Great Central Railway Class 5A

In an attempt to get caught up with my backlog of builds I have taken a leaf out of another modeller’s book and have decided to try to build one loco during the week and a second over the weekend. The idea is once I am on top of my back log of commissions, I will build my own stuff on a weekend.

Having made the decision a couple of weeks or so ago, I made a start that weekend on a GP Models Robinson GCR Class 5A. I previously built one of these for myself but finished mine as an LNER J63. Which the Class 5A became, when inherited by the LNER in 1923. This one is to be finished as a GCR example.

Upon opening the box I found that the gent that I am building it for had already supplied a few extras but after examination of the castings bag, it revealed that some of them were quite poor. I Although I replaced a few of the more vulnerable castings like Oilers etc. I don’t recall the castings in my kit as being too bad so I was a little surprised. An exchange of emails later had me placing an order with Laurie Griffin for a few items. The one casting that was in my view poor but not available anywhere as a replacement (that I know of) was the backhead. This is a resin casting and perhaps the moulds were worn from when I got my kit, as mine was perfectly usable.

When I saw the casting I recalled that lurking in a spares box was a piece of brass that I had cut to shape for a round top backhead prior to getting more information and making a second more accurate backhead for a 4mm scale loco around 12 or so years ago. I dug it out and to my delight it only needed a minor amount of filing and a few mm cut off the bottom, to be the right size/shape to replace the resin casting. What it did lack was depth, but that was overcome by soldering a curved strip of etch offcut to the back of it.

This is the original casting which aside from anything else is slightly lopsided.

GCR Class 5A Backhead

This is what I came up with as a replacement which should pass muster in an enclosed cab.

GCR Class 5A Backhead
GCR Class 5A Backhead

Finally a side by side shot for comparison.

GCR Class 5A Backhead