Beeson Fowler tank

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by warren haywood, 13 January 2021 at 18:20.

  1. warren haywood

    warren haywood Western Thunderer

    Ive been asked to strip and repaint this early Beeson model.
    The original Beeson cellulose paintwork had been over painted with a brush many years ago.
    The model was built in 1932 and is made of tinplate. Although discoloured and rusty looking the metal is still very smooth. The quality of the platework really has to be seen to be appreciated but it’s so true and square.
    The model is made for 3rail running with coarse scale wheels.
    That motor looks like a ray gun from star track.

    I’m sure it may interest one or two on here.
    I will post a picture of the completed model

    D032EBEC-F7B1-41A5-91DA-039CCC8D1511.jpeg 81AC6424-6884-4270-915A-1D42A91ADCE8.jpeg
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  2. J_F_S

    J_F_S Active Member

    Many thanks for posting this - very interesting.

    I am intrigued by the bit of gubbins ahead of the motor - do I guess right in thinking that it actuates the reversing shaft?

    Looking forward to seeing more - would you be able to post photos of the inside of the body please?

  3. warren haywood

    warren haywood Western Thunderer

    The circular attachment at the front is to switch the model from 2 to 3 Rail operation. As can be seen there is a control wire which passes along the body and out of the rear of the cab.
    It may not be visible in the pictures but Beesons marking out lines from when the metal was cut can still be seen.

    4D19598C-2640-4606-80F8-C944B5BC872A.jpeg C41DF4F6-C400-40E1-8053-96A03FD8B0DC.jpeg 02B247E8-1286-4E12-822B-7B3D41513CBD.jpeg 519C4693-3654-415C-B1B1-ADEA4AEDF1A0.jpeg 55046977-642D-4A16-ABF4-C7F1482D7724.jpeg ECEDBA02-83C2-4BE2-B44F-A5204CC428D2.jpeg D7D17BED-FF00-4515-BA16-76D46ECCF6FB.jpeg
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  4. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Tinplate was common for model engines, but I'd be interested in your view as a painter Warren. Paint sometimes doesn't adhere to brass very well, but steel rusts ..

  5. warren haywood

    warren haywood Western Thunderer

    I use a home brewed etching primer which sticks to anything. The tin plate is absolutely fine.
    Regarding brass, I have no problems, i just make sure it’s clean. Viakal is my first choice of cleaner, just keep greasy fingers off it after final clean
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  6. Tim Watson

    Tim Watson Western Thunderer

    Whenever you look at a Beeson locomotive the first thought is that if there is any variance from the prototype, then the real thing must be wrong.

    Rob R likes this.
  7. J_F_S

    J_F_S Active Member

    Many thanks for the clarification - I wondered why the gear was in reverse, but then it is a tank after all ... and for the excellent photos - very interesting to see how he did things. I spoke to him on the phone about 1975 to ask if he could supply a set of his whitemetal-spoked wheels; indeed he could, but his waiting list was four-years long ... and apparently he was usually late!

    Looking forward to seeing it complete.

    Just on the tinplate thing, I have many magazines from the post-war period and it is noticeable that very few people used brass - in the absence of N/S, tin plate was the metal of choice. Brass condusts heat a bit too well. I think it is only since "etched brass" kits came along that it has found favour. I hate it and only use N/S - even when I am having it etched!

    Beeson is quoted as saying that brass was "greasy" but I don't know I have seen it in his own print so to speak.

    Best Wishes,
    3 LINK likes this.
  8. J_F_S

    J_F_S Active Member

    ... just to add ... I looked for the original price of these locos but could not find one. However, I see that the detailed version of his "Crab" cost £52 in 1934 - that is about £3,600 in today's money.

    Re my coment on the reverser position, I see there are several other examples which are all the same.

    Best Wishes,
    3 LINK likes this.
  9. Andrew

    Andrew Active Member

    Following on from Tim's comment, it reminded me of something that cropped up in discussion when I had the opportunity to visit Col Ronnie Hoare's layout many years ago. There were locos on display from the top builders of the period including Stan Beeson and Vic Green, some of which had been built originally for W.S. Norris. As I was admiring one of Beeson's beautiful Great Western locos on display, one of the operators told me that it wasn't an exact replica of the real thing. He explained that Stan applied a little poetic licence to some of the dimensions in order to enhance the 'balance' of the model. I looked at him rather quizzically but he assured me that it was true. I deduce from Tim's observation that he is aware of this as well.


    Tim Watson likes this.
  10. borgrail

    borgrail Member

    From memory the quote about brass being greasy was from when he was being interviewed by Robert Symes
  11. Crimson Rambler

    Crimson Rambler Active Member

    I was told a favorite tweak of JSB was to alter the size of the chimney - making it larger or smaller as necessary. Presumably he was following the observation made by Robert Weatherburn of Kentish Town fame, who wrote in Ajax Loquitor published in 1899:-

    Remember, as the hat is to the well dressed man, so is the chimney to the locomotive.

    Nowadays more commonly attributed to J G Robinson of the GCR.

    Crimson Rambler
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