Building Nellie – A 7mm Scale Connoisseur Models Starter Loco

 The origins of Nellie

Nellie, was a gift from my son for father’s day last year.The plan when I started was to build as per the instructions finish it as an industrial loco  -blue with red lining and sell it on to raise some funds for something to suit my modelling period – grouping era northern steam.

I had got to here when the plan started to go wrong…..    Nellie’s first run

A Change of Heart

Once I had her running I started to get attached and to look at whether she remotely resembled any of the LNER locos.
I took the plunge and replaced the supplied white metal clack valves with some brass ones from Jim McGeown.  A rummage in the scrap box yielded a westinghouse pump.
So she looked like this…

Further progress

Bit by bit the details were added, steps,  the coal rail sitting loosely and a bunker back – this latter was scratch built.

Buffer detailsThe buffers supplied with the kit are solid white metal ones. For the more discerning Jim recommends the sprung pre group ones from Slaters.

A trip to my local model shop  – Wakefield Models and Crafts set me up with a set and a crew (but more on them when I get to them).

The Slaters buffers are rather nice brass turnings with steel heads. In order to improve them I drilled out for bolt heads and consulted my store of Scale hardware. Sadly I had nothing that suited to hand so I filed the heads of some brass pins square and soldered them in.


In early August 2012 the latest Gauge O Guild Gazette dropped through my letterbox.One of the articles in it was about making scratch built Silvertown Lubricators from brass.

While Silvertown were not suitable for Nellie, a look though the RCTS green bible revealed that some LNER small tanks Y8’s had lubricators fitted to the tank fronts.

Starting with a length of brass bar, I measured 10mm along and marked it (for two lubricators 5mm each). I then filed a slop on the top and drilled 4 holes in the bottoms for the pipes. I got a piece of scrap fret and marked it to length.

I then filed each side of the front face to make a lifting handle. I placed this on a partially opened mini vice and made a crease down the centre long ways using a screwdriver blade.

I soldered this onto the base with 298 degree solder. This was to prevent it coming loose when I attached the pipes and soldered it to the tank fronts.




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