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La Meuse - construction

by Simon Cox

2014-07-12

Articles
Model Railways


La Meuse - construction

Brass, nickel silver and white-metal kit of the Belgian La Meuse 2-6-0 narrow gauge locomotive used on the French sugar-beet lines

The Neil Sayer Models La Meuse 009 kit

This is a spe­cial kit as it was pre­sent­ed to me, as a sur­prise, by the reg­is­trar when I got mar­ried. My wife got a ring and I got a La Meuse kit to make our vows on. She isn’t stupid…

The kit is from Neil Say­er Mod­els and is of the 1938 La Meuse 260 used on the sug­ar beat nar­row gauge rail­ways in north­ern France. There are two remain­ing pre­served loco­mo­tives of this class. I have seen and rid­den behind the one at the Musée des Trans­ports de Pithiviers — well worth a vis­it if your just South of Paris. 

I built the chas­sis between 2011 and 2012 — we have moved house between so that my excuse for not crack­ing on with it. The kit uses a donor chas­sis from the Far­ish 08 and so the only real­ly dif­fi­cult part of build­ing this is the motion. I must admit I did strug­gle a bit with this but some expert help from Neil Say­er sort­ed that out — Neil is a fel­low GDNGRS mem­ber which is handy! 

So I have just had a cou­ple of weeks of work after a small oper­a­tion on my nose and decid­ed that I need­ed to crack on with the body con­struc­tion. The parts for the body are superbly detailed and go togeth­er well — espe­cial­ly if your skills include sol­der­ing brass etch­es onto white-met­al. Mine are not up to scratch yet but I have mas­tered sweat sol­der­ing so the half-etched skin over the sub­frame went on well. I spent some time research­ing pic­tures and video for the loco­mo­tive online and dis­cov­ered that there is a coal hop­per on the top of the left tank so built one of those out of styrene.
Also, I not­ed there were addi­tion­al han­dles under the roof for clam­ber­ing up on top of the tanks but the Pithiviers La Meuse does not have a foot­step on side of the tank. 

To fin­ish off with I under­coat­ed with U-POL Acid #8 grey prime, avail­able from larg­er Hal­fords, which is a superb etch­ing primer that is thin enough to keep detail. I will leave it at least sev­er­al days for the primer to hard­en off before apply­ing the first top coat of black. After that, there will be some dif­fi­cult mask­ing for the final pea­cock blue pan­els. To fin­ish off I have had name­plates made up by Nar­row Plan­et for its spe­cial name — Peacocks.

La Meuse - construction Gallery

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