Further to my post last month where Rapido Trains UK revealed the versions of the LBSC E1 class 0-6-0 tank locomotives they are producing, it also advised that Train Times of Eastbourne announced a exclusive livery versions for the Rapido Trains UK LB&SCR E1 in LBSC Lined Black .
Train Times have today revealed the identities for the two exclusive models they have commissioned both in LBSC lined black livery. They will be producing number 113 which spent some time at Eastbourne in the 1910s and “Loco Dept. New Cross”.
Number 113 originally built in May 1877 named “Granville” carried this lined black livery from 1906 until 1928 when she was repainted into Southern livery and numbered B113. She latter became 2113 then 32113 and was withdrawn September 1958 having worked 1,130,888 miles!
Number 111 originally built in April 1877 named “Montpelier” and became “Loco Dept. New Cross” from June 1908 until June 1922 when she was renumbered 611 and withdrawn in May 1932.
Both versions are a limited to 150 models and will be priced at £164.95 and available to pre-order from the Train Times website here.
With apologies to David Bowie… regular readers may have spotted a slight change to the layout of my little corner of the world wide web. The previous WordPress theme (page style) I was using had become obsolete and was causing a few back office and functionality issues, so I therefore have adopted a new WordPress theme that hopefully solves some of the issues and gives a similar but slightly fresher look.
The downside, and there is always a downside of course, is that the positioning of images, annoyingly, align differently and so has affected the visual appearance of previous posts. Please bear with me and accept my apologies as I either find a work around and / or slowly manually correct past posts.
In other news, Canute Road Quay is on the road again next month and is appearing on Saturday 20th August 2022 at the Silverfox DCC MRC exhibition being held at the Oakgrove School, Venturer Gate, Milton Keynes MK10 9JQ
It is good to be at exhibitions again, especially as many Model Railway Clubs/Societies have lost such valuable income from the lack of exhibitions during the pandemic, so if you are able to visit the show, and support the Silverfox DCC MRC, please drop by Canute Road Quay and say hello.
Published by friends at Pen and Sword Transport “Seventy Years of the South Western – A Railway Journey Through Time” is Colin Boocock’s romp through the South Western railways on which he grew up and later worked on. With yesterday, July 9th, marking 55 years since the end of the steam on the Southern Region a review of this recently published book seems apt.
Colin started his career at Eastleigh in the 1950s before returning in a management role in the 1960s. Being part of the senior management at the time of privatisation Colin is able to write with authority on the processes and outcomes at that time. Many of the photographs used to accompany the researched text throughout the book are Colin’s own and therefore are refreshingly new, although post 1950s, and demonstrate how much he travelled across the South Western with a knack for capturing what then would have been mundane but now provides interesting reference.
Owing to its broad South Western topic the book is not, unsurprisingly, as detailed as some of the more line specific publications, it does however provide a good overview and introduction of the whole of the South Western network throughout the ages, with a balance of historical information, diagrams and photographs that will be of interest to railway historians and modellers alike; especially those looking for a broad starting point for gaining an understanding into the history and intricacies of the South Western network.
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).
I will use LSWR/SR Goods Wagon Brown as a case in point; for example, Hornby have had multiple attempts to achieve the correct SR colour. Back in 2016 their excellent SR Diagram 1530, as per my review here, was released in a good, if not very slightly too dark, representation of the SR Goods Wagon Brown.
Perhaps the fact that the official name of the correct dark brown colour is “Chocolate Brown” they chose milk chocolate instead?
Hornby have subsequent released further versions of this model in a darker version but is still slightly too light and lighter than the colour they used on the cattle truck!
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.
I did however note in my review here, that their factory interpretation of the colour appeared lighter. I also thought at the time of writing that the finish of the model may have also affected the perception of the colour as it was a satin nearly glossy finish rather than matt.
To demonstrate this, I have now given one of the Rapido Trains UK wagons a simple single spray coat of Testers Dullcoat matt varnish and when pictured alongside the KMRC Road Van and one of the original Rapido Trains UK factory finished wagons the effect of the type finish and its perception of the same base colour can be clearly seen.
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.
This is often highlighted when initially painting a model for example compare a lined and unlined model that uses the same base colour.
For example, a splendid malachite green Bulleid pacific will look to be a darker green until the three horizontal lines are added as can be seen in the image to the left of my 21c11 before and after lining has been applied and photographed under the same lighting conditions.
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.
