Archive for the ‘Model News’ Category

The much-anticipated ex LSWR / SR Diagram 1541 10T Road Van produced as an exclusive model by the Kernow Model Rail Centre  have now arrived (appropriately via Southampton Docks) and are being despatched to customers and all pre-orders being fulfilled (but please expect this to take a few days).  This is not a review for obvious reasons, but hopefully the photographs will speak for themselves.

All ten versions of the ex LSWR 10T road vans

The SR pre 1936 livery version shows off the separately applied lamp irons, handrails and window glazing bars.

The BR grey Isle of Wight version shows the cranked step board hangers.

The underframe is fully detailed with brake gear and all pull rodding

S54663 shows its ribbed style buffer shanks. She was the last road in service in 1958 and is now preserved on the Bluebell Railway

A post 1936 SR livery version is shunted at Canute Road Quay

The pre-grouping LSWR version.

First introduced by the London & South Western Railway (LSWR) in 1884 they were later classed as Southern Railway Diagram 1541.  Almost 500 of these were built between then and 1905 making them the most numerous LSWR Goods Brake Van.  Brake Vans with side doors through which parcels or other goods could be loaded were known as road vans.

Ten versions have been produced:

The pictures show the high level of detail and multitude of separately fitted parts including: flush glazing, hand rails, brake gear with pull rodding, step boards and lamp irons to accurately portray a number of different versions of the prototype. These options include alternative buffer shanks with a ribbed option as fitted to some vans including those preserved on the Isle of Wight and Bluebell steam railways  and either straight or cranked step board supports, the latter as fitted to the majority of those transferred in 1925 to the Isle of Wight.

Care and research has been undertaken with the various liveries to to ensure that the correct livery specifications have been met, especially for the LSWR / SR Good Brown. The application is crisp, as we would expect, and includes legible solebar cast number plates.

I hope that those whom have have had these models on pre-order for some time are pleased with the final model.

You can order the ex LSWR Diagram 1541 10T Road Vans on the Kernow Model Rail Centre website here

 

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The attractive Wainwright D class 4-4-0 from Retailer Rails Of Sheffield  in partnership with Dapol and Locomotion Models that was announced in October 2019 has now arrived.  Hopeful the images within this post will show how well the model looks and perpetuates the elegance.

The elegance of the D Class is clearly captured

The right hand side of 1734 with the high level of details clear to see

A total of 51 of these elegant D Class 4-4-0s were built in a number batches between 1901 and 1907 and were built by a range of manufacturers. The first 20 being split between Sharp Stewart and Ashford, the next ten by Dubs & Co, followed by ten split between Stephenson & Co and the Vulcan Foundry, the final eleven being once again built at Ashford. Initial duties included the main express services on all the SECR primary routes. Following grouping and the introduction of newer classes such as the N15s they were transferred to secondary services such as Brighton, Redhill, and Basingstoke stopper services.
The main withdrawal commenced in the early 1950s with the last six being based ay Guildford shed working Redhill – Reading services until 1956. Number 737 was saved for preservation as part of the National Collection and cosmetically restored to SECR livery and condition.
During the 1920s Maunsell rebuilt 21 as the D1 class with a larger Belpaire firebox, superheating, new  piston valves a Maunsell style cab. Whilst improving efficiency and performance the rebuilds certainly lost much of the elegance.

Six versions were originally available via Rails of Sheffield

  • 4S-027-001 Wainwright D Class SECR Green 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.488 [Now Sold out]
  • 4S-027-002 Wainwright D Class Southern Lined Maunsell Olive Green 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.1730 (early style lining)
  • 4S-027-003 Wainwright D Class BR Sunshine Black 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.31731
  • 4S-027-004 Wainwright D Class BR Lined Black Early Crest 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.31574 [Now Sold out]
  • 4S-027-005 Wainwright D Class SECR Grey (Scraped Beading) 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.726
  • 4S-027-006 Wainwright D Class Southern Sunshine 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.1734

A model of No.737 as preserved at the Railway Museum is available via Locomotion Models.

A rear 3/4 view of 1734

The well detailed and decorated cab and the push fit drawbar.

