Flying Scotsman Issues 31, 33 and 34 – Cab Backhead and Controls

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Building the Hachette Flying Scotsman

As mentioned in the previous post, Hachette cocked up the original backhead supplied with issue 16. As promised, the replacement cast part arrived with issue 30, and new instructions for fitting it out were in issues 31, 33 and 34.

It feels as though I spent as long in this section has I have for the entire rest of the build so far. That’s not really true, but I did take my time in researching how to build it and how best to proceed.

I couldn’t find a single image online of the Flying Scotsman cab take in or around 1928. Not a single one! I even bought the DVD of the 1929 film The Flying Scotsman (Amazon affiliate link) which featured the engine in the exact era I’m modelling, and even though there are a few scenes set in the cab, you don’t really get a good look at it. So I decided to just proceed as instructed by Hachette, and trust that what they suggest is accurate.

That said, one change I made was to use copper wire for the various pipes, instead of using the supplied brass and painting it. The wire came from Pinnacle Model Supplies who were exhibiting at a model show I went to at Cosford this past weekend, and I’m very happy I choose to use it.

The diameters of the wire I bought were 0.4mm, 0.7mm and 1.0mm. They come supplied as a roll of copper, which isn’t ideal for using for something like this. Fortunately, the 0.4mm and 0.7mm wires can easily be straightened by grabbing both ends of a length of it with pilers and pulling. The 1.0mm wire is too thick (or I’m too wimpy) for that to work well, so you’ll notice the right-most wire on the backhead isn’t perfectly straight. I’ll try and fix that up. The wires are all attached to the backhead and fittings using superglue.

Here is the not-quite finished result :

It's not perfect, but pretty impressive I think!
It’s not perfect, but pretty impressive I think!

There are a couple of parts still to fit from a future issue, and I am going to print the gauges for the various dials. I’m going to also try and improve the appearance of the sight glasses (the things painted white), as they would actually be toughened glass with a gauge stuck to the rear. I’m not quite sure how to do that, I’m thinking about cutting the sight glasses out and replacing it with some clear plastic, with either a printed gauge on the rear, or just the rear painted white.

Some of the paint may need a bit of touching up, but I’ll probably wait until towards the end of the overall build to worry about that. I also need to remove the cat hair that is on the fire door!

The various valves and fittings attached to the backhead are white metal, whilst the handwheels are photoetched brass. I painted both in Vallego’s Green Gold paint from their Liquid Gold range, which was actually a very close match to the brass etches.

I bought a set of the Liquid Gold paints last year, and this is the first time I’ve used them. The pigment (well, the actual metal flakes) in the Green Gold paint had all settled and clumped together at the bottom of the bottle. I bought some marine-quality stainless steel ball bearings, also from Pinnacle, for use as a paint agitator. Putting one of those in the bottle, and using a toothpick to start mixing the paint worked pretty well. Oddly, it seems only the gold paints in the series have this problem, the copper and silver paints mixed much more easily.

Here is the backhead sitting in what I have of the cab so far. I’ve fitted some rivets and a handrail since I last posted about the cab, details of that are coming up once I’ve finished adding those and tidied the cab up.

Note the handrail and rivets on the left side of the cab.
Note the handrail and rivets on the left side of the cab.
Series Navigation<< Flying Scotsman Issues 16, 21, 29 and 30 – Throw Them Away