Our featured model this week is another of Himself's kitbashes.
The starting point for our model of the FR's diesel 'Criccieth Castle' (which was built at Boston Lodge in 1995 from a kit of parts bought from Baguley-Drewry's liquidator) is a Chivers Finelines whitemetal kit for sister locomotive 'Harlech Castle' running on a Grafar 08 chassis.
In recent years Farish have revamped their 08 with pukka outside frames and cranks but back when we made 'The Cric' the conversion had to be done the hard way, stripping down the chassis, replacing the axles, fashioning our own cranks, not to mention drilling into the chassis and creating a fourth axle and new rods for the jackshaft drive.
The alterations to the body were simple by comparison to the mechanics. The main difference between 'Criccieth Castle' and 'Harlech Castle' is the front bonnet which extends the full width of the locomotive, and is decorated with brass handrails and the go-faster grill with the whiskers.
We used the existing whitemetal structure as the base and bulked it out with styrene extensions and other details such as the grill and the exhaust.
Himself added more finishing touches including the buffer beam detail around the coupling, the windscreen wipers and the cab is flush glazed with each window cut out of styrene and fitted individually.
The model is most often seen on Dduallt doing what the real one was originally built for, operating in push-pull mode with the green & ivory InCa carriages.
'Criccieth Castle' has, however, been run to Beddgelert since the WHR was reopened so our model has many years of legitimate work ahead of it on the exhibition circuit on Bron Hebog.