Putting this post through a Top Gear translator (if one exists), this post becomes “It’s not the Deltic, it’s the Deltic’s suburban cousin!”
Deltics are like the Stig – bold brash, instantly recognisable, and when you see one fly down the mainline you know it’s the one in the white suit, not the black suit (not that the prototype drove off the end of an aircraft carrier).
However, as I often say on this blog, I prefer the oddities. So this is the Stig’s cousin who is dressed in the white suit and helmet but is the size of Ronnie Corbett.
The Baby Deltic was one of these. Only 10 produced; a Deltic engine half the size of the original; and by the time they were reliable, the tiny fleet size made their withdrawal inevitable.
I’m not quite sure why this one popped up in my eBay searches, but it did.
And it was a bargain. Yes I know I can go and get one from Heljan but that involves money and I am a Yorkshireman with short arms and deep pockets, and I bought a house a few months ago so it just isn’t going to happen. It set me back £10. You know it’s a bargain when the postage is 40% of the price.
I also acquired a chassis on eBay for it. The kit says it will fit on a Lima 20 or 73, or a Hornby 25 or 29. Now the Lima 20 would be good bet because coming from the same era from the same manufacturer (EE), the bogies are almost identical. However, the modifications to make it fit require some work. The 73 would be best in terms of dimensional accuracy but Class 73s still cost more than I wanted to pay. The class 25 from Hornby is no where near and the bogie doesn’t look anything like a Class 23 bogie. So I settled for the Hornby Class 29.
If I am feeling inspired enough I may fork out for the sprues for the Heljan bogie frames which are quite cheap and can be sourced from Howes Models, and thus improve the bogie frame. Even if I don’t the bogie frame is vaguely passable as long as I remove the large sandboxes from the front.
Hopefully I can get on with the backlog of projects I keep talking about but not doing shortly, although house renovation work (and repair work following all these gales) is taking priority.
However, to finish on a happy note, The Baby Deltic Project is building a new Class 23. They are using a Class 37 (37372) with shortened body and shortened noses, Class 20 bogies acquired from DRS, and the sole remaining Napier T9-29 Deltic engine acquired from the NRM to recreate, as closely as possible, the tenth member of the class.