Earlier in the year I mentioned starting on a model of one of the Thakeham Hudson Hunslets, using the Nonnesminstre kit as a basis. I'd prepared a motor bogie, and assembled the frames and footplate. In July I managed to take measurements of the prototype thanks to the helpful folks at Amberley.
Then, out of the blue, I was asked if I could take Thakeham Tiles to EXPO-NG as another layout had pulled out. Since Thakeham was built for the EXPO Dave Brewer challenge three years ago I'm delighted that the organisers think it worthy of showing again, in it's own right, as it were. However it struck me that if I was going to build a Thakeham loco to run on the layout, now is the time!
So the dimensions were translated to a scale drawing, albeit at 1:40 scale to match the kit (slightly over scale for 1:43) and a couple of tweeks to match the kit frames. Then it was time to start cutting plasicard to see if I could get the cab looking right. I find calipers invaluable for marking up plastic; as well as setting and transferring measurements, they can score a faint mark which with pencil rubbed in, becomes the cutting guide.
The cab sides are 20 thou plastic with the roof, floor, front, and rear from 40 thou. The windows were a challenge, the beading is formed from micostrip, which is then shaped with a fine blade and emery paper to give a rounded appearance. It's a little over-scale but they are a distinctive feature so needed to be present. Glazing has been cut to fit, and put away for later. Getting the tapered front to the cab to fit together was tricky too.
The next challenge is the bonnet. The prototype has an extended bonnet from the original loco, so the kit component wouldn't work. An inverted tray was made from 40 thou plastic, with a triple layer top for shaping, and internal bracing. Once the curve looked right, a sheet of 10 thou plastic was fitted over, warm water helping the shaping. As with the prototype this finishes short of the cab, sitting on the fuel tank.
So the outline shape comes together, so far it looks OK but there are a lot of details to add. Nothing is assembled yet.
As a reminder, here's the prototype. You can see how open the internals are, with just some linkages and cables filling the space behind the engine, which adds to the challenge of a convincing model!