The very nice representation of the motion between the frames under the boiler

The front face of the D Class showing the randomly silver smokebox door hinge and coupling hook

A close up of the right hand side of 1734

The dimensionally accurate model certainly captures the Wainwright elegance wonderfully well with an excellent detail. It features a five pole motor driving the front driving axle and a the now standard Dapol ‘pinless’ click to couple drawbar that also carries the electrical connections. Electrical pick up is on all tender wheels as well as the locomotive driving wheels. For those using DCC the model has Next-18 Decoder socket mounted on a pull out PCB behind the smokebox door with space for a 15mm x 11mm cube speaker, plus provision for customer to fit a larger bass speaker in tender. The loco also features the current gimmick of a firebox flicker although on DC you would hardly know its there .
The level of detail is wonderful including a good representation of the inside valve gear between the frames, well modelled and decorated cab details even down to the padlocks on the tender tool lockers. Separately applied items include lamp irons, pipe work, handrails and factory fitted brake rodding on both loco and tender. The buffers (once you have fitted the tender buffer back on that often appears to be loose in purchasers boxes) are sprung. The the slightly plasticly coal, is not so much removable as needs something to stop it falling off the model, and the water tank and limited coal space on these engines is modelled underneath it.
An accessory bag supplied with the model includes: cab doors, front guard irons and steam pipes and pipework (incorrectly names as vacuum pipes in the supplied owners manual), along with a ‘tool’ for pulling out the DCC PCB in the smokebox for what Dapol call their ‘Tool-less’ system (begs the question when is a tool not a tool?).
The tooling appears to allow for at least two chimneys. When first introduced they were fitted with tall copper capped chimneys. Circa the1910s they fitted with a shorter larger diameter capuchon chimney, that were then  gradually replaced with a plain topped version after Grouping, although 1493 kept the capuchon chimney until withdrawal. With this model in the wartime SR Sunshine black livery it is unlikely to have still been fitted with a capuchon chimney (unless I can find a dated picture).  The BR Lined black version also has the same incorrect chimney.

The replacement wheelset, tool and spare traction tyres

When announced the Engineering Prototype shown included a diecast boiler and smokebox, model  4-4-0s are notoriously difficult to balance, the boiler and smokebox on the production models first appeared to be plastic, with the loco minus tender only weighing 155g, and traction tyres fitted on the front driving wheels. Having now taken the model apart it does seem to still be die cast. The change to fit traction tyres only came to light publicly when the models started to be delivered, so is no different than a Hornby T9 in that respect.
Possibly if a more traditional DDC approach with the socket etc. hidden inside the tender, rather than the smokebox and some of the boiler, more space might have been available for more weight. As a compromise, and to be fair a nice touch, the model has been supplied with a non traction tyre fitted drop in wheelset (along with a tool for undoing the crank pin screws.
It has also been noted that on my model the front traction tyre fitted wheelset has blackened rims whilst the rear drivers are not blackened. This is possibly as a result of the late change to fit traction tyres as the spare wheelset supplied matches the rear driving wheels i.e. no blackened rim. Also supplied are spare traction tyres. The model runs smoothly and quietly on the limited space on Canute Road Quay although I have not been able to test its haulage capacity.
A number of the models have also demonstrated a notable difference in height between the tender and loco running plates. My example is not as noticeable as some. It appears to depend on the fit of the loco body at the rear of the chassis, I am led to believe that all the models have has some form of work carried out on them in the UK to ensure the loco to tender drawbar connects correctly and the rear chassis screw tightness is part of the fix.

A side on view of 1734 the overscale lettering and numbers are clear to see

The other elephant in the room is the decoration: on my model pictured the Sunshine lettering and number style character height is 3.71mm when they should be a scale 9″ high i.e. 3mm and also the green shading is over weight further emphasising the oversize and immediately detracts to my eye, and I will have to replace them at some stage, some of the metal work has been picked out in bright silver paint, including the coupling hook and randomly part of the smokebox door hinge and will need toning down.
From photos I have seen the SR olive green version, as well as the odd shade of green, has an issue in some areas with registration of the lining and also the number font on the tender not a correct representation of the SR number font, the ‘3’ should be completely curved version and is to heavy weight The RH side tender emblem on BR lined version faces the wrong and also suffers from the number font being too heavy and therefore the over width of the numbers is too wide.

So my D Class will need to get in to the workbench queue to have the chimney corrected and the lettering and numbers replaced along with the toning down of some of the random silver paintwork and generally weathered.

Overall, despite the livery niggles and the slightly disappointing overall weight and the need for traction tyres the Rails Of Sheffield  in partnership with Dapol Wainwright D Class 4-4-0 is a lovely model with some great detail and a welcome addition for pre-grouping / SR modellers especially those modelling the Eastern Section and will be a good stable mate for the Bachmann C class, Hattons P Class and the Hornby H class.

