Iain Rice's 3mm and 4mm locos

by Iain Rice

This is a scratchbuilt 3mm scale model of a 'Churchward County' in later condition, with standard 'big' 3500 gallon tender. The loco is destined for Howard Love's layout in France, where it will assume the personna of 'County of Bedford'. Not the easiest of subjects in any scale, in 3mm/12mm gauge these engines are PIGS. 'Bedford' has a 1024 Mashima motor driving a High Level 'Minimiser' 54:1 gearbox and Sharman 'millimetre series' wheels. The buffers, chimney and tender axleboxes are castings from 3mm Scale Model Railways, but everything else is scratchbuilt.

Getting the loco correctly weighted was tricky – it's 3-point compensated on 'Flexi-chas' principles with a loaded tender bearing on the rear. There is weight in the front of the boiler, under the cab floor and in the tender. At least it now sits on the track without doing a nose-down, but we have yet to see what it will pull and how reliable the pick-up is. Currently, it's in the paintshop.


Here is 'Small Metro' No. 1495 built to P4 standards. This is the first loco to be completed for my pet P4 GW project, a model of Chagford's erstwhile station as it really might have been if the proposals of the 1883 Exeter, Teign Valley and Chagford Railway Act had come to fruition. Suitable motive power includes a 'Small Metro' like this – with examples shedded at Exeter and Newton Abbot and used on the nearby Moretonhampstead branch before the Kaiser's war. The model is of 1893-built GWR No.1495 as running c.1907 with A0 Dean boiler and original flush-riveted tanks with rear-mounted fillers – to my eyes, these engines at their most comely.


Collett '1366 class' No. 1369, actually earning its keep on Trerice, my P4 minimum-space china-clay branch layout. 1369 marries a scratchbuilt superstructure with a Peter K etched chasssis from the excellent 1361 kit (got one of those in the wings, too...). She has 3-point 'Flexi-chas' compensation with a Mashima 1224 motor driving the fixed rear axle via Ultrascale 38:1 gears. Wheels are Sharman's, buffers are Gibson and everything else was scratchbuilt about ten years ago. A favourite prototype.


Here are the clay dries at Trerice, with BR-built 16xx lightweight pannnier No. 1624 undertaking a little light shunting. 1624 was built in very short order as an extra engine to take to exhibitions, and uses the old (but good) Cotswold body kit on a scratchbuilt chassis. I always liked these baby panniers, which I knew well from childhood Cornish holidays; there were several at St Blazey for working the dodgier clay branches, so she's an apposite choice.

No. 1624 has frames fretted from 20thou. nickel, and is fitted with my customary 3-point Flexi-chas compensation. Power comes from a 1224 Mashima via a 60:1 High Level 'Load Hauler' gearbox; wheels are the usual Sharmans. In spite of being rather thrown together in a week of evenings, 1624 has turned out slow and powerful and completely unphased by Trerice's corkscrew trackwork. Just like the prototype, in fact.

You can see a few more scenes from Trerice in the Layouts section.