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Springbok completed

2007-2021 inclusive

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Simon Collier01/01/2022 05:36:42
454 forum posts
63 photos

I’ve been working hard for the last two weeks determined to get my engine finished for a club run on New Years Eve. When I decided to build a loco, I knew nothing of metal working or steam locomotives. I learned as I went and there was a lot to learn. I found the machining straight forward, I enjoyed making the boiler, I hated the sheet metal work, I didn't much like the painting and lining- lots of headaches here- and the last job was to make the builders and nameplates using the laser printer toner method of etching. I ran the engine in an unfinished and unpainted state, without tender, for several months before stripping for painting and finishing. I therefore knew that it runs extremely well. Thanks to Julian Atkinson for drafting calculations which I followed to excellent effect.
Along the way I built 3/5 of a Blowfly loco, including boiler, for a young enthusiast, and a couple of gauge 1 locomotives. Also tooling and jigs as needed, of course.
The most urgent job now is to make some extension controls. Yesterday I simply could not reach the regulator over the tender. My back is very problematic and inflexible, and I had no hope. Hitting the regulator with the shovel got old very quickly and I did only a few laps.

Simon Collier01/01/2022 05:38:06
454 forum posts
63 photos


Simon Collier01/01/2022 05:38:28
454 forum posts
63 photos


pgk pgk01/01/2022 07:08:08
2549 forum posts
293 photos

Congratulations for a beautiful piece of work.


Old School01/01/2022 07:10:25
406 forum posts
39 photos

A very nice locomotive well done.

Nicholas Farr01/01/2022 07:36:35
3310 forum posts
1524 photos

Hi, yes a very fine locomotive.

Regards Nick.

Brian Baker 101/01/2022 07:41:25
194 forum posts
36 photos

Well done Simon, looks great.

It is a straight forward job to extend the controls for the regulator & reverser over the tender, which will save you back.


Brian B

Buffer01/01/2022 08:44:54
337 forum posts
153 photos

It's a masterpiece.

Well done.

Mike Hurley01/01/2022 09:32:25
305 forum posts
87 photos

excellent. A credit to your hard work.

regards Mike

JA01/01/2022 09:40:14
1345 forum posts
80 photos


Looks great, very fine. I trust it will run well and reliably.

Please excuse me asking, how long did it take you?


Ketan Swali01/01/2022 09:52:45
1416 forum posts
133 photos

Congratulations Simon,

From zero knowledge of metalwork, starting this project in 2007?, learning over time from the collective, participating here, and getting to this stage by end of 2021 is a great achievement.

Ketan at ARC.

Ches Green UK01/01/2022 10:11:29
56 forum posts
5 photos


The Gazelle looks wonderful (...exactly how I imagine a steam engine should look) and its great to hear that it runs so well.

I think a project of that size and duration is well beyond my current capability and patience but out of curiosity (and just in case ) any chance you could give me a brief list of the machinery you used to make the engine eg lathe type, mill, brazing/soldering equipment etc?

I've got a bench Seig lathe and mill, and many decades ago I did use large workshop machinery and learned welding, brazing etc skills but they are now in the far recesses of my memory.

Thanks and regards, and a Happy New Year to you and all.


SillyOldDuffer01/01/2022 10:20:46
8469 forum posts
1885 photos

Well done, really impressive.

I wish the forum had a good way of recognising the time and skill that go into completing projects like this. An award ceremony with champagne and fireworks seems more appropriate than anything the web can do.


Simon Collier01/01/2022 10:39:39
454 forum posts
63 photos

Thanks gents for the kind words. It took 15 years to build. I first set up a workshop buying a Hafco Chinese 300 swing by 900 geared head lathe with 6” 3 jaw, 8” 4 jaw, 10” faceplate, QCTP, tail stock chuck, live centre etc, and DRO. It was a package deal and cost $A4000 in 11/2006. I bought a Sieg SX3 mill drill. I got ER 32 collets and 5C collets for the lathe. An 8” bench grinder. For heating equipment, a Sievert 2944 big burner, a 2943 burner and an oxy-propane set with a heating tip. I was not going to be short of heat, the cause of so many problems. If that sounds like a lot of money, I have no children, so imagine how much I have saved there.

Ches Green UK01/01/2022 10:51:53
56 forum posts
5 photos


That's a great list and gives me a very good idea of what building one of those engines typically requires. Thank you.

I'll be Googling the items you mentioned and adding the info to my 'Workshop info' Word document.

At the moment I'm sticking with Stuart Models 10V type projects but as I learn more I guess I'll get 'greedier'.


Luker01/01/2022 11:43:06
159 forum posts
116 photos


Ady101/01/2022 13:54:43
5065 forum posts
734 photos

Lovely, and an amazing achievement

Well done you and happy new year

(The next one should be done in less than 5 years!)

AJW01/01/2022 14:08:31
377 forum posts
137 photos

Absolutely superb, we can all appreciate the work that's gone into it.


Roger Best01/01/2022 15:10:47
369 forum posts
56 photos

Beautiful engine, a terrific achievement.

15 years is a long time, but a fantastic journey, I am glad you enjoyed it Simon.

duncan webster01/01/2022 22:17:16
3919 forum posts
61 photos

15 years? I took 25 over my second loco, but there again I built 2 extensions, moved house, raised 3 kids in the meantime. Trouble is it doesn't look as nice as Simon's

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