Sold February 2005 Back to Archive

3 inch scale Fowler B5 Showmans engine - stock code 2468

A well-advanced three inch scale model of the Fowler B5 Road Locomotive, a large 8nhp engine in full size weighing in at 23 tons. The model is correspondingly large, similar in size to a smaller four inch scale model.

The work so far is the product of a prolific builder with six large-scale engines to his credit thus far. This engine was being built as one of a pair - the other engine in crane engine form which I sold last year - and represents seven years spare time work thus far. Other projects currently in his workshop include a 6 inch scale steam wagon and a 2 inch scale Ruston tractor.

I would put this engine at something over 85% complete, with all the difficult jobs and expenditure safely behind it. Work to date includes:

Wheels complete with bonded on rubber tyres, brass hub caps
Professionally-built steel boiler by H.Holt, expanded in tubes, initial 400 psi hydraulic test certificate, welder's certificate
Completed stainless steel grate and fabricated ashpan
Pair fusible plugs, boiler blowdown valve
Cylinder block machined, valve faces and ports machined, pistons and rings fitted, glands and drain cocks
Guide bars and crossheads erected
Weighshaft bracket part-machined, complete with weighshaft, reach-rod lever and lifting links
Connecting rods with split & cottered big ends, crankshaft fitted complete with flywheel
All steering gear finished and fitted
Smokebox, smokebox door, locking handles and chimney with copper cap
All gears professionally cut, differential assembled
Tender complete and fitted
Brake gear made and fitted
Belly tanks complete and fitted, complete with water lifter
Pressure gauge fitted and Barker 3-cock water gauge fitted
Injector fitted with all plumbing and boiler clack
Winch drum with fairleads fitted
Gear selector and reversing levers rough-machined in stainless steel
Boiler feed pump machined and erected, ram requires packing. Clack valve finished ready for fitting to boiler.
Gear guards made and fitted

Many model "compounds" are built as simple expansion engines - it makes building easier and a lower working pressure can be used, but the finished engine doesn't have the characteristic booming compound exhaust note. This engine and boiler have been built for true compound working, using a cylinder casting produced from the builder's own patterns.

Work to complete includes fitting the block to boiler, machining slide valves, making and fitting motion work. Castings are included for eccentric straps and sheaves. There is a complete commerically-made cylinder lubricator, a quantity of small parts, two lengths of twisted brass "Olivers" for the canopy stays, paint and a set of drawings.

Although currently under build as a Showmans engine, it could easily be converted into road locomotive form, either with a short canopy or none at all. In this form it is big enough be driven from a seat on the tender like a 4 inch scale model - I've had a sit on the back and the front wheels stay very firmly in contact with the ground!

Length 68 inches
Height 38 inches
Width 24 1/2 inches
Rear wheel 23 1/2 inch diameter
Front wheel 16 inch diameter
Flywheel 13 1/2 inch diameter
Weight when completed approx 600 pounds

scale 3 inch