This months picture…
This months picture…
Following on from my previous Workbench Wittering posts where I have been forward dating Hornby Series One Merchant Navys #10 21c7 and #11 21c3 to their 1947 condition, as Hornby have so far only produced the very early ‘Widows peak’ style, this post is about how I have, this time, backdated a Hornby Series Two to create 21c11 General Steam Navigation (as I am part owner, Society Trustee and Director of the full size GSN locomotive owning company) as she was in service between January 1947 and September 1948.
21c11 General Steam Navigation was the first of the Second Series of ten Merchant Navys and was introduced in December 1944, she differed from Series Ones by having a flat front cab rather the previous swept forwards style and, unique to her, deeper bulbous front fairings between the cylinders and buffer beam. When introduced she had short smoke deflectors but was fitted with the now standard length deflectors in January 1947.
So far Hornby have only produced one Series Two version in the main range as R3861 35017 Belgium Marine, this represents her in post July 1954 condition with a modified wedge shaped cab, no front fairings and the safety valves resited to the later rear position over the firebox crown. One slight error with the Hornby Series Two model is the position of the Stones steam generator that they have modelled in the Series Three lower position (I assume to simply tooling options) that gave greater access to it, rather than the position for the first 20 locomotives up behind cab side casing and beneath the cab floor. To create 21c11 for my chosen period I amended all these items and in addition I replaced the smoke deflectors with finer etched versions.
Replacing the cab is the biggest challenge for this conversion, I started by removing the body from the chassis removing the deflectors, safety vales, pipework and then removed the cab cutting the bottom edge level with the cab floor.
For the replacement cab I used as a starting point the Light Pacific Original Cab etch 4AGBWOC that is available from RT Models, the Merchant Navy Cab is longer, so I extended the etch by soldering to it an additional strip of 15thou nickel silver cut to size including the cab roof rear overhang.
The cab was then shaped to match both drawings for the roof and the cab side curve allowing the rear turn-ins to be soldered in place. At each stage it was tested to ensure a suitable fit against the loco body. The join being at the cab floor level also coincides with the position of the lower lining that will also aid concealing the joint along with a small amount of filler. Etched window frames, also from RT Models were fitted and I used some scrap etch to make representations of the cab roof lifting eyes.
To create the flat front of the cab I used Milliput filler to fill the gap between the cab and the casing, smoothing the front flat with a wet knife blade and using a small rat tail file created the shape of the front window.
A replacement white metal Stones steam generator also from RT Models , was added in the correct location under the rear corner of the cab floor on the driver’s side. Just like the Series One and Two prototypes it is virtually hidden but I know it is there.
I drilled three new holes for the three Hornby brass safety valves in the original as built forward location and filled the later rear position above the firebox crown with Milliput filler. I carefully filed this to the correct roof profile and scribed it to recreate the joint lines around the dome cover.
I also filled the front washout plug (as this was moved to be slightly offset from the boiler centre line when the safety valves were resited), and created a new washout plug position in its original position back on the boiler centre line, I started with a with a small drill and then elongated the hole slightly, a small amount of Milliput filler was pushed up from the inside and shaped to create a representation of the plug itself.
I created from scratch the uniquely deeper bulbous front fairings between the cylinders and buffer beam on 21c11, see the image left, I started by cutting some 15th brass sheet to an approximate developed shape, before bending to shape. For the spherical front I made a number of cuts in the brass to create ‘leaves’ to allow the approximate sphere to be folded up (think like creating a globe) before filling with solder and finally filing to shape. A piece of 0.4mm brass wire was soldered to the front edge and filled flat to create the beading.
Once again I have used etched smoke deflectors from RT Models and I show the preparation of these in my Workbench Witterings#11 21c7 post here. I replaced the lamp irons using ‘Bambi’ staples cut to length.
The locomotive and tender bodies have been painted using aerosol paints, following masking the buffers and buffer beam with maskol, I started by giving a light dusting of Halfords etch primer before two thin top coats of Railmatch 1632 malachite green. The smoke deflectors are painted and lined separately to allow the body area behind the deflectors to be painted first.
