Tag Archives: Urie

Southern Big Tanks, new books from The Irwell Press

Hot of the press from my friends at the Irwell Press are four new excellent paperback books all about the Southern Big Tanks. The four books cover the London Southern Western Railway Urie G16 class 4-8-0Ts and H16 4-6-2Ts Z class and the later Maunsell Z class 0-8-0Ts and W class 2-6-4Ts. These follow in the style of their more usual hardback “The Book of Series” with historical background information about each class , their design, liveries and spheres of operation, photographs along, with particular details and photographs of each individual locomotive taken from their works records. the books are of the usual high standard of detail, information and photograph reproduction that we have come to expect from the Irwell Press at a reasonable price of £13.95 each. As they say available from all good bookstores, and probably some not so good ones too! 

Southern Big Tanks:1 G16 class

 Southern Big Tanks:2 H16 class

Southern Big Tanks:3 Z class

Southern Big Tanks:4 W class

Further information about my models of members of the four class shown above can be read on my Talking Stock posts as follows:

A post about my W class model will follow soon. In the meantime I can recommend these book to any Southern Railway historian or modeller alike.

PS have you entered my little competition yet to win a brand new Hornby R2620 Urie N15 King Arthur Class number 746 ‘ Pendragon’ in Bulleid post war malachite green livery? The closing date is this coming Thursday 28th July, full details can be found here.


Go west young man, Fisherton Sarum at Barnstaple Exhibiton 30/07 and win an @Hornby N15 ‘Pendragon’

With a nod to a lyric from the Genesis track ‘Deep in the Motherlode’ from their ‘Then there were three’ album (did I not mention before I am a bit of a Genesis geek) Fisherton Sarum is celebrating its 10th birthday (its first exhibition was in back in 2006) by heading West on Saturday 30th July to be at the Barnstaple Model Railway Club exhibition.

This one day show is organised by my friends at the Barnstaple MRC, and has gained a reputation for enticing good quality layouts to North Devon. The exhibition is being held at: Christ Church, Bear Street, Barnstaple EX32 7BU.
It is open to the public between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm
Fisherton Sarum will be in the company of some excellent layouts that I can recommend seeing  including: Portchullin (P4) a Scottish DCC layout of small coastal station, Banbury (N) a model of the real station in Oxfordshire set almost in the current day, Tidworth (00) a fictional station and yard in Networth South East era, Bratton Lane (00) a small shunting yard and Wantage Narrow Gauge Tramway (009) a narrow gauge model based upon the real location. Also a selection of traders  will be present and refreshments will be available.

Competition Time!

It is a first for my blog,  but I thought I would have a competition, as a celebration of Fisherton Sarum’s 10th birthday, for you my readers to be in with a chance to win a mint boxed and brand new Hornby R2620 Urie N15 King Arthur Class number 746 ‘ Pendragon’ in Bulleid post war malachite green livery.

This is the only version that Hornby have produced so far of their excellent N15 class model in this livery. No.  746 represents one of the first batch of the N15 class introduced by Urie between 1918 and 1923, and featured the LSWR style high arc cab roof profile, Urie style safety valves and coupled to a  5000 gallon bogie style tender. More details of the Hornby N15 models can be found here on my Talking Stock #9 post. This model R2620 was introduced as one of the first releases back in 2007 and has not been available since.

So how do you enter…

Barnstaple is not the furthest west that Fisherton Sarum has appeared, so to be in with a chance to win all you need to do is work out where Fisherton Sarum has so far made its furthest west appearance (it has been mentioned on this site before so check the archives…) and send your answer, naming the town, to me by email here, before the 28th July and I will draw at random the winner from all the correct entries during the Barnstaple Exhibition on the 30th July.

Good luck in the competition and come and say hello if you are able to get along to the show in Barnstaple on the 30th.

Workbench Witterings #4 identity changing and weathering

At long last, assisted by a few days off work over the recent Easter weekend, I have finally completed a few outstanding items on the workbench. This has mainly been around renumbering, naming and weathering a few items of rolling stock so I thought I would share with you some of the locomotives that I have now finished.

I have detailed a few times on this blog my method of renumbering (see Workbench Witterings #3 here) and also weathering (such as in this post here) so I wont repeat all those details this time.

Battle of Britain Class 21C149 ‘Anti Aircraft Command’ with her distinctive orange background to the emblem

First up, is a Bullied Battle Britain Class 21c149 ‘Anti Aircraft Command’ for friend and fellow post war period modeller Robin Sweet (Gwrrob on RMweb) for use on his excellent, albeit GWR,  layout ‘Brent’ based on South Brent in Devon to represent one the regular SR crew route familiarisation turns, via Dawlish to Plymouth that also took WR engines over the ex LSWR north Dartmoor route.

