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Anyway... before we start slinging plastic, a little history lesson on this vehicle...

Steam tractors (also known as "traction engines") first appeared in England around 1850ish or so. They were meant to be used for towing large, heavy loads over roadways, as an alternative–at that time, the only alternative–to horses. These steam powered tractors were manufactured by several companies besides Garrett, and were also used to plow fields, or as stationary power sources.

Because of their narrow wheels, they were not suited to pull a plow directly over the soil… the tractor would sink into the soft ground. What they did was to use two tractors, one on either end of the field to be plowed (the area of the field called the "headland"), with the plow towed between the two tractors, connected to each by a strong steel cable. A winch on each tractor allowed the relative position of the plow to change, left to right, in relation to the tractors, enabling the plow to cover the whole field in several passes.

Some steam tractors, however, were built with much wider wheels and used to pull a plow directly. These were the direct ancestors of the modern farm tractor.

Another use for these machines was as a portable power source, either mechanical or electrical. The tractor would have either a rotating shaft or a generator mounted in front of the smokestack, which would be driven by a long leather belt off the large exposed flywheel. In such a configuration, the tractor could supply either power to run farm machinery, or electric power at a location where electricity would otherwise not be available… like at a county fair or carnival site.

Some of these tractors were fitted with flanged wheels and used as small "locomotives" on local railroads, while others were converted into steamrollers. In fact, this kit has also been issued in the steamroller version.

These tractors remained popular as over-the-road haulers until the early 1930s or so, especially in Europe, by which time increased competition from larger, more efficient, and easier to operate internal-combustion trucks made them obsolete.

This particular kit represents a 1919 Garrett named the "Pendle Princess," which was one of many tractors in a private collection. This one has the front-mounted generator, a lot of fancy pinstriping and polished brass, and even multi-colored light bulbs all along the edges of the roof… it was all gussied up  to be used as a portable source of electricity at a fair, carnival, etc. and not as a "work" tractor.

I want to build this as a more typical road-going, working machine, which means no colored lights, no front-mounted generator, etc. I'll "de-bling" it, scratchbuild a shorter roof without the fancy brass roof brackets, and generally tone things down a bit overall. My goal is a tractor that looks less like the box art and more like this one:

6_zpsueb2bmoe.jpg

 

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I got sidetracked by "real" work for a while there...then I had to wait for the Lexan I bought on ebay (to make the windows for the woody). The Lexan came yesterday, the four doors are done... so now I can cut all the window glass and install it, then interior door panels.

It's still in the works... just sort of been on the back burner for a week or two. I still have a few "real" projects I need to do this week... I hope to get some time in on the Rolls this weekend. And the Garrett. :D

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Yeah, it would work. But the kit roof is plastic and doesn't look as much like real wood and cloth as real wood and cloth would. ;)

And also, it has all of those sockets for the light bulbs molded into it, which the roof on a working tractor like this would not have had.

Besides, it's way more fun and challenging to scratchbuild the roof than to use the kit piece.

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Whenever I build a model, the first thing I do is locate all of the components that are molded as left-right or top-bottom halves and pre-assemble them. Same with any other subassemblies that are multi-piece but represent a single piece on the real thing, or that will be painted all one color on the finished model. Liquid glue, then sand the seams smooth so that they disappear...

The main body also gets pre-assembled... it is molded as a left-right half with a separate rear panel. It all gets glued up first, then will be painted and detailed as a unit...

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The kit represents a fancied-up version of a steam tractor, with that forward-mounted generator. My model will be a working tractor, no generator... so the mounting platform for the generator won't be used. I filled in the holes in the front part of the boiler where the side plates of the generator platform would go by jamming a short length of styrene rod into the holes and then flowing liquid cement around the rod. i will only fill the rear holes... I'll keep the front holes open and install a set of parts box headlights there later...

4_zpswpbvtttp.jpg

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Firstly I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo jealous I missed out on this on ebay ( I had 150 pound to spend ) it went for 76 quid but I missed it but 7 minuets ) the reason I am pis-+@ is I built this as a teenager and even if I say so it was the best model I ever made. You say it has been released as other makes could you enlighten me, will deffo be watching this.

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Well that's a poo not on ebay as entex either, as a point of interest whilst on holiday with my parents I saw the actual real thing in Yorkshire I was about 14 at the time and as you can imagine when I saw it in our local model shop ( yes in those days our otown had 3 yep that's right 3)I had to have it I was 17 and had to save 3 months for it, I really really want it again to do justice to it as I'm sure (although I tried and was happy with the results then and even up till it got broken, but I didn't know about washes and such then)

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Firstly I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo jealous I missed out on this on ebay ( I had 150 pound to spend ) it went for 76 quid but I missed it but 7 minuets ) the reason I am pis-+@ is I built this as a teenager and even if I say so it was the best model I ever made. You say it has been released as other makes could you enlighten me, will deffo be watching this.

Be patient - you'll eventually find one. They do show up from time to time on eBay.  I'm in USA and I got one from UK several years ago (on eBay).  The shipping cost was a killer!  I still have an automatic eBay search for these so I do see them show up on eBay from time to time. I seen about 3 or 4 of them listed in the last few months.

UPDATE:  I just got notified about 2 of these listed on eBay: look for items 252151788166 and 291604894209.

Harry: that is going to be another awesome build!

Edited by peteski
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