Back in March 2013 Bachmann Europe announced its intention to produce a model of the ex London Brighton and South Coast Railway, Billinton designed E4 class 0-6-2 tanks. The first production versions of this model are now on their way to the UK, with a small number having been sent to the model press for reviews in the last week or so. With the grateful thanks of Bachmann I was allowed to borrow, view and photograph an example yesterday at the Milton Keynes Model Railway Society exhibition and use fellow High Wycombe and District MRS member Alan Paley’s Loughborough Road layout as a backdrop.
Four versions were announced:
35-075 Number 579 in LBSC Umber
35-076 Number B 473 in Southern, Pre 1931, Olive Green
35-077 Number 32556 in unlined BR Black Early Emblem
35-078 Number 32470 in lined BR Black Late Crest.
It should be noted that in January this year Bachmann advised that the running number of the 35-078 Late Crest Version had been changed to 32500.
As we can expect from the Bachmann they have captured the look and details of this delightful tank locomotive very well, and having now seen all but the LBSC Umber version, which will follow the SR and BR versions, the livery application is up to their usual high standard.
I take this opportunity, having discussed this directly with Bachmann, to advise that the Southern Olive Green version No. B473, as photographed here, is modelled in her Era 3 condition (1923 to 1931/2 before she was renumbered 2473). Most E4’s during this period did, unlike the model, have lining to the cab fronts, and although I have not seen an actual picture of B 473 in this period it is evident that not all the class were so treated.
This is as clearly stated in their catalogue, and not therefore totally correct for number 473 as she has been preserved on the Bluebell Railway as there have been a small number of detail and livery changes made during preservation. This has been the subject of some debate on a number of the online forums and I am pleased to be able to clarify here.
Although ex LBSC locomotives they could seen seen across a wide area of the Southern network, with a number post 1948 being allocated to ex LSWR sheds such as Basingstoke and Nine Elms; even Salisbury received a couple (numbers 32506 and 32486), post the closure of the Western Region shed in 1950, much to the annoyance of the ex WR crews to replace their pannier tanks shunting Fisherton Yard!