Tag Archives: N Gauge

Dapol show Engineering Prototype and details of revised M7 0-4-4t in N gauge [Updated 27/07/21]

Dapol have released an update on the development of their all new ex LSWR/SR/BR M7 0-4-4T along with images of their latest Engineering Prototype.

A total of 105 Drummond LSWR M7 0-4-0 passenger tank locomotives were built between 1897 and 1911. They were built in a number of batches with detail differences. The first batch had a short overhang at the front, sandboxes combined with the front splashers. In 1900 the design was changed to have the sandboxes inside the smokebox. The 1903 batch had  a long overhang on the front end. During 1904 and 1905 construction moved the sandboxes back to the front splasher. It was some of those that had the longer frames that were later fitted for pull-push working.

The models being produced are all short frame versions with sandboxes incorporated into the front splashers. They will feature a highly detailed body with many separately added parts die cast chassis, a 3 pole can motor and all wheel pick up.

Dapol however have advised that “no DCC decoder will supplied in this model”, as they say “the space has been used to add more weight to the model and provide improved, balance, traction and running properties”, by this I assume that no DCC socket will be present either, which I am sure will be seen as a negative factor by many.
[Update 27/07/21] Dapol have provided the DCC fitting update as per image left.

Initially eight versions will be released as part of the first production run as follows:

  • 2S-016-005 M7 0-4-4 Southern Lined Green 37 (I assume Olive Green)
  • 2S-016-006 M7 0-4-4 SWR Lined Green 245 (sic, I assume LSWR)
  • 2S-016-007 M7 0-4-4 Southern Black 246
  • 2S-016-008 M7 0-4-4 British Railways Lined Malachite 30038
  • 2S-016-009 M7 0-4-4 British Railways Lined Black 30248
  • 2S-016-010 M7 0-4-4 BR Early emblem Lined Black 30673
  • 2S-016-011 M7 0-4-4 BR Late Crest Lined Black 30245
  • 2S-016-012 M7 0-4-4 LSWR Lined Green 35

Further details including a video of the running Engineering Prototype can be found on the Dapol website here.

Kernow Model Rail Centre announce Class 50 GBRF Pack in N gauge, and other Dapol news

Although not the usual time period for my blog, I certainly remember the Class 50s on the Waterloo to Exeter line albeit not in this latest livery.

The Kernow Model Rail Centre have today announced they have commissioned Dapol to produce the GBRf Class 50s in N Gauge.

Defiance and Hercules at Eastleigh 20th March 2020 (Picture copyright and courtesy C Trerise)

50 007 “Hercules” and 50 049 “Defiance” were unveiled on 20th March 2019 at Eastleigh following their repainting into GBRf colours.  50 007 was revealed to have 50 014 “Warspite” on one side, much to the delight of Tim Shoveller and Darren Ward who unveiled the change of identity!  The Kernow Model Rail Centre model will reflect this dual-identity, as well as faithfully re-creating the small but important differences between the livery of the two locomotives.

GBRf worked closely with the Class 50 Alliance, the owners of 50 007 and 50 049, in enabling a return to the mainline for their locomotives in 2017 and subsequently through a programme of railtours during 2018 as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Class 50s.

The decision to repaint the locomotives into the striking new livery was a recognition of the developing relationship between the two organisations and marked a new chapter in the story of the Class 50s.  Over the past couple of years, GBRf has invested in a programme of driver training to enable Class 50 operation over most of the UK rail network.

The repaints were carried out by Arlington Fleet Services at Eastleigh. The first outing for the GBRf-liveried Class 50s was on Saturday 23rd March when they worked Pathfinder Tours’ Teminator-Phoenixed railtour from London Paddington to Penzance and return to Waterloo.  This marked 25th years since the final BR operated Class 50 railtour over the same route, The Terminator, which was also promoted by Pathfinder.

Following the repaints, the locomotives have been available to operate selected GBRf trains on a ‘spot-hire’ basis. This work includes movement of locomotives between heritage railway gala events, and future railtours. The locomotives will continue to be based at the Severn Valley Railway, but will have easy access to the national network, thanks to the 24-hour connection at Kidderminster,

Expected in mid 2021, the price for the pack (both models motorised) will be £249.99 for DCC Ready, £299.99 for DCC Fitted and £449.99 for DCC Sound Fitted.

