After a few long evenings I've finished the Thakeham Hunslet ready for painting.
One problem I had was fixing the chassis. At first it was a tight fit where the motor fits through the footplate, but that was working loose and the bolts that held the chassis together were holding the footplate up, so it wasn't really held securely. I made up plastic ends to the chassis that are held on by the bolts as well as epoxy, these not only provide a platform for the body but have "wings" that allow holes for securing screws. Under the footplate more plastic was added to rest on them, and allowed a couple of self-tapping screws to take hold. Result, it may be crude but the chassis is secure!
Up top, I've got rather carried away with the detailing. Having such good reference photos it was hard not to, and with such an open bonnet area the detail can be seen, so bits of plastic, microstrip, wire, etc. were used to represent the visible parts. The castings for the radiator, engine, clutch, fuel filter, and coupling block have been used from the kit, but the bonnet had to be made to fit.
I even reproduced the levers and rods that form the modified cab controls. The kit does include the controls for the "standard" loco as built, but the modified Thakeham loco controls were easier to make from plastic and wire. So the driver has hand throttle, clutch foot pedal, two levers to select gears and a ratchet lever for the hand brake.
Engine bay details added include the starter, alternator, and batteries, though the latter are separate for ease of painting. I've added some rivets from glue, though they may be a bit over-size. They aren't too obvious though, like those on the prototype.
Last week I was discussing the model with Chris Ford, and whether I could find a suitable driver. The next day he passed me some figures. As he'd predicted, the plastic figure was somewhat of a midget, but this whitemetal chap looks just right - though being so far from the wheelbase I was worried about weight distribution. In fact the engine, radiator, coupling and other castings make the front so heavy (OK the bonnet is stuffed with lead too) that the addition of the driver, even so far back, nicely puts the centre of gravity between the wheels. He's got a pin up is posterior though, to make sure he doesn't slip off the seat!