Talking Stock #12 3 cylinders better then 2? Converting an N to an N1

As seen in my last talking stock post on the my 40T Ballast Hoppers, I often run that rake with my Maunsell N1 as part of one Fisherton Sarum’s signature trains. To create the N1 i converted a Bachmann N class model to the 3 Cylinder N1.

N1 No. 1822 heads west past the shed at Fisherton Sarum

The Southern Maunsell N1 class, comprising of six engines, was a 3 cylinder version of the N class with the most notable differences being the straight running plate in front of the cylinders, the extended vertical face above the front buffer beam and shallower smoke deflectors.

The N1 conversion finished prior to painting clearly showing the areas modified

The less obvious difference are the front cab windows where the N1 class has a single curved window on each side of the boiler whereas the N class has a smaller main curved window and a second small circular window above the firebox on each side. Also what I think are lubrication oil reservoirs are located on each side of the running plate just behind the smoke deflectors. The cylinders and motion are also different. The outside cylinders on the N1 are slightly smaller along with much smaller valve chests resulting in sloping slides when compared to the vertical sides on the N class. Also the motion bracket is supported off the frames on the N1 class and not the cylinder block as per the N class.

The completed N class to N1 conversion number 1822

One of the reasons that I contemplated this conversion was the fact that I had some spare N1 etchings, which were surplus to requirements from a DJH N class kit I built a while back. These etchings included Buffer beam / running plate front and smoke deflectors. These items could however be made from scratch using brass / plastic and adapting the N class smoke deflectors.

I reshaped the cylinder block using a file and Milliput New motion brackets were made from scrap brass flat suitably bent and soldered then glued with epoxy resin to the front edge of the plastic cylinder block bracket

I modified the buffer beams and running plate using a mix of brass sheet and the DJH etchings, brass sprung buffers , cast white metal steam heat and vacuum pipes, lamp irons (my usual cut down Bambi staples) and small grab handles were fitted to the buffer beam.
The characteristic tall front steps of the N1 class were made up from the spare brass DJH N1 step etchings that I had in stock. However these could easily be made from brass sheet or plasticard. I also had spare etched N1 smoke deflectors courtesy of DJH but in fact the Bachmann N class deflectors could simply be cut down to the correct size.
I removed the cab glazing then carefully filed flush the front moulded window surround of all the cab windows. The two circular holes were then filled with Milliput and the front face cleaned off level with the cab front, DJH window frames then completed the look.

A more detailed step by step guide to this conversion appeared in the August 2004 issue of Railway Modeller and an online version can be read on the SeMG website here.

4 thoughts on “Talking Stock #12 3 cylinders better then 2? Converting an N to an N1

  1. As a boy, I was always a bit confused between an ‘N’ and an ‘N1’ or a ‘U’ and a ‘U1’, despite the obvious external differences that you mention. But nevermind, the Ian Allan ABC would always come to the rescue – as it still does!

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