Time, I think, to feature another locomotive on Model Of The Week and I've chosen the FR's recently-returned workhorse 'Linda'.
Linda and her sister Blanche have been on the FR for so long now (it'll be 50 years for Linda next year) that I've begun to consider them as 'native' engines like the Englands and Fairlies.
I've got a couple of reasons for wanting to feature Linda now. One is that this model will be retired in the coming months when a replacement, built from a brass Backwoods kit, comes into service. (You can read the latest entry about this project here)
There is a second reason why Linda is on my mind at the moment but I'm afraid you'll have to wait a while for me to tell you about that - it's top secret.
This Linda is mostly made from a whitemetal Parkside Dundas kit. I say 'mostly' because 20 years ago when she was constructed the only kit available was for Linda (and Blanche or Charles) was in original Penrhyn condition, ie. no tender.
So how did we go about making a tender for Linda? We did exactly what the FR did - we adapted one from an England engine, in this case a Langley 'Prince' kit. We widened the sides of the tender by building them up with styrene and dug out the whitemetal casting of the coal and replaced it with the oil tank.
The other obvious alteration was the retro-fitting of outside frames / cranks. This was done by disassembling the Ibertren chassis and replacing the original axles with longer ones, hand-filing and drilling a set of cranks and fitting them onto the ends and then slipping a false frame, made of very thin styrene, behind in the cranks and in front of the wheels.
This arrangement served both Ladies very well until Blanche dropped her knickers in spectacular - and terminal - style at an exhibition earlier this year (read the sorry tale here).
This event prompted Himself to resume work on a pair of Backwoods Miniatures kits which had been languishing in a drawer for too many years.
Blanche is now finished (see here) while Linda is awaiting her new dome which is being turned up for us with the safety valves on the top which will be correct for her intended livery - the Midnight Blue she wore in the mid-1990's.
The wheel has come full-circle on the real railway with Linda returning to service this summer once again sporting FR green, once again making our model correct.
Here's another shot of her double-heading with 'Mountaineer' on Dduallt.