The other side of 21C149 the addition of the RT Models front steps and Cylinder Drain pipes certainly complete the look.

21C149 was in this period a Salisbury engine, so again like the N Class I have done for Rob before, again a nice link to Fisherton Sarum, but Exmouth Junction must have hijacked her for a while…
She started as a Hornby 21C159 split from one their train packs as this was in the correct condition with the original forward position of the safety valves, She gained the wedge shaped cab modification in March 1948, was named in April that year and not fully renumbered to 34049 until April 1949. In addition to the renumbering and naming using HMRS Pressfix decals and Fox Transfers etched nameplates, I also fitted front steps and cylinder drain pipes from the excellent RT Models range, Springside Models front lamps and real coal in the tender.

S15 number 829 with Urie flared topped tender

Secondly are two Hornby S15s,  one as number 829 from the first batch of the Maunsell S15s built in July 1927 paired with a Urie style tender and one as number 845 from the third batch of Maunsell S15s  built in October 1936 paired with a Maunsell flat sided bogie tender.

S15 number 845 with Maunsell flat sided tender

Number 829 was a Salisbury allocated engine during my 1946 to 1949 modelling period, whilst 845 was initially allocated to Feltham but in 1947 was moved to Exmouth Junction and therefore would also have regularly been seen at Salisbury.

Schools Class V number 929 ‘Malvern’

Finally for now, is Hornby Schools Class V number 929 ‘Malvern’ whose repainting and numbering was the topic of my Workbench Wittering #2 post way back in June last year! Now finally her weathering is complete. As I mentioned in that post Schools class number 929 “Malvern” was one of only seven members of the class not to regain malachite green livery after the war, but stayed in SR black until January 1949. The Schools Class V were not often seen at Salisbury in SR days but as she was a Brighton allocated engine from 1947 my excuse is that she has arrived on one of the Brighton to Plymouth services that changed locomotives at Salisbury.

That’s all for now, I will post some details of some of the other items of rolling stock that I recently completed in due course.

Hornby’s first S15 ‘goods Arthurs’ arrive, an initial review

I have posted before about the S15 class firstly in my Talking Stock #16, blog post titled, The S15 Goods Arthurs and covered the announcement made by Hornby in December last year that they were to produce the S15 in ready to run form during 2015. The first of the variants being produced have now arrived in the shops in the shape of R3328. For this post I have taken a look at this version of the model before I backdate her to suit my own 1946-49 modelling period.

R3328 S15 No. 30843 in BR early emblem livery. Note I have not fitted any of the accessory details pack yet as I will do this once I have backdated the model

R3328 has been released in BR early emblem livery as 30843 paired with a Maunsell flat sided bogie tender. 30843 was one of the third batch of Maunsell S15s  built in September 1936. 30384 ran in this livery as an Exmouth Junction allocated locomotive, with a 72A shedplate, between December 1954 and July 1959 when she gained the late crest (She ran with no emblem on the tender at all between a repaint in August 1949 and November 1954). She has blanking plates on the smokebox where the snifting valves were removed from the S15s during 1947 and 1948.

A right hand rear 3/4 view of 30843

Hornby’s model is being produced from completely new tooling for all components, including the Urie style tender rather than introduce any manufacturing logistical complexities by trying to share any of the tender tooling from the previously released N15 class.

The all important ‘front face’ captures the look of the S15

The model has a wealth of separately applied details such as handrails, pipework (the pipework running down either side of the firebox has multiple fixing brackets which whilst correct for 30843, I am not sure why they have been picked out in copper paint, these brackets appear to vary from locomotive to locomotive, depending on time frame), injectors, reversing rod, lamp irons, vacuum pipes, sprung buffers on both locomotive and tender and whistle and safety valves. The smoke deflectors are of course separate items and correctly affixed at the top to the boiler handrails. The chassis block also has representation of the detail and riveting around the firebox etc.

An accessory bag is included that include the front foot steps, cylinder drain pipes, dummy screw link couplings, steam heating pipes, loco and tender brake rigging for the owner to fit, and supplied with the late crest version is an AWS protector plate to mount under the front buffer beam. Also included is a front tension lock coupling to be fitted if required (although mine arrived missing the rear tender tension lock coupling).

A front right 3/4 view. The blanking plate on the smokebox where the snifting valve was removed can be seen

The overall paint finish in a pleasant semi satin black and the number and emblem decal application is up to the usual high standard we would expect for Hornby, although personally I would like the smokebox to be more of a matt black. For some reason the the water pipework to the boiler clack valves have not been picked out in copper but the same brass colour as the boiler fittings. Being an open cab the detail included and painted is impressive and crying out for crew to be added. Although once again the copper pipework has, albeit neatly, been picked out in a brass rather than copper paint.

