I might possibly become the owner of a Modelworks Bagnall.
The original owner came to a stop with the build when kits stopped arriving. Later he sold it to a pal of mine. Said pal is a highly skilled engineer, and experienced model maker. He completed it, making any parts that were needed. He ran it a few times, just to prove that it worked oK, but then ill health meant that it sat in his workshop from then on. (I have seen videos of it running and it worked well.)
As his health has deteriorated further, he now wants to dispose of his collection of models, and would like me to have the Bagnall.
I am not keen on narrow gauge, nor on 5" (all my other models have been 3 1/2" or 7 1/4" or road etc) So, it isnt something I would normally entertain.
I would be interested to hear the experiences of anyone with one, and also any guide as to a fair price that I should offer. (For one in full working order, but without current certificate.)
My impression of the Bagnall is that it is a very practical and robust loco, and a lot of engine for the money compared with a small Maxitrak or a Sweet Pea. Whilst some details could be improved, this is probably due to commercial pressures and no fault of the designer.
I have the original assembly manual and though this is a weighty tome, I feel that it is not detailed enough for the non-engineers at whom the kit was aimed, which may partly explain why these engines have a poor reputation.
I have not had mine in steam yet, though it was steamed by the previous owner. It runs very well on air, in both directions and in most of the notches, in spite of very loose die blocks. So there is not much wrong with the cylinders and valve gear. It should be powerful and it certainly has plenty of adhesive weight.
Modifications so far are a stainless grate, stops in driving axle boxes to limit spring travel, and a more rigid weigh shaft assembly. I would have done some of the feed water plumbing differently, but will see how it works and reserve judgement.
How many of these were produced? would guess around 25.
I bought my Bagnall loco at discount price from Modelworks just before they went into liquidation but never got the last kit which was mainly the back fittings and pipe work, anyway I was offered the last kit at full price from ModelWorks but told that I would find that some fittings could be missing, desperate to finish the loco I bought the kit but true to word found parts missing, gauge glass, valves and pipe work.
I had my loco finished by the Engineers Emporium who I believed helped many Modelworks clients and after it was finished, I steamed it up for the first but found it hard to raise steam, some 3 hours before I reached working pressure, even so I soon lost the pressure when just running up and down my small 45ft end to end track.
I contacted Engineers Emporium and explained my problems, I believed that the fire box was to shallow, which it is, they told me to persevere with it and that I would get used to it.
I steamed it up many times but I wasn't happy with it until I went to the Garden Railway Show and Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway Gala, it so happened that a guy at the Garden Railway Show was running his Bagnall outside on a end to end line, it was running perfect and I explained my problems, he kindly dropped the fire on his loco and showed me what he had done to modify the fire box and when I looked into the smoke box I noticed that the blower pipe was lower down to my positioning, I found him very helpful and after went about altering the fire box grate to get a deeper fire, also lowering the blower pipe in the smoke box and what a difference this made, I'm now very happy with it, running great.
Today I collected the Bagnall, mentioned in post 3 above. My only experience so far is getting soaking wet moving it from pals garage to my car and from the car to indoors when I got home!
As I said, it was well built and modifed as required by someone who knew what he was doing so I am not expecting any major problems. However, it hasnt been steamed for two years, so I will need to give it a thorough check over.
Hello everyone, I hope you don't mind me reviving this thread. I am new to 5 inch gauge and am in the process of buying a new unfired 'Sweet Pea'. However it has been pointed out that it is not actually a Sweet Pea, it's a Modelworks Bagnall. I understand these were all released in kit form and the quality left rather a lot to be desired. Those that were completed will most likely have had the flaws attended to to produce a reasonably efficient loco. My main interest is in how many of these locos were successfully completed. I did read somewhere that kits for 25 complete locos were sold. If you own or know of a working Modelworks Bagnall I would be interested to hear about it. An informal register of these locos might be helpful to other owners.