[Assumes the voice of Ringo Starr] Thomas had been a very useful engine. He had six small wheels, a short stumpy funnel, a short stumpy boiler and a short stumpy dome. After many years he was worn out and placed at the back of the shed. But the railway was busy and so the Fat Controller sent him to Crewe for a rebuild… And here our story resumes. Although brought up on Awdry’s work, I never much cared for the Hornby versions, being raised on Finescale, sensible speeds* and the small matter of things like brakegear. Now, with a resident small person and a full spares box and, more to the point the chassis from one of Bob Alderman’s early EM locos, a Jinty, knocking around, the time has come to make a model Thomas which, in my world at least, will be a ‘proper’ loco that just happens to have a face. I’m not sure Thomas knows what’s about to hit him so nervous readers should look away now. I kid myself that this is really for Gwilym, but mostly, Thomas is here to appease my desire for a bit of whimsy and so here are the raw ingredients: An old Hornby body A few assorted bits from the spares box: Wheels Frames (Gibson, I think) Spare Fowler chimney (Brassmasters) Caley buffers from LMS Safety valves (shown in the books, missed by Hornby) Some etched steps (Mainly Trains, probably) Brake shoes (again, Mainly Trains) As a concession to appearances, I’ve bought some nice new rods from LMS, too. The question is how far should I go and how seriously should I take this. Right now, I have no idea. It’ll be EM, of course. Adam *NB – Yeovil MRG already has an EM Thomas, but that’s clockwork, extremely fast, and once scandalised Mike Sharman. This one will serve for my amusement.