Converting the Dapol M7 to a LMS P1 by David Wright

I used a simple drawing and reference to photographs, especially the photograph on page 164 in the book ‘LMS 150’ by Patrick Whitehouse and David St John Thomas. In the photograph, it shows a Johnson P1 0-4-4 tank in front of the Leeds Holbeck engine shed and this clearly shows many details.The first task I tackled was to move the dome forward. Using a dental type burr in my hobby drill, I cut round the base of the dome while keeping the base flange intact. I was surprised how thick the boiler plastic was. I then filled the hole with car body filler which I find invaluable for modelling work. I drilled a hole in a piece of wood the same diameter as the dome and pushed it in to hold it firmly while I filed the base of the dome to the boiler profile, carefully preserving the flange. Then I relocated the dome to its new position using liquid polystyrene glue and a small brass pegI used microstrip to fit new boiler bands in the correct positions. I found that the microstrip snapped when I bent it round the boiler but I found that giving it a coat of liquid polystyrene glue softened it so that it could be bent round tight curves successfully.Next I cut new sides for the tank and bunker sides and cab door opening, then I removed the cab roof and the cab structure and fitted a new one using plasticard. I refitted the old cab roof. I built up a firebox using the car body filler and added the safety valves. I removed all the details from the smoke box door except the hinges, then added a handrail and new number plate. I cut back the base of the smoke box to the P1 profile and built it up using filler. I also rebuilt the splashers using plasticard.

After fitting handrails to the tank fronts and bunker, and cab door openings and steps, I primed the model using grey primer and used satin black enamel for the top coat. Finally, I added waterslide transfers which I bought some years ago – they were made by SMS of Glasgow and they were excellent, though I don’t suppose that they are still available.


I’m happy with the result as a reasonable impression of a P1 but I may make some improvements at a later date.

This article was first published in Journal 2/09.