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John Fowler Diesel Mechanical 0-4-0
Great Western Railway No.1

GWR No.1 Fowler 0-4-0DM 7mm (0 gauge) model by David L O Smith

A 7mm scale (O Gauge) model of a diesel mechanical 0-4-0 built by John Fowler of Leeds in 1933 (No. 19451) for shunting at the Swindon factory.  The locomotive was powered by a 70HP MAN sux-cylinder engine with a multiple plate clutch, four-speed gear box and jackshaft drive to give a top speed of 15mph.  The prototype was sold on in 1940 and later again to the Ministry of Supply before being scrapped but similar, more powerful locomotives are Osram, at the The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, and, H.W. Robinson at The Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway.  The LMS owned a similar Fowler locomotive with a 88HP Ruston engine (See LMS No.2).

When I received my Ixion Fowler GWR No.1, I planned only to paint the rods, fly cranks and buffer stocks in a red to match the buffer beams but then I noticed that the flanges of the buffer stocks were missing, although the packings were represented.

I mounted the 0.015” plastic card blanks for the flanges on an arbour and turned, milled and drilled them to shape in exactly the same way as I did for the Hudswell Clarke but these were rather simpler. The blanks were retained with a 10BA nut and a bespoke washer that was machined along with the blanks.

In the photograph (right), one flange remains on the arbour (left), two lie in front of the washer and the 10BA nut, and one is shown in place on a buffer stock (right).

Bases for buffer stocks on Fowler 0-4-0DM GWR No.1

Modification to buffer stocks on Ixion Fowler 0-4-0DM

Before (left) and after (right)

7mm model (0 gauge) GWR No.1 Folwer 0-4-0 diesel mechanical.  Ixion modified by David L O Smith RHS

In an idle moment, I looked at the control desk (left) and thought ‘Those gauges could do with brass bezels.’ It was but a few minutes work to turn them up but it made a huge improvement to their looks (right), it’s just a shame that they will hardly be seen when the cab is replaced.

The ‘obvious’ material to make them out of would be a bit of suitably sized brass tube but, apart from the challenge of finding a bit of suitable thin-walled tube (3.8mm OD x 3.5mm ID), I am not sure about slicing off such small rings.


Brass bezels on the control panel of Ixion Fowler 0-4-0DM

Inside cab of Ixion Fowler 0-4-0DM

I started with a bit of brass rod (5/32” or 4mm would be ideal but larger would be quite suitable) in the lathe and I drilled it 3.5mm diameter (first with centre drill then followed by a pilot drill ~ 2mm) to a depth of only 0.5mm at the full diameter.  I turned down a length of a few mm of the outside to 3.8mm diameter and I then parted off the ring that was only 0.4mm deep (long); in this way, the 0.5mm wide parting off tool was working mostly in solid material and the ring came away cleanly.

Well, I suppose you can just about see them.

GWR No1 - Ixion model of Fowler 0-4-0DM finished by David L O Smith

As my model was a present, I did not want to alter it too much so, apart from the modifications described above, I made only a few tweaks; in no particular order:

I painted:

and lined:

I varnished all parts with Floquil Flat Finish.

7mm model (0 gauge) GWR No.1 Folwer 0-4-0 diesel mechanical.  Ixion modified by David L O Smith LHS


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