Lining and numbers have been applied using HMRS Presfix transfers from sheet 10 (10a for the lines). Care is taken to ensure the horizontal yellow lines are level and parallel, I use a rule and a pair of dividers to ensure these are correct. Note how the application of the yellow lining appears to the eye to change the overall colour of the base malachite green. Once applied the transfers are sealed in place by spraying the bodies and deflectors with Railmatch 1408 Satin varnish.
The cab roof, casing ‘flat top’ and tender top were then brush painted matt black and the smoke box cowl given a satin finish as per the prototype. Etched nameplates from Fox Transfers are glued into place, as per my usual method of a tiny amount of super glue applied with a cocktail stick. The wheels have been brush painted with Precision Paints P78 malachite.
The cab side and front windows have been cut to shape from 10 thou clear plastic and glued into place using a very small amount of Delux materials Glue ‘n’ Glaze as this dries very clear. The detail items removed from the body prior to the conversion, are refitted, such as some of the separate pipework fittings and the turned brass safety valves fixed into their new location. A replacement white metal smokebox dart from RT Models was fitted into place after I had glued into position the etched smokebox roundel, that is supplied along with the etched nameplates by Fox Transfers.
I have also replaced the supplied front steps with the excellent and stronger lost wax brass casting from RT Models but fitted other details from the supplied Hornby accessory pack such as cylinder drain pipes to complete the look .
Just a couple of little paint areas to touch up and some light weathering and she will be ready to add to my ever growing (no don’t ask how many…) fleet of Bulleid pacifics.
For more information on how to support or get involved with the project to restore the full size 2c11 / 35011 General Steam Navigation back to original condition complete with air smoothed casing and Bulleid’s unique chain driven valve gear check out the General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society website here.
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.
My good friend, excellent modeller and proprietor of 247 Developments Brian Mosby has advised me that he now has produced in his vast etched range Golden Arrow headboard and Arrows that adorned either Rebuilt Bulleid pacifics or BR Britannia 70004. He has also produced the rectangular style headboard used when Bulleid 1Co-Co1 diesel 10202 was used during 1954 on the prestigious Pullman service.
The famous ‘Golden Arrow’ name was first used in 1929, although the origins of the service dates back as afar as 1882 and the final service ran on 30th September 1972. Unlike the ‘Night Ferry’ service passengers would travel by ferry from Dover or Folkestone to Calais where they boarded a similarly prestigious French train under the French name Flêche d’ Or. Ten all-new Pullmans were built from 1949 and entered service as the “Festival of Britain Golden Arrow” on 11th June 1951.
Before WWII the “Golden Arrow” was usually worked by Lord Nelson class locos, For the resurrected post war service the first locomotive used was 21C1 Channel Packet, although though from 1946 a Bulleid light pacific. When in original form as well as the headboard a large arrow was carried on the side of the casing.
A smaller arrow was used affixed to the smoke deflectors of rebuilt Bulleid light pacifics. Although between 1956 and 1959 No. 35015 Rotterdam Lloyd was the only rebuilt Merchant Navy to be used and and for a while in the early1950s, BR Britannia 70004 William Shakespeare. Light pacific 34100 Appledore hauled the last steam worked Golden Arrow on 11th June 1961 when electric traction took over with what were to become Class 71 locomotives.
In addition 247 Developments stock other SR named train headboards, numerous BR(S) smokebox door number plates for many ex SR classes, dated smokebox door roundels for the Bulleid pacifics and SR Engine Head Signal route discs. Brian’s products are of excellent quality and I can wholeheartedly recommend them.
This weekend 4th/5th December sees the fourth World of Railways Virtual Exhibition, and a weekend filled with entertainment for all ages, model railways of all shapes, sizes and scales, plus informative model ‘how-to’ advice, and interviews with the brands who bring us the models we enjoy, including a in a couple of different interviews yours truly…
Exclusive content on offer over the two days, includes interviews with: Kernow Model Rail Centre (not surprisingly me with the bossman), Pete Waterman, Simon Kohler and more.
Also included are a behind-the-scenes look at the 121 Collection, a trip to the Severn Valley Railway, and a visit to the Crewe Heritage Centre, to name a few.
