A railway modeller with a keen insterest in all things Southern Railway especially the 1946 to 1949 period.
I can often be seen on the exhibition circuit with my Layout Fisherton Sarum or assiting MIke Wild the Editor of Hornby Magazine with his layouts at shows.
I am also long time member of the High Wycombe and District Model Railway Society
Thomas Mitchell was originally the proprietor of a brick and gravel merchant, that by the early 1900s had become Thomas Mitchell and Sons, brick and tile manufacturers, with a large brick works at Guildford Park. By 1902 they had their own black with white lettered 10ton Private Owner wagon for the transportation of coal to the works.
372-875 No. 319004 in the colourful Network SouthEast (Revised) livery of red, white and blue as the units would have been when fresh into traffic, this model is fitted with a Sprung Stone Faiveley pantograph.
372-876 The Thameslink franchise was operated by Thameslink (Govia) from 1997. The Class 319/1s built in 1990 were the only 319s to feature first class seating but this was quickly removed by Thameslink, following which the units were reclassified as Class 319/3s. No. 319382 depicts a typical Thameslink Class 319/3 in its bold blue and yellow livery and fitted with a Sprung Brecknell Willis pantograph.
372-877 As new trains were acquired for Thameslink services, many 319s found work away from London including twenty 319/3s with Northern Rail. Following light refurbishment, the units were decorated in Northern Electrics livery as carried by No. 319362 which is fitted with a Sprung Brecknell Willis pantograph.
It is noted that the DTSO is missing the 3d rail shoe beams on the leading bogie and Bachmann Europe are correcting this error by making a replacement bogie available. They will announce more details on that shortly and the process for obtaining them, and should be commended for taking this action.
Rapido trains UK confirmed back in January that they are going to produce the LBSCR ‘E1’ 0-6-0T in ’00’ gauge, as part of their growing range, despite it no longer being a commission by Model Rail magazine. My friends at Rapido trains UK have kindly provide me with copies of the latest CAD renders for this project and allowed me to post them here.
They advise me that they will hopefully be confirming soon which running numbers and liveries they are going to produce and I will of course publish the details here when known. I understand it will cover a number of the class variations throughout their lifetime and geographical working area. As I model 1946 to 1949 I am hoping at least one will be in SR sunshine black, or suitable for a quick repaint and renumber to that period, as a number of members of the E1 class were often seen shunting at Southampton Docks and will be therefore be suitable motive power on my Canute Road Quay layout.
It should of course be noted that these CAD renders are a work in progress and some areas in particular are known to require some amendments, such as tank tops. I am also hoping that the couplings might be revised slightly to reduce their protrusion.
It is the purpose of such renders to help evaluate the overall shape and details to confirm they are totally correct before approving the CADs for tooling to commence. Contrary to the belief of some, the first impression from tooling / the Engineering Prototype is to confirm fit and function and perhaps make some minor adjustments, not to see if the basic shape is correct…
The class were originally introduced in 1874 by William Stroudley for local goods and piloting duties, as the E class. Many gained a Marsh type boiler from 1906-7 with a larger dome moved rearwards, encased Ramsbottom safety valves and the whistle relocated to the cab roof. The last six engines were built by RJ Billinton that also has slightly different boilers, Ramsbottom safety valves and a manhole cover, with whistle, was fixed over the firebox. These six were also given different chimneys, to Billinton’s design, (a cast-iron type in one piece) and were known as Class E1, subsequently all the earlier engines also became known as Class E1. Withdrawals commenced in 1908 and continued in SR days during the 1920s, with some examples sold to industrial railways rather than scrapped. Eight examples were also rebuilt as E1/R 0-6-2 radial tank engines for use in the west of England. Four E1s were also transferred during 1932/3 for duties on the Isle of Wight and renumbered W1-W4 and given names related to the Island:136 (originally Brindisi) became W1 Medina, 152 (originally Hungary) became W2 Yarmouth, 154 (originally Madrid) became W3 Ryde and 131 (originally Gournay) became W4 Wroxall.
Thirty survived to British Railways ownership but during the 1950s they were gradually replaced by diesel shunters. The last survivor, BR no 32694, was allocated to Southampton Docks. It was withdrawn in July 1961.
Number 110 was withdrawn in February 1927, and sold to the Cannock and Rugeley Colliery Company and fitted with a revised boiler design. Withdrawn again in 1963 she was preserved and now resides on the Isle of Wight steam railway and is being restored with the identity of W2 ‘Yarmouth’
It is good to see this project progress and as soon as Rapido trains UK let me know their intended versions being produced I will post the details accordingly.
Rapido trains UK have announced they are producing a range of SR Diagram 1379 and Diagram 1400 eight plank open wagons in 00. They have also announced that their SECR wagons and Diagram 1558 6 wheel brake van are to be produced in N gauge as wagon packs.
