5781RE: Mercian FR 0-4-0 kit
- Feb 14, 2014
The Mercian England kit was, indeed, originally made for 7mm scale and the 4mm versions shot down from it.
The 7mm kit is, shall we say, adequate, by today's standards. There is very little tab and slot and rather a lot of butt jointing of etched sheets for the body work. It is accurate enough and the mechanism for obtaining either Prince/Princess or Welsh Pony/Little Giant from the same cab side etches is elegant. Palmerston needs a little extra work on the part of the builder as it is a 'bash' to shorten the cab sides, roof and frames below but, once measured, it is the work of moments with a piercing saw or skrawker to achieve.
The frames are a fold up with slot & tab spacers and the means of obtaining the rtwo wheelbases is as elegant as the cab arrangement. Their profile is fine but I think you will need to split the fold-up and use homemade spacers to accomodate 14mm gauge - Paul Holmes may disagree. Don't even think about Mercian motorising kit - get wheels from EDM and a motor and gear box from High Level. There is plenty of room for the latter inside the saddle tank and plenty of space for slabs of lead to weight the loco as well!
Cab interior is sparse and, IMHO, inadequate but fettling that is part of the fun. Smokebox door is better replaced with a 4mm scale brass turning for a GWR 14xx - I got mine from Blacksmith Models when Dave Smith still ran that operation. Sandpots are also poor whitemetal castings - get some of the Wrightlines castings from their double Fairlie kit (or ask somebody to do so when next they see Adrian Swain and the ABS stand at a show).
The etched tender is only suiable for representing one of the small, wooden framed tenders - as presently with Palmerston and Princess. If, like me, you also want large, iron framed tenders it is out with the sheet metal and piercing saw!
Does that help? Reply quickly this evening if you want sandpots - UI migh be able to get you some tomorrow.
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