Guest Post: J’s Mallard Engine – A Quacking Design

Guest post by my sister and nephew.

My sister passed on the information about taking part in the competition for the Festival of Thrift. She’d been chatting to my mum about it and she knew my son J would want to take part. J loves trains and a day doesn’t go by without him making something. The day we heard about the competition was no exception; he had been making a cement mixer out of a cardboard tube.

Mallard Engine at National Railway Museum

I told my son J about the competition and he knew what he wanted to make right away; a Mallard engine. J has known all about the Mallard for ages, from his train story books and we saw it this summer at the National Railway Museum in York. This engine is the fastest steam engine ever. On 3 July 1938, the A4 class locomotive Mallard raced down Stoke Bank at 126mph to set a new steam locomotive world speed record. That record still stands.

We got started the next day, by making the curve for the front of the engine from book packaging. J taped this onto another small box. We found picture of the Mallard on the internet and I showed him how he could cut his loo roll diagonally for the funnel. We had a piece of black foam which had come home from preschool as part of another construction. J chopped some up into circles to make bumpers and had the idea of making it into coal to put in the tender. He cut the top of the top of a box to make his tender .

We looked around to find what we could use for wheels. J wanted to use the old sellotape roll as a big step for the driver to get into the engine so he stuck that on. He had lots of milk bottle tops, which he coloured in with a permanent marker pen. These got glued on near the end.

mallard engine

Now it was onto painting. J carefully looked at how the engine has a black front and drew this onto the engine before painting it. He painted his boxes, but his tender box was too shiny to paint, so I showed him how he could turn it inside out. When it was all dry he glued on his milk top wheels. He didn’t have enough wheels so he made some more from the book packaging.

J designed the coupling, but thinks that the tender should be closer. He finished the engine with some stickers and I helped him pick the letters.

Mallard Engine

When I asked J what he thought he said “It was rather good. I like the colour of it. I like it.” J loved making his Mallard. He had wanted to carry on making carriages and tracks, but this week he started school.

Mallard Engine

Mallard Engine

Festival of Thrift

Disclosure.  This post is a competition entry to the Festival of Thrift Blogger Challenge. The Festival takes place in Darlington on Sept 26th / 27th.

13 thoughts on “Guest Post: J’s Mallard Engine – A Quacking Design

  1. Pingback: Guest Post: J’s Mallard Engine – A Quacking Design | Festival of Thrift

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