There were ten standard open wagon designs produced for the SR under Maunsell, although these could actually be grouped into just three main types: an 8 plank open that came in eight versions, a 5 plank open and an 8 plank ferry train wagon.
The first and numerically the largest SR design is the Diagram 1379 eight plank open on a standard 17’6″ RCH underframe with 9’0″ wheelbase with a total of 7,950 built. The first 3000 built from 1926 were fitted with Morton brakes with the remainder with SR ‘Freighter Brakes. Production continued until 1933.
88 Diagram 1379 8 plank wagons were transferred to the Isle of Wight in 1948/9 receiving 278xx / 279xx numbers.
In 1935 the wheel base of the standard 17’6″ underframe was increased to 10’0″ and from August 1936 an unfitted version (similar to the Diagram 1379) was introduced and given Diagram 1400. Construction continued until November 1937 and conveniently 1,400 of this diagram were produced.
Rapido trains UK are incredibly offering 31, yes 31, versions across the two Diagrams 1379 and 1400, as they have tooled Morton and SR ‘Freighter’ brakes and split spoke and disc wheels, RRP is £32.95 per wagon (although they can be pre-ordered at a discounted price from retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre) :
940001: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.29306, SR brown (pre-1936)
940002: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.30601, SR brown (pre-1936)
940003: D1379 Morton Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.31458, SR brown (pre-1936)
940004: D1379 Morton Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.31372, SR brown (pre-1936)
940005: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.32565, SR brown (pre-1936)
940006: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.33333, SR brown (pre-1936)
940007: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.36485, SR brown (pre-1936)
940008: D1379 Freighter Brakes, Disc Wheels, No.36759, SR brown (pre-1936)
940031: D1379 Morton Brakes, Split Spoke Wheels, No.DS719, Motive Power Department black
These wagons are currently at the Engineering prototype stage and should be available during mid 2023.
For N gauge modellers Rapido trains UK have reduced their SECR Diagram 1349 five-plank open, Diagram 1355 seven-plank open, Diagram 1426 covered van and but also the Diagram 1558 six-wheel dual-veranda brake van too. These N Gauge versions will only be available in multipacks. The ‘Freight Packs’ (RRP £99.95) comprise of 1 off of each D1349 five-plank, D1355 seven-plank, D1426 van and a D1558 dual veranda brake van. The ‘Wagon’ packs (RRP £69.95) are a triple packs of one wagon type with three different running numbers as follows:
The N Gauge SECR wagons are at the CAD stage, with tooling due to start shortly and will be available during mid to late 2023. The packs can be pre-ordered at a discounted price from retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre.
Colour perception, especially with models, is an often debated topic especially when manufacturers occasionally, and some more than others, appear to get it wrong. There can be several reasons why colours on models do not always appear correct. In this post I look at some of the issues and reasons that can influence getting colours correct. I have been constructively critical in the past of some manufacturers attempts at getting colours / liveries correct and often try to get colours and liveries corrected, if possible, and have done so again only recently with some proposed SR locomotives (naming no names but fingers crossed they arrive OK).
In my day job I therefore, for my own satisfaction / reputation, had to ensure that the LSWR/SR Goods Wagon Brown on the Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR Diagram 1541 Road Van that I was responsible for producing was as close to the correct colour as possible. I undertook a lot of research to be able to provide the factory with the correct paint references, although this is not as simple as it sounds as I will discuss below.
Following much historical research and checking many contemporary references I was able to provide the factory with a suitable British Standard paint colour reference, however even this is complicated by the fact that such a historical British Standard reference is now obsolete so not readily available for the factory to obtain! Careful checking and agreeing decorated samples ensured that I was happy with the factory’s interpretation of the colour to allow production to commence.
I am also only too happy to share my researched colour references with some other manufacturers, to try to achieve some consistency of colours for all Southern Railway modellers alike, including for example my good friends at Rapido Trains UK, and they specified with their factory my SR Goods Wagon Brown colour reference for their splendid ex SECR /SR open wagons.
It should be noted that I have purposely taken the comparison picture under the same lighting conditions. Different forms and types of lighting either when viewing the prototype, for example bright sunshine or a cloudy day, or models for example under warm or cool white lighting (see my post here about white is white…) can totally change the visual perception of a colour. I am also of course aware that you will be viewing this post on different devices and screens that will also create different perceptions of the colour!
In addition to historical superseded / obsolete colour references and paint finishes there are several other factors that need to be considered when specifying and choosing the correct colour.
Firstly, care should be taken when using old colour photographs, or for that matter preserved rolling stock, as there are so many variables that can affect the representation / comparison of any colour. As well as the lighting conditions at the time the image taken the use of different film stocks at the time and variations in any subsequent printing can give different colour hues. Something published as fact, even repeatedly or copied is not necessarily always factually correct and can still include errors or subjectivity.
