D16/3 Claude Hamilton in 7mm Scale – Part 1

This Mallard kit was bought from Norman Wissenden in Greenfield years ago and was ‘blown up ‘ from a 4 mm one, hence it turned out to be useless. Over the years I added bits and bobs as I saw them at shows. Bill Ascough of ACE models sold to me a full set of loco etchings. I also have etchings from an S&M kit but I can’t remember how I obtained them. I am using these bits as an aid to scratch building. The castings in the Mallard kit were diabolical so Laurie Griffin, Northampton models and Ragstone et al. are being used. As an aside I successfully built the 4mm Mallard D16/3. It was the last loco I made in 16.5 and was immediately converted to 18mm after meeting YMRG at Taunton who showed me the error of my ways. They have been stuck with me ever since!

The chosen prototype 62578 was a 32G Melton Constable loco. Melton Constable was the main works of the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway and was known as the Crewe of North Norfolk. I visited it just before it closed completely when they were making wagon sheets. It was an extraordinary place in its heyday and some of the buildings still exist on what is now an industrial estate. The spine road on this estate is called Marriott Way after the CME of the M&GN. A complete railway works which made everything from locomotives to concrete signal posts bang in the middle of rural North Norfolk which is my joint favourite area in the British Isles.

This is hopefully a place holder for more of the missing details of chassis and basic body construction – which has already taken place!

Out of the blue as far as this blog is concerned is this very nice Claud Hamilton D16/3 in 7mm has been leaded and now weighs enough to balance nicely on the driving wheels which are beam compensated. Not shown are the boiler backhead which is solid lead and awaits detailing and the underside of the cab roof.

The Clauds had splashers for the bogie wheels which were quite decorative and the locos retained these on rebuilding. None of the etchings acquired over the years had parts to build them, so these are made out of three pieces of brass and the photo shows where they will be located. A club e-mail exchange has established that these parts are being assembled on a well used example of the very finest sort of ceramic soldering mat! We would definitely like to see a lot more of this engine!

Part 2 can be found here.