In addition to the above Dapol have this week also announced three new Class 50 liveries as part of its main range, due mid 2021. Like the Kernow Model Rail Centre versions these will be their Next Generation Diesel models, with entirely re-designed chassis and electronics and incorporate a new iron core 5 pole motor.

Liveries announced, including DCC fitted versions, are as follows:

  • Class 50 Defiance 50149 Railfreight Grey Refurbished
  • Class 50 Ajax 50046 Large Logo Refurbished
  • Class 50 Resolution 50018 Late NSE Refurbished

Also announced this week is a new batch of their ex SR Van U / BR Covered Carriage Truck (CCT),  that is being released at the end of this year in: SR Olive, BR(S) Green and BR crimson and BR Blue.

Dapol (re)announce details of new N gauge Maunsell High Window Coaches [updated]

Dapol have today announced, or in reality re-announced, details of new tooling Maunsell High Window coaches in N gauge.  This is an expansion of the previously released low window versions. They will initially be produced in SR lined olive green and further liveries will be phased in to expand the range.

Three new tooled models cover a six compartment Brake Third (BTK), a Corridor Third (TK), a Corridor Composite (CK) and a Corridor First (FK).

Dapol SR BTK high window
Dapol SR CK high window
Dapol SR TK high window

The proposed releases, all SR Lined Olive Green are as follows:

  • 2P-014-001 Four Coach Set 193 comprising of BTKs nos. 3735 [sic should be 3758] / 3739 and CKs nos. 5640 and 5641 – £124.95
  • 2P-014-002 Six Coach Set 456 comprising of BTKs nos. 4083 / 4084, CK no. 5172, FKs nos. 7398 / 7399 and TK no. 837 – £186.95
  • 2P-014-003 Corridor Brake Third No. 3730 [sic not a Brake Third as their number range started 3732] – £31.95 ea
  • 2P-014-004 Corridor Composite No. 5635 – £31.95 ea
  • 2P-014-005 Corridor First No. 7228 – £31.95 ea
  • 2P-014-006 Corridor Third – £31.95 ea

The images shown are the initial Engineering Prototypes and for illustration only,  Dapol advise that they have already received livery samples and amendments returned to the factory (I hope the BTK number 3735 above is a typo as it should be number 3738, and also the proposed number of the loose BTK 3730 is not a BTK ) with production started and delivery expected by quarter 4 this year.

New Bachmann Collectors Club Limited Edition Ready for N-Gauging Duty

The latest limited edition model to be produced exclusively for Bachmann Collectors Club members is the N Scale Class 08 Diesel Shunter as No. 878 ‘Basra’ in Longmoor Military Railway livery (371-020K). Although not technically Southern Railway related the extensive Longmoor Military Railway was located in the heart of the Southern Railway territory in Hampshire between Bordon and Liss, where it had a connection to the SR network on the Portsmouth Direct Line.  The model is priced at £109.95 and just 504 have been produced, each is supplied with a certificate of authenticity.

The real locomotive was delivered new to the LMR from Derby Works in 1945 as War Department No. 70272. It later gained the number 878 and was named ‘Basra’, carrying the iconic blue and red livery of the LMR. When the Longmoor Military Railway closed in 1969, ‘Basra’ was transferred to the Ministry of Defence site at Bicester and was renumbered to AD601. After spells at Bicester, Shoeburyness, Welford Park and Thatcham, the locomotive was eventually sold to the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway in 1980 where it survives in preservation.

The Bachmann Collectors Club produces a range of limited edition models, which are available exclusively to Club Members, and the latest model was launched in the Spring 2019 Bachmann Times – the official quarterly magazine of the Bachmann Collectors Club. For further details visit the Clubs website here.  

This latest release is based on the popular Graham Farish Class 08 Diesel Shunter and features a highly detailed body with numerous separately fitted detail parts. The chassis incorporates NEM coupling pockets and an accessory pack is included with additional bufferbeam
detailing parts. ‘Basra’ joins a growing number of LMR-themed models from Graham Farish, with the Longmoor Military Railway Train Pack that was produced in 2015 now highly sought after and the WD 2-8-0 No. 79250 ‘Major-General McMullen’ (372-429) due for release later this year.

