By Rob Guinness

In this Model of the Month we showcase a recently completed example of the Association of 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers’ “Victory” locomotive. With many members now under way building their own locomotives, we thought it might inspire those in the middle of construction, or about to start, to see a finished example. As Rob states below his previous experience at locomotive building is limited, but he found the build well within his capabilities. Read on to find out how he went about it….


Built in Mersey Lodge, the company’s workshop, Madog & Mersey Railway’s Victory class No 11 “Mawlag” recently entered service and has visited a few local lines.

Mawlag at Bryn Madog Yard

My engineering skills are rudimentary at best. Previous experience consists of assembling a Mamod kit many years ago, and more recently building a Baldrig body and a Swift 16 Owain. I found building Victory well within my limited capabilities, and the successful outcome is a testament to Keith Dyer’s design work. The instructions were well presented, although I did find a few typographical errors. However, email support from Alan Regan was helpful and reassuring.

With this in mind, I have no great tips to offer, but a few observations may encourage others to make a start.

Victory 2
Mawlag at Bryn Madog Yard

A few tips and suggestions…

The following tips and tricks may be useful when building the locomotive:

  • The early builder notes are a valuable addition, and are worthy of close study – see the Association Locomotive pages. Care taken with making the jigs will be rewarded.
  • Adding the body rivet detail strips was made easier by using solder paste.
  • A spring is fitted to the pony truck, after the Colin Edwards method, (page 2 of the early builder notes) and it’s also ballasted with lead cast in situ. A sort of mould was made by wedging wood blocks between the truck sides.
  • A water top-up valve was fitted using a Train Department (eBay) part, with an extra brass disc drilled through and silver soldered on top. The disc was then turned down gradually until it made a close fit in the sand dome.

Cab spectacle plates

Close up of modified spectacle plate

Perhaps the most obvious additions are the cab spectacle plates. These were added because I don’t really like open cabs.The plates were made from 0.9mm sheet brass, initially marked out using the kit cab parts as a guide. Roundhouse Millie spectacle rims were then positioned and marked for hole cutting. The outline was then cut and filed to shape, allowing about 2mm all round, to fit within the cab corner bracing. The plates were then lightly soldered into the recess. The rims were superglued in after painting.

Finishing Touches

A DJB whistle is on order, for fitting to the front spectacle plate. It is also hoped to move the lubricator and fit an under floor drain cock, as I have done with my other Roundhouse locos. Finally, name and number plates were supplied by Narrow Planet. The name MAWLAG has a Welsh flavour, but is actually an acronym of Mersey And West Lancs Area Group, which I administer.

Mawlag on the Hope Mountain Railway

Video Clips

Mawlag appears in some of the video clips on my YouTube channel – “madogmersey”.

The video below shows Mawlag in various stages of its build from testing a rolling chassis to hauling trains

Rob Guinness
Madog & Mersey Railway