In 1966 Edgar Westbury wrote an article about steam fire engines for the "Model Engineer", covering many of the early types and including both the Merryweather and Shand Mason which came to pre-eminence in the field. By summer of the following year, there had been enough interest shown by readers for him to start serialisation of a design for the Shand Mason in 2 inch scale.
The series was written up through 1967 and covered the complete construction. Westbury was obviously being driven by some fairly dedicated builders who didn't permit him to cut many corners. Early on in the series, he wrote:
"My suggestion that it may be permissible to simplify the construction of the wheels of the engine by using castings in light alloy has not been well received by some readers... Wooden wheels, built up by traditional wheelwrights' methods, should properly be used, but they call for a high degree of specialised skill in shaping the multiplicity of parts..."
He acknowledged the co-operation of the South Kensington Science Museum in preparing his design and, with its authentic rendition of the fast-steaming water tube boiler, twin cylinder direct-coupled pumping engine and even indeed an option to build authentic wooden wheels, it has been acknowledged since as an authentic rendition of the prototype. That said, the fine work required of this scale, combined with the variety of skills needs working both metal and wood means that very few of them were ever built.
This model has been built to a high standard (including beautifully shaped and fitted wooden wheels!) and is unsteamed from new. The silver soldered copper water tube boiler is fed from an auxiliary cylinder on the main pump (very similar to the full size Merryweather fire pump I had a couple of years ago). The twin cylinder engine is directly coupled to a twin cylinder pump via Scotch cranks, the slide valves are actuated by eccentrics inboard of the flywheels. The crankshaft is of built-up construction - neither crankpin is a tight fit, which for display is of no consequence but would require a new dose of Loctite before setting out to extinguish many fires.
There is much nice detailing, the paint finish is well done and in as-new condition.
Length 22 inches