Building the Kitson Meyer

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that I was building a Kitson-Meyer style loco for my model railway. This is a “might have been” freelance narrow gauge loco. However, the Kitson-Meyer power bogie arrangement did occur, although it wasn’t common, so the design isn’t that far fetched. The model is based on a design developed by John De Fraysinett, of County Gate fame. I liked John’s loco and wanted one for myself. I was fortunate to work with John and the desperado team at the 2013 Peterborough exhibition, during which I was able to measure up his model. I have built my own version as closely as possible to the original, so it is a true sister loco and the second in the class. It does however, have one or two detail differences for my own preferences, (e.g. location of the turbo-generator). With the exception of the N gauge Farish Class 08 chassis used to form the power bogies, the Roco valve gear and the cab sides, front and rear (spare etches from a Backwoods Miniatures etched brass kit), it is completely scratch built from soldered brass strip, tube. rod, wire and section. So the photo’s below show how I went about it.

Basic Body structure assembled


Basic body Structure from rear


Internal tank structure added

Basic body structure complete, with whitemetal chimney and dome castings, smokebox and smokebox front, smokebox saddle finished

Farish 08 chassis before dismantling. Two are needed

Chassis dismantled and modified. Roco Valve gear before butchering.

Roco Valve gear grafted to Farish 08 chassis

Both power bogies converted

Trial fit of power bogies to the main body. Note details have started to be added, including smokebox door hinges.

The arrangement for the pivot points for the power bogie. The central spline will be soldered into the body along the boiler centerline.

Central spline soldered into place within the body.

With the pivots screwed into position

Shortening the power bogie units on the inside ends – a nerve wracking procedure.

Cut almost complete. The chassis was completely dismantled, degreased and cleaned upon completion of this operation to remove any cutting debris from the gear train.

Power bogies in position, along with roof and lower firebox. The main part of the build is almost done

The loco dismantled into it’s major components. The mounting arrangement allows the power bogies to be removed whilst the lower firebox remains attached to the main body.

Some detail parts – a vacuum tank and Safety valves, all scratchbuilt. Pencil tip and US dime show how small these items are.

Main body detailing almost complete, including tank fillers, turbo generator, head lamp, smokebox door dart, brake cylinders and actuating arms (alongside lower firebox). Still to add are tool boxes alongside the smokebox.

LHS of completed main structure showing vac tank. blow down valve, etc.

Into Primer

Then into all over black. Satin for the main body, matt for smokebox and frame front

Cow catchers (pilots) for the power bogies. Cobbled together from bits of brass strip and some etchings.


Mounted on the outboard ends of the power bogies. Look like NGG16 garratt power bogies!

Loco fully assembled, just awaiting the lining.

Lining out

Almost completed model, including lining, varnishing and addition of name “Hercules” (Well, it’s supposed to be powerful!) and builders plates (courtesy of Narrow Planet).

From the rear. The slight lean observable has since been corrected.

Picture showing home made PCB containing the DCC control chip shoved up into the firebox.


There are still a few things to do to the loco to finish it off. These are installation of the rear headlamp, fine lead ballast into the tanks, installation of couplers and weatherng. These will be done in due course when I  get a moment.

And that is how I build a locomotive!



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