 

 

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Something for the slightly more modern Southern area modellers, in N Gauge, Graham Farish have released images of their livery samples of their forthcoming Class 319 EMUs. The models were first announced back in 2016 the 25th anniversary of Network South East, and now these livery images are released at the end of the week that marks the 30th anniversary, at least the models are now closer to production.

The Class 319 dual-voltage, four-car Electric Multiple Units were built by British Rail Engineering Limited (BREL) in York between 1987 and 1988 (Class 319/0) and 1990 (Class 319/1) for use on the north-south cross-London services, notably the then-new Thameslink service which commenced in May 1988 running between Bedford and Brighton. Entering traffic in Network SouthEast colours, the units later received Thameslink livery, and many have subsequently found use with other operators away from London including Northern Rail.

372-875 Class 319 Network South East (revised)

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 Class 319 Thameslink

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 Class 319 Northern

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.

Class 318 NSE close up

Class 319 NSE Sprung Stone Faiveley pantograph

The Class 319 front face

The new model boasts an impressive specification with highly detailed bodyshells, underframes and bogies. Fitted with a sprung pantograph (Brecknell Willis or Stone Faiveley depending on the unit modelled) and with conductive couplings between each vehicle, just one Next18 Decoder is required for use on DCC. Installing a decoder is a simple process due to the easy-access decoder socket which is accessed by removing one of the underframe panels which is held in place by a single screw.
The powerful coreless motor is coupled to a flywheel, all of which is fitted into the underframe of the MSO vehicle meaning that all four vehicles have unobstructed interiors which are further enhanced by the interior lighting. The models feature switchable directional lighting, plus a pre-fitted speaker.
The Graham Farish Class 319 feature:

  • Powerful Coreless motor
  • Electrical pickup on all axles
  • Sprung Pantograph
  • Unobstructed interior view
  • Integral conductive couplings between vehicles
  • Multiple unit couplings at cab ends
  • Directional & Internal lighting
  • Next 18 DCC decoder socket

The three Graham Farish Class 319 models in N Gauge are available to pre-order from your usual stockist and should be available in early 2022.

 

 

 

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Rapido Trains UK have announced their first 00 gauge ready to run South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) / Southern Railway wagons.  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/Lyons steel underframe.

One of the three surviving Dia. 1355 wagons at the Bluebell Railway.

The SECR Maunsell / Lyons 7 and 5 plank open wagons

The EP of the Dia 1355 7 plank open

The EP of the Dia. 1355

The underframe detail on the common chassis

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. Several were sold into private usage, including the Port of Bristol Authority. Three of these wagons are preserved on the Bluebell Railway.

The SR Pre-1936 livery artwork (subject to amendment to include brown solebars and headstocks)

SECR livery artwork

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 self contained buffers and became SR Diagram 1349. There were withdrawn in the early 1960s. Two D1347 wagons are preserved, with one at the Bluebell Railway and the other at the Severn Valley Railway.

The model tooling allows for variations to be produced including the 7 plank open with or without sheet rails and the two different buffer styles on the 5 plank versions. They will include high levels of body and underframe detail, metal stamped parts, metal bearing cups and NEM coupler pockets.

The initial versions being produced are as follows:

Diagram 1355 7 plank open 

  • 907001: No.12221, SECR Grey
  • 907002: No.16194, SECR Grey
  • 907003: No.14997, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
  • 907004: No.16227, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
  • 907005: No.28666, SR Brown (Post-1936)
  • 907006: No.28860, SR Brown (Post-1936)
  • 907007: No.S16510, SR Brown (with BR markings)
  • 907008: No.S28951, SR Brown (with BR markings)
  • 907009: No.S28662, BR Grey
  • 9070010: No.S28942, BR Grey
  • 9070011: No.DS28635, BR Gulf Red (S&T Dept)

The full set of D1355 livery artworks can be seen here.

