Archive for the ‘Model News’ Category

Bachmann Europe have continued their new policy of making quarterly product British Railways Announcements and whilst Covid-19 has stopped any physical showcase event taking place, Bachmann announced the new items in a video that can be seen here:

Unfortunately no new models this time around for Southern Railway / Southern Region modellers, after the new O2s from the last announcement, (although I can recommend the new SPA / SEA wagons…, and even I am impressed by the 00-9 Double Fairlies) but I am confident more is to come in the future, remember it is a regular quarterly announcement and all the items announced today should be available during the next three months and not all that is being produced Bachmann for the year.

Work in progress – update (added 04/11/21)

00 Gauge
Bulleid Coaches – These are now at the decorated sample stage following some amendments to the first Engineering Prototypes (see here) , Malachite, BR Crimson and Cream and BR(s) Green, and awaiting signing off before production can commence.

N Gauge
BR Standard 5MT – modified to enable sound fitted models, engineering prototypes have been approved and livery artwork is being prepared.
Class 450 EMU – These are at the decorated sample stage.
Class 319 EMU – In production

The next announcement will be in early February 2022.

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Model Rail Magazine originally announced their intention in collaboration with Rapido Trains to produce the ex LBSC E1 0-6-0t in 00 gauge back in June 2018 as reported here, they have now advised via their latest issue now arriving with subscribers, that they are to withdraw from this project.

E1 Class as currently on the Isle of Wight steam railway, masquerading as W2. Originally B110 and sold to industrial use in 1927

My friends at Rapido Trains UK have now embarked on a customer research programme to allow them to determine if / how they might take the project forward direct themselves. They have created an online poll that can be accessed here, therefore if you are keen to see a RTR ex LBSC E1 0-6-0t please complete the poll as the more responses they receive the more likely we are to see the E1 project continue.

By way of some background into the E1 Class; with the exception of the final six built in 1891 under the auspices of RJ Billinton with different boiler, dome and chimney known as E1s from new, the rest of the 80 strong class were originally introduced by William Stroudley from 1874 as the E Class. Essentially a larger goods version of the A1 Terrier 0-6-0t, using the same cylinders, motion and boilers as the D Class 0-4-2 passenger tanks. Later all the E Class were reclassified as E1s.

E1 class 2506 in post war ‘Sunshine’ black livery. Picture courtesy and copyright Mike Morant collection

Although most of the class worked on the Brighton section some were used in Southampton Docks, (hence my own interest as ideal for Canute Road Quay), and on the Isle of Wight. Ten members of the class were converted between 1927 and 1929 to become E1/R Class 0-6-2t with new cabs, extended bunkers and the addition of a Radial axle for use in the West Country.

Despite withdrawals starting as early as 1913 many passed into British Railways ownership with the last surviving to 1960. Four members of the class ended up being sold into industrial colliery use, including the one preserved example B110 now located on the Isle of Wight steam railway.

Please therefore help Rapido Trains UK with their customer research and complete the online poll here.

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Further to the Bachmann Showcase British Railway Announcements yesterday 4th August that saw the ex LSWR Adams O2 0-4-4T introduced as three versions in the EFE Rail range, a further version as W24 Calbourne is being sold exclusively though the Isle of Wight Stream Railway online shop.

E85013 W24 Calbourne

W24 Calbourne

E85013 SR O2 Class 0-4-4T No. W24 “Calbourne” in lined SR Malachite, as she carried originally between June 1947 and c1949, The model captures Calbourne in her current Southern Railway malachite livery that she was outshopped in earlier this year.

As with the previous O2 releases from The Kernow Model Rail Centre the O2s come with discs, bufferbeam pipework, an etched fire irons pack and etched nameplates.

They’re a ‘must have’ for any Isle of Wight railway modeller. There are just 500 of these exclusive edition models, priced £159.95.

Buy them now from their online shop here and support the Isle of Wight Steam Railway at the same time.

 

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Bachmann Europe have continued their new policy of making quarterly product British Railways Announcements and whilst Covid-19 has stopped any physical showcase event taking place, Bachmann announced the new items in a video that can be seen here:

 

As usual I round up those items of a SR / BR(s) relevance below:

Bachmann 

Following on from yesterdays surprise announcement of an all new Brush Type 4 Class 47 Bachmann have today advised the models in the first production batch: BR two tone Green SYP, BR Blue, BR Intercity Swallow, Railfreight Distribution grey, and Railfreight Construction grey.

