First announced in October 2019 and following amendments to the first livery samples, examples of all seven versions of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway D Class 4-4-0 from the Dapol production line have been received by Locomotion Models and Rails of Sheffield. These have now completed extensive running trials and final checking. Following approval, shipping from the factory can now commence.
On the whole these look very good and I am looking to receiving my SR Sunshine version (although I will be renumbering as the numbers size shown above do appear to be slightly too large). Definite improvements have been made since the initial livery samples were shown, especially with the colour rendition of SR Olive and the toning down of the bright handrails on some versions (although strangely not the BR lined black version). The only other issue that has been noted is also with respect to the BR lined black version in that the cycling lion early emblem is facing backwards on the right hand side, at the time these emblems usually faced forwards on both sides as it does on at least one photo I have seen for 31574. As these are production samples it is likely to be too late to amend this.
The William Stroudley designed A1 / A1x class first introduced by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSC) in 1872 and eventually the class comprised of 50 locomotives. Most were withdrawn in the very 1900s, however 21 gained a new lease of life and were fitted with new boilers and other modifications between 1912 and 1920 and became designated the A1X class. A few members of the original A1 class were sold by the LBSC to other railway companies, including the SECR, LSWR and Kent & East Sussex Railway and Isle of Wight Central Railway, and survived in A1 form, although even these were subject to many other modifications throughout their lifetime. Many of the class in various guises and conditions have survived into preservation.
It is the many modifications, including boilers, smokeboxes, boiler fittings, air and or vacuum braking, wooden and metal brakes and rigging, a multitude of coal bunker sizes and shapes, coal rails, sandboxes and lamp iron positions to name a few, that provides such a challenge for any manufacturer.
It should also be noted that as with ‘Brighton’ Tradition the side tanks were clad, which stood slight proud of the actual tanks, hence the visible recess in the tank top and the visible bolts on the outside cladding (that varied in number at different times).
The first 00 R-T-R Terrier was produced by Dapol in 1989, it was something of a compromise both dimensionally and also and hybrid of A1 and A1X details. One of the most obvious being both above and below footplate sand boxes.
Dapol sold the tooling, along with others, to Hornby in 1996 and it has been as staple in their range since 1998, although latterly in the their ‘Railroad’ range. Dapol have since produced R-T-R version in both N and 0 gauges since.
Hornby then announced in January 2019 that they were including a brand tooling version of the Terrier in its own 2019 range. This is believed by many to have been a rushed ‘spoiler’ by Hornby and also £30 cheaper. Hornby had considered and dropped the idea of retooling before, however I can advise my understanding, that, this new tooling was already being worked on, although not by the actual Hornby team direct, but via another associated brand. Under the new Hornby management team, it was decided to move it in to the Hornby brand instead. This new Hornby version first reached the retailers back in April 2019, showing just how far advanced the development of the model was.
This post is look at the latest version from Rails of Sheffield and although not intending to be a direct comparison between the two manufacturers but in some cases, it is difficult not to make mention of both versions. Although I only have the one version myself so far, as illustrated, some of my comments are based on viewing other examples.
The Rails of Sheffield / Dapol version features: a die cast chassis and running plate along with plastic wheel centres (despite die cast being within the original advertised specification), the centre axle being sprung and pick-ups on each axle via fine wipers on the rear of each wheel, a 5 pole screw wound motor, a Next-18 DCC socket and also a firebox glow ./ flicker is included (very obvious, possibly too bright, even on DC) . Etched components are used for items such as the wing plates on the A1 version and for the different coal rails.
I will generally let the photographs speak for themselves however I make the following observations and comments. The model when checked against my available drawings matches all the key dimensions correctly (unlike the Hornby model that is approx. 1mm short along the length of the footplate). My model arrived missing its top smokebox lamp iron and there was no evidence of it being in the box, however she ran smoothly straight out of the box. The livery application is crisp, but perhaps not quite as well applied as the Hornby standard.
The chassis is well detailed with the correct style brakes and rods depending on the version, separate sand pipes are fitted, and the guard irons are a much better representation than the first batch of the new Hornby models (which is area I believe they have now retooled). A representation of the top of inside valve gear is nicely represented between the frames. The wheels are moulded with the correct spoke profile and the tyres chemically blackened which adds nicely to the look.
NEM coupling pockets are mounted on a sprung arm similar to the Dapol B4, I feel this possibly gives slightly to much side to side travel.
The inside of the cab features a back head with gauges that have printed dials, but none of the other items or pipework are painted. This appears to be a common single moulding across all versions, based on the earlier A1 cab, and does not include vacuum brake controls that should be present on my version. Hornby also appears to utilise a single backhead moulding but is based on the later A1X cab fittings. The The Rails of Sheffield / Dapol model is also fitted with a working firebox glow / flicker which is very effective (although possibly too bright) even on DC control.
