I have long been fond of small GWR tanks and the 517 0-4-2T is a particular favourite. When I started on this loco kit building lark, I acquired a Mallard 517 kit and an M&L Leisure whitemetal 517 too. The M&L kit was built inspired by Iain Rice's articles in Model Railways. It featured a remote gearbox driven via a tube. I don't have a picture of that but this is one I built for a 2-4-0T Metro Tank at the time which shows the idea.
The Metro is another story along similar lines but when I returned to the hobby, both were due a rebuild. Over the years I had acquired some spare Mallard etches for 517s and discovered that both the Mallard and M&L kits were too wide for earlier 517s. So undeterred I took the tinsnips to a couple of Mallard footplates and 835 and 1425 were born. The M&L kit had the shorter wheelbase and inside bearings. 835 was one of the engines that retained the short wheelbase and inside bearings and was at Leominster in 1912. It probably worked the branch lines and possibly the Tenbury branch. For the Mallard kit I elected to use a High Level 14xx chassis suitably chopped to fit. I used the same twin beam suspension on the M&L chassis that I reused for 835. There is a peg for the front axle:
I used an ancient High Level RoadRunner gearbox with a Mashima motor. The body came together as a hybrid of Whitemetal, Mallard Nickel Silver and scratchbuilt brass parts.
1425 was one of the locos that was finished in brown to match the coaching stock and received a full cab. It was at Ludlow in 1912 and I have assumed it was still in the brown livery. I have assumed it worked some of the short-distance trains between Ludlow and Hereford. This used the Mallard kit for the body but, by the time I got on with this one, I had acquired a Malcolm Mitchell 517 kit from David Geen too and I robbed some parts from this to produce the full cab.
This too has the armchair bunker that I scratchbuilt. Not the best riveting job:
Finally, what's left of the Malcolm Mitchell kit will become 1482 which was at Hereford in 1912. I have the plates ready:
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I couldn't find this polaroid photo when I did the original post but here is the M&L 517 as first built back on the workbench in my bedsit in the 80's. That was my first attempt at P4 track too. I still build everything on the same piece of off-cut wood that I had on that workbench:
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