First Oxford Rail Adams Radial tank on the way.

Oxford Rail, the new brand of The 4mm scale road vehicle manufacturer Oxford Diecast, announced last November their intention to enter the UK 4mm 00 scale ready to run market, with initial an ex London & South Western Railway (LSWR) Adams 0415 class 4-4-2T Adams Radial Tank and a range of 1923 PO wagons (which perhaps would have been better being the 1907 version not currently already produced in RTR form). Within weeks of their announcement Hornby also announced that they were already producing such a model and theirs is currently due in January 2016.  Oxford Rail have this week released images and samples of the first version of the locomotive in their range reference number OR76AR001 as number 30583 in British Railways Late Crest livery and stated that they are due to be available from Monday 23/11 next week.

I have not yet seen a physical model in the flesh and fully accept that judging such a model from only the pictures released by Oxford Rail here along with the image below, that is courtesy of Tony Wright / BRM Magazine Andy York / RMweb / (although their sample does appear to have a bent piston rod and one of the tool boxes is not sat square on the running plate), does not possibly give the full story, so this post is not a review just a few initial thoughts.

The Oxford Adams radial 30583 picture courtesy of A York / RMweb
The Oxford Adams radial 30583 picture courtesy and copyright of Tony Wright / BRM Magazine

The first thing that struck me is that the front face of the model does not appear to be quite right, which might be due to what seems to me to be a lack of taper on the chimney, slightly high positioning of the smokebox number plate and the silver painted possibly slightly overscale appearance of the handrails, stanchions and also the smokebox dart (perhaps if they had been left unpainted they might have looked finer?).  But I would have to reserve final judgement once I have had a chance to see the actual model in the flesh. From a construction / tooling perspective there appears to be some prominent mould lines along both the boiler, chimney and also the cylinders and the dome does not appear to sit as flush to the boiler as perhaps it should. Also the motor assembly (including a flywheel),  that drives the rear axle,  is located forward within the smokebox end of the boiler resulting in the motor casing being visible under the boiler at the front which should really be daylight above the frames.
Other details such as cab backhead, pipework, underframe brake gear etc. look to be to the fine standard we have come to expect from recent Ready to Run models.

There were a number of detail difference between the last surviving three locomotives such as front frames, slide bars, Adams / Drummond boilers (with differing domes and safety vales) which were swapped betweenthe three locomotives over time, and rear radial wheel diameters etc. Oxford Rail have stated that they are tooling for all this differences and from my initial check the combination of the variations appears to be correct for 30583 in the livery being produced.

We shall have to wait and see how these models look and perform in the flesh and compare with the albeit slightly more expensive Hornby model in due course.  We will of course be able to pay our money and make our own choice.


16 thoughts on “First Oxford Rail Adams Radial tank on the way.

  1. It seems a shame that an otherwise good effort is, particularly for me, spoilt by the lack of ‘daylight’ under the boiler, which doesn’t appear to be the case in the forthcoming Hornby model.

    I will be awaiting the LSWR versions in any case, and I’m sure by then the position on running and production qualities will be clearer.

    With the Oxford versions being offered in some places at £85.00 though, some £35.00 cheaper than the proposed Hornby price I’m sure it will sell well.

    1. Peter, I too am disappointed by the lack of finesse seen in the images of the Oxford Rail model so far, although I am yet to see one in the flesh. The price difference almost equates to the Oxford version being “Railroad” quality whilst with any luck from what I have seen so far the Hornby model being very much more main range and possibly worth the additional cost.

  2. Looking at the images on the Hattons website the rear observation lights appear incorrect – are they not of the size when in LSWR days?

    Certainly they appeared to be much smaller in BR days (and had coal guards fitted to protect the glass).

    1. Further to my earlier post I had a look at Bradley and can see that 3488 had the smaller observation lights and coal rails in 1949; a 1938 photograph is less clear.

      Interestingly these Oxford pre-production images on this website appear to be correct although for 30583 (at least) the coal rails are missing.

      From two excellent photographs of 30584 in Bradley it can be seen that the later observation lights had a noticeable frame on the inside of the cab which shews the larger observation light wasn’t simply plated over at the bottom. I’d suggest the cab backplate was replaced at some stage.

  3. I am really disappointed by the bright handrails on the model, I am sure these were painted black in all livery variations. Almost a show stopper for me.

  4. My Oxford Radial has no problems with tool boxes floating in mid air, or indeed any other assembly problems, it runs smoothly, yes I agree with the comments re silver handrails it gives it a toylike appearance as for the smoke box dart, I have seen pics where this was either painted white or polished silver hard to tell from black and white photos……as for lack of daylight under the boiler, well it’s not really that noticeable from normal viewing angles, take a look at the earlier pic of 488 on the Bluebell Railway no Daylight showing under boiler, there either, For £84.00 I can live with those minor issues……Lets not forget it is their first foray into producing a RTR loco and should be applauded ,

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