Monthly Archives: May 2014

Twenty Twenty Vision

Albion Yard

IMG_7780

This week there’s been quite a kerfuffle about Bachmann’s 20% price rise, most noticeably on assorted forums and meejah. Basically rising costs have meant that Bachmann have passed on elements of that rising cost to the end user, the man on the Clapham Omnibus. It would appear that this is going to be the end of the hobby, the thin end of the wedge driving people out of a ‘rich mans’ hobby. One even mentioning that they knew of the coming increases at Warley last year. Well cynical old me, but I doubt that very much. The hobby started out as a rich mans plaything certainly, and the high quality end of the hobby has, and always will be expensive, but that’s no different to any leisure past time. The hobby is cheaper now than it has ever been, in my experience of about 40 years or so. The contemporary Ready to…

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Beyer Garratt Arrives

Yesterday my new Beyer Garratt arrived. These engines were the largest steamers to ever run on British metals, and what a beast it is too. The Beyer Garratt is essentially two steam engines operating across a single (yet very substantial) boiler. This particular model was commissioned by Hattons of Liverpool and built by Heljan.

2014-04-30 20.04.49LR

I have planned to build a Garratt kit for a long time, but I always knew that I would have to be well versed in putting together the chassis components if I was to ever get a good build from a Garratt kit. Lucky for me, Heljan have saved me a lot of hassle.

The Garratt is now officially the most awkward model to handle that I own. It has lots of detailed and fragile parts and it is very awkward to find a suitable place to grip onto it with your fingers when taking it off the track or moving it into a display case. I eventually placed it on a display base so I could move it around a bit easier.

There has been some discussion about build quality on this model, and I can see where such concerns from, but they don’t cause me significant concern. There are a few marks and stains on the rather plastic-looking body, but this will be resolved when I weather the loco. A piece of plastic had also come free beneath the rotating coal bunker, but this just needs a dab of glue to fix it back in place. I think the cab is also a bit loose, but I can glue that easy enough.

2014-04-30 20.04.33LR

What is really impressive is the motors and chassis. Just like my Heljan diesels, this loco is a quiet and powerful loco. All I have managed to do so far is run it on the rolling road, but I will soon be putting it through some haulage trials.