Brassmasters Duchess test build

Jim smith-wright

Western Thunderer
Footplate with mounting bolts and Splashers in place and tided up ready for separating from the jig.

But before I can do that need to fit the cab, firebox, boiler and smoke box so that theres something to give it a degree of rigidity. This is the basic cab assembly.

And inside mounted to the footplate. The seats are posable!

The cab roof. This builds up on its own mini jig too.

Underside from the front end.

The main super structure comes in 3 parts cast in resin. The firebox and boiler. The smokebox saddle and the smoke box. There are 3 types. A round single chimney. The flattened top double chimney from the ex streamlined locos and a round double chimney as seen here.

The body removed from the jig, tidied up and fitted to the chassis.

Finally - I couldn't resist!

34091 Weymouth

Western Thunderer
On & off I've been following the progress of this build Jim.

It's really starting to take shape now, It looks a lovely kit from what you have shown so far & i am sure whoever purchases a kit will enjoy the build. We didn't get them around our end so i cannot warrant one for the big train set that said it is still tempting.


Jim smith-wright

Western Thunderer
Just a little update this time - Been fitting some of the details to the body. Bogie wheels are temporary as I was doing a little testing (read that as shuffling it around on Brettell Road). I never realised how big these actually are. Right on the limit of the loading gauge!

Head on view


Left hand side. - In addition to the body details Ive also added the sandpipes and springs. The latter in both senses as I've fitted the main functional springs to the model as well as the cosmetic ones behind the wheels


Western Thunderer
It's starting to come together, isn't it? Having stood next to the real thing once of twice, the bulk is very apparent (as it is for all the biggest UK types - Merchant Navies, Kings in particular) which have that same quality. Only the Duchess overcomes that to my eye and then only with the deflectors on. Not that these big beasts are my thing, but a quality model, as this one is shaping to be, is always special.


Jim smith-wright

Western Thunderer
Progress on the Princess Coronation build continues with some test 3d prints for some of the details. These are only testing out ideas at this stage.

Above we see the bogie bearing pads and bracket, cylinder fronts, Ejector and brakes.

I admit that i had quite a wow! moment when I first saw the ejector. We are exploring the idea of 3d prints for the brake shoes as it allows you to position them closer to the wheels without risking a short. Where the front one squeezes in between the front driving wheel and the rear bogie wheel seems particularly advantageous.

Pony truck axlebox and springs along with some of the under cab pipework. One of the small AWS cylinders can be seen on the footplate

More AWS bits - this time on the firemans side. The roof is still a loose fit at this stage.

State of play so far.

Jim smith-wright

Western Thunderer
Its been 10 months since I did an update on the Duchess test build so its probably a little overdue.

The first bit of news, for those who don't follow the Brassmasters blog is that Geoff Hurley, the original kit designer, sadly passed away at the end of November 2023. He had been with Brassmasters for 20 years and in that time he designed their kits for the rebuilt Royal Scot, the LMS 4F and the Princess Royal as well their detailing kits for LMS locomotives. The Duchess was his last project before he became ill in 2022. I had a hope that I would get it finished and he would be able to see it but alas that wasn't to be.

This had meant that at lot of head scratching and trying to figure out where the project was has gone on since (not much of it by me I must add). So theres actually been an awful lot of work going on but it may not look like it.

Some new bits for the tender. Originally the water tank hatches were white metal castings but these have been changed to 3d prints produced by David. The external part of the coal pusher is another 3d print.

Moving foward the exhauster pipe and the under cab injectors. The latter have been through several versions mainly because of how we were going to mount them to the loco. This latest version seems to have cracked it but has necessitated a slight change to the etched artwork. The cab roof is a loose fit.

While on the subject of the cab heres some of the inner detail.

Some of the footplate details in place.

Moving on to the front, with health problems at Markits at the moment and being unable to supply stocks of their oval buffers we have looked at a 3d printed body with an etched head. This allows the buffer to be much more accurately detailed and while it does lose the springing the prototypes were not particularly know for coupling up to trains at this end.