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Ian T

Pendle Princess Steam Traction Engine

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After just completing two Tamiya motorbike kits, here is something completely different. I was lucky enough to have been given two old Bandai kits by a friend. They are both 1/16 scale, one is a Mercer Raceabout car and the other is this Traction Engine. There are excellent builds of both of these kits elsewhere on the forum which I encourage you to have a look at.

 

After quite of bit of research on the internet, I have found that the Pendle Princess kit has been released by other companies apart from Bandai, but I think the original was by Bandai. To the best of my knowledge my kit is a Bandai version.

 

Before I go any further I want to apologise to any Traction Engine enthusiasts for the naming mistakes that I know I will make. I know nothing about Traction Engines so if this is a “Showman’s Engine” rather than a Traction Engine, that is my ignorance.

 

After the Tamiya kits where everything fits well and detailed down to very minute information, this kit could be a nightmare. I’ve spent some time inspecting everything and there is a lack of locating lugs/pins and a wealth of flash, ejector pin marks and general sink holes. Also the colour is going to be a problem, similar to many males, I am partially colour blind, and although I can see as many colours as a normal sighted person, they don’t always register correctly in my brain. So with little help in the instructions, lots of pictures on the internet (often conflicting with each other) and my colour blindness, it could all be very interesting.

 

So, no build so far, but I have washed everything and ready to go!! How regular I get to this build is uncertain as I have resurrected a wooden, plank on frame ship (HMB Endeavour) that I commenced a while back. So I’ll be swapping between the two as I can get bits done.

 

Just to start with, here are two pictures, one of the box lid and one of the instructions front sheet, which has a brief history.

 

Any help, particularly with the correct colours, comments and general conversation, will be gratefully received. Wish me luck ....

 

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As expected, this kit is a nightmare, but I’m thoroughly enjoying myself!! Nothing lines up, everything has flash, pits and mould lines and it’s keeping me busy. Things that comprise of two halves, don’t make a circle when glued together, even though they line up, the pivot for the front axle being a good example. It appears to be two perfectly normal semi-circular halves on the sprue, but is not circular when glued. It is definitely “oval”, so the hole in the housing (black in the pictures below) had to be enlarged to accept the pivot, what fun!! This afternoon, it took over an hour to remove the mould lines and flash from the two halves of one of the front wheels, only three more wheels to go.

 

So here are a few (not very well lit) pictures to show my progress so far.

 

First up is a couple of pictures of the front axle. This is upside down to its final orientation with the pivot point being the piece that is held in the painting clip.

 

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Next is the casting that takes the steering pivot, it’s probably not too clear on these pictures, but I’m very pleased with the way that the black turned out. This too is shown upside down in the first picture.

 

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Finally is the first wheel; in the first picture, it is just possible to make out a few small lines, these appear on all ten spokes and on both sides. The area between the inner lines is supposed to be gold and the outer lines should be green, twenty times per wheel ........ Also the rivets around the rim are painted in three repeated colours, from memory, I think that it’s red, green, red, blue, red, green etc. Model building does teach patience I think, or I hope it does.

 

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A small problem with a couple of pictures from the above post, I’ll try again here.

 

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44821774054_bc0a08f248_b.jpg

 

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Hmmm ... doesn’t like those pictures, never mind, better luck next time.

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The links to the pictures seem to work Ian, just not the embedding in your post. A minor glitch I suppose 🙂 

 

Looks like you're doing alright with the kit despite the challenges. Keep it up!

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Thanks Jeroen, I wasn’t sure if the links worked for others, but you’ve answered that. The kit really is fun, a few years (or even months) ago, I wouldn’t have contemplated attempting this, but now I’ve started, I’m looking forward to the challenge.

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As a youngster I was dragged along to many rallies and show days to see these steam powered beasts. She is indeed a Showmans Engine. The large flywheel drove the belt that connected to the generator to provide electricity for the rides. The generator is the bit just in front of the chimney, with the star on the end.

They would of course be used to haul the rides to the next showground as well.

I have seen a few of these made up, including one where the flywheel actually rotated and "drove" the generator, and all the bulbs along the roof actually worked. Very impressive.

Good luck with the kit, I'll be following along.

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7 hours ago, Bandsaw Steve said:

Good luck! An unusual and challenging subject. 👍

Thanks Bandsaw Steve, the challenge has ratcheted up one more notch this afternoon. I started putting the decals on the front axle assembly, this is then put aside for some while, boy are they fragile!! This is to be expected, the kit must be a good 30+ years old and has travelled around large parts of Australia and its varied climates with my friend before he passed it to me.

 

Pictures to follow when I’ve finished the front axle. Regards Ian

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2 hours ago, Bigdave22014 said:

As a youngster I was dragged along to many rallies and show days to see these steam powered beasts. She is indeed a Showmans Engine. The large flywheel drove the belt that connected to the generator to provide electricity for the rides. The generator is the bit just in front of the chimney, with the star on the end.

They would of course be used to haul the rides to the next showground as well.

