General information about model Bowman of Luton PW203

The PW203 is the largest engine made by Bowman of Luton (appart from the ultra rare 2 cylinder PW204). The engine is a single cylinder oscilation engine with a exhaust to chimney. It also features a alluminium firebox with the letters BM stamped into it. This engine has a quite large cylinder compared to other steam engines.

Bowman of Luton PW203

After getting the Bowman PW201, I didn't hesitate to buy it's bigger brother when it came up on ebay.

The engine doesn't look very good yet, but all the parts are there. The whistle bush is loose at the moment, but furthermore it's all in a quite reasonable state, even the decal is still there.

I think I will just clean this engine, although I do consider to repaint the firebox.

Update 10-08-2010

I've finished the restoration for this engine. After giving it some thought, I decided to go for a full restoration, except for the baseplate, since I didn't I want to lose the original decal.

I started by repairing the boiler, originally it should have had a stand to keep it stable, but that was gone, so I soldered one onto it. There was no paint left on it, so I repainted it and replaced the wick with "wonder wick".

There was quite a lot to do with the engine itself, the whistle tread needed re-soldering, and while taking it apart, I realized the steam dome had to be re-soldered too, since it came right off.

I suspect one of the previous owners did some soldering work on the boiler too, since there was a load of solder coming out of the end cap when I heated it. The boiler already had a dent, but unfortunately I created another one by attaching it a bit too secure in the vice. I've been able to remove the dents a little bit, but you can still see them when you take a close look.

Above you see the boiler with the end cap removed. Because the two treads I had to re-solder where on the opposite sided of the boiler, I first re-soldered one of them, and after that continued by removing the other end cap.

In the process I also made the mistake of soldering on the steam dome in the wrong way, so I had to redo that one, here you see the mistake:

After resolving that mistake, I finaly could put the boiler back together, so I could test it under pressure, this is what it looked like assembled:

The assemblage was a bit of a pain, because the piston wouldn't fit into the cylinder, no matter what I tried. There wasn't anything obvious blocking it, no lime scale or old oil residue. Eventually I decided to sand the cylinder down until it would fit, and that worked. The test run wend very well, you can see a movie of it on the left side of the page.

After the test run, I continued by painting all the small parts

And cleaning up the soldering work and a lot of polishing.

After all that, the end result looks like this: