I made an impulse purchase in Hull. One of these:
Well, the price was as good as anything you find online, if not better, so why not indulge myself with an early Christmas present?
These outside frame Farish 08's have become very popular with OO9 modellers, especially when combined with RT Models range of etched brass valve gear to fit on it.
But the question is what to use it for?
For a while now I've intended to (get Himself to) build a replacement Mountaineer adding valve gear and some fake bar frames.
Our existing Alco has a very nice body, with the cab re-profiled to the current Fairlie-style outline, but it runs on an inside frame Arnold chassis with tiny wheels and, frankly the whole thing looks very toy train.
I've already got an unmade GEM kit in stock because I'd prefer to build it around the Farish chassis rather than attempt to hack the old one about.
Now, however, I'm beginning to have some doubts.
For one thing the Alco is currently sitting out of use, and although there are and increasing number of FR supporters making a noise about getting it going again for its centenary it's very much at the bottom of the railway's priority list - and with Lyd and the Ladies around there's no shortage of medium-sized locomotives on the FR.
What's more, although Mountaineer had two spells working out of Dinas on the WHR in the early days of the restoration it never got further south than Waunfawr. So it really would be modeller's licence for it to turn up at Beddgelert.
So can I justify another Alco when instead we could use the chassis on one of these?
In Fiji's favour is that it has made a number of trips to Beddgelert - when it was the FR's favourite plaything last summer - and it would certainly look interesting on the layout.
On the other hand we would have to completely scratch build the body. (I'd probably even attempt the bodywork myself if Himself handled the mechanicals) It would be an entertaining project, but it could be quite time consuming.
What should we do?