The spectacle windows are nicely individually glazed (rather than and much better than a single glazing piece across both spectacles), the rims are picked out in brass paint, although they would have been painted body colour in BR days. I am still not convinced that they are not inset slightly too close together when looked at straight on. The rear spectacles have finely moulded glazing bars on my example.
The front generally captures the face nicely, especially well represented are the way the buffer stocks are mounted to and within the running plate, that is a very visible feature of the Terriers.
The smoke box number plate whilst nicely moulded to stand proud of the smokebox door is fitted to high compared to all the pictures I have seen, also the shed code plate is simply printed with no relief. All models appear to have a common air pipe, that on my version should be a spiral wound vacuum pipe.
The tank tops are correctly recessed (unlike the first batch of the new Hornby model, see retool comment above) and all boiler mounted pipe work and lubricators and safety valves are nice separately applied items.
Looking at the rear, this is possibly the most disappointing area of the model. To enable the variations in the cab rear such as centre joint seam plate and rivets etc. the rear of the cab is a separate moulding and for some reason, unlike any other model I have seen this protrudes through the cab roof, rather than be joined under the roof. This join is visible even on the black version, let alone those earlier liveries with a white roof. I do not believe any version of the cab rear includes the bunker coal hole and shovel plate and neither is any representation of a coal load included.
Probably the most obvious compromise area are the coal rails, although etched they are positioned within the bunker, rather than flush with the bunker outside edges and leaving an obvious and incorrect lip. I also believe the finely etched open coals on other versions to also be inset too much and under size. The rear top lamp iron position is fitted in the correct A1 position, which is possibly partly why, but not wholly why, such a compromise on the coal rail was required for those so fitted. The transition curve between the cab rear and bunker seems to be too larger a radius, when compared to photographs and drawings.
The same comments from the front view regarding the buffer stocks and air / vacuum pipe also applies to those on the rear.
Overall, the A1 / A1X Terriers are a very complex prototype due to the longevity, alterations and multitude of detail differences that present such a challenge to manufactures to get the most out their tooling options verses compromises that have to be made.
It is certainly not as easy some people think or might have thought to make a perfect R-T-R model to cover all prototype modifications and variations within the constraints of mass production tooling.
In my view the version from Rails of Sheffield / Dapol might not be the ‘perfect’ or ‘pedigree’ Terrier, but it has the slight edge over the current competing product; being generally dimensionally correct and overall slightly finer. This is despite the cab rear / roof join / coal rails that I will amend when I repaint into SR ‘Sunshine’ black livery.
In 1904 the South Eastern & Chatham Railway introduced covered wagons to an increased length of 16 feet, though in appearance they resembled earlier South Eastern Railway designs. 110 wagons to this design were built up to 1908. Most were fitted with Hill’s brake gear, which differed from the RCH or “freighter brakes” fitted to the wagons much later in their lives. The Hill’s gear, featured in our new model, is of distinctive and asymmetrical appearance; brakes were fitted to one side of the wagon only, with levers to apply them from either side.
Later batches were fitted with Mansell coach-type wheels, which we feature in this model. Also featured are roof vents. The prototypes were fitted with both Laycock, or torpedo, vents, and with “Eros” vents. The latter are quite distinctive in style, and we have chosen to represent this type.
The new models will be released in three liveries: SE&CR light grey, as built; the darker late SE&CR grey livery, introduced circa 1917, and SR brown livery, as applied between 1923 and 1936.
Just two of the wagons were fitted, in 1909, with experimental pressed steel doors. These doors were the product of The Leeds Forge Company, and had been supplied for wagons built for export. The General Manager of the Leeds firm, Francis L. Lane, persuaded Wainwright to try them. It is not known how long these doors remained fitted, so this variant is offered only in early SE&CR livery.
Once again these models have been researched, designed and produced solely in the UK. Production is in the final stages with these models expected in stock in soon. More information and updates on the projects progress will appear on our website.
Due to the small production run these models are expected to sell out quickly and pre-ordering is highly recommended to avoid disappointment.
Following their announcement in April this year retailer Rails of Sheffield have delivered on their SECR Diagram 1424 8 & 10 ton 16ft Covered Goods wagon as part of their range of exclusive models.
They have worked in partnership with a 3rd party UK based 3D printing specialist and also Dapol for the final assembly and decoration to manufacture these models using a new technique that features: A new, ultra high resolution, super strong aeronautical grade PU with a design life exceeding 25 years, a build process using the very latest light technology and is infinitely flexible for making all variants and low volume production potential for niche, products previously not capable of being produced economically for Ready To Run.
110 of these wagons were between 1904 and 1908,to an increased length of 16 feet during the Wainwright era. Later designated Southern Railway diagram 1424.