The lifeblood of any show is its layouts, and our #BigWORshow continues the trend of showcasing a beautiful selection of these, created by talented modellers. The exhibits will feature N, OO, EM, 3MM, O, and G scales, with something for all tastes – don’t miss them! For the full list, visit https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/information/world-of-railways-virtual-exhibition
A #BigWORshow wouldn’t be complete without its competitions! There’s something for all the family across the weekend, from ‘spot the difference’, puzzle games and colouring for younger viewers, with a fabulous selection of prizes to win for adults, from a Hornby Queen Elizabeth and limited edition Merchant Navy, to an Oxford Rail modern air-braked Warwell and Bachmann BR Mk. 1 coaches.
No matter your location around the world, our virtual model railway show welcomes you to its official opening on December 4 at 09:30 GMT – just head to www.world-of-railways.co.uk for two days of fantastic model railway entertainment and exciting challenges. Don’t miss it – see you there, virtually, of course!
With this weekend being a bank holiday, with so far some typical overcast weather (at least it’s not raining yet…), I thought I would provide some light reading based on my trip away, with the 35011 General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society last weekend, to some of Yorkshire’s railway attractions where I was able to find a Southern Railway related connection.
A Bulleid coach far from home
Coach number S1469 is a Diagram 2017 Open Third built at Eastleigh between October and December 1950 with the deeper 15″ window vents rather than the 10″ vents fitted to the SR built versions. They were introduced as loose vehicles, i.e. not allocated into a coach set.
Whilst many like to see the preserved Bulleid coaches in green livery, I think she does look very smart in the immaculate Crimson and Cream livery.
A Southern / Bulleid connection to a BR standard 4MT tank
The design, although based on the LMS Fowler / Fairburn tanks, of these locomotives, introduced from 1951 was completed and the first batch built at Brighton. The design was required to meet the the L1 loading gauge to give them a great route availability (such as working between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells West). They therefore have a continuous curved profile to the tanks and cab sides, (not to be confused with the overall loading gauge), that also matched the curve of the Bulleid locos and stock. There was even a discussion at the time about them being built with Bulleid-Firth-Brown style wheels.
Even the LNER coach has Bulleid connection as before he left the LNER to become CME of the Southern Railway he had modernised the interiors of such open coaches with the use of the new synthetic leathercloth ‘Rexine’.
What’s in a name…
There are two Merchant Navy Class names plates on display at the National Railway Museum. With the Merchant Navy’s four plates were cast (the centre part disc was enamelled), two for the loco, one presented to the relevant shipping company and one circular part turned into a coffee table and also presented to the shipping company at the time of the official naming ceremonies (I have not yet managed to see any of the coffee tables, I wonder if any any survive and if so do the owners know the significance?)
The Orient Line name plate is from the actual 21c8 loco, you can compare the difference in the wear and tear including the remaining thickness of the raised cast letters to tell the difference. The boiler currently being restored by the 35011 General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society, is coincidently the one that was first fitted to 21c8 when built.
We didn’t remove any parts honest…
Whilst neatly sectioned and painted to show the inner workings of a steam locomotive I feel the Museum have missed a trick as there are no actual information board to explain the how it works part of the exhibit to visitors. Whilst photographing I did spend time to actually explain how it works to many visitors.
I’m sure it doesn’t need it’s crank axle really… with 35011 General Steam Navigation needing a new crank axle it would be nice to swap this now static exhibit with a plain axle to help get 21c11 / 35011 back in steam but I think the museum staff would have noticed if I tried to borrow it… The tender would be handy too…
Duck à le bleu…
Developed using wind-tunnels, the train could travel the 178 miles between the two station in 138 minutes, at an average of 77mph.
This was considered to be an expensive option but led to Bugatti assisting Bulleid and Gresley with the A4 front styling and overall streamlining.
Mallard was also a visitor to the Southern Region a couple of times the first being for the 1948 Locomotive Exchange trails, where she failed at Salisbury with a hot middle big end, and again later in the 1960s on rail tour duty.
Doesn’t need a key… (sorry Stanier…)
When the class were first introduced under wartime austerity conditions in 1942 William Stanier was reported to have said “Where do you put the key” in response to the look of the loco.
I hope you enjoyed the read and the SR connections.
Two major steps forward for the General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society (GSNLRS), that aims to restore the Merchant Navy locomotive 21c11 / 35011 to her original as built condition complete with air smooth casing and Bulleid’s unique chain driven valve gear, were announced at last weeks Annual General Meeting.
