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.
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.
I realise some will concentrate on the time taken since these models were first announced some time ago by the Kernow Model Rail Centre, it has been well documented that the necessary research for the production of the CADS for these diesels with their complex multiple curved exterior shape has taken much longer than planned. When last year additional information came to light the development process moved on at a fast pace and now production of the first versions has now been completed. These are the first models that Kernow Model Rail Centre have worked directly with the factory on China on all aspects of the design, tooling and manufacture. Has the time taken been worth it… you bet it has!
In 1949 the frames for No. 10201, a 1Co Co1 loco, were laid at Ashford Works under the supervision of Bulleid. Before the first loco was completed the frames for 10202 were assembled. The last of the trio, No. 10203, was constructed in 1953-4 at Brighton Works.
The bolsterless bogie design was similar to that used on the Bulleid/Raworth electric locomotives, CC1 and 2, introduced in 1941, with similar bearing pads, wheels and the mounting of the bogies and brakes. To carry the additional weight an articulated pony truck was included, ingeniously guided by links fitted to the bogie front plate which also carried the buffers. The profile of the body sides was curved to match the profile of the Bulleid coaches of the time.
In February 1953 Brighton Works commenced assembly of the third member of the fleet, No. 10203, which was completed in March 1954. A number of technical differences were incorporated in this loco, the most significant being the installation of a higher powered engine developing some 2,000hp, rather than the 1,750hp of N0. 10201/2. After its commissioning trials, No. 10203 based at Nine Elms joined 10201/2 on the Waterloo-Exeter line where it demonstrated its superior output.
Initial trials of 10201 also took place on the London Midland Region, where all three would return in 1955, whilst on the LMR the chime whistle was also replaced by twin air horns. Whilst on both the Southern Region and the London Midland Region they worked alongside their slightly less power cousins the LMS Twins 10000 and 10001.
When built all three were painted in black livery with silver lining, including silver frames, whilst the centre of the roof section was matt black. After the locos were allocated to the LMR, Derby Works outshopped all three in BR standard locomotive green and replaced the waist height silver band with orange and black lining. The roof however was painted a really practical primrose yellow! This of course soon ended up a dirty black colour.
The first two models, No. 10201 and No. 10202 have now arrived in the UK and are starting to be sent out to those whom pre-ordered.
The initial four livery releases are as follows:
K2701 Number 10201 in BR Black livery with early emblem
K2701 Number 10201 in BR Black livery with early emblem
K2703 Number 10203 in BR Black livery with early emblem
K2704 Number 10203 in BR Green livery with late crest
An option for DCC Sound fitted K2701DS and K2702DS is also available, with sound by Legomanbiffo. The models of No. 10203 require slightly different tooling for both the sides and roof which is being worked on at the moment and will therefore at a later date.
I will on the whole let the pictures accompanying this post do the talking but read on for additional information. The models arrive in a very sturdy foam lined box in the Kernow Model Rail Centre house style with the locomotive held in the now usual plastic insert and sleeve. Overall the model has a good weight and matches the solid look of the prototype.
The model accurately follows the complex curves and tumbleholm of the prototype and has a wealth of rivet detail. Above each cab is the whistle (this will be replaced by air horns on the green version of 10203. Also included with the model is a complete set of closed half head signal (route discs) to allow any combination of open / closed discs and head signal codes to be achieved. Buffer beam hooks with and without dummy three link couplings are also included. Tension lock couplings are provided fitted into NEM pockets. The vacuum and steam heating pipes are factory fitted and do not interfere with the couplings.
Directional lighting for the head signal discs shines through the separate lenses within the open discs, but is fully blanked when the half discs are fitted. (Note the discs are a simple push fit and can be carefully prised off, but make sure you place a finger over the disc when doing so to prevent the disc heading off to be difficult to find on the floor!)
The models feature a large centrally mounted five pole motor with twin fly wheels, mounted on a die cast chassis block. Drive to each of the 3 main geared axles on both bogies is via articulated shafts. The bogies comprise of internal axle bearings and have both horizontal and vertical play to allow for a variety of track conditions. Electrical pick up is off all main driving axles.
I have found them to run extremely smoothly on at least three different layouts and test tracks complete with undulations and they haulage capability is exceptional and they have handled over twenty Hornby Pullman coaches with ease.
For those using DCC a 21 pin socket is provided and every model, even the non DCC fitted versions, include a 28mm 8 ohm, 4 Watt speaker!
Externally the finish is extremely good, an excellent satin black finish and crisp boundaries between the black and the aluminium silver lining and the aluminium silver roof. The fan grill on the roof is a very fine etching with a representation of the fan itself moulded below.
The flush glazing is very fine without any noticeable prismatic effect at the edges. Behind the body side windows is a representation of the engine block which if anything is slightly too close to the window but that is due to the fact that it is hiding the motor. Often when running in practice these side windows were in the down open position, I assume to give additional cooling, but this is not possible with the model. Windscreen wipers, lamp irons and handrails are separately applied and the latter also are where applicable the correct flat profile. The bogies themselves are a work of art, heightened by being painted as per the prototype in silver, including many separately applied details such as steps, covers, sandboxes, pipes and speedometer drive.
As I said in the introduction paragraph I certainly feel the wait has been worthwhile and is sure to be a winner with Southern Region and London Midland Region modellers alike.
It has been a pleasure to assist the Kernow Model Rail Centre with this project from the outset.
The model railway world and mainly Southern Railway meanderings of Graham 'Muz' Muspratt