The Dia. 1347 EP

The Dia. 1347 EP

The Dia. 1347 EP

SR Post 1936 livery artwork (subject to amendment to include brown solebars and headstocks)

BR Grey livery artwork

Diagram 1347 5 plank open

  • 906001: No.9601, SECR Grey
  • 906002: No.12522, SECR Grey
  • 906003: No.14131, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
  • 906004: No.14632, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
  • 906005: No.14283, SR Brown (Post-1936)
  • 906006: No.19081, SR Brown (Post-1936)
  • 906007: No.S14271, SR Brown (with BR markings)
  • 906008: No.S19220, BR Grey
  • 906009: No.S19228, BR Grey
  • 906010: No.DS14157, Engineers Black

Diagram 1349 5 plank open

  • 906011: No.10789, SECR Grey
  • 906012: No.10660, SECR Grey
  • 906013: No.14621, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
  • 906014: No.14707, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
  • 906015: No.14599, SR Brown (Post-1936)
  • 906016: No.14678, SR Brown (Post-1936)
  • 906017: No.S14590, SR Brown (with BR markings)
  • 906018: No.S14571, BR Grey
  • 906019: No.S14708, BR Grey

The full set of D1347 / D1349 livery artworks can be seen here.

My friends, Andy and Richard at Rapido Trains UK advised: “that it their long-term aspiration to undertake some manufacturing in UK. Having a UK design team is the first step towards that. These wagons have been researched and designed 100% in the UK. All we’ve done is to send the completed CADs to our factory in China for manufacturing. We have a number of wagon projects that our UK designers are working on and we’ll announce these shortly. As the business grows and our range increases in size, we’re hopeful that more and more rolling stock projects will be designed in this country.”

Both the five and seven-plank wagons are available to order now (RRP £32.95 each) and the order book closes on September 1st 2021. They can be pre-ordered from Kernow Model Rail Centre here.

These wagons will certainly be an great addition to the fleet for both pre-grouping, Southern Railway and Southern Region modellers alike.

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Arriving hot on the heels of Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific R3632 35024 East Asiatic Company in BR Lined express blue, see my review here, is R3717 21c7 Aberdeen Commonwealth in SR wartime black as announced as part of the Hornby 2019 range announcements.

R3717 21C7 looks imposing in SR Wartime Black

21c7 was one of the first batch of ten Merchant Navy pacifics, she was introduced in June 1942 in malachite green livery but was quickly repainted in plain black as a wartime measure. Hornby have produced her in a similar early condition to the previous R3435 21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ model released in malachite green back in 2017, see my review here.  The body captures the shape and curves of the original well, with ‘widows peak’ cowl above the smokebox and no smoke deflectors. The extensive suite of tooling by Hornby for the Merchant Navy pacific range includes the correct 5000 gallon tender, as fitted to the first ten Merchants, complete with its air smoothed curves to the front of the coal space and roof over the footplate.

Rear 3/4 view of 21C7 the excellent cab details can be seen

21c7 remained in this condition until August 1944 when she gained the more familiar cowl above the smokebox and also received short flared smoke deflectors. She gained the to become standard length and style of smoke detectors whilst still in black in June 1947. Prior to full rebuilding in May 1958 she received the modified wedge shaped cab , losing the curved swept cab front, in March 1950. She carried malachite green from June 1947, BR Blue from March 1950 then BR Green from December 1952. She was finally withdrawn in her rebuilt form in July 1967 due to a broken cylinder.

21c7 captures the original style front end well

I wont repeat all of my past reviews, as the mechanics of the model are the same as the other original Merchant Navys in the range with a 5-pole motor and a large flywheel, with pickups on all driving wheels and the tender giving impressive performance all round. The outstanding high level of detail especially within cab is present as we have come to expect with Hornby’s other Merchants. Also as with the previous releases the brake rodding and front steps come pre fitted, whilst a standard accessory pack contains buffer beam pipes, front coupling and two sets of cylinder drain pipework. The additional set of drain pipes are supplied, in addition to the standard accessory pack, to allow for the lower fairing in front of the cylinders on this version.

The flat nameplate will be replaced by an etched plate. The correct slightly larger ‘C’ within the number shows the attention to detail.

As with other Merchant Navys in the range the front edge of the body side, due to the limitations of the tooling for a mass production model, are perhaps slightly too thick I may well look to bevel these from the inside edge slightly to deceive the eye in the area. The decoration whilst simple is very well applied with the SR Sunshine lettering and its green shading lifting the mood against the black sides. The ‘C’ of the loco number is correctly slightly larger than the numbers. The nameplates although separately applied are printed and therefore flat looking and I will be replacing these with etched plates from Fox Transfers. The front electric lamps and lamp irons above the buffer beam have like all the versions released a slight backward lean to them. The electric lamps are in reality are hung from the underside of the swan neck style lamp iron and also had electric conduit attached. However, on the model the lamp is attached via a perpendicular lug on their back into holes on the sloping front casing.  Like I did on 35024 I will probably replaced these three lamp irons with etched brass versions so they are stronger and correctly face forwards. The lamps are correctly black (the lamp casing were black painted brass on the front and body livery colour painted steal casings on the tender). Each lamp has a silver blob to represent the lens, however in reality these lens appear more gloss black unless the lamp is actually lit.