The new Graham Farish Merchant Navy Pacific reviewed – Bulleid power exceptionally well captured in N gauge RTR 

Graham Farish first announced that they would be producing brand new tooled Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacifics in N gauge back in March 2012. For any N gauge Southern Region modellers I can wholeheartedly say it has been very much been worth the wait. I am fortunate, even as a 4mm modeller, to have obtained one of these models to review before they hit the retailers’ shelves over the next few weeks.

35023 as straight out of the box, note the loco to tender gap and permanently fixed drawbar (Image courtesy and copyright  A York)
The four models being initially produced by Graham Farish all represent members of the final third series of ten engines that entered traffic between September 1948 and April 1949 under the auspices of the newly formed British Railways, some three years since the introduction of the final members of the second series. They were numbered from new 35021 to 35030.

Another view of 35023 as out of the box before fitting the detailing pack (image courtesy and copyright A York)
Further details of the three different series of the Merchant Navy class can be found on my very first ‘Talking Stock’ post here with illustrations based on my 4mm scale kit built examples. In brief; the third series differed from the first twenty members class, whilst although maintaining the more angular body shape from the second series, they had the wedge shape cab from new with three side windows and as a weight save measure had a  fabricated (instead of cast) trailing truck.

The other side of 35023 as out of the box, note the cranked connecting rod (image courtesy and copyright A York)
They were also eventually paired with larger 6000 gallon tenders on an asymmetrical wheelbase of 7’4” + 7’0” (rather than the previous 5000 and 5,100 gallon tenders of the first two batches with 6’6” + 6’6” wheelbase). Although it should also be noted that when initially introduced due to a number of the 6000 gallon tenders, being built at Brighton, not being initially available 35021, 35022 and 35024 were paired with 5,500 gallon battle of Britain tenders whilst 35026 and 35027 were paired with 4,500 gallon  West Country class tenders. Their eventual 6000 gallon tenders were available within a couple of months. My own 4mm model of 35022 paired with its temporary 5000 gallon light pacific tender can be seen here.

The Initial four versions being produced by Graham Farish are as follows:

  • 372-310, No. 35024 “East Asiatic Company” in British Railways Express passenger blue the livery she carried between October 1950 and June 1951.
  • 372-311, No. 35023 “Holland-Afrika Line” in BR Brunswick Green with early emblem livery as she carried between February 1952 and her rebuilding in February 1957. 35023 was one of only three members of the class not to carry the BR Blue livery (along with 35011 and 35014)
  • 372-312, No. 35028. “Clan Line” in BR Brunswick Green with late crest, the only Merchant Navy to gain the late crest in original form.  She carried this livery between August 1958 and being the last of the class to be rebuilt in October 1959
  • 372-313, No. 35021. “New Zealand Line” in lined Malachite Green livery with “British Railways” lettering in Yellow Gill Sans which represents her condition between receiving her correct 6000 gallon tender in November 1948 and being repainted in BR Blue in November 1950.

During the periods represented by the liveries above 35028 was allocated to Stewarts Lane and for a few months before rebuilding Nine Elms, whilst the other three were all Exmouth Junction allocated locomotives.

35023 with the front steps, coupling hook and cylinder drain pipes added
The models have captured the characteristic look of these engines extremely well,  and the level of detail really shows how much N gauge Ready To Run models have substantially improved over the last few years. This model in my opinion lifts the bar for N Gauge models even higher.
The exceptional detail includes: the front and rear lamp irons, with the three above the front beam separately applied in combination with the electric lamps, whilst the rest of the irons and lamps on and above the smoke box door and tender rear are moulded, fine ‘Bullied clasp type’ break gear including the external rodding, the rear tender ladders and a good representaion of the  cab backhead. The very fine smoke deflectors appear to be separately applied etched brass fitments,  although even the tender raves that are moulded also appear impressively thin. The removable coal load is cast metal to add some additional weight to the tender.

My first impression out of the box was that the gap between the locomotive and tender is slightly too large and that the connecting rod is quite obviously cranked part way along its length to enable the model to navigate 9” radius curves. The only other such compromise I thought Graham Farish had made was the omission of the front steps and cylinder drain pipes; however these are amazingly included within the accessory detail pack, for modellers with more generous curves, to fit (the drain pipes would benefit from a touch of copper paint). The detailing pack also includes: cab doors, an engine head signal disc (which will actually fit over the front buffer beam lamp irons), an alternative front bogie block (for those not wishing to fit a front coupling, although no coupling was included with my model), a front coupling hook complete with a representation of a screw coupling and steam / vacuum pipes for the front buffer beam! I would point out that the front steps are handed and my detail pack contained two of the same hand! It has only been in the last few years that such additional details have been included with 4mm scale RTR models (although I you think they are difficult to fit in 4mm you should try these!).

