Some say that Southern modellers have never had it so good. Over the last couple of months a number of SR / BR(s) related products have arrived in 4mm scale (a future post will catch with recent 2mm releases). These have included: from Hornby the Class 71, ex LSWR 0415 Adams radial tanks, ex LSWR Maunsell rebuilt 58′ non corridor stock and Dapol SR style signals. I am also pleased to start with be able to provide an update on the next Class 24 release from the Sutton’s Locomotive Works.
Sutton’s locomotive Works Class 24
In my post about the launch of the Sutton Locomotive Works (SLW) Class 24 here I highlighted not only that the BR Derby built, Type 2 diesels, Class 24s played an early role in the initial modernisation plans for the Southern Region, but also that their were some details variations among the initial members of the class.
The main differences were that ten of the initial batch of 20 locomotives D5010 to D5019 and therefore nine of those that worked on the Southern Region, were fitted with the distinctive larger but experimental ‘Athermos’ axle boxes, rather than the SKF roller type that became the standard.
Philip Sutton the man behind SLW advised me at the time of writing that tooling had been produced to this variation in the future.
Philip paid a visit to me on Fisherton Sarum at the Barnstaple show at the end of last month with a ‘hot of the production line’ SLW catalogue number 2403 as D5016, with the ‘Athermos’ axle boxes along with extra bodyside air intake grilles, original exhaust and front end doors in all over green livery.
It goes without saying that I took the opportunity to take a quick snap of the D5016 on the main running line of Fisherton Sarum. I can also confirm that the running quality demonstrated was as good as all the plaudits elsewhere have stated. I must congratulate Philip Sutton on his attention to detail and model design with these models.
Hornby’s output of new models over the last few months has continued at pace and for Southern modellers we now seen recently the arrival of the Class 71 Bo-Bo electric, the Class 0415 Adams 4-4-2T Radial and within the last couple of weeks the ex LSWR 58ft Maunsell rebuilt non corridor coaching stock.
The latter coaches have been developed with the assistance of friend and Southern rolling stock guru Mike King and splendidly and exquisitely (insert any other positive adjective here) represent the 58tft stock converted in 1934/5 from ex LSWR 488ft stock to Diagram 99 and Diagram 418 Brake Third and Brake Composites respectively that made up 2 coach lav Sets 42 to 46 and also the diagram 31 all third and diagram 99 brake third that were mainly used as ‘loose’ coaches. They capture the prototypes very well including the characteristic timber weatherboard that ran the full length of each coach at floor level owing to the new standard SR underframes being slightly wider than the ex LSWR bodies.
Although sold as individual coaches the Dia 99 and 418 coaches have been correctly numbered, including the central end set numbering, to make up sets 42 and 43 in unlined SR olive (as introduced) and BR crimson liveries respectively. See my original Hornby 2016 announcement post here for the relevant Hornby R numbers.
These coaches were seen on the Lyme Regis branch, so are therefore a perfect companion for the ex LSWR 0415 Adams Radial 4-4-2 tanks, but also these coaches were seen on both branch and local services on across the South Western section of the SR / BR(s).
These continue the standard set by Hornby with their recent coach releases such as the Maunsell stock. Fine details include separately applied hand rails and grab handles, a representation of the grills behind the luggage compartment doors, very well detailed bogies, fine livery application including window smoking signs.
These coaches did gain SR malachite livery followed by BR style lettering on malachite (heavily varnished so slightly darker in appearance) in addition to the unlined Olive and BR crimson so far released so Hornby have a few more livery options up their sleeve. The 2 lav sets did not make it into post BR(s) Green although it is understood that a small number of the Diagram 31 and Diagram 99 coaches did.
For those wishing to fit Kadee buckeye style couplings, I can confirm that the Kadee number 18 medium length fit nicely between the coaches, bringing the sprung buffers together and should also enable the coaches to be able to be propelled OK on 2nd radius and above trackwork.
Going head to head: both the Class 71 and the class 0415 Adams radials are going head to head with other manufacturers with the former up against the DJModels class 71 that is yet arrive and the latter with the earlier released Adams radial from Oxford Rail.
I do not currently have a Hornby Class 71 as I have preferred to wait for the DJM version which I feel is likely to be the slightly more higher specification and detailed version, however having been able to get a close look at the Hornby pre-production samples of the Adams radial last year I decided to wait for the slightly more expensive but overall in my view more accurate (taking all the slight detail variations between the locomotives at different times in their lives), and finer Hornby version, pictured left. Mine will soon be backdated to 1946 guise as 3520 in Bulleid post war black ‘Sunshine lettering ‘ livery.
The Dapol working upper quadrant Southern Signals available as Rail Post (for some reason named by Dapol as ‘Ladder post’) in both Home and Distant styles and a short lattice post platform Starter (some might say dinky) have now hit the retailers.
I have had previously heard mixed reports about the reliability of the previously issued Dapol signal due to their mechanism, along with the rather odd control single pulse to change control method (which does not make it easy to know which position the signal is in from the switch). It does seem anecdotally that those signals that have been controlled by a DCC accessory decoder appear to fair better than directly via push to make switch.
It is my understanding that these release utilise the same mechanism as the previous releases.
Dapol have also announced (05/08/16) that they have Merged with Lionheart Trains that will see much of the Lionheart Trains range of 7mm 0 gauge come under the Dapol brand. Richard Webster of Lionheart Trains has been working closely, (with a little assistance from myself) with Dapol on the development of new models in all scales.
As I said in the introduction above a round up of some of the recent 2mn releases will be the subject of a future post soon, so what this space.