Rapido Trains UK first announced these 00 gauge ready to run South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) / Southern Railway wagons in May 2021 and they have now arrived at retailers. These new models cover the Diagram 1355 seven-plank open and both the Diagram 1347 and Diagram 1349 five-plank opens built by the South Eastern & Chatham Railway on the same Maunsell/Lynes steel underframe.
Graham asked: “should this review be written in the style of a Rapido marketing email,?” but Muz replied: “Right! Stop that! It’s silly.” (with apologies to Monty Python).
I will let the photographs show how good these wagons are and provide a welcome addition to any SECR / SR modellers fleet. I have only purchased some of the SR versions, but SECR grey and BR Grey and BR Departmental versions are also available (see the original announcement here for the full list).
Some people, without a full understanding of the manufacturing process and where production and overheads costs lie, might crawl away at the RRP of £32.95; and whilst there might still be other manufacturer’s wagons currently available at a cheaper prices the realistic market prices are certainly changing as all costs rise. The models can of course be purchased from retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre at a slight discounted price.
The 7 plank open, later SR Diagram 1355, were the SECR’s most numerous wagon with 2,121 wagons built between 1915 and 1927. The SR later fitted a sheet rail. British Railways had over 70 wagons still in service in the 1960s and the last withdrawals were not until the 1970s.
The 5 plank opens utilised the same steel chassis as the 7 plank wagons, 550 were built between 1920 and 1925 with standard buffers that became SR Diagram 1347. A further 150 were built 1921/2 with the self-contained buffer type, as on the 7 plank D1355 wagons, and became SR Diagram 1349. They were withdrawn in the early 1960s.
All three versions of the models, sharing the same underframe, have accurate body detail, including nicely planked insides and now becoming much more common on wagon releases good underframe detail that includes both etched and wire parts. They also feature nice split spoked wheels on 26mm pin point axles that run in brass bearing cups, that along with a with a weight of 32/33g ensures very free running.
On my examples, as can be seen in the images, a number of the self contained buffers were glued in at wonky angles, but being separately applied parts these can be carefully reaffixed.
The livery application is crisp and well printed. I know for a fact that Rapido have used the same paint colour reference for the SR brown as the Kernow Model Rail Centre used on their ex LSWR/SR D1541 Road Vans, although this appears to be a slightly lighter but still more than acceptable, interpretation of the colour possibly due to the more satin finish, (and even lighter with the lighting I have used in my studio), on these wagons.
The tooling allows for both taped plain and the self-contained buffer types for the 5 plank wagons. To achieve the 7 plank versions fitted with the sheet rail, a pre shaped wire rail along with its moulded mounting brackets for each end of the wagon have been supplied as separate parts for the use to fit (glue) into position (instructions on fitting is included with each wagon).
The holes in the mounting brackets for the sheet rail will need to be opened out very slightly to ensure a good fit. The one slight downside is that the rail can only be positioned in the upright position, as it would be when a sheet was covering the wagon and not, without some modification, in the sideways stowed position when no sheet was fitted.
[Edit 20/05/22] To demonstrate the effect that the factory satin finsih has on the paint colour as mentioned above, the picture left shows a comparison with one of the Rapido wagons given a coat of Testors Dullcoat matt varnish and brings the colour much closer to the Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR/SR D1541 Road Vans, and therefore looking much better.
The sensible choice of body and underframe combination by Rapido Trains UK provides SECR / SR modellers with three different wagon diagrams from one set of tooling and is an approach for choosing wagon types to produce that Rapido Trains UK are have also undertaken with their announcement in January of the ex SECR Diagram 1426 covered van and the D1744 ballast wagon that also share a common underframe (hopefully with straight buffers…).
Two new publications are hitting the shelves of good purveyors of books that are worthy of any Southern Railway historian and or modeller’s reference library.
Firstly, from friends at Pen and Sword Transport is “Alfred Raworth’s Electric Southern Railway.” by Peter Steer.
This substantial 340 page tome, with its 25 chapters, detailing for the first time a biography of Alfred Raworth’s entire personal story and career; staring with working for his consulting engineer father John Smith Raworth, through to joining the railway, working for the LSWR and SR, the design for an electric railway, being responsible for the implementation of all its their electrification schemes, becoming Southern Railway Chief Electrical Engineer, the Southern Electric at War, the electric locomotives and Raworth’s plans for the future.
Such schemes are much more than just about rolling stock and this book also provides a look at the infrastructure required that was often hidden behind the closed walls of sub stations etc. It also looks at the business cases, innovative engineering, and politics involved in the electrification of the railways between 1918 and 1956 especially where the Southern went its own way with the use of the third rail system.
