Ok mullet wearers, here’s a poptastic 80’s child for you. It’s an Airfix 14xx body with a Perceverance chassis underneath. Made in the era of Kylie, wads of yuppie cash, XR3i’s and mobile Motorola phones the size of house bricks for the upwardly mobile, it’s one of my early chassis efforts and I’m still pretty pleased with it.
It was my first compensated chassis, in EM gauge and like the Craftsman 02 I’m currently working on, of it’s time. Power is provided by a Portescap motor and gearbox, driving Ultrascale wheels. The build was straightforward and simple, the design giving beam compensation onto the rear axle, pickup collection provided by phosphor bronze wire bearing on the rear of the drivers. It was a valuable learning experience, getting wheels quartered, the horn blocks aligned and working smoothly with the adjustments needed to find the perfect ‘sit’ of the chassis to make optimal use of the compensation.
The body has had quite a makeover, new chimney, dome, smoke box door, backhead, and Autotrailer gear, all from the Riceworks range. Unfortunately with the closure of Mainly Trains these components may no longer be available. I think London Road models may have some of Rice’s though.
Looking at the model today I can see areas where I could improve my efforts, I’ve got far better at working plastic and metal together, see the Bachmann/Brassmasters Jinty above. The 14xx’s dome and chimney could do with re-seating and the top feed pipes reworked for a start. In the next day or do a Hattons 58xx will arrive, for conversion to a Forest of Dean 14xx, and it will be intriguing to see how the pair, my 14xx and Hattons model, stand back to back. Hopefully, with initial overviews at Hattons a week or so ago giving me some confidence, my next 14xx will be plug and play with just a number change and minor detail variations to attend to.
So as I wave goodbye to my daughter off to martial arts I wonder where the time has gone! The 14xx is nearly twice her age. I’ve photographed the locomotive, edited the picture, and written, edited and posted this piece from my phone, to her that’s ‘meh’, to us is it ‘meh’ yet, or still something to measure how far we’ve come?
On that note I’ll leave you with thoughts of Kylie, PWL, yuppies, and Guards Red 911’s.
Mostly Kylie though…