The Big Beast is ready for action

Based on a couple of b&w 1930s prints of the real thing, I've tried to copy the weathering as best as I could. It's never easy working from black & white, but the greasy-looking patches and subtle streaking is a close replica, as is the heavily-greased valve gear and dusty deposits on the underframes  From what I've read, even when fairly new, these locos were seldom clean, not least as they were unpopular with crew and maintenance staff alike. Plus, they struggled to fit into most shed buildings so were invariably left outside.
As mentioned previously, I've been working on one of the great new Hattons/Heljan LMS Beyer Garratts. It has proven quite a challenge, not in terms of any great difficulties with techniques or materials, but simply down to handling the darn thing. Despite its bulk, the model is actually quite a delicate thing and I've had to glue a few things back on here and there during the job. Mind you, some of that was down to wanting to take it apart and see how it all works. 

The twin motors is a good idea and they're both purring along sweetly after a good running-in period and there's a DCC sound speaker fitted as standard inside the boiler. Well, under the chimney to be exact. A set of power connectors hidden in the ash pan allow the two 'bogie' units to be detached, which made the weathering process slightly easier, although disconnecting these leads means that the wheels can't be turned under power, which makes working around the valve gear tricky. But... all of this is discussed in detail in the next issue of Model Rail magazine (MR195, on sale 10 April).

This thing has been a joy - and a challenge - to work with. Just a shame I don't have a layout big enough to run it on properly...

Look out for my weathering and detailing demo in MR195. The majority of the weathering was carried out without an airbrush, but I did resort to my trusty Iwata in the end - not least as I kept breaking things off by handling the model too much! 


  1. I have a Hattons Garratt on order with a rotating bunker. I too have only one photo of 47994 at Hasland (Chesterfield) in a tiny book called Railway Locomotives of Great Britain 1958 edition so I can see the trouble you had with weathering.
    Faulcon 1 Australia.


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