Front end options. Early short flared deflectors left, standard length right

I also intend to forward the date the front end of mine to add the later standard cowl above the smokebox box, but I am still deciding which version of the smoke deflectors to fit; either the early short flared type or the what was to become standard style and length. The latter is a slightly easier conversion as can be seen in the image to the left. Once I have decided it will become the topic of a future post.

Despite the few points above the model even in its plain black livery captures the imposing look of this early condition Merchant Navy Pacific is a welcome addition to the Hornby range that also see the release this year in BR Green of R3649 3502 ‘Ellerman Lines’, R3716 35022 ‘Holland America Line’ and R386135017 ‘Belgian Marine’.

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All ten versions of the much-anticipated Kernow Model Rail Centre 00 ex LSWR / SR Diagram 1541 10T Road Vans have now been manufactured, are on route to the UK and due for the dispatch of pre-orders at the beginning of July.

All ten production versions are shown here together.

First introduced by the London & South Western Railway (LSWR) in 1884 they were later classed as Southern Railway Diagram 1541.  Almost 500 of these were built between then and 1905 making them the most numerous LSWR Goods Brake Van.  Brake Vans with side doors through which parcels or other goods could be loaded were known as road vans.

Included within the ten versions are different liveries from the original LSWR, both Southern Railway variations, early British Railways, departmental through to as preserved examples. The tooling has also catered for the Mainland and Isle of Wight versions with either straight or cranked step board supports (as fitted on the IoW versions) and round or ribbed shanked buffers.

The models are £34.99 each, as the models have now left China the pre-order discounted price of £29.99 with full payment made at the time of order will finish on Sunday night. Details of the ten versions being produced can be found on the KMRC dedicated webpage here.

The models will arrive in in the UK at Southampton, that was appropriately the main docks for the London and South Western Railway, at the end of June. KMRC have included in the range van number 56046 as preserved on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. that we originally laser scanned, and number S54663 that was the last road van in service based at Wadebridge, although officially withdrawn in July 1958, it survived in some form of service until 1961. It was then purchased by the Bluebell Railway as their first item of goods rolling stock in May 1962.

 

 

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Announced as part of the Hornby 2021 range, the Gangwayed Bogie Luggage vans have now arrived at retailers. An old version of these vans with a Triang heritage has been in and out of the Hornby catalogue for some time and were very much something of a comprise (and it is not even worth comparing it with these new models). These newly released models are totally new tooling from the ground up and are a very welcome addition to the range.

The line up of Hornby GBL versions Copyright & Courtesy Kernow Model Rail Centre

In total 120 of these bogie luggage vans were built between 1930 and 1931 utilising ex LSWR underframes and bogies surplus from the bogie block set coach bodies having been converted to electric stock. They were built in three batches, two different body lengths and three different bogie centres, that resulted in three initial diagrams:

  • Diagram 3098, 25/26 ton 51’ 3” bodies with 36’ 3” bogie centres. Numbered 2331-54 & 2482-90
  • Diagram 3099, 27 ton 53’ 3” bodies with 36’ 3” bogie centres. Numbered 2355-70  2461-81
  • Diagram 3100, 25/26 ton 51’ 3” bodies with 34’ 3” bogie centres. Numbered 2281-2330

The Southern coded all these vans as ‘GBL’ (Gangwayed Bogie Luggage) and later COR PMV (Corridor Parcels Miscellaneous Van) by British Railways. They we utilised mainly on Southampton Docks and other South Western Section trains and also the various overnight newspaper and mail trains.

30 of the GBLs were converted for use within casualty evacuation trains as stretcher vans. Most of these had received droplights in the centre pair of doors and when returned to the SR in 1945 these and a small number of other vans were allocated new diagram numbers as follows:

  • Diagram 3096 for the 17 ex Diagram 3098 51’3” GBLs
  • Diagram 3097 for the 16 ex Diagram 3099 53’3” GBLs

The Hornby R60021 2362 in SR Olive livery

A view of R600231A S2467S in BR Crimson Lake livery

Another view of 2362

The end view of 2362 showing the detail and exquisite lettering but showing the incorrect round buffers.

