This all started when someone asked on RMWeb about the Adamson Locos at Oakley Slate Quarry in Blaenau. I did not know what they were at the time, I assumed the weird contraption ‘Mole’ was the subject which piqued my interest as I once had drawings for that strange beast. Anyway, I went detecting and found a few references and on AditNow, a pair of photos from the archives of Graham Isherwood.

They may not be as strange as Mole, but unusual they are! They had to be modelled. The detective work continued and it transpired that an article and drawings was forthcoming in the wonderful Narrow Gauge & Industrial review which was duly purchased. Now there is not a lot to go on. The drawings have been drafted based on scant documentary evidence and the aforementioned photos, but it’s a starting point.

Scanned into the computer and imported into Fusion360, I have used the drawings as a base for 3D modelling of the locos, elements of the model to date appear here. I have made a few alterations over the drawings in areas which I didn’t think were quite correct – the Steam manifold for example, is drawn square in plan view with the whistle central, where it is clear from the photos that the section is round and the whistle is off centre.

The fittings thus far drawn have been exported for 3D printing and are available through Shapeways to purchase. They are not cheap I’m afraid! The next stage of the drawing requires knowing the wheel data – for this project I have opted for Slater’s 7mm scale wheels intended for a Peckett which come out at almost perfectly the right size. I am not sure about Stuart Baker’s assumption regarding spokes – the image does not contain enough data to tell, but is reasonably clear that there should be balance weights. Once I have the wheels and hornblocks from Slater’s, I will draw them up and work out the motion layout.

I have been working out a drivetrain for radio control, powered by a very expensive but very powerful Maxon coreless motor which will sit neatly under the footplate. The preliminary drivetrain consists of a 30:1 worm gear set straight off the motor shaft – I need to confirm before settling that the Maxon can take the thrust loads of the worm gear, otherwise it could be an expensive mistake! The electric supply will come from a whole lot of batteries – with the RC gear in a side tank, there is ample boiler space for 10 AA batteries, a vast improvement over my planned design for the Quarry Hunslet! Using Eneloops I can have 12V at 2500mAh or 6v at 5000mAh.