I have seen a few of these made up, including one where the flywheel actually rotated and "drove" the generator, and all the bulbs along the roof actually worked. Very impressive.

Good luck with the kit, I'll be following along.

Thanks for the background info Bigdave, I’ve seen a few of these engines at rallies over the years and they are certainly impressive. I love mechanical engineering, although I spent my working life as an electrical engineer, so I find anything like this fascinating. There are several parts of this kit that should move and operate including the steering, via chains, and the flywheel/pistons by hand. Other modelmakers whose skills far exceed mine seem to struggle with this. I reckon that the tolerances on the moving parts will be too great and the stresses created will damage the parts if they’re forced. But I’m going to try and make it all work, think positive ......  Regards Ian

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I built this kit probably 25+ yrs ago and would love to get hold of another now i have more of an idea what this modeling lark is about. Looks like your off to a good start.

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This one looks interesting. I'll pop by with a bucket of coal from time to time if I may.

In the meantime, you may be interested in the video on this thread from Hyperscale.com

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/hyperscale/the-brits-have-such-cool-toys-t499299.html

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1 hour ago, Pete in Lincs said:

This one looks interesting. I'll pop by with a bucket of coal from time to time if I may.

In the meantime, you may be interested in the video on this thread from Hyperscale.com

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/hyperscale/the-brits-have-such-cool-toys-t499299.html

Thank you Pete, that video is great. I’ve found quite a few “still” pictures of Showman’s Engines but funnily enough I’ve not tried to research videos. So this link was interesting in itself but has also given me another path for information that will be useful during this build, great stuff on the internet isn’t there? I look forward to the coal, Regards Ian

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You're more than welcome.

I think our coal is imported from down there nowadays.

So I'll just bring Pommy beer.

Cheers

Pete

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I have one of these unbuilt. They cost upwards of £120 when you can find them. Someone on ebay in Oz sells/sold pinstriping decals in all colours, and I bought a few sheets to do the spokes with. Any moving parts you can lubricate with Silicone lubricant. The original was built by Garretts of Leiston. Their factory is now a museum. Not very far from me.

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3 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

You're more than welcome.

I think our coal is imported from down there nowadays.

So I'll just bring Pommy beer.

Cheers

Pete

You know how to hurt somebody don’t you!! Pommie beer is one the very few things that I miss even after living here for 25 years. I also miss the atmosphere of the traditional English pub, a log fire on a cold day, roast lunch and a pint of pale ale, and I’m sat here in 27C 9:30 in the morning ...... still it’s my choice.

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2 hours ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

I have one of these unbuilt. They cost upwards of £120 when you can find them. Someone on ebay in Oz sells/sold pinstriping decals in all colours, and I bought a few sheets to do the spokes with. Any moving parts you can lubricate with Silicone lubricant. The original was built by Garretts of Leiston. Their factory is now a museum. Not very far from me.

I found one place here, but they are sold out of the pinstriping decals, I found them at the last show here. I’ll have a search of eBay and see what I can find, thanks for the advice on this and the lubrication.

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OK, pretty slow progress with this kit, but I expected that. I’m also (slowly) building a wooden ship, plus the Queensland summer heat, or rather, the humidity has kicked in and working in a steel shed results in puddles of sweat in short time.

 

The front axle assembly of the Pendle Princess is complete, ready for the wheels. The decals were a nightmare, very, very fragile and they came off the backing sheet almost instantly when put in the water. I managed to save (to a lesser or greater extent) most of these decals, they were small and I could move the broken bits near enough into place, but I’m not sure how I’m going to tackle the larger decals, but at least I’m prepared now. So here are a few pictures, I’ve got to say that I’m very pleased with the result, sure the decals aren’t quite right, but I can live with that.

 

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Looking great.

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Oh nice to see someone else building this :) I did one about 3 years ago in the Made in Britain GB - you can see it here:

 

 

 

The decals are tricky as they are so old and the kit is definitely showing its age! If you look closely you can see a copyright date moulded into the plastic - its a very old kit! :)

I was going to add LEDs and light the canopy but in the end decided not to as it was waaay too complicated :)

I look forward to seeing your progress, good luck!

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I think that Bandai have the original of this outside their museum in Japan. I looked it up on Wikipedia, so it must be true....

 

Cheers, Alan.

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Bandai imported it then dismantled it to make the model. Up to date info is not available.

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17 hours ago, dnl42 said:

That's most excellent work!

 

As for the decals, you could try Microscale Micro Liquid Decal Film if that's available to you. Alternately, I've used Tamiya Clear to seal inkjet decals.

Thanks for your comments dnl42, I’ll have a look on the internet for the Decal Film here in Australia, but the warnings on the website about no airfreight doesn’t sound promising. I’ve covered the whole of this assembly with Tamiya gloss clear, airbrushed on to give it a bit of protection. I’ve followed the kit instructions which start with this assembly, but then it gets put aside for quite a long while until several other bits are complete. So, hopefully, the clear coat and putting it somewhere safe (and where I can remember where I put it) should keep it nice until required.

Regads Ian

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