A comprehensive and informative read, that contains a wealth of previously unpublished information interspersed with a number of both black and colour photographs, illustrations and drawings. It substantially fills many gaps in the background, lifetime and work of ‘electrification genius’ Alfred Raworth. Highly recommended.
The second, is a familiar but different new periodical “Southern Times, Issue 1: Spring 2022” from Transport Treasury publishing.
If this sounds familiar, it will do, as it is effectively a replacement for the long established and enjoyable ‘Southern Way’ from a different publisher (whether Southern Way might continue under a new editor we will have to wait and see).
This first issue of Southern Times, follows the previous periodicals format of 80 pages of an eclectic mix of Southern related articles and images both black and white and in colour, many of which have been previously unpublished.
The great post war image of Schools class 905 in malachite at Eastleigh on the front cover must have been a late change as according the caption is Port Line leaving Victoria on the Golden Arrow in 1954!
Highlights in this issue includes: new light on the Joint LSWR/LBSC and LSWR steam railmotors, The Southern from the air, Stephen Townroe’s colour archive, David McKenna Chairman and General Manager, a photo feature on EMUs, Treasures from the Bluebell Railway Museum and more to dip into. If you were an ardent collector of the Southern Way then this latest incarnation Southern Times will be a sure winner.
Hornby have today announced their forthcoming range for 2022. Although no tooling from a Southern Railway perspective modellers, the highlights include new versions of the Class 423 4-VEP EMUs, a new Dublo version of the original Merchant Navy and new LSWR and Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway liveried ‘generic’ coaches.
Hornby’s new tooling for 2022 moves away from the SR this year with a brand new LMS Black 5, LMS Princess Royal Class ‘The Turbomotive’, a revised HST power car and Mk3 coaches, the larger Sentinel industrial 0-6-0 diesel, LNER Coronation coaches and ‘beaver tail’ observation car, Class 755/3 & 755/4 ‘Flirt’ electric and bi-mode units and the GWR Loriot Y machinery well truck. A Limited Edition version of the LNER A4 also enters the Dublo range with a cast metal body.
Locomotives and EMUs
Although technically no new locomotive tooling for Southern modelers; however we see the re-introduction of the Class 423 4-VEP EMU, Hornby are listing this as new tooling, but it is the original tooling with only minor corrections such as to the front cab area, the first class internal partitions now having windows, improved inter coach coupling and power transfer, 5 pole motor bogie and now is also 21 pin DCC ready.
- R30106 – Southern Class 423/1 4-VEP EMU Train Pack – final condition as between 2003 and 2005 – Unit Number 3514 [Q4]
- R30107 – South West Trains Class 423 4-VEP EMU Train Pack – post refurbished condition as between 1996 and 2004 – Unit number TBA [Q4]
- R30122 – Departmental A1X ‘Terrier’ 0-6-0 D.S.680 in lLancing Works shunter livery as carried between March 1952 and withdrawal on 4th June 1962. [Q4]
- R30140 – BR M7 Class 0-4-4T 30244 in British Railways (Gills Sans) malachite green livery as carried between September 1948 and January 1952 and allocated to Nine Elms. [Q4]
- R3434 – SR Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 21C1 ‘Channel Packet’ a reintroduction as originally released in 2017 (delayed from 2016) in as when introduced condition with widows peak and horseshoe smokebox door plate as between in June1941 and August 1941. A limited run of 500 models.[Q4]
- R30129 – BR Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 34072 ‘257 Squadron’ in early BR malachite green livery with British railways in Sunshine lettering as carried between her introduction in April 1948 and April 1952 when she gained BR Green. [Q4]
- R30114 – BR West Country Class 4-6-2 34046 ‘Braunton’ in BR Green livery and high rave tender with early emblem as she an between Jan 1954 and June 1957. [Q4]
- R30112 – Hornby Dublo – Merchant Navy 4-6-2 Lamport & Holt’ BR Green livery with early emblem as carried between June 1952 and July 1955. Limited Edition of 500 models. [Q3]
- R30153 – BR Class 50 Co-Co 50044 ‘Exeter’ in Network South East livery as carried from April 1982. New 21pin DCC socket [Q2]
- R30154 – BR Class 50 Co-Co 50042 ‘Triumph’ in BR large logo livery as carried from May 1982. New 21pin DCC socket [Q3]
Other Train packs
