gauge model based around a Kato 4w chassis. These photos show my progress over the months with this model, which I have chosen to name 'Cumbria' as it is a much shorter name and seemed appropriate! 

I have also included some views of the real locomotive taken over the years at the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway. Funnily enough I thought I had taken many more pictures of this charming loco, but apart from a few blurry shots I can only find the prototype pictures on this page! 

The real 'Flower of the Forest' is a 0-2-2VBT, with a secondhand boiler from a college in Barrow and Stephenson valve gear driving just one axle. Upon Mr Fraser's death the locomotive was donated to the R&ER, and made her first visit to Cleethorpes for the 'Little Unusual Steam Gala' in September 1994. Return visits followed, and eventually the stay became a semi-permanent holiday by the sea, until the recall to Ravenglass came in 2004.

My first view of the real 'Flower of the Forest', taken back in September 1994 shortly after the Cleethorpes line had been re-gauged to 15" gauge:

A side-on shot taken at the 1995 gala. The right-hand end of the loco was (I believe) intended as a two seat passenger compartment:

07/02/05 - The basic structure of the body is complete, at this stage things were still experimental:

11/02/05 - The structures of the roof and vertical boiler are now complete. The boiler is an old fax roll tube:

The Kato chassis used under my model. The motor housing sits under the boiler and the bits containing the gears will be hidden later on:

21/02/05 - A chimney has been added, 'borrowed' from a Dapol pug kit, but with suitable modifications.  Turning the model around reveals some of the interior detail, mostly fashioned from brass rod, split pins and plastic tubing!

With the roof off, a clearer view of the boiler details, including the regulator and rivet heads.  The single vertical cylinder is represented with a 4mm scale air pump, with added pipework:

In service various details will hide the parts of the chassis you aren't supposed to see. Here the driver's feet, handbrake and a bag hide the chassis from view.  On the other side of the loco an oil can, billy can and bucket (all by S&D Models) do the honours:

The real locomotive has no driver's seat. In the past both a crate and stool have been used, this is my representation of the latter. Figure by Phoenix:

28/02/05 - All remaining details have now been added, the smokebox door incorporates 9 individual parts! The grey part of the smokebox door is a buffer head salvaged from the Dapol pug kit.  The opposite end of the loco features lamp brackets fabricated from 10 x 40 thou plastic strip from the Evergreen range:  

21/05/05 - Completed - at last! I have chosen to simplify the livery and name the loco 'Cumbria'.  With all of the smaller details in place the Kato chassis becomes invisible.  I need to source some etched spectacle plates to really complete the ends of the loco:

February 2004, leaking water at an alarming rate, 'Flower of the Forest' awaits departure from Lakeside at Cleethorpes.  The long winter shadows contrast nicely with the light on the paintwork:

May 2004, the last photo of 'Flower' I took before the return to Ravenglass, the loco behind is the CCLR's tram bodied Lister diesel.  The smokebox door on the front of the loco is a fake, the loco has a vertical boiler!

O9 Modeller would like to thank Mick Thornton for his help in creating this page.

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