Sold May 2024 Back to Archive

3 1/2 inch gauge GWR "Achilles" class 4-2-2 - stock code 11738

2nd April 2004 - we are indebted to Stephen Harrison for supplying further information about this fine model, including the name of the builder, boiler certification and history.

A 3 1/2 inch gauge GWR Dean single No.3071 "Emlyn". A beautifully built model of a supremely handsome design, workmanship is to an exceptional standard throughout.

The design dates back to 1891, originally as a 2-2-2 - a class of thirty engines were built at that time, the first eight being gauge convertible from broad to standard gauge. All were subsequently rebuilt as 4-2-2s.

A further batch of engines were built to the 4-2-2 design, including No.3071 "Emyln" which entered service in 1898. The engine was withdrawn only 16 years later, in 1914 - by the end of the First World War all had been scrapped, none surviving in preservation.

The model was built in 1951 by Mr J.H.Balleny - older readers who grew up reading and re-reading LBSC's seminal "Simple Model Locomotive Building - Introducing Tich" will remember its black and white plates showing notable completed examples of the design - including one built by the very same Mr Balleny, featured both inside and on the front cover.

The chassis runs nicely on air in either direction despite the drain cocks being stuck open - it will run even better when they can close.

We have an expired club boiler certificate, dated January 1983 (and valid for ten years in those days).

On hydraulic test at twice working pressure the boiler appeared structurally sound with no sign of deflection or visible leaks from inside the firebox or smokebox, however there is a steady, persistent drip from under the boiler cladding which would require its removal to investigate further. The boiler was originally silver soldered with calked stays - we suspect that the soft solder has broken down on one or more of these, which will require recalking.

In view of the engine's age, condition - and inevitable damage to paintwork concomitant with lifting the boiler - we've elected not to do that, it's currently bringing its own special septuagenarian charm to a sideboard not a million miles from these works...

Complete with a pair of purpose-built carrying boxes.

Interesting snippet - in addition to being a model engineer of rare ability, Mr Balleny was obviously also something of a vintage car enthusiast, his correspondence in "Motor Sport" of 1943 detailing manuals available in the Birmingham Technical Reference Library for marques including Lagonda, Alvis and Bentley.

gauge 3 1/2 inch
length/inches 26 + 19
width/inches 6 1/2
height/inches 11
weight/kg 17 + 6.5
wheel material cast iron
axlebox type plain bearing
cylinder material gunmetal
valve type slide
valve gear Stephensons
reverser type pole
injector(s) 1
boiler number 547
year built 1951
boiler maker J.H.Balleny
CE mark n/a non-commercial
working pressure/psi 75
boiler type locomotive
boiler material copper
boiler construction silver soldered, nutted and calked firebox
safety valve(s) 1
safety valve type Salter
mechanical pump 1
hand pump 1