Building a ModelWorks 5700 Pannier Tank Engine in 5" Gauge

Kit 10:
Lubricator check valve assembly and fitting, Blowdown valve, Assembly of Pump fittings, Whistle, Water Gauge, and Fitting the Turret parts
Kit 10 is quite small and doesn't take long to complete.

During the builds of kits 1 to 9, I have adopted the basic process of assembling each kit then painting before continuing with the next kit. My chosen painting method is in principle to hand/brush paint, the frames and items bellow the running boards, and to spray the body work parts i.e. those parts from the running boards upwards. To-date this methodology is working well.

A decision I had to make was which Airbrush to purchase? I suspected that my 20+ year old Humbrol airbrush (whilst good in its day), would not really be up to the job! I had a good look around at what technology was on offer, and have in the end followed Phoenix Paints recommendations and purchased a Badger 200-3.

The Badger was first used in real anger to paint the Smokebox in Kit 6. The air supply used was from compressed air cans. These are very expensive, short lived and have the undesirable tendency to freeze up during use. When spraying large items you have to have two or three cans on the go at one time. Therefore, I decided to negotiate with local management (my wife), the purchase of a suitable compressor. This was I good move, because having already looked around, it appears that most airbrush compressors cost from circa £150 to £250. So the bench mark was suitably set. During a lunchtime visit to my local B&Q, I was browsing in the tool section as you do, and saw to my surprise a small compressor for just under £70.00. The bonus is that this is a “real” compressor with a small but useful 6 litre capacity and maximum pressure of 110psi. Unlike the dedicated airbrush compressor this type of compressor can be used for many other jobs. The only down side is that this type of compressor is both larger and noisier. A later addition to the compressor will be to change the standard regulator fitted to one with a water trap. Whilst not required when using a small modellers airbrush, the lack of a water trap would become an issue should I chose to use the compressor for other larger spray equipment etc.

B&Q also sell at very reasonable prices, accessory sets that include a curly air pipe and blow gun, which soon becomes one of the most useful tools in a workshop for cleaning parts being worked of metal filings etc. Coming in under budget like this helps tremendously with local managements mood, especially as domestic work, such as decorating has not been happening!

The compressor was first used in real anger to paint the boiler cladding of kit 9 whilst completing kit 10. Painting is now fun, easier, faster and not a chore. I have also worked out that to finish the model I would spend more money on compressed air cans than the cost of the compressor!


Kit 10 - Assembled - The painted boiler cladding still to be fitted

The fitting of the Lubricator check valve, Blowdown valve, Whistle, Water gauge and Turret parts was easy with the quality of the parts being very good. Only minor problems were encountered, one being that once the turret parts had been fitted, the regulator arm interfered with the blower, whistle and live steam injector valves. Removing the regulator handle and reforming it soon correct this issue. Another similar issue occurred with the fire box door handle; this was interfering with the valve on the water gauge. Again a simple reforming was solved this issue.

At this point I was less than happy with the regulator movement . The linkage inside the boiler is not as tight as it could be. The resultant is that when the regulator is set to its fully open position the regulator handle has a positive stopping position, however when closing the regulator the arm can over run the fully closed position. On the real thing the regulator handles have mechanical stops; such stops I believe ModelWorks could easily design into the model. I have now fitted a simple stop made from a section of brass bar fitted to the right hand side of the regulator block.


Kit 10 - Assembled - The boiler cladding now fitted

A minor problem was found when fitting the cladding over of the firebox; it did not seem to fit down tightly towards the boiler cladding?

Before painting the assembled firebox cladding had fitted perfectly? However for what ever reason that now escapes me I test fitted the cladding without the cork insulating fitted! The cork insulating needs to be trimmed back on the leading edge of the firebox to avoid an interference with the front section of the outer cladding which is an alloy casting bolted to the brass wrapper. It now fits well and does look good.

I noticed that the loco was very front heavy and completely compressing the front suspension. I tried adjusting the spring tension with no improvement. The solution has been to fit stronger springs to the front axle. Further adjusting I suspect will be required when fully assembled. Suitable springs have been sourced from GLR in Hoddesdon.

During the building of kit 10, I received my joint Birthday/Christmas present from my wife; a small lathe!! Obviously I did know about this as I did choose it and spec it. It is a “Model C1 Lathe” supplied by Arc Euro Trade. This is a small lathe with a 140mm swing over the bed and 250mm between centres. However, going back to first principles; I do not have much room for machinery and this size of lathe allows a reasonably large component to be turned whilst is very suitable for the machining of small components. I have included in the spec a Vertical Slide, which coverts the lathe into a small Milling Machine.

I can fully recommend Arc Euro Trade ( as a supplier, The service received was exceptionally good.

I chose to have a day out and pick up the lathe when ready. Arc Euro Trade are very close to the Great Central Railway at Loughborough. A most enjoyable day was had after picking up my new toy.

Kit 10 was completed 5 months from the start of Kit 1, an average time to complete each kit of circa two weeks. This is despite the fitting in of other family duties, changing careers and keeping local management friendly, having at least semi-completed some decorating. My objective is and remains not to see how fast one can build a model; I have simply found sections of time to allocate to the build, and am like the majority of working people today, busy keeping the proverbial plates spinning. Again going back to first principles this does justify the ModelWorks marketing model, particularly should you be building a current model and receiving one kit monthly.

Progress is now going to slow down a little. Other hobbies and interests are about to have an adverse affect. For example during January I had a very nice weekend mountaineering in the Lake District, despite the lack of snow!!!


Your author on the summit of Fairfield 22/01/2005
Three summits/tops bagged and more to go - Its still a long way home!
Where is the Snow?


Read the Build Story by Kit:

Kit 1 Kit 2 Kit 3 Kit 4 Kit 5 Kit 6


Kit 7


Kit 8


Kit 9



Kit 11


Kit 12

Kit 12+


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