57xx Pannier Tank

Building a ModelWorks 5700 Pannier Tank Engine in 5" Gauge

Why build a ModelWorks kit you might ask?
The ModelWorks target market includes prospective customers that have:
• Lack of time
• No Lathe or Milling Machine
       o Little or no room for reasonably sized machine tools
• Some or a small amount of skill
       o The build is not as simple as advertised and you will need to use hand and/or machine tools
• A small wedge of cash

Along with the fact that I have always wanted to build own and run a model locomotive, I seem to fit nicely as a prospective ModelWorks customer.


57xx 9659 at Old Oak Common 10-01-1960
Note still in GWR Green when circa 15 years old!!
My 57xx will be based on this loco but in BR Black

Click here for High Res Image







My CV:
Railways run in the blood with both my Grandad and Mother having worked for the LMS. I still wear my Grandads “45 year” long service watch to this day. My Mother worked for the LMS as a Wages Clerk in Watford. I can remember her telling me she saw those strange new Diesels passing her office!

I therefore, had a long term interest in Railways from an early age and even joined British Rail myself at the age of 17 as a Technician Apprentice, working mainly at Hornsey or Ilford sheds on the electric stock. I then worked for a small local firm where I added to my Fitting/Engineering skills with some Tool Making, and for the last 17+ years I have been involved in the Printing/Photo Copying industries. Today I sit behind a desk for a software company (still in the Printing Industry), producing Technical and Marketing documents.

Before joining the railway and starting a long term career based on engineering, I modelled in OO and N Gauge and even once started to build a 5” gauge 0-4-0 Peckett saddle tank. Due to a lack of skill and money at the time, this project never came to anything. Therefore, I noticed some years ago the concept of Kit building (Winson in those days) and thought that might be a way to achieve what would otherwise not be possible.

When the opportunity arose I decided to bite the bullet and build a ModelWorks 5” gauge GWR Pannier 57xx.
This was chosen for a number of reasons:
• Small enough to transport relatively easily
• Large enough to be a useful performer
• A “nice” loco/model
• All twelve kits available to purchase in one go
     o Should realise a faster build?
     o You know that you have got it all!

Having spent many hours reading up on what to do etc, I took some of the advice given by ModelWorks and joined my local Model Engineering Society, the St Albans & District Model Engineering Society (www.stalbansmes.co.uk). As it turns out a nice bunch of people, who are very willing to support and assist you (just what is needed). They meet once a month on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. The first meeting I attended on the 11th August 2004 just happened to be a talk and presentation by ModelWorks!!

The twelve kits were collected from the ModelWorks factory two days later on Friday 13th (!) August 2004. Having already got the opinion that the ModelWorks people seemed to be very friendly and helpful, this was reinforced on the day. A tour of the factory ensued with the opportunity to meet some of the people behind the scenes including Ian and Debbie, who if you also build a ModelWorks kit will get to know. They between them provide the front line support during your build; both luckily are very patient people.

Having got the kits home the first thing to do is check the contents. For each kit ModelWorks provide documentation that includes:
• Assembly instructions
    o These are broken down into individual sub assembly instructions
    o For each sub assembly you get a list of parts to be used with part numbers (more on this during the build)
• Drawings
    o ISO Metric as advertised but not as good as they could be and devoid of dimensions
    o Future repairs, production of new parts will rely on measuring the worn/broken parts
• Parts List
    o Part Number, Description, Quantity and related Fasteners (nuts & bolts etc) if applicable

Using the Parts List, and with the help of my son Chris, we checked each kit in turn. This is no small matter, taking a few hours to finish. We did find a few but not many parts missing, and assumed all nuts and bolts were all present and correct, because to count all would send you crazy! After an E-mail to ModelWorks, most parts were immediately sent out. Those not available at the time have since been received.

To complete the model you will need to use a few tools more than advertised, because the model will not just bolt together. You don’t need a fully equipped workshop however, as well as the normal Bench Vice and various hand tools, mine is limited to a Pillar Drill, Bench Grinder and a Dremel type Rotary Tool, all of which have been used.


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 10


Kit 11


Kit 12

Kit 12+

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