NZR A Class Locomotive
Northyard 1:64 Kitset
9th December 2019 - 3rd June 2020
At the moment I seem to be mostly building kitsets that my father bought over the years, but never started. He was a great Dad and I feel that finishing these models is a way for me to celebrate his memory by finishing something he always wanted to. He spent endless hours with me when I was growing up, and it's time for these models to see the light of day in their turn.
The Northyard A Class kitset was, from memory, a real step-up for those modelling 1:64th scale New Zealand Railways. The kit appeared on our living room table, some time in the '80s. Every few years, Dad would take it down from the top shelf where it lived, and peer inside at all the bits and pieces. The box become tattered with its many openings-and-closings, but it was otherwise untouched.
Last year, I decided to make a start on it. I was lucky enough to be sent a treasure-trove of prototype photos, including a lot of detail shots of the frame, the valve gear, the brakes, and piping. This amazing resource made me think I should put in some extra effort, and add more detail.
The kit could be beautiful right out of the box, but the loco frame was just a simple one-piece casting, with fixed axle slots. It precisely located the drivers and added weight, but I thought traction over uneven ground might suffer, and the solid block wouldn't look as prototypical as a plate frame. I'd never scratch-built a frame before but, what the hell...