Sign my

SAR GMA/M rebuild


GMA/M no. 4065 with raised coal bunker sides at Bulawayo loco shed, 15 April 1980.
By Peter Bagshawe, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

I had a GMA/M kit from DJH in store for a few years already when I stumbled over a built example on eBay in 2022.

Bidding on eBay

In general

Bidding on eBay requires mental strength. I always set myself a maximum and if it goes for a higher price, well then I let it go. I am also very conservative with bids on built kits. That the loco has been built already does not push me to bid higher, quite on the contrary. They are usually not built to my standards and all risk of missing or broken parts is on my side, so I prefer to buy an unbuilt kit.

This GMA/M

But as the availability of the GMA/M kit will decrease (they are no longer sold in kit form) and prices of the RTR models have gone wild, I opted to bid on this one anyway. I was well aware this loco was a non-runner and sold "as is" and "for parts or repairs only". I set myself a maximum of €300. That is not a randomly chosen amount, it is about 25% of the cost of a new GMA/M by Precision Miniatures and about half the price of the original DJH kit. A bit to my own surprise the bidding stopped at €276 (USD 293 or GBP 244 at the time) and the loco was mine.

Why a second GMA/M?

Well, I was not particularly keen on getting it in the first place. On the other hand it is a beautiful locomotive, to my eyes at least, I know opinions differ on that. So at the same time I could see myself building the same loco twice. And I loved the challenge of salvaging a loco I really liked. And finally this scene came to mind

Two GMA/M's labouring up hill, though clearly billowing black smoke for the sake of the photographer, with two X-10 water tanker in-between them. Unknown origin, it seems like a book cover to me but I could not retrace it. If someone claims copyright on this photo please contact me.

I liked the prospect of recreating the above scene in model. Now I need to find two X-10 tankers somewhere....

Status of the project

27 December 2022

The superstructure of the front unit has been disassembled and stripped from its paint. For the next few weeks I will be figuring out how to power the unit.

23 December 2022

The loco arrived from Austria