They were initially introduced in SR Olive Green livery, a very small number gained malachite. Under British Railways they were in crimson, with as few as six gaining BR(s) Green.

All were withdrawn during 1959 and 1960 with twelve lasting to 1961 for  pigeon traffic. A few entered departmental use and two have been preserved. Number S2464S was painted in Pullman car livery in July 1962 and stored in readiness to be used  as Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral hearse on 30th January 1965

Hornby have initially released five versions of the 53’3” Diagram 3099 / 3097 vans

  • R60020 – SR GBL Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.2362 to Diagram 3099 in SR Olive Green livery (it should be noted that 2362 was one the vans that received centre door droplights and reclassified to Diagram 3097 in 1945, so is modelled by Hornby in its pre-war guise)
  • R60020A – SR GBL Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.2471 to Diagram 3099 in SR Olive Green livery
  • R60021 – BR COR PMV Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.S2477S to Diagram 3097 (modified from Diagram 3099 with centre door droplights) in BR Crimson Lake livery
  • R60021A – BR COR PMV Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.S2467S to Diagram 3097 (modified from Diagram 3099 with centre door droplights) in BR Crimson Lake livery
  • R60057 – BR COR PMV Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van No.S2464S to Diagram 3097 in Pullman livery as used as Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral hearse on 30th January 1965

A side view of the end, the LSWR 8ft bogies and the underframe steel flitching plates are clearly seen.

These models capture the prototype extremely well and dimensionally accurately matches the the drawings that I have available. The heavy ex LSWR underframe is well represented, including the steel flitching plates and their retaining bolts at each end where the extension pieces for the original frames were fitted. The underframe also includes the battery boxes, dynamo and the brake vacuum cylinders, rods and V hangers, although the pull rods to the bogies are omitted.

The bogies are a well detailed recreation of the LSWR 8 foot bogies that were used on these vehicles. They are fitted with steel disc wheels, it should be noted that prior to 1945/48 these vans ran on Mansell wooden cantered wheels.
The NEM coupling pockets are mounted on close coupling cams. However, the tension lock coupling fitted already extends beyond the buffers by approximately 4mm and although the cam allows the coupling to pivot in a arc and is sprung it is hardly driven by any bogie movement except at the very extremes of bogie swing. Even on the short radius turnouts and tight curves of Canute Road Quay the coupling and cam hardly moved, so I will be fitting a shorter tensions lock coupling in mine.

A close up of the middle section of the van.

The models contain a wealth of detail and separately applied parts that includes: wire handrails, flush glazing with the protective mesh behind each window, all door handles, lamp irons, starboards, delicate foot steps on each corner of the chassis, sprung metal buffers (although they are round rather than the correct clipped top and bottom oval), brake handrail and pipework.
The roof mounted torpedo vents are also be separate parts and sit well alongside the moulded rain strips and the roof board mounting brackets.

A side on view of S2467S with the chalk boards in place overlapping the first and second planks under the outer of the pair of middle windows.

Supplied within an accessory pack are steam heat and vacuum pipes that can be fitted into the buffer beam at each end if you are not using the tension lock coupling. Also supplied are the oval chalk boards that should be located under the outer window of the pair either side of the centre doors.  These would have been fitted to the vans from new, however at least one of the preserved vans and also S2464S  as the hearse van does not have them fitted. This is I assume is why Hornby have not included these as part of the body moulding or factory fitted them.

Livery application is to the standard that you would expect from Hornby with the shaded numbers and letting on the SR version clearly well reproduced and includes the extremely small by legible “Distributed Load 10 Tons”, the end lettering and data panel, sole bar cast number plate (although the plate on the crimson version still shows the ‘R’ of ‘SR’ whereas under BR only the ‘S’ would have been picked out in white) and brake wheel notations.

These GBLs give Southern modelers another excellent luggage van to work alongside the Bogie Van B and 4 wheeled Van C previously from Hornby (or Ratio and Parkside kits) and the 4 wheeled PLV and Van U from Bachmann (or Parkside kits). 

 

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First announced in October 2019 and following amendments to the first livery samples, examples of all seven versions of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway D Class 4-4-0 from the Dapol production line have been received by Locomotion Models and Rails of Sheffield. These have now completed extensive running trials and final checking. Following approval, shipping from the factory can now commence.