Running straight of the box was exceptionally smooth with pick ups also included on the tender wheels, which appear to be split axles running in bushes, with electrical transfer carried to the locomotive via the permanently fixed draw bar.

A test run for 35023 on the lovely 2mm finescale layout Tucking Mill (picture courtesy and copyright J Clifford)
Its first run was in fact on Jerry Clifford’s exceptional 2mm finescale layout Tucking Mill, and she even managed to negotiate, albeit by bumping over them, the 2mm finescale points (which of course in reality, being made to N Gauge standards, the model is not designed to do!) I have not yet been able to give her a full run with a full rake of coaches but I have no fear that she will not perform exceptionally well. They would certainly look good in front of a rake of the latest Graham Farish Bullied that arrived last year or once once released in BR(s) livery the Dapol Maunsell coaches .

I can only say that this is an exceptional model and I repeat my opinion that it lifts the N Gauge RTR standards bar even higher, well done Graham Farish. I certainly believe this excellent model, will prove popular, and with any luck might in the future lead to some of the earlier Merchant Navy series and variations being tooled.

Graham Farish N Class Engineering Prototype first pictures

Back in March 2013 Graham Farish announced its intention to produce the N Class 2-6-0 mogul in N gauge.  I am pleased to show below the first pictures (copyright and courtesy of A York) of the Engineering Prototype (EP). Being an EP there are still a couple of things that need to be put right, but that is the purpose of producing an EP in the first place.

Clicking the images will open a larger version. Remember these are 2mm scale, N Gauge!

Next Pictures: Arnold / Hornby N Gauge Brighton Belle Running Prototype

Last month I was able to post the first pictures of the Arnold / Hornby N Gauge Brighton Belle fist off engineering prototype tooling that is being produced in the British 1.148 scale rather then the usual continental 1.160 scale. Courtesy of Simon Kohler of Hornby and with thanks to the Worthing Model Railway Club and their exquisite Nine Mills layout as the backdrop,  I am now able to post pictures of the first full running sample model.

The first running sample of the Arnold / Hornby N Gauge Brighton Belle

This motorised sample; powered by an open frame motor located above the floor line inside the Driving Motor Brake Parlour Third drives both bogies via cardian drive shafts. Although the motor is slightly visible though the nicely flush glazed windows, from a normal viewing distance and with the all the table lamps it is not overly noticeable.

A further view with the Worthing MRC’s Nine Mills layout as the back drop

The wheel sets on this sample seemed to have deeper flanges than the more usual RP25 profile but these may of course not be representative of the final wheel sets being used.  It did look however if the underframes were notched to allow the required bogie swing but again this may not be as the model will finally appear.

This does however show that development of this interesting model is continuing at pace.

Edit 20/10/13: I can confirm from Hornby that the wheels and the underframe cut outs on this sample are not representative of how the final production models will be. 

First Pictures! Arnold / Hornby N Gauge Brighton Belle Engineering Prototype

It was back in January this year that the continental manufacturer Arnold that are part of the Hornby International stable of brands initially announced they were to produce an N gauge version of the Brighton  Belle set and that it will be in the British 1.148 scale rather then the usual continental 1.160 scale.

It was later announced here,  along with the actual livery variations being produced that these truly distinctive models will only be available via www.Hornby.com and advance orders will and can be taken.

The models will feature: being accurate to UK N scale – 1:148, High performance motor with flywheel, 6 pin DCC socket, Detailed differences on bogies between both period models and Illuminated table lamps.

First off Engineering Prototypes of The Arnold / Hornby N Gauge Brighton Belle

The first Engineering Prototypes (EP) of the bodies have now just been received by Hornby and I had the privilege, courtesy of Simon Kohler of Hornby, to be the first to take any photographs at the weekend.  It should be noted that these are the very first samples and there are a small number of inevitable design  tweaks needed that have already been noted.

Both Driving Cars feature a die cast detailed underframe

Both driving cars have a well detailed die cast full length underframe which should give a nice amount of weight for traction.  and the differences between the three trailing cars have been accurately portrayed and they also feature flush glazing.

