By John Ely

In this Model of the Month John Ely builds a rather fine electrically powered kit of the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway’s Yeo…

Yeo at Parbrook


My layout, the Gravelye and Westlands Railway runs a regular service and “electrics” tend to see more use than steam for those odd few minutes I have here and there. I have been building up a large stock of L&B vehicles for some time and the Accucraft Baguley Drewry has looked fairly incongruous with these vehicles! At the National Garden Railway Show at Peterborough in 2013 I took the plunge and bought a kit from Garden Railway Specialists for around £600. It sat around waiting and in the winter last year I set about building the kit.

L&B Yeo
Yeo at Westlands Station

Kit construction

The kit is more complete than most. The chassis parts are nice and chunky and well made. The driving wheels are Slaters with steel tyres and the body is a one piece resin casting so it looked simple on the face of it. As it turned out, lots of patience was required and a “fortnight build” was not the name of the game.

Certain items I disposed of, namely the safety valve tubes, pony truck wheels and the (awful) four piece chimney. The replacement tubes I made from brass, the wheels were replaced with 28mm diameter and Paul Bailey at DJB Engineering provided the lovely new chimney casting.

There was only one real error in the kit and this was the motor width. It was too wide and I had to file down the gear shafts to fit the motor between the wheels. Do measure and check before the wheels are forced home (unlike me who had to prise them off again).

Scratch built details

In order to make a convincing model I chose to add several scratch-built details. The roof I replaced as the original was not long enough, the cab side sheets were extended forward and I made all the vacuum and steam heating pipework and accessories. These were quite tedious at times but the results were extremely satisfying.

Scratch built detailing parts

Painting and Finishing

Finishing this model is daunting but again well worth some patient work. I bought an airbrush and compressor package from Eileen’s emporium and enjoyed spraying several coats of precision paint. I was lucky to meet Ian Rathbone who was demonstrating the use of a “Haff” bow pen at Warley. I rushed off to buy one from the German manufacturers and this turned out to be one of the best tool investments I have ever made. I found it relatively easy to use with a steady hand. I look forward to working on more models with this pen and improving my technique.

Essential tools: lining pen (top) and airbrush (bottom)

Broadside view of Yeo showing lining detail

Yeo with L&B goods train


Electronics are made simple by purchasing a Mac V controller from Brian Jones. He also supplies the plugs, switches, cut out and suppressor. I have learnt two painful lessons with this loco

1 Always fit a suppressor between the motor terminals. This protects the controller from being damaged by the motor.
2 Use a twenty cell smart Charger and not the more common fourteen cell variety. Sixteen AA batteries in series need a powerful charger.

Insides of Yeo exposed


This model has surpassed my expectations and it is a pleasure to drive around the layout for seemingly endless laps!

Yeo approaching Gravelye

Through the cutting

Yeo at Gravelye Station

Yeo at Gravelye Station

Resources used in this project

Note: listing of the following suppliers does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the Association

Garden Railway Specialists L&B Manning Wardle 2-6-2T 32mm version:
DJB chimney intended for Accucraft Lew:
Controller Mac V and charger: Email: Website:

Nameplates by Guilplates: Tel. 01483 565980
Lining pen by Haff
Air brush package
Book: A modeller’s handbook of painting and lining by Ian Rathbone