NZR Class F 0-6-0ST

Prototype built by Yorkshire Engine Co, Sheffield, England, 1874

The prototype of this model was designed by a couple of Public Works engineers in 1871 and the popular folk lore is that the preliminary sketches were drawn freehand on the back of an envelope! Eighty eight locomotives of this class were built between 1872 and 1888 by seven builders and they saw service on just about every part of the NZGR system. At least two examples remain as preserved working exhibits in museums and the prototype of F12, the subject of this model, is in storage at Ferrymead Historic Park near Christchurch. It is in a state of some disrepair, with the cab and other fittings removed which made it easier to measure up some of the structural components when I built the model.

The F class loco was a free runner and was popular with crews even though the cab was cramped. The class survived as late as 1957 on the warves at Lyttelton, near Christchurch.

The model was built from a commercial kit featuring white metal, etched and cast brass components and was completed about 1984. I made some modifications to the kit. In the main I built a substitute chassis to provide greater rigidity than the original etched frames and I employed the British 'flexi-chas' system for equalisation. I made new side rods and connecting rods from mild steel in the belief that nothing looks as much like steel as does steel! They were given a protective coat of clear satin lacquer and have not shown any signs of rusting.

The particular locomotive modelled is F12 which finished its days at the Pukeuri freezing works near Oamaru. It had distinctive (for its class) heavy boiler tube cowcatchers and these had to be built up from scratch. Other minor details were added to customise the kit to the late appearance of F12.

The model is fitted with directional constant lighting.

Model Specs at a Glance

Scale / ratio

9 mm to the foot, 1:33.87


32 mm (0 gauge)

Basis of model

Commercial kit - modified

Main materials

White metal and brass

Driving Wheels

North Yard




Sagami 2240

Paint Finish

Zinc chromate primer

Floquil Dirty Black with satin polyurethane over

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Updated 18 September 1998