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A web-site by Rob Speare


Background And Acknowledgments.

Updated March 2022

Crickey, it is now over 35 years since I embarked on building a 5" gauge model of Bulleid's Q1.
By no means a pretty locomotive, but it has the look of the modernity of it's time, and has certainly found attention during the build.  However, excepting a photo on a cover of Model Engineer magazine, I did not come across another Q1 model until many years later, although I'd been contacted by a number of people wanting drawings.

About 2003 ago I came across Harry's Q1 at the Bristol Show, and also Nick emailed me about his; when I learnt of another being built it was obvious we were setting out to solve similar problems, and I thought I'd like to pool some knowledge about these locos, which might then be of interest to others.

I persuaded them to pen an article, and published them on the local club web-site.  But as I did a bit more research I came to realise that Mr Bulleid was quite a ground breaker in many ways, and decided to expand my sights to include more designs.

Much thanks to John and Mike for writing the first Merchant Navy articles, and from there it has been mainly word of mouth and following up leads.  And what a fascinating project this has turned out to be, and is possibly unique in bringing together such related articles; launching this Bulleid web-site in March 2007.

Considering my contact has often come unannounced, many of my contributors have been really helpful, and trusted the idea without actually seeing the site, which has also ensured that the articles are unique.  For me the enjoyment (and often headache) of this site is that where possible, page content is in the words of the builder, whilst trying to use any gleaned photos to best effect.

It has been rewarding to find that most of Bulleid's designs have been attempted in some scale, and some really rare models are also represented here.  There are also a good number of models under construction, although some have been passed on for another builder to complete.  No comparisons are intended between models, they are all individual and built to different requirements from the information available; in my book anyone who finishes a Bulleid loco deserves 4 gold stars.

This site has taken a tremendous amount of time, but during its development I have come into contact with many super people, many of whom I have met up with, or been invited to "drop in, the kettle's always on", which is really rewarding.

There are further pages being compiled (and it can take some time to get the right photos), and I am hopeful that others who have promised material will get around to writing down their story soon !   Plus some other topics yet to be covered.

Of course I'd welcome contact about other models or 'Bulleid' experiences I could feature, and let me know what you think of the site using the Feedback page.

Along with many others, my build started before the days of personal computers, internet or email, cad or cnc, and I seem to have less hours available now than years ago.  Today there are few people being taught the engineering skills that seemed common just a few years ago, yet still a steady stream of individuals seem keen to take up the hobby, and even more ambitiously - start building a model of a Bulleid..  Fortunately model engineering has moved on a little, and 'some' of the drudgey can now be reduced by laser cutting and cnc machining.

More recently I have been contacted by a number of model engineers who are proficient with 'cad', and this is a great way in which we can speed up or improve the development of designs and items.  Several contacts have .dxf files drawn up to allow many parts to be laser, or water-jet cut, saving hours of time, and perhaps increasing accuracy.  These are avenues that will allow model engineering to continue, and make the completion of a Bulleid (or any other) model more achievable.

In 2017, we were able to assemble a display of many Bulleid models from a number of contributors to this site, at the Bristol Model Engineering exhibition, (please see separate report).  Following that success, we try to arrange an annual meetup for builders; part note swapping, problem solving and general encouragement.

A quick note about photos: I have often been given special permission to show many old and unusual photos on this site, which I hope you enjoy looking at.  However, please do not abuse this facility and copy them for publication elsewhere without express permission of the owner.
If I have to remove photos through mis-use, it will be a loss to all viewers of the site.

My last comment is a hearty "Thank you" to all who have contributed material for this web-site, without whom it could not have worked . . .