If these first samples are anything to go by then the finished models will be an a worth addition to to any 2mm Modellers Southern / Southern Region fleet, although I don’t envy their need to install 2mm scale third rail!


Brighton Belle in N – Hornby Arnold update

As per my post at the time Arnold one of the brnads of Hornby International announced last January their intent to produce a N Gauge Brighton Belle in British 1.148 scale rather then the usual continental 1.160 scale.

Hornby Arnold have today released further information as follows:

The “Brighton Belle” is one of the most famous, if not the most famous of the “Belle” trains to operate on British tracks. The “Belle” operated between London Victoria and Brighton and was the first all electric Pullman service in the World.  The service commenced in June 1934 and continued until April 1972 with only a period during the Second World War when the service was suspended.  There were three 5-Car units specifically built by Metropolitan Cammell for the “Brighton Belle”, a service which took just 60 minutes to travel the non-stop 51 mile distance between London and Brighton.

In recent years under the patronage of the Transport Trust a group was formed to restore a 5-BEL unit and bring it back into service under private ownership.

The stunningly elegant Hornby Arnold N gauge model, which will be initially produced in two distinctive periods, captures perfectly the opulence and style of the “Brighton Belle Pullman”, with each car lit with miniature table lamps as well as having carefully crafted detailed interiors.

These truly distinctive models will only be available via www.Hornby.com and advance orders will and can be taken.

Technical features:

·         Accurate UK N scale – 1:148
·         High performance motor with flywheel
·         6 pin DCC socket
·         Detailed differences on bogies between both models
·         Illuminated table lamps

HN3000 SR 5-BEL “Brighton Belle Pullman” – 2-Car set (DMBPT) in Cream & Umber – 1934 – £129.99

1 x DMBPT (Driver Motor Brake Parlour Third) Powered
1 x DMBPT (Driver Motor Brake Parlour Third) Unpowered

HN3500 SR 5-BEL “Brighton Belle” 3-Car pack (2 x TPFK, TPT) in Cream & Umber – 1934 – £79.99

2 x TPFK (Trailer Parlour First Kitchen)
1 x TPT (Trailer Parlour Third)

HN3001 BR Class 403 “Brighton Belle Pullman” – Blue & Grey – 1969 – £129.99

1 x DMBPT (Driver Motor Brake Parlour Third) Powered
1 x DMBPT (Driver Motor Brake Parlour Third) Unpowered

HN3501 BR Class 403 “Brighton Belle” 3-Car pack (2 x TPFK, TPT) – Blue & Grey – 1969 – £79.99

2 x TPFK (Trailer Parlour First Kitchen)
1 x TPT (Trailer Parlour Third)

All models are produced to 1:148 UK N Gauge standards.

Continental kippers! – a Brighton Belle in N Gauge from Arnold

It might sound a little left field but continental manufacturer Arnold have yesterday announced a Brighton  Belle set in N Gauge and that will be in the British 1.148 scale rather then the usual continental 1.160 scale.

This is not perhaps as odd as it might seem as Arnold are part of the Hornby International stable and therefore have access to the information that Hornby used for their 4mm version in the UK.
A German flyer about the models to be produced in both Umber & Cream and Blue & Grey liveries is worth a look , and can be seen here, ignoring some of the obvious inaccuracies in the text which can be spotted even in German!

British N Gauge modellers will of course be pleased that it is to be manufactured in the establish British 1.148 scale and perhaps this might lead to other British prototypes appearing the Arnold range.

Hornby have already in the past dabbled slightly in British N Gauge with their now unfortunately ceased range ‘Liddle End’ of  very nice cast resin buildings that we similar to their very good 4mm big brothers in the Scaledale range. With Dapol announcing both SR / BR(s) locos and Maunsell coaches following the Farish announcement of Original Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacifics and Bulleid Coaches last year it appears to be a good time for Southen in N Gauge!

Another announcement of potential interest from the Hornby International stable under the Rivarossi brand is the USA 0-6-0 tank in HO. The body is therefore the wrong scale and lacks the modifications made by the SR for their USA tanks, however the chassis might be useful under perhaps a SE Finecast kit?  There is of course already the announcement earlier in the year of the Model Rail commission via Dapol of a 4mm SR USA tank which will be the best option for 4mm modellers.