Tuesday, 11 March 2014


Look what just dropped through the letterbox (so to speak!)

Have you ever come home to one of those little red Royal Mail cards telling you that you've missed a parcel? Most of the time, I know what should have been delivered so it's no great surprise when the parcel eventually gets a second chance. Sometimes, though, there's an element of surprise... I was expecting a few bits 'n' bobs from Model Rail HQ, plus some couplings that I'd ordered, but which of those was it?

Well, when the rescheduled delivery took place, I was excited to note the Liverpool postmark on the back, so I knew it must be a Hatton's LMS Bayer Garratt! As you can imagine, it's quite a big box - and quite a big engine - and certainly looks impressive once it's out on the workbench. This sample had got bashed about a bit in the post, so I've had to fix a few of the delicate parts, especially the valve gear and reversing rods.

I'll soon be unleashing the weathering paints onto this model, aiming for a typical pre-war look. Indeed, with its standard pattern coal bunker, 4970 represents a loco in use around 1930-31 before the bunkers were modified. Hatton's, who have commissioned these 'OO' gauge models from Heljan, will be offering a few other detail and livery variations, including the distinctive revolving bunkers.

Look out for a full review of the Bayer Garratts - and a look at my weathered version - in Model Rail issue 195, out on April 10th. But in the meantime, issue 194 will be hitting the shelves this week..!

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