I recently had sent to me via the good offices of Iain Smith the BHE kit for the LNER J52 (which was a GNR something before this but I don't remember what it was) and, being a bit over transfers, I made a start on it.
First off, I was very surprised at the simplicity of it all. Maybe I have done too many etched kits recently but this one comes in 6 bits. Footplate with buffers cast as one piece, smokebox, boiler, cab, and ancillary bits (chimney et al) as one piece and a pair of forward footsteps and a pair of cab footsteps - that is it.
Like most white metal kits, there was a fair bit of flash and what not along with some moulding lines - all easily removed with a chisel blade in the craft knife handle. The whole lot has been given a wash and a polish and in the photo the two main castings are just sitting un-glued at this time.
To date, the modifications include drilling the chimney so it has a hole, drilling the cab spectacles (I have to work out how to thin them) and removing the cast coal from the bunker - this will end up with real coal in due course.
I have a couple of dilemmas - first up is powering it. The kit is designed for the Farish GP Tank - or 94xx - chassis. I haven't found drawings yet (but I haven't looked either) but I suspect these will show me the kit is "wrong" dimensionally (although I usually figure if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck). Further, as this is really for St Alban's Abbey, not St Alban's Priory, it needs to get a 2mm FS chassis under it. I am sure a solution to power will present itself.
Next problem is livery - the GNR livery appeals (which would mean it trundles around with something as yet un-decided LNWRish) as does the LNER. I have a photo of 68878 in BR black with early crest at St Alban's Abbey on the 30th of April 1955 at one end of a RCTS special - a LNWR Super D is at the other. So the livery decision is also a bit clouded. The solution maybe to prevail on Iain to see if he can get me a second one at some stage...