Six versions are available to Pre-order through Rails of Sheffield:

  • 4S-027-001 Wainwright D Class SECR Green 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.488 (Pre Grouping Silk Finish)
  • 4S-027-002 Wainwright D Class Southern Lined Maunsell Olive Green 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.1730
  • 4S-027-003 Wainwright D Class BR Sunshine Black 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.31731
  • 4S-027-004 Wainwright D Class BR Lined Black Early Crest 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.31574
  • 4S-027-005 Wainwright D Class SECR Grey (Scraped Beading) 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.726
  • 4S-027-006 Wainwright D Class Southern Sunshine 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive No.1734

The preserved example No. 737 is currently on display at the National Railway Museum, York. This locomotive has been produced exclusively for Locomotion Models, which is part of the National Railway Museum.

On the whole these look very good and I am looking to receiving my SR Sunshine version (although I will be renumbering as the numbers size shown above do appear to be slightly too large). Definite improvements have been made since the initial livery samples were shown, especially with the colour rendition of SR Olive and the toning down of the bright handrails on some versions (although strangely not the BR lined black version). The only other issue that has been noted is also with respect to the BR lined black version in that the cycling lion early emblem is facing backwards on the right hand side, at the time these emblems usually faced forwards on both sides as it does on at least one photo I have seen for 31574. As these are production samples it is likely to be too late to amend this.

 

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It was back in February 2015 when Hornby announced that they were to produce an original air smoothed Bulleid Merchant Pacific as part of their 2016 range, however they were then moved into the 2017 range. These first three R3434 21c1 ‘Channel Packet’, R3435 21c3 ‘Royal Mail’ and R3436 35028 ‘Clan line’ arrived in March 2017, see my review of 21c1 here.

Since then the high seas between China and the UK have been devoid of Hornby ‘Merchant Navys’ despite further versions being announced in the following years.

The right hand side view etched plates fitted

In 2018 R3632 35024  ‘East Asiatic Company’ in BR Blue was announced (the subject of this post as she has now arrived) followed in 2019 by three more versions: R3649 3502 ‘Ellerman Lines’ in BR Green, R3716 35022 ‘Holland America Line’ in BR Green and R3717 21c7 ‘Aberdeen Commonwealth’  in SR Wartime Black. Included in the 2021 range is R386135017 ‘Belgian Marine’

Hornby advised in January 2020 that the delay was due to one of factories that they use being unexpectedly at very short notice closed, due to a compulsory purchase of the land by the Chinese government! This impacted the production of the new Merchant Navy pacifics, versions of the Peckett industrial tanks, the Class 800 Azuma units and the GWR 61xx large Prairie tanks locomotives. Work to move the tooling to another factory appeared to take longer than had been hoped, however the backlog is slowly being cleared and 35024 should hopefully now be the first of the overdue excellent Merchant Navys to arrive.

Rear RH 3/4 view, the lamp lens are yet to be toned down at the rear

35024 ‘East Asiatic Company’ was the first Merchant Navy to appear in the Express Passenger Engine Blue for the newly formed British Railways. Whilst in Eastleigh works in March 1949 for Minor ‘D’ examination she was first painted in a dark blue (note: not recorded as being the experimental purple seen on some other non SR loco classes, including the wheels with three horizontal crimson bands and a hand painted early emblem on the tender. She however re-entered service in what was to become standard express passenger blue with two horizontal black bands with white lining, following inspection of the livery by members of the Railway Executive at Brighton Works.
The blue paint of the time wasn’t very practical in practice, due to the elements and the heat from the engine causing the paint to discolour and fade quite quickly hence the change to BR Green for all Passenger Locos only a couple years later.

Hornby have released 35025 in the condition in which she first ran for a while in this livery from Exmouth Junction, as she does not carry the later BR shedplate (72A) it would have been fitted sometime before May 1949 when she was also fitted with the battens on the smoke deflectors to carry the ‘Devon Belle’ wing plates.

The left hand side view, although I’ve painted out the silver lamp lenses I might make the lens itself gloss.

