View Full Version : Building the 1869 Allerton Steam Pumper Kit

Shed Man
02-23-18, 11:30 AM
I am sure many of you have seen the fantastic build thread that Ken Foran has posted of the prototype Steam Pumpe (http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/horse-drawn-vehicles/57939-article-1-12-scale-1869-allerton-steam-pumper.html?highlight=allerton)r that he made. I was highly impressed with Ken's build so I decided to have a stab at making the Model Trailways kit.
This was my first model that used white metal castings and I must say I am impressed. However there are a few things that I was not expecting, for example if you use a tap or a die on white metal it is very easy to get the tap or die clogged with the material and end up damaging the thread. Fortunately this only occurred a couple of times and it was easy to replace the damaged threaded part with steel studding.

The drawings and the instruction booklet are brilliant, in particular the PDF version of the instructions has very good photographs that can be enlarged to see really fine detail.

I started the build by polishing the steam pressure vessel and the components of the chimney stack. Fortunately I have a lathe which made the job very simple. Without one it would have been difficult to get a highly polished finish but I guess not impossible.

Shed Man
02-23-18, 11:41 AM
After some initial polishing, there were still a few dimples that were remaining. I smeared marking blue which made it easier to see the areas that still needed polishing.
The finished result
I was quite pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get a mirror finish and furthermore the white metal did not tarnish even after a couple of months.

Next the small expansion tank.


Shed Man
02-23-18, 11:46 AM
Smoke Stack section before and after. The wooden mandrel has a slight taper that allowed me to grip the smoke stack without damaging the external surfaces. The white metal is very easy to damage.

Shed Man
02-23-18, 11:57 AM
Next came the boiler top ring. Unfortunately the casting was damaged with a fairly large defect on its circumference. I managed to get some conventional soft solder to fill the hole and then by filing and sanding ended up with an acceptable part. Just a note of caution with this, the white metal melts at a very low temperature and if you are not careful you can melt the whole lot with a conventional electrical soldering iron.


I also had a problem with the front axle which was similarly damaged but I manged to repair it in the same way.

Shed Man
02-23-18, 12:14 PM
The Boiler
The kit includes a piece of flat stainless steel that needs to be formed into a cylinder. It sounds easy but this was the most difficult part of the build for me. I borrowed some bending rollers from my local model engineering club and thought it would be straightforward.
Well this was the result after passing through the rollers set to their smallest setting.

The steel is actually a spring steel and no matter how tight I rolled it, it simply sprung back to flat.

I annealed it by heating to cherry red and then letting it cool down gradually. After three annealings I managed to form it into a cylinder that held in place so that I could then glue it together using cyanoacrylate.

This was the sheet after the annealings, which needed a fair bit of polishing to remove the scale formed by the heating.


Unfortunately I didn't take a photo of the boiler at this stage but you can see it later in the build.

Shed Man
02-23-18, 12:44 PM
The Chassis
The chassis needed cleaning up and as it will be painted I filled any holes with modelling filler. A few of the bolts were not well formed and required quite a bit of work with a file and scalpel to get them looking half reasonable. I suppose that if I have one criticism of the kit is that the numbers of bolt heads that are cast, I would prefer it if they were added later when you could get a much cleaner looking result.


Shed Man
02-23-18, 12:54 PM
Painting and chassis assembly
Lots of small parts

The seat required a bit of work with a fret saw to remove some of the casting flashing.
Adding components to the chassis


Shed Man
02-23-18, 01:12 PM
The Wheels & Initial Assembly
Assembling the wheels was straightforward, each spoke was cleaned up to remove the laser cutting burn and then pushed into the hub. The fit was such that no glue was required.

Adding the rim was again simple the diameter being spot on so all I needed to do was put a small amount of glue on each spoke and the wheel was complete apart from shaping each spoke and then painting.




Shed Man
02-23-18, 01:42 PM
Yet more small parts for painting.

And assembled onto boiler and chassis.


I think this shot really shows the incredible detail that Ken Foran has put into the prototype model. So many of the components needed to be fabricated from multiple parts it must have taken many hours of highly skilled work.

To fix the lenses in the headlamp I used a tiny amount of 2 part epoxy as cyanoacrylate fogs the clear plastic.

Nearing Completion


The final step was to make the hoses. I found that melting the ends with a flame gave a nice clean edge and then they could be easily glued on to the hose nozzle. To get the required shape the instructions say paint the hose with a watered down PVA mixture (50:50), this worked really well, they were easily bent into the required form but then held their shape.


Shed Man
02-23-18, 02:07 PM
A few shots of the finished build








And finally a big thank you to Ken Foran for creating his masterpiece, the more I built of the model the more I appreciated the level of detail that he included. It really is a very good model.

02-23-18, 07:06 PM
​WOW! What a great model! Really beautiful!

02-25-18, 12:29 PM
Shedman, Great job on this build! Looking great considering some of the casting issues which I cannot take credit for. This is the most difficult model that ME has brought to market so I hope it was an enjoyable build for you!

Shed Man
02-26-18, 05:28 AM
Many thanks for the kind comments, I did enjoy this build immensely. It was great to see the level of detail that was included and although there were a few casting issues none of them affected the finished model.


01-27-19, 09:21 AM
A truly outstanding build! Your final fit and finish is beautiful.