Friday, November 5, 2010


Many, many moons ago, I was given the book pictured above (may have been for my second birthday, may have been for Christmas, but it was many, many moons ago!). I ended up being a bit of an expert on the contents of the original 26 books (I am still spot on with titles and numbers, colour of covers and pretty good with which stories are in which books even now). It was almost inevitable that I would find out that the late Rev. W. Awdry was a train nut - and there is a "real" story behind the ones in the books - not just the real incidences on which the stories are based, but the "real" locomotives which inspired the tales.

Naturally readers of this blog will know this - Toby the tram engine being a great influence on my move to 2mm modelling.

The above photo shows the "fleet" soon after Dapol released "Stepney". While I am not a fan of the Dapol Mk 1s, as "Stepney" was one of them I made an exception - to date all is well but it hasn't been out of the box for almost a year so who knows...

The model of Thomas is a Langley E2/1 kit with the side tank extensions made from pasticard. Naturally they have now released the E2/2 so building the side tanks is no longer a problem. The "real" Thomas is a LBSCR E2/2 so this was easy. The Toby above is the BHE/Thameshead over scale one - until I get a move on and finish the 2mm Eveleigh etch, it will have to do. As for the rest - RTR in every case. Since this line up, Mavis has had a name put on.

Further progress was achieved last year with a Farish Compound being turning into an inside cylinder loco and painted blue. Since this photo the coal has been fixed, footplate painted grey and lined red and a 2 put on the tender. I still have to do the rest of the lining.

The most recent addition has been this repaint of an old Farish Black 5. The Fowler tender top was obtained via eBay and some progress has been made. Still need to do some work on the red, put a number on it and there is the odd touch up to do.

While I appreciate most of this will offend purists - and there are those who do turn their nose up at Thomas and co - the appearance of a 57xx or 14xx at a show will often elicit cries from small children of "look mum/dad - Duck!" (or Oliver depending!). I was most impressed at one show, soon after I purchased my first black Cl 04 shunter to have a small boy say to his mum "that looks like Mavis - but without the side plates". He would have been 5 maybe. So these engines are for the kids - the next generation of modellers. I know 2 who think they are great already.

The next task will be trains. I think I know what my old Farish Mk 1s might be doing soon...


  1. Oliver should have the shirtbutton version of the GWR logo. And it's kinda funny how you're using a Farish Black 5 for Henry. Hopefully it behaves better than Awdry's 00 scale one!

  2. Well Henry was rebuilt at Crewe after his derailment with the Flying Kipper so it is kind of appropriate. The loco is the old Poole chassis version with the very shiny wheels. I purchased a spare tender via eBay to put behind - the O gauge one in the TV series doesn't look right when compared with the illustrations in the books. It runs fine. Still haven't finished the lining nor put a number on it!! Must do that.

  3. These are fantastic,whatever became of them in the end?

    1. Still have them Alex. Haven't done much with them but hopefully they'll get a run during the next exhibition season in 2017.