The EFE Rail range continues to grow

E85007 No. 182 in SR Maunsell lined Olive Green livery Pull-Push fitted

E85008 W34 ‘Newport’

E85009 W31 ‘Chale’

We see the introduction into the growing EFE Rail range of models supplied via other partners such as the The Kernow Model Rail Centre

  • E85007 SR O2 Class 0-4-4T No. 182 in lined olive green and pull push fitted as she was between December 1934 (when the ‘E’ Prefix was removed) and gaining unlined black in 1941 she was allocated to Plymouth Friary during this period.
  • E85007 SR O2 Class 0-4-4T No. W35 “Newport” in lined SR Malachite,  as she carried between May 1947 and c1949.
  • E85007 SR O2 Class 0-4-4T No. W31 “Chale” in lined BR Malachite with Sunshine lettering, as she carried between May 1948 and c1951

As with the previous O2 releases from The Kernow Model Rail Centre the O2s come with discs, bufferbeam pipework, an etched fire irons pack and in the case of the Isle of Wight versions etched nameplates.

Also new in the EFE range are PBA ‘Tiger’ bogie china clay wagons.

The full range and announcements can be seen on the Bachmann Europe website here.

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Bachmann have today announced a brand new tooling version of the Brush Type 47 with tooling to allow to a wide range of sub class variations. Owing nothing to its predecessors, development of the new Bachmann Branchline Class 47 began several years ago and, using original drawings, diagrams, site visits and surveys of real locomotives, Bachmann has created a high specification model. Class 47 were often found on the Southern Region.

Bachmann Brush Type 4 Class 47 group shot

Specification includes:

Mechanism:
– Five pole, twin shaft motor with two flywheels providing drive to both bogies
– All axle drive
– Electrical pickup from all wheels
– Separate metal bearings fitted to each axle
– Diecast metal chassis block and bogie towers
– Diecast metal gearboxes, with gearing arranged for prototypical running speeds and haulage capabilities
– 16.5mm (OO gauge) wheels to NEM310 & NEM311 standards with authentic profile and detailing
– Detachable coupling pockets to NEM362 standards fitted to each bogie
– Designed to operate on curves of second radius (438mm) or greater
Detailing:
– Brush-built and Crewe-built locomotives portrayed
– Options for Original or Cut-Cab body style
– Bogies constructed from multiple components featuring full relief detail
– Rotating radiator fans, driven by an independent motor and gearbox, operated via a DCC function, or randomised when operated as part of the sound project on DCC and Analogue control (SOUND FITTED DELUXE models only)
– Tinted windscreen glazing (SOUND FITTED DELUXE models only)
– Separately applied metal detail parts, including grab handles, windscreen wipers and etched fan grilles
– Sprung metal buffers
– Each model supplied with a full set of decorated, model-specific bufferbeam pipework and accessory
parts
Lighting:
– Directional lighting, switchable on/off at either end on DCC or Analogue control
– Cab lighting, assigned to two DCC functions for separate switching of each
– Separately switched Engine Room lighting
– Authentic light colours and temperatures selected for each model based on era and application
DCC:
– Plux22 DCC decoder interface
Livery Application:
– Authentic liveries applied to all models
– Multiple paint applications employed on each model using BR specification colours
– Logos, numerals and text added as appropriate using multi-stage tampo printing using authentic typefaces, logos and colours
– Etched metal nameplates, symbols and plaques included where appropriate
Detail Variants:
Countless variations are catered for to allow accurate models to be produced depending on the locomotive
being portrayed, options include:
– Headcode panel arrangements from as-built to current-day
– Radiator Grilles
– Roof exhaust cover
– Steam Heat Boiler Ports/blanks
– Cab roof vents
– Cab mounted aerial
– Windscreen Wipers
– Cab Door Kickplates
– Headlights, both Scottish ‘Car’ and High Intensity versions
– ETH Equipment
– Multi-operation jumper sockets
– TDM jumpers
– Class 47/7 multiple working jumpers and cooling pipes
– Fuel and Water Tank arrangements
– Water Tank fillers
– Buffers
– Bogie-mounted cab steps
– Speedo Drives

Every Class 47 offered will be produced in three formats, with standard versions ready for use on analogue control out of the box and with a Plux22 DCC decoder socket.

An  excellent video has been produced by Bachmann looking at the new models in lots of detail and can be seen here.

With production of the first batch of models complete, details of the locomotives that will be arriving with Bachmann retailers this Autumn will be unveiled in the Autumn 2021 British Railway Announcements tomorrow 4th August.

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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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