By Alan Price
“Sunbury” is my first attempt at building a steam loco. I came across this loco, one of three identical 0-4-2 side tank locomotives from Kerr Stuart, ordered by the Metropolitan Water Board in London in 1914 and delivered in 1916.
I am no engineer and had no access to anything apart from “ordinary” modeller’s tools, and so I decided to utilize a Roundhouse chassis etc. The next step was to obtain drawings and photos, which came from Alain Foote, who was at the time building a 7¼” scale model.
I scaled the drawings on my computer, and compared them with the Billy chassis. It was clear that compromises would have to be made, starting with stretching the chassis. A Lady Anne boiler was used, but with the standard filler valve blocked off, and filling the boiler via the safety valve, as on my other Roundhouse loco.
Cutting the Billy frames as the start of construction was nerve-racking, but when I made the pony truck (it actually required a second attempt, as the first was too high) I began to think I could actually make this loco! All sorts of bits and pieces were used in its construction – bits of brass (for a new higher smokebox saddle) – and bits of old biro (for a mock safety valve, and for the buffer springs).
The chassis ran smoothly on its first run, much to my amazement and credit to Roundhouse for their engineering. The next step was to make a card mock-up of the body – it was beginning to look like a loco, now. The mock-up helped me plan the way I would cut and solder the brass sheet (the latter with a lot of help from my friend Nigel).
For various reasons, the painting stage took many months. There is no definitive colour scheme for these locos, just a general description and an artist’s impression. I tried lining it myself at first, but soon decided to let Lightlines do a proper job. She looks great, but I rather suspect the colour scheme is not quite right. When I have enough money, perhaps I’ll try again!!!