Regular readers of my blog will know that I am a Trustee of the Society and Board member of the locomotive owning Community Interest Company.
Firstly, following the removal of the trailing truck from the frames in October 2020 and months of preparatory work by their hard working volunteers, that the restoration contract for the trailing truck has been awarded after a tender process to North Norfolk Railway Engineering.
Located at Weybourne Engineering works, North Norfolk Railway Engineering presented a strong bid for the work, with a high level of engineering detail, that respects the historical merit of the unique in preservation fabricated Merchant Navy trailing truck.
Originally fitted to a series 3 Merchant Navy, 35011’s fabricated trailing truck is the last survivor of its kind. Lighter than the cast truck fitted to the other preserved Merchant Navy locomotives, longer than a Light Pacific’s truck, the GSNLRS are having this unique piece of Bulleid locomotive design restored to mainline standard, a crucial step towards GSNLRS’s vision of an original Merchant Navy with original air smoothed casing and Bulleid’s patented chain driven valve gear.
Funding for the Trailing Truck restoration has been via the GSNLRS Trailing Truck Transformers Fund Club and ‘Lots’ being available for purchase to join the club. Membership of our Trailing Truck Transformer Fund Club is still available, for details click here.
The second announcement is with respect to the crank axle,
Since 1966, 35011 has been without it’s central crank axle as it was swapped with a plain axle following withdrawal for the crank axle to be used on classmate 35026. Alongside the missing valve gear, this has been the driving force behind the decision to return to original design condition, due to the cost of replacement to either design being similar.
After many years of behind-the-scenes research in the Bulleid Pacific Locomotive Association collection & National Archive in Kew, and recent detailed Finite Element Analysis conducted at the University of Birmingham, under the supervision of Professor Karl Dearn, has demonstrated that A4T steel is of a suitable grade for the correct balanced crank axle design for 35011 in original design condition.
This means the GSNLRS can proceed to final design of the central axle & balancing of the motion, and the order placement for the steel in the coming months and moving the project further forwards to a functioning original Merchant Navy once more.
More information on the University of Birmingham FEA Project can be read here.
These two announcements are major steps forward for the General Steam Navigation Restoration Society, for more information on how you can help support the project click
With over 160 members, shareholders and invited guests (that included some of the team working on fellow Merchant Navy Pacific 35011 General Steam Navigation that us currently being restored uniquely to original air smoothed condition complete with Bulleid’s chain driven valve gear) board, many enjoying picnics, we had the entire wonderfully scenic Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway to ourselves. 35006 hauled a complete round trip from Toddington – Cheltenham Racecourse – Broadway – Toddington, with its splendid views of the Cotswolds and the Malvern Hills, in the warm evening sunshine.
As I hinted in my Workbench Witterings #10 Forward dating @Hornby Bulleid Merchant Navy 21c7 to 1947 condition post here, I also intended to do the same with my R3435 21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ model.
Like the latest Hornby model of 21c7 the previously released model R3435 21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ model has been produced in her early condition, with the ‘widows peak’ and without smoke deflectors. 21c3 was introduced in September 1941 in malachite green livery but repainted in plain black as a wartime measure in May 1943. Changes to the smoke deflection stated in September 1944 when she was fitted with the top cowl and short flared deflectors. 21c3 was repainted malachite green in November 1945 and was subsequently fitted with standard length and style of smoke detectors in May 1947. She stayed in this condition until June 1948 when she was renumbered 35003 and British Railways in SR style sunshine lettering.
I have therefore took the razor to hand and modelled 21c3 in her May 1947 condition just after she received freshly painted new standard deflectors, complete with the baton along the top for mounting the Devon Belle wing plates as a per a photograph of her that I have in my collection.
Like my 21c7 conversion I have used etched smoke deflectors, electric lamps and a replacement smoke box dart from the excellent Albert Goodall range supplied by my friends at RT Models. The replacement lamp irons are simply staples cut to length and I have replaced the flat printed nameplates and smokebox door roundel with etched versions from Fox Transfers.
I have followed the same steps as per my Workbench Witterings #10 post here so will not repeat the stage by stage details. Who knows when we might see this version from Hornby, as I said in the #10 post once you get over the brave step of putting a razor saw to a brand new model the modification is reasonably quick and easy to complete.