Building Molly Ann

An adventure in model engineering by a complete beginner

The Molly Ann Project

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Welcome to my model locomotive build project.

This site will record the build story from placing the order to first steaming along with a few distractions!

I really valued other build blogs when I was researching a suitable model for me to attempt so hope this will be of use to others.

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So how did I come to embark on this project?

I was very keen on the idea of owning and operating a model steam engine. I knew enough about the operation of the real thing, at least in theory; but what would it be like to build and steam one for real?

I did some Googling and it was pretty clear that the expert opinion was:

1 – don’t be hasty; and,

2- join a Model Engineering Society to find out more about model steam.

I took this advice to heart and did some more research looking at second hand options or built ready-to-run locos at first. I also joined my local MES (Sutton Coldfield) who have been very welcoming. From what I was able to gather, buying second hand is a fairly high risk option, especially if you don’t really know what to look for and a ready to run loco began to appear a bit like cheating! However, I don’t have any experience or access to machine tools like lathes and milling machines so felt that the classic kit of castings was out of the question.

I then read this site (Ride on Railways) and the headline “DO NOT BUY SECOND HAND if you can afford a Polly Kit” struck home. I had already been to the Polly Site but this headline and hearing how well regarded they were made my mind up. I called Polly and they said they would be happy to come in specially on a Saturday morning to meet me to show me the two models I was interested in – Molly Ann and the O&K 0-4-0. Once I saw them together and had a long chat with Lucy and Andy (daughter and father) my mind was made up on Molly Ann, the most recent addition to their range.

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So even in the early stages of this project, I had made some new friends at Polly and at Sutton Coldfield MES. I am sure I will need the support of both while I am building.

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