16mm Projects

Welsh Pony and Little Giant

Building Little Giant circa 1880


Welsh Pony circa 1904 [cabbed ]

Little Giant was the second of the large England locomotives built, Welsh Pony being the first, and the last of the six to be built for the Ffestiniog Railway. It was delivered in 1867 and with Welsh Pony took over the majority of the trains, whilst the smaller Englands were relegated to shunting duties. The larger locomotives had bigger boilers, a longer wheelbase, larger wheels [cabbed versions] and a saddle tank instead of side tanks. Welsh Pony No 5 and Little Giant No 6 were delivered in 1867 [without tenders].

Welsh Pony is being restored/rebuilt at Boston Lodge works at the moment.

I had been following the posts of its progress on the FR enthusiasts’ website. 


I had a drawing from SMT by J Oliveria, stored from long ago.

I already had a power unit design which Paul Bailey had kindly loaned. This consisted of making the cylinders and valve chest from a length of one inch brass square. The valve chests were milled from the block and the cylinders bored 9/16.


The steam chest is separate.

The blocks bolted to the rear of the carry the frames.

The exhausts exit at the bottom of the block.

Welsh Pony’s main frames upside down.  The entire footplate is separate to the frames and is bolted to them making these England locos an unusual design.

The chassis is slip eccentric.  The eccentrics are made in two pieces and are then bolted together to encase the eccentric strap; an idea copied from a Mike Lax loco. The rods are supported and then a small lifting block takes the rods over the front axle. The valve rods have thread adjustment which makes it easy to get the valves centralised over the ports.  The stop collar is made in one piece.

The larger disc wheels were sourced from Walsall Model Industries and come with squared centres and axles exactly to 32mm standard so the block on the rear of the cylinder block needs to be machined to take this into account.

As you can see there is not much clearance between the crossheads and the crankpins.

I test ran the chassis on air and then tackled the footplate.

I made the footplate from angle and square and bolted it to the front cylinder block and the rear bearer.  The smokebox and chimney were castings sourced from David Bailey and I have made the door open. The sandpots are hollow and the tops removable, and then screwed to the smokebox side blocks so that they can be removed for painting. They were later reduced in height.  I used a 2” boiler tube which is larger than the smokebox to increase water capacity.  The boiler is gas fired with a forward top up and a rear turret. I made the boiler parts and Trev Oughton soldered them together.

Notice the large overhang of the rear footplate.  The whole thing was soldered together to make a strong carrying framework for the gas tank.

A little detailing could now begin starting with the saddle tank and including lots of dummy rivets!!

The backhead became quite complicated because I wanted one servo for the regulator to go behind the left hand rear cab sheet. This meant some interesting pipe bending. The gas tank is carried under the footplate masquerading as the ashpan. The tank was made from two sections of 1” brass square tube soldered together.

This picture shows the exhausts and gas tank in position.

The exhaust pipes come up through the valve gear and then through the front footplate bearer to get to the smokebox where they are joined.


I started Little Giant in October 2016 and finished the build in February 2017.  As usual I could not have been successful without the expertise of Trev Oughton and the help and advice of Mike Lax and John Orson.

Paint is cellulose Victorian Maroon sourced with the help of Geoff Munday.


The tender is Type 2 built at Boston Lodge works with a wagon underframe and houses the radio gear.

Trev Oughton

Trev Oughton

Now to build Welsh Pony.

Andy Cooper

February 2017


Quine, D. The George England locomotives of the Ffestiniog Railway : Flexiscale 2013

Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling No 80

Little Giant running at Charminster

Welsh Pony

Works No 234 Built in 1867 by George England. FR No 5.

Welsh Pony was the first of the "Large England" engines having a 415 gallon capacity saddle tank, longer wheelbase and from 1890 larger 2'3" wheels.

Welsh Pony circa 1904 [cabbed ]


Welsh Pony was built in the same way as Little Giant but with the addition of a cab, a different smokebox [ modified DJB ] and a different design of saddle tank.

The tender again carries the radio control gear.


I painted the engine with Victorian maroon cellulose spray paint and then varnished it. Matt Acton applied the lining. [ Berry Hill Works ]

Thanks again to Trev Oughton for his boiler and gas tank soldering.

Andy Cooper

22 December 2017

Welsh Pony running at Charminster February 2018

Welsh Pony at Wimborne ME November 2018

Welsh Pony at Coombe Hill Railway


Contact Us | ©2007 Yorkshire Group