Several examples surviving to British Railways ownership, at least until 1956. The models produced by Rails reflect the later SR and BR condition of the vehicles.
Initially three liveries have been produced, with two running numbers in each livery:
RL-1424-001 No. S45374, Southern Railway brown with BR lettering
RL-1424-002 No. S45382, Southern Railway brown with BR lettering
The models faithfully replicate the prototype as per the later stages of their life with respect to the break gear and buffers, it means that the models in this form can not be back dated to liveries earlier than those offered.
There are a few points to note.
Being a version of 3D printing, despite the new to the hobby process, the finish when viewed very close up, is not quite as smooth as we would expect from an injection moulded plastic, however the aim of the process is to allow smaller production runs and produce models that would perhaps not be so economically viable via the more traditional process.
The models are fitted with pin point Alan Gibson wheelsets, but are not running in brass bearings so are not as free running as they could be.
The roof is a separate component and is a push fit into the body and may require a little to glue to hold it fully in place depending on the amount of handling and being white will definitely be improved with some weathering.
The decoration finish on the whole is OK but some of my versions in places showed a little excess paint flow. The lettering on the body sides is neatly printed however the solebars are missing any of the lettering that appeared on the prototype.
Rails of Sheffield should be congratulated on taking the step to introduce the new manufacturing process to our hobby and to enable the more niche, products previously not capable of being produced economically to be available to us Ready To Run. As the initial run of these models appears to have sold out I hope it will lead to more production runs, variations and prototypes, especially of course Southern related ones, being produced in due course.
Retailer Rails Of Sheffield have today announced that in partnership with Dapol and Locomotion Models that they are to produce the South Eastern and Chatham Railway Wainwright D Class 4-4-0 locomotive.
The first Engineering Prototype sample already here and is currently under review.
Models will have NEM coupling pockets, Next-18 Decoder socket, ‘pullout’ PCB and solderless speaker (plus provision for customer to fit Bass reflex speaker in tender).
Locomotives will feature a firebox flicker effect. Another feature is the drawbar between the locomotive and tender which is of a new ‘pinless’ type carrying the electrical connection. Dapol are the first manufacturer to use this type of drawbar on a British outline 00 scale locomotive. To couple the locomotive to the tender it is necessary to connect on it on a straight piece of track to enable them to be pushed together.
Retailer Rails of Sheffiled have announced a new model in their planned range of exclusive models. Working in partnership with Dapol they have announced an 00 model of the ex South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) 16ft Covered Goods wagon (box van) to Diagram 1424.
110 of these wagons were between 1904 and 1908,to an increased length of 16 feet during the Wainwright era. Later designated Southern Railway diagram 1424. Several examples surviving to British Railways ownership, at least until 1956. The models produced by Rails reflect the later SR and BR condition of the vehicles.
These will be manufactured, totally in the UK and available in June this year, using a new technique that features: A new, ultra high resolution, super strong aeronautical grade PU with a design life exceeding 25 years, a build process using the very latest light technology and is infinitely flexible for making all variants and low volume production potential for niche, products previously not capable of being produced economically for Ready To Run.
Rails aim to fill the need for niche products, which simply would not justify a large production run. As they are produced in limited quantities, these vans are priced slightly higher than mass produced items, however, we feel the price reflects fantastic value for such distinctive models.
Initially three liveries will be produced, with two running numbers in each livery. The following models are now available for pre-order;
RL-1424-001 No. S45374, Southern Railway brown with BR lettering
RL-1424-002 No. S45382, Southern Railway brown with BR lettering
With all the experience Dapol has gained from making the award winning O Gauge version of the A1 / A1X Terrier it is fully anticipated that this project will progress very quickly. Decorated samples are expected to be available Autumn 2018.
A1 No. 82 Boxhill in LBSC Stroudley improved engine green.
A1 Bodiam in KESR Blue
A1X No. 751 in SECR lined green
A1X No. 2644 in Southern post 1931 lines Olive Green
A1X No. 32661 in BR lined black with late crest
The tooling will allow eventually for most variations of the A1, A1X and IOW variants of the locomotive to be produced, including two cab/bunker types, two smokebox/boilers. Wooden and metal brake rigging where appropriate.
The announced specification includes:
Diecast chassis and running plate
Detailed plastic moulded body
Many separately fitted parts
Diecast wheels with sprung centre driving wheels to give compensation providing all wheel electrical pick up and better traction
DCC and sound Ready with easy access through a removable body which exposes a NEXT-18 socket
DCC and DCC Sound Fitted variants using Dapol’s own sound recording of 32678 on the Kent and East Sussex Railway
Powerful 5 pole skew wound motor
Factory sound fitted locomotives will feature RealDrive braking control