I wont repeat my full review of 21c1, as that can be read here, and all the positives are also on this model such as: the powerful 5 pole motor with large flywheel, all wheel pick up, the excellent coupling rods, the loco and tender brake rodding being factory fitted. Included with the loco is an accessory pack that contains a pair of front steps for the loco buffers (which might like the wheel tyres benefit from being toned down from the bright steel) and rear steps for the bufferbeam on the tender, cylinder drain cocks and also steam and vacuum pipes.
As with previous Hornby Bulleid pacifics the front steps in particular require glue to affix and is a little tricky.
The fixed rear pony truck has flangeless wheels as is Hornby’s current way for pacific wheel arrangements allowing for a better representation of the ashpan etc. It may be possible if your curves allow to fit a flanged wheelset if you wish.

Rear LH 3/4 view

The paint finish, whilst a slightly different hue to the printed box not that it maters, I think captures the drabness of the BR Passenger Blue well.
If the carpet crawler YouTube reviewer is to be believed this should along with the flat casing top be a stain finish just because another manufacturer has done so on a totally unrelated model, he also claims the nameplates are etched but printed, and that the brass cab side window frames are wood (to be fair they are wooden on the Light Pacifics). For the record whilst the blue could perhaps be only slightly more satin for an ex works condition, the casing tops should be matt black.

The excellently detailed cab interior, even down the the gauge dials, has been supplemented by some crew by Masterpiece Figures.

I only have two niggles are firstly the nameplates, whilst separately applied plastic parts are printed with none of the casting relief and I have already replaced these with etched plates from Fox Transfers.
Secondly the characteristic electric lamps that in reality are hung from the underside of the swan neck style lamp iron and also had electric conduit attached. However, on the model the lamp is attached via a perpendicular lug on their back into holes on the sloping front casing them to point upwards slightly and the very fragile plastic lamp irons to lean backwards.
I have replaced these three lamp irons with etched brass versions so they are stronger and correctly face forwards, this in itself helps trick the eye away from the lamp angle. The lamps are correctly black (the lamp casing were black painted brass on the front and body livery colour painted steal casings on the tender). Each lamp has a silver blob to represent the lens, however in reality these lens appear black unless the lamp is actually lit. I have touched away the sliver and again it helps disguise the incorrect angle of the lamps.

For anyone wanting to renumber and rename to one of other the third series Merchant Navys in blue (for details of the differences between the third series read my first ever Talking Stock post here) then the candidates to choose from are 35021/2 and 35025 to 35030, as 35025 is one of the three members of the class along with 35014 and 35011 (currently being restored back to original condition) not to gain the Blue livery.

Little niggles aside, I stand by my earlier review these models have raised the bar, capturing splendidly the front face and overall look and details that Bulleid intended. Along with the excellent smooth running powerful drive system and chassis we can look forward happily to adding other versions to the fleet when then arrive, with hopefully more versions from the tooling suit that Hornby have produced to cover most of the potential variations.

 

 

 

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Following on from the excellent Steam’s Lament – Bulleid’s Light Pacifics is the next title provided to me by my friends at Strathwood Publishing being Steam’s Lament – Bulleid’s Merchant Navy, Q1, Leader and Other Works .  This follows the same wide landscape format and contains 208 pages often with multiple black and white photographs per page along with well researched and informative captions.

Steam’s Lament – Bulleid’s Merchant Navy, Q1, Leader and Other Works features every one of the Merchant Navy Pacifics in both original and rebuilt condition, together with a photograph of every one of the forty Q1s and all three of the Leaders that were built. Also included are some of Bulleid’s other works including his diesel & electric locomotive designs.

The photographs are from a number of sources such as: Colour Rail, Rail photoprints ,  Anistr.com,  Rail-Online.com and the Transport Treasury so will not be new to many of us, there are also a number of photographs from other sources such as Strathwood‘s own library, that are not so familiar and many that I have not seen before. The selection of photographs covers details and variation in liveries and naming and shows the locomotives in action, on shed and in close up. The benefit is that the they are all nicely reproduced in the one book and at a good size afforded by the wide landscape format.

It is of course good to see pictures of my favourite Merchant Navys 21c6/35006  ‘Peninsular & Oriental SN Co’ and 21c11/35011 ‘General Steam Navigation’ included with again some images new to me.

As well as the Leader, the book includes a few examples of: Bulleid’s drafting improvements with Lemaitre multiple-jet blast pipes and their associated large diameter chimneys, his 500hp 0-6-0 shunter 11001, the 350hp 0-6-0 shunters, the 10201-3 main line diesels and also the Bulleid/Raworth electric locos 20001-3.

By covering each locomotive in turn and including images from different periods of their working life it provides a great reference for railway historians and modellers alike, a welcome addition to my library and wholeheartedly recommended.

 

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