The Langley Miniatures Model of 'Prince'
Back in the 1980's, I ventured into modelling in 009 scale. With the advent of recent releases from Bachmann and Peco, the scale has seen somewhat of a revival, so I thought I would dust off some 009 models from my previous 'dabblings' in the scale.
The locomotive described in this article is the Langley Miniature Models George England 'Prince' loco, the prototype of which, is found on the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales.
At the time of writing, I am aware that Peco, in partnership with the Japanese model railway manufacturer 'Kato' are planning to introduce the loco as a ready-to-run 009 model. I built this model back in 2007, long before the Peco/Kato model was even on the horizon.
Originally named 'The Prince' and renamed to 'Prince' in 1892, it was one of the original steam locomotives built for the Ffestiniog Railway (FR) in 1863. It was rebuilt on several occasions and continued in use, although much modified, until the 1930's.
When the FR closed in 1946 it was left in the works, part way through an overhaul. This allowed it to become the first steam locomotive rebuilt for use on the reopened railway in 1955. In the early years of the line's revival it was an important member of the locomotive fleet and was rebuilt to improve its usefulness. As train sizes have grown, it was used less but is still a regular performer on special trains.
Prince was named in honour of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII, 1840-1910) who had recently been married.
The full history of the locomotive can be found on Wikipedia.
I purchased this kit back in 2007 although today, it appears that Langley no longer manufactures 009 scale kits.
The kit requires the Ibertren 'Cuckoo' or a Fleischmann chassis to complete. I already had an Ibertren chassis so went with this as the kit seems to be designed for it, whereas it requires modifications to fit the Fleischmann chassis.
This kit is all white metal and I chose to glue it together using Superglue. The kit is supplied with steel wire for handrails and the instructions encourage bending this into holes on the body side but I chose to purchase Markits handrail knobs and fit these to obtain a more reallistic appearance than bent wire could give.
Even though it is a small model, it is made up of 37 pieces! The tender is a one-piece white metal casting, requiring only the chassis frame to be attached. I threw the wheels away because they wobbled badly. I replaced them with some spare Dundas wheels. The tender chassis could do with having proper bearings or even inside axle bearings as the castings were quite poor on one side.
The kit goes together quite well, but filing and some filling is necessary to ensure a smooth finish.
Livery and Painting
My 009 modelling tends to be somewhat 'freelance' and loosly SR based, so I chose to paint 'Prince' in a simple green livery with black chassis.
Being white metal, an undercoat was necessary, onto which I painted Railmatch BR loco green. Being farely uneven and having next to no guidance for any form of lining, I choose not to apply lining. If required, I would suggest that this is best done with transfers.
This kit is fairly primitive and has next to no fittings beyond whistles and handrails and even the former are white metal, requiring painting - which I did with a Humbrol brass paint. The spectacle window frames could benefit from being brass fittings but alas, they are also cast into the white metal and require hand painting with a brass coloured paint.
The Completed Model
By today's standards, I think white metal kits are rather crude, but if carefully filed, fitted together and painted, they can make up into reasonable models.
One major advantage of this model being white metal is that it has considerable weight and combined with the Ibertren chassis, it is actually a really good runner. It does still benefit from the use of a high frequency track cleaner such as Relco or Gaugemaster. I haven't fitted a DCC decoder, although there is probably sufficent space under the saddle and above the motor to fit an ESU Micro or similar.
This loco will service my 009 needs for many years to come.
Graham Plowman (Created 20/10/2020, modified on 22/10/2020 10:37:50 AM +11:00)