Hatton’s only announced their production of the ex SECR Wainwright P Class tanks after first Engineering Prototypes had been received back in September last year as I reported in my “Can I have a P please” post, here. Although it was hoped to be able to deliver these before the end of last year Hattons should be congratulated in getting 10 of the 12 initially announced versions to the market last week, a refreshingly short process time especially as this is the first locomotive project that Hatton’s have handled direct with the manufacturing company in China. The two SECR lined livery versions will be following shortly.
Although only eight P class locomotives were built, there were a number of differences between the members of the class and during their lifetime and Hatton’s have certainly risen exceptionally well to the challenge.
The first two members of the class introduced in February 1909 numbers 753/556/1556/31556 and 754/557/1557/31557 had 4 and half inch taller cabs and side tanks than the remaining six members that were built in February and July 1910. Although only a small difference in height it is noticeable when the locos are side by side.
Hatton’s have tooled for both cab / tank height styles, the two different smokeboxes with different rivet patterns, two main types of buffers, alternative rear steam heating pipes, smokebox lubricators, number plates (where applicable) and with or without glazing bars on the rear cab spectacles.
The first 12 version announced by Hatton’s are as follows:
- H4-P-01 No. 178 in SECR lined green, 1910-11 (as preserved) short cab, SR Buffers, smokebox with 1 row of rivets and lubricator
- H4-P-02 No. 753 in SECR lined green, 1909-11 (as preserved) tall cab, SR Buffers, rear window bars, smokebox with 2 rows of rivets and lubricator
- H4-P-03 No. 754 in SECR wartime grey, 1910-1920s, tall cab, Bottle buffers, higher steam pipes and smokebox with 2 rows of rivets
- H4-P-04 No. A325 in Southern Railway lined olive green, 1924 to mid 1930s, short cab, bottle buffers, rear window bars, higher steam pipe and smokebox with 2 rows of rivets
- H4-P-05 No. 1555 in Southern Railway black, 1938-48, short cab, bottle buffers, rear window bars, higher steam pipe and smokebox with 2 rows of rivets
- H4-P-06 No. 1558 in Southern Railway black with Sunshine lettering, 1941-48, short cab, bottle buffers, rear window bars, higher steam pipe and smokebox with 2 rows of rivets
- H4-P-07 No. 31027 in BR black with early emblem, 1949 to withdrawal in 1961, short cab, SR buffers, rear window bars, higher steam pipe and smokebox with 2 rows of rivets
- H4-P-08 No. 31323 in BR black with late crest, 1959-61, short cab, SR buffers, rear window bars and smokebox with 1 row of rivets
- H4-P-09 “Pioneer II” in Bowaters Paper Mill lined green, 1958-61 (ex 178/1178/31178) short cab, SR buffers, no vacuum pipe and smokebox with 2 rows of rivets
- H4-P-10 “Pride of Sussex” in Robertsbridge flour mill green, 1961-71, (ex 53/556/1556/31556), tall cab, SR buffers, no steam pipe and smokebox with 2 rows of rivets
- H4-P-11 No. 27 “Primrose” in Bluebell Railway lined black, 1961-63, short cab, SR buffers, rear window bars and smokebox with 2 rows of rivets
- H4-P-12 No. 323 in Bluebell lined blue (as preserved) short cab, SR buffers, lubricator and smokebox with 1 row of rivets
The model is supplied in a Hatton’s branded sturdy foam lined box and further protected by the now common up and over plastic tray in a plastic sleeve. It should be noted that this outer sleeve is a very tight fit so care should be taken trying to access the model. I also positively note that packing allows for the tension lock couplings to remain in place.
Hopefully the pictures of three of the models with in this post will speak for themselves. I am certainly very impressed with the build quality (although on the rear sprung buffers was loose on one of my examples), finesse and level of separately applied details such as: fine blackened handrails, detailed cab interior, drain cocks, oil lubricators, brass whistle, lamp irons front and rear, smokebox number plate (i.e. not moulded) on BR versions.
An accessory bag of further detaining parts is provided that contains: buffer beam coupling hooks with cosmetic screw link couplings, steam heating pipes of a type relevant to the livery of the loco, 3 off SR Engine Head Signal discs (referred to incorrectly as “Route Indicator Disks” within the supplied instruction sheet) an SR style lamp and what must be a first for an R-T-R model 3 off tiny oil cans!
The livery application is very crisp and a nice stain finish, very much as we have come to expect from current R-T-R models. Manufacturers build plates and the SECR ownership plates (where applicable) are printed rather than separate etched items. I have however spotted that the SR post war black version the ‘Sunshine’ numerals are incorrect in that they should not have the inside black line as this was only applied to the ‘Southern’ lettering.
Within the cabs the various gauges are part of the spectacle glazing insert they have dials / needles nicely printed on them although the moulding also has the copper pipe runs to these gauges but have been left unprinted / painted.
With its 5 Pole motor within the boiler and gearbox within the firebox (allowing the daylight gap under the boiler), boiler weights and all wheel pick up the performance is smooth and reliable at all speeds. A 6 pin DCC socket is included, accessed by the removal of the body, simply achieved via the four screws located on the underside either side of the NEM coupling pockets. Not surprisingly in a model of such small prototype sound fitting will be a slight challenge requiring some modelling skills but helpfully Hatton’s have suggested a process for achieving this within the supplied instruction sheet.
My No. 1558 will be simply weathered, whilst No. 1556 will be changed to one of the current missing livery options as her later early 1948 identity of No.31556 with ‘British Railways’ in SR Sunshine lettering style, whilst tall cab No. 754 will become her later 1557 identity in SR post war black as per No. 1558. As there are still possibly two or three some other livery versions possible some of these might yet appear so watch this space.
In conclusion as I am sure you can tell Hatton’s have produced and excellent model and with the number of versions announced should be very popular for modellers of the South East from all periods including the preservation era.