In May last year I reported that the small manufacturer of Ready To Run locomotive 00 Works are to produce seven variations of the ex London Brighton and South Coast Railway Marsh I3 4-4-2 Tanks. The first version has now arrived from 00 Works, although I have not personally ordered one myself (I already have a kit built one, that can be seen here in my Talking Stock #25 post along with some further details on the prototype) I am indebted to fellow Southern modeller Tony Teague for his photographs and comments below.
This release follows on from a number of Southern locomotive produced by the ’00’ Works in the past such as: N15, 700, C, E4 and 0415 Adams Radial classes (although of course these have now all been subsequently been announced or produced by the major manufacturers). The level of detail of these models has steadily improved over time, although is still not as high as we see from the likes of Hornby and Bachmann, or from if built carefully from kits.
Tony advised: The I3 has a bit more detail than seen on previous 00 Works models including some interior cab detail, etched rear cab window grills, wire handrails and a good representation of a Westinghouse pump; from my perspective as a Southern Railway modeller the numberplate moulded onto the smoke box door is not quite so helpful on what is a plain, unnumbered version, but I’ll probably live with it. The moulded coal in the bunker does not look good; if real coal is not supplied, as it has been on some previous 00 Works models, then I’d prefer an empty bunker. The model has a smooth, fairly quiet motor and I put it onto a fairly heavy test train without any running in, and it was able to pull away, albeit with some wheel-slip, and make good speed.
Tony continued; advising that he has obtained a number of the 00 Works releases since 2002: Some are much better than others – I like their N15 King Arthur’s for example, but at the other end the Adams Radial is an awful performer! Early models also tended to have the bodies fixed to the chassis via a large, visible screw, but I have to say that like other manufacturers, 00 Works have progressed and improved, and I feel that the I3 is one of their best. Given the current cost of getting a kit built and the lack of any RTR I3 in the foreseeable future I am still of the view that this represents reasonable value for money.
From my own view of the images Tony supplied and those I have seen elsewhere I also note that although this model includes the characteristic LBSC style front tall middle iron positions, but it omits the buffer beam lamp irons at the base the of the tall ones and the upper smokebox position completely, although the centre lamp iron is present. On the Bunker rear however the upper and two middle lamp irons are include but not any on the buffer beam. Another area that has slightly let down the finish of the 00 Works releases in the past has been the highly visible carrier film to decals especially the numbers, although Tony’s is an unnumbered version I have seen that this issue still exists on their numbered releases.
Despite these small issues the model from 00 Works fills a niche gap in the RTR market and a with little additional detail makes a fine model. Thanks again for Tony for his pictures and comments on this model.