Meet ‘arry the ‘unslet

The A1 Models Hunslet has progressed through the workshop and the engineering team tell me she’s finished. This is the first O9 loco, and the first brass kit, to come from the workshops.

The paint work is complete, the loco’s been weathered and the windows have been added.

When I look at the close up photos I see the windows have scratches and marks on them. This wasn’t intentional, but perhaps it makes the loco look more prototypical…

Eagle eyed readers may think this a “driverless loco”. Google haven’t invaded O9 modelling yet! I am recruiting a driver at the moment. Applications from experienced 7mm scale diesel drivers are most welcome. All applicants must be able to fit in the cab!

Obviously, the loco’s correct name is Harry. However, this Hunslet was built in Essex so it is known as ‘arry the ‘unslet.

The Hunslet Moves Forward

Work on the Hunslet is progressing and it has visited the paint shop.

The components were stuck together and held in place while the glue dried. I never thought a locomotive could look sorry for itself until I saw this one wrapped in elastic bands.

There was a small gap between the front of the body and the footplate that I filled with filler.

After a little sanding and repainting, it looked a lot better.

Now I need to repaint the footplate and frames, then I can varnish the Hunslet. Things are moving forward… slowly.

Preparing for the ‘Beccles’ Open Day

Wheel ClenaingMy layout, ‘First’, will be appearing at the Norfolk and Suffolk Narrow Gauge Modellers Open Day in Beccles on Saturday 4th of March. Full details of the Open Day: Here.

I’ve spent the morning cleaning loco wheels, checking point motors and running some trains. Everything seems to work, so I’m hoping (fingers-crossed) it will work well next weekend. I’ve really enjoyed ‘playing trains’ and I’m looking forward to a whole day operating the layout on Saturday.

These Open Days are always great fun and if you are in Beccles please say ‘Hello’, it would be nice to meet you…

Creating a Cab Interior

Cab DetailI’m adding more details to the O9 Hunslet loco I’m building. I’ve been focusing on the inside of the cab.

I made a small control board from scraps in my ‘bits box’. On the right, a brake lever (an old Fleischmann N gauge buffer and a piece of wire),¬† and on the left a throttle (part of a Peco N gauge coupling and a pin). I used a leather punch to cut two discs to represent gauges (in the middle). They are probably a bit too big but this is the smallest size on my leather punch.

Control Panel

To cover the Kato chassis I added part of a plastic medicine bottle. This wasn’t quite wide enough to cover the whole chassis so I added a small piece of plasticard to cover the part that was still visible. The other side will be at the rear of the cab and the gap wont be visible.

I created a gear lever from a scrap of plasticard and a pin. I’m finding that pins are surprisingly useful!


The seat is a little wonky, but the driver will mask this. Overall, I’m pleased with the result.

Now, where’s the primer?

With Driver

The Devil’s in the Detailing

Detailed ChassisThe Hunslet loco I’m building is the first thing I’ve tried to build in O9. When I looked at it I was struck by it’s size. It’s much bigger than a 009 locomotive. You can get away with minimal detailing on small 009 locos but I quickly realised a 7mm scale loco cries out for extra detail. So I set to work…

First I made some axle boxes with suspension springs. The springs were made from a 2mm diameter bolt. I filed one side of the bolt flat so that when I stuck it to the chassis it would look like part of the spring is underneath the loco. I created each axle box from three small pieces of plasticard.

Axel Boxes

To give the impression of bolts on the sole bars I added short pieces of 1mm diameter rod. I found it tricky to cut the pieces of rod to exactly the same length, but this can be fixed by filing the pieces of rod to a consistent height after they are in place on the chassis.

Here’s the body perched on the detailed chassis. Eagle eye readers will notice I have reduced the length of the chassis so that it matches the length of the loco body. I think it looks much more realistic like this.

Hunslet on ChassisNext, the cab interior… gulp!


Starting Simple Soldering

O9 HunsletThe boys in the Beds and Bucks group have been encouraging me to try building brass kits with solder. I had no idea where to start. Luckily David Gander lent me his soldering iron and taught me what to do.

As a simple starting point I brought an A1 Models O9 Hunslet loco. It seemed an easy place to start. A boxy loco with square joints, and plenty of room inside. First, I cut out the parts and bent them to shape.

Bending Brass

In one of the Beds and Bucks modelling meetings David took me through how to clean, flux, tin and solder the joints. In about 30 minutes we had something that looked like a locomotive.

Basic Loco

I finished the loco at home.

Finished Soldering

Soldering is easier than I expected. Also, it’s an instant joining technology. Melt the solder, remove the iron and the joint is set. There’s no waiting for glue to dry which is a nice change. Plus it’s reversible. If you get it wrong, melt the solder, separate the parts, clean things up and try again.

I’m putting too much solder on at the moment, but that can be cleaned off easily.

Cleaned Up Loco

I will definitely try more brass kits. I’ve found it a refreshing change. Many thanks to David for opening up a new area of modelling to me.

Meet Sprite

Sprite - Quarry HunsletI’ve always thought of sprites as spirited, slightly mischievous, creatures.

Sprite earned her name because she was a mischievous loco to build. I managed to break the body in several places while I was making this model. Plus, in a session of late night modelling, I added handrails to the sides of the cab – something that Quarry Hunslets never had. Oops. (Let’s imagine they were retrofitted!).

Sprite’s a J L Design¬†body, fitted to a Minitrains Stainz chassis, with Narrow Planet name plates. The red livery is Citadel Mephison Red, mixed with a little Ulthuan Grey to give the red an ‘aged’ look. She’s a nice little runner.

I almost gave up while building her. I’m pleased I didn’t.