Merlin Locomotive works history

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artfull dodger
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Merlin Locomotive works history

Post by artfull dodger » Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:12 am

At one time, Ian Pearse was talking about a article(s) he was working on to tell the backstory from his perspective of his time at Merlin Locomotive Works, I believe it was for 16mm today. Has this ever been published yet? I have been in and out of the 16mm world and being stateside, I dont get to the wonderful shows and garden gatherings in the UK. Now that I am back into the 16mm world and a Merlin loco, I was curious if the articles had even come to life? Mike
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Re: Merlin Locomotive works history

Post by strettonsteamer » Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:04 pm

Part 1 of this article was published in the latest issue SMT by Derek Wiggins. Part 2 is in the next issue. Hopefully with collaboration from Derek I will also do an article on Pearse Locomotives. Perhaps then followed by the Marches Models/Accucraft UK story.

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Re: Merlin Locomotive works history

Post by artfull dodger » Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:35 pm

I just officially joined the Association, hopefully they will start me with that issue with part one of the article. if not, hopefully I can get it as a back issue. I just test steamed my Merlin SLR #85 Hunslet as the Fedex man woke me up with a big package for me from the UK. She is build number 74, has the sight glass(doesnt seem to be working at the moment, needs a cleaning I think. Timing seems good, a bit sluggish in reverse, probably was not run much in that direction, the gummy oil on the rods and so forth tell me of a model that has been sitting a long time, lack of wear in the motion as well, so probably not run very much either. I am missing one of the castings for the sides of the front pony truck. She cleaned up nice, quite the heavy beast compared to say a Lady Anne from RH. The rubber line to the whistle is perished, so a new silicone one will replace it once she cools back down. Mike
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Re: Merlin Locomotive works history

Post by strettonsteamer » Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:38 pm

Looks in great condition. Probably one of the ones I built as it has the Beck cylinders and the dome insulated for the RC aerial. Its also good that it has the silicone rubber heat seals to protect the servos. A pity we never got round to fitting the cow catchers at Merlin as I think they really finish the loco off. I still have all the lost wax moulds for the Pearse Locos ones. Perhaps I can find someone who wants to take on all the Pearse Locos brass castings as a nice little side line! They also include all the sand boxes which we also supplied to many Merlin customers to upgrade their models.

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Re: Merlin Locomotive works history

Post by artfull dodger » Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:46 pm

Thanks for the response Ian. Does the mold masters include the one that made the pony truck detail part with the springs? I am missing on, so right now the pony truck has none on it as the other fell off and is sitting on my bench waiting for me to reattach it with some epoxy. She runs as good as she looks. Next on my want list is a Motor Mule and I would love to find a few of the period Merlin catalogs. Its nice to share this knowledge with others when running at shows here in the states. The majority of modelers active in the live steam hobby in the states these days have no clue about Merlin's or Pearse's line of locomotives. I have a Pearse catalog that I many times take with me to share with others that ask about really good older models. Many over here in the USA have an adversion to buying things made in China, so they look for UK made engines or the rare USA built one like the Cricket. Mike
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Re: Merlin Locomotive works history

Post by strettonsteamer » Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:08 pm

All my molds are only for the Pearse Locos versions. I have recently had all my molds back and they will take some sorting through. The main problem is recognising everything in reverse! Unfortunately I don't think my stuff will fit the Merlin Hunslet. However, give me a bit of time and I'll see what I have. People used to buy the cow catchers and all the sand boxes to upgrade there Merlin models. It will need someone to take it all on though. I'm retired now. I have a few people in the UK to contact who might be interested.
I'm surprised that people in the USA have an aversion to buying Chinese made models. Bing Cheng is more US than Chinese. You'll find that out when I write the Accucraft story!
I've been working with Bing for over 20 years now and there is a big part of myself and Pearse Locos in the Accucraft UK models.

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Re: Merlin Locomotive works history

Post by artfull dodger » Sun Oct 17, 2021 10:59 pm

Bing and Channing are great guys, love chatting with them. Its a whole "made in the USA" mentality to many over here, for better or worse. It would really cool if Simon W over at Anything Narrow Gauge took on the molds and line to offer the parts as part of his business, but he may not have spare time to invest and getting it up and running. He has been the go to person for Merlin and Pearse parts over the years though. Hope retirement is treating you well, you have more than earned it. One of the Countess engines from your old line up is in my future buy list when my income is more stable. The old Hunslet was at a keen price and already set up for 45mm gauge. It cost me way less than the Pearse Countess/Earl go for right now. I myself just like the older "heritage" models over the new stuff. But also like to pick up some of the detail parts from the new stuff to upgrade the older ones. I would have like to seen Accucraft UK offer the cow catchers and headlights of the newer W&L 14 as spare part that could be purchased. I messaged Graham just incase he has any, but have not heard back yet. Mike
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