Another factor to take into account especially with models is that of colour scaling; our perception of colour does not scale and will vary depending on the distance at which it is being viewed and also the size and the area of the colour, for example if you painted a model with exactly the same paint as a full-size example the model will appear darker when look at in isolation. This is therefore also an issue when using a small swatch of colour as an original reference, and this has been the case, in my opinion, with a small number of colours as referenced in otherwise excellent and well respected livery reference books.
Sometimes a model manufacturer will sometimes need to counter this by using a colour slightly lighter on the model than the full-size prototype so it ‘looks right’ to the eye.
It should also be noted that adjacent different colours to our chosen colour will affect the perception the hue, see the example shown left.
Finally, one further complication for model manufactures is the process used to recreate the often-complex liveries on a model. This is often achieved by a mixture of both paint and print applications, whereas the prototype is more often than not painted (although some modern liveries are via printed vinyls) . Different specifications are used for paint and print colours. For example, paint colours are usually specified to British Standard (both current and obsolete) or RAL numbers; whilst printing inks are usually referenced Pantone colours. There are often no direct conversions between some paint and print colours and errors can creep into the process when conversions take place. For example, sometimes a paint reference could give multiple close Pantone references, and it can even be the case that when some are converted back, they end up as a different RAL number!
It is therefore imperative that such conversions between paint and print references during the process are checked and agreed at every stage. It is the reason that creating an approved set of livery artworks must then be checked and further approved at the decorated sample stage (actual physical sample not photographs from the factory!) before production. Skipping some of these steps in the process, usually for apparent cost reasons, can easily result in mistakes, such as has occurred with the production of some models in the past and therefore be a false economy.
I hope this little walk through the hues and lows of the processes involved in getting the colour / more importantly, the perception of colours as correct as possible has been of interest, perhaps the first of an occasional “Insider insights” series? As always, I welcome and enjoy reading and responding to comments.
As can be seen from the pictures for such small items, especially when compared with the one penny coin, the level of detail is exquisite, even the wheels on the barrows rotate! All are supplied unpainted and ready to paint, with acrylics being recommended.
Hornby subsequently amended their plans and advised that R40030 Number 7864 and R40030A Number 7867 in SR lined olive green to be Open Thirds would now be produced numbered 1363 and 1366 respectively. This gives those modelling the Southern Railway in the 1930s greater flexibility in their accurate use.
During the WWI all except No. 1367 were converted for Ambulance Train use. Four of the six, were converted in July 1947 to Third / Composite Dining Saloons branded as ‘Restaurant Car’ to Diagram 2658 and numbered 7841-4 . These conversions have also been announced by Hornby as R40031 Maunsell Dining Saloon Third / Composite to diagram 2658 Number S7841S and R40031A Number S7843S in BR(s) Green. The other two were now fitted with 48 loose 2 +1 chairs and classified as First Class diners and numbered 7846/7 were paired with newly converted Diagram 2661 Buffet cars for use on the reinstated ‘Night Ferry” service.
Whilst originally announced as being SR lined olive green, I am not sure that when they changed the running numbers Hornby actually indicated that these would now be unlined; although it does mean they match the already released kitchen dinning firsts as these have also so far been released in unlined SR olive green.
The model is of the same high standard of all their SR Maunsell coach releases with their excellent SR Standard 8ft bogies, good chassis detailing, sprung buffers, separately applied door grab handles , fine foot steps at each end and end handrails. Being unlined the decoration is plain and simple, but the lettering is neatly applied as we have come to expect from Hornby. The inside is nicely modelled and decorated with the internal wooden partitions, seats (blue) and table tops (white) all being correctly coloured.
There are however two main areas that let this model down a little; firstly the horizontal bar that separates the main window from the upper vents should be flush with the bodyside and whilst Hornby have, perhaps understandably, modelled this bar as part of the glazing insert it inexplicably is too shallow and therefore not flush with the body side.
Secondly the lower panel vertical joints are modelled with a raised beading applied to them, whilst there is some evidence that some beading might have been to these vehicles later in their life, it certainly was not present during the period applicable to this livery. These two issues do detract slightly from the 3/4 side view of the model.
Supplied with the coach is an accessory bad that contains roof boards, Roco style coupling and for the first time with any SR Maunsell coach are a pair ‘Hunt’ style magnetic couplers that are a representation of the vacuum and steam heat pipes. Until these coupling are main available as separate parts just supplying a pair with an individual coach is not really practicable.
In service these 3rd Class dining saloons were actually paired with the first Maunsell Kitchen / Dining Firsts to Diagram 2651 that were also built in 1927 and numbered 7858-7863. Modellers licence will be required as this Diagram in original its 1927 form has not been produced by Hornby and therefore will have to be incorrectly paired with the Diagram 2656 Kitchen Dining First instead.