- R30123 – K&ESR Terrier 150th Anniversary Pack – A1 No. 70 Poplar in LBSC ‘Improved engine Green as running prior to sale to K&ESR in 1901 and A1X 2678 in SR Sunshine black as currently preserved. A Limited Edition of 500 numbered train packs. [Q4]
- R3961 – Isle of Wight Central Railway, Terrier Train Pack – Era 3 A1X No. 11 and three ‘Generic’ 4 wheel coaches (Composite, Brake Third and Full Brake) [Q4]
- R40221 SR, Maunsell Dining Saloon Third [sic] (actually a Composite Dining Saloon), 7844 to Diagram 2658 in SR green as approximately between 18th November 1947 and mid 1949. She was outshopped Crimson and Cream livery4th February 1955, however the SR style lettering was likely to have been amend to BR style before the end of 1949 .[Q4]
- R40222 BR, Maunsell Dining Saloon First [sic] (actually a Composite Dining Saloon), S7842S to Diagram 2658 in Crimson and Cream livery as carried in between 7th December 1954 and being outshopped BR(S) Green 12th August 1957. [Q4]
- R40289 LSWR, 6 Wheel Coach, 1st Class, 490, R40291 LSWR, 6 Wheel Coach, 3rd Class, 821, R40293 LSWR, 6 Wheel Coach, 3rd Class, 648, R40295 LSWR, 4 Wheel Coach, Passenger Brake, 82 (Generic) [Q3]
- R40296 S&DJR, 6 Wheel Coach, 1st Class, R40298 S&DJR, 6 Wheel Coach, 3rd Class, 109, R40300 S&DJR, 6 Wheel Coach, 3rd Class, 72, R40302 S&DJR, 4 Wheel Coach, Passenger Brake, 8 (Generic) [Q3]
- R60090 – SR Gangwayed Bogie Luggage Van no. 2467 in SR Maunsell Olive Green livery to Diagram 3099. [Q4]
Skaledale – South Eastern buildings
A nice range of SER buildings is included in the Skaledale ready to plant resin buildings range due to be available Q4,
- R7362 – SER Station
- R7363 – SER Station Building
- R7364 – SER Platform Shelter
- R7365 – SER Signal Box
- R7366 – SER Footbridge
The full Hornby 2022 range can be found on the Hornby website here of the RMweb forum here and of course all items can be pre-ordered / purchased from our friends at the Kernow Model Rail Centre.
I am delighted and honoured to have been asked to present the January lecture at The Model Railway Club on Thursday 13th January.
The lecture starts at 7.30pm, but doors open at 6.30. The Model Railway Club licenced bar has a range of beers, wine, spirts and soft drinks plus snacks.
Guests are welcome, there is no need to book, but please note that there are stairs to the lecture room, and anyone with concerns about accessibility should contact The Model Railway Club in advance. There is a voluntary collection, with a suggestion of £3 for non members.
This is a hybrid lecture in person at Keen House and on Zoom. Please complete the form here to indicate you are either coming or register for the zoom link .
Merry Christmas to you all, fill up your life with love, compassion, tolerance, peace, happiness and perhaps hopefully some time for modelling.
Who knows what the next few weeks or even months might continue to bring, please make the time to contact your friends and family, especially those whom might be alone, and not able to be in the company of others during these still most unusual of times. It is good and OK to simply ask “Are you OK?” and likewise it is “OK not to be OK” and reach out for assistance. The one good thing, if anything, this past 18 months has been the kindness and generosity of others to help and support each other, and long may this continue.
As the festive season and New Year break is upon us, I just wanted to say many thanks to all of you whom have taken the time to read my ramblings over the past 12 months. I hope you have found such ramblings interesting and informative. I have always enjoyed corresponding with many of you that have made contact me via email or the comments field on my various posts. I look forward to corresponding with you again in the New Year and maybe, hopefully, in person at an exhibition…
A further flurry of activity will be taking place at the start of the new year with Hornby (January 10th) announcing its 2022 range followed a few weeks later, at the beginning of February, by Bachmann making the next of their now quarterly range announcements. I will as always bring you all the Southern Railway / Southern Region related news on here as soon as their announcements are made.
Seasons greetings, whatever your faith or beliefs, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (or Nadelik Lowen ha Blydhen Nowydh Da! from the boss’ side of the Tamar) to you all!
A Pictionary carol, snapped in my locality, for more of my local photography check out my Twitter feed and use the hashtag #viewfromthecottage