I've been pondering for a while whether our venerable 'Prince' is a fit and proper subject for a Model Of The Week post? I've decided to include it though, because the intention when I began was that this would build into a kind of online stockbox, and we all start our modelling somewhere, don't we? There's no shame in a 20 year old model that continues to give sterling service on the exhibition circuit, even if it doesn't look as good as the latest stuff.
Prince was our second 009 model. It's a Langley whitemetal kit on an Ibertren chassis - which is now powered by a Mashima motor. There are two main issues with the Langley kit. I believe it's supposed to represent Prince as he first ran under the new administration in the 1950's, so almost every part of the locomotive is undersize to represent the modern Prince, which emerged from Boston Lodge after a rebuild in 1980 not so much a Small England but an England-on-steroids!
As well as being too small all round the cab roof is the wrong shape - it shouldn't turn down so much at each side, even on the 1950's Prince the roof profile was flatter.
The other challenge is the quality of the whitemetal castings. The loco body is divided along the centre in two big castings each with half a smokebox, saddle tank and cab. The problem we've always found - and we've built three of these kits - is that one half has usually shrunk more than the other, sometimes failing to match up by as much as 1mm.
Our Prince represents the locomotive as running in the early 1990's with the obtrusive large capacity oil tanks in the tender (which have since been removed in favour of a much more subtle arrangement.
For me the weakest aspect of the model is the lining, which was done by hand by Himself with a bow pen two decades ago. Many times I have considered nagging him into dunking it in paint stripper and doing it again with some fine waterslide lining. What prevented this more recently was the purchase of a Mercian etched brass kit for the England engines which was intended to replace our faithful 'Old Gent'. But to date Himself hasn't got any further than soldering together a tender before getting distracted by NGG16's, Lyd and all the carriages that I keep sending down from Scotland for painting.
So our old Prince carries on in frontline service, bless it.