A left hand rear 3/4 view space is included within the tender for speaker and an 8 pin DCC decoder

The S15 is powered by a large 5 pole motor with twin brass flywheels driving the rear axle through a tower worm gearbox and runs very quietly and smoothly through the speed range. I have not yet managed to exceed the haulage capacity which I now is excess of 25 to 30 wagons and at least 7 – 8 coaches.  The correct pattern wheels and balance wights, motion and its bracketing is also very nicely modelled.

A view from the rear also showing the fine cab detail

Electrical pick up is via all driving wheels and those on the tender. The loco is permanently coupled and wired to the tender with a bar that allows for a closer coupled position for those modellers with more generous curves, she will happily pass through medium radius points in the closer coupled position (but will not locate back in the the packaging). The fall plate between locomotive and tender is also hinged (I think a first for Hornby) rather than being in one fixed position. The tender coal load is removable, although the fire iron stands are part of this moulding,  to reveal a fully detailed coal load space underneath, ideal for those that want to add their own real coal loads.

Although I am not in the DCC camp there is space in the tender for both an 8 pin decoder and and also a cut out in the weight ready for a 28mm round sound speaker located over cut outs in the chassis for the sound to escape. It is however a bit of a shame that design is such that to access the two screws holding the tender body to the chassis require the bogies to be removed first (although these are not totally removable as the wired pickup connections are soldered).

The other two releases on the way this year are as follows:

R3327 in SR Maunsell lined olive green as number 824 paired with a Urie Bogie tender and smoke deflectors representing the condition she was in from September 1932 when renumbered without the ‘E’ prefix. Number 824 was one of the first batch of the Maunsell S15s built in March 1927 and an Exmouth Junction allocated locomotive during all her Southern Railway days. 824 remained in this livery until April 1940 when under wartime conditions she was repainted in unlined olive green with Bullied style lettering. She also has the additonal detail of the crosshead driven vacuum pump fitted correctly on the left hand side only and snifting valves on the smokebox.

R3329 in BR late emblem livery as 30830, with AWS fitted, paired to a Urie Bogie tender c/w auxiliary vacuum reservoirs. 30830 was a from the second batch of Maunsell S15s built in August 1927. 30830 ran in this livery, with a 72B Salisbury shed plate between May 1960, when AWS equipment was fitted, and December 1963 when she was transferred to Feltham.

It is good to see that Hornby have very much returned to form over the last 12 to 18 months or so with releases such as the Drummond 700 class and meeting the intended delivery schedule for the S15 as being a 2015 release. Long may it continue, mine will now go in the queue for backdating and renumbering, (thankfully the smokebox door is quite easily removed to assist with the removal of the BR number plate) and suitable weathering, so keep an eye on my Workbench Witterings pages for further details.

Talking Stock #33 The five Urie H16 large 4-6-2 tanks

As I mentioned in my Talking Stock #26 post here about the four Urie G16 class 4-8-0T locomotives, I do indeed have a soft spot for large tanks and therefore this post is about Urie’s other large tanks the five H16 4-6-2Ts. The later Maunsell Z class 0-8-0T locomotives  were the subject of Talking Stock #19 post here, whilst Maunsell’s W class 2-6-4 tanks will soon also feature on this blog.

The ex London and Southern Western (LSWR) Urie H16 class of 4-6-2 tanks were introduced in 1921, and if you have read my Talking Stock #26 post, you will know already that this was the same year as their slightly smaller sisters the G16 4-8-0T class. The two classes sharing many common parts such as motion, bogies, boilers and fireboxes.

Urie H16 4-6-2T number 519 built from a Jedenco etched brass kit.

Both classes were built in association with the new hump marshalling yard at Feltham. Rather than the four G16s which were designed for working in the confines of Feltham yard the five  H16s were intended for cross regional goods traffic between Feltham and the North London yards of Brent (Midland) and Willesden (London North Western). For this duty they had  5’7″  driving wheels, larger than the G16s, larger water capacity and the extra large bunker was carried by a radial truck.   As they were also used occasionally on empty carriage stock working between Waterloo and Clapham Junction and on special passenger trains, such as during Ascot Race Week,  the H16s were initially given the standard Southern passenger livery of lined olive green unlike the black livery of the G16s, giving rise to their nickname amongst operating staff as ‘Green Tanks’. This changed to a plain black livery, in common with all Southern locomotives from 1940 due to watime constraints, and was retained during BR days until their withdrawal in 1962.

H16 number 519 viewed from the other side and shows off the powerfull looking nature of these tanks that appeals so much.

My model was built, with much effort, from a Jidenco etched brass kit; that owing to the quality of the kit design, thin etches and limited instructions, took a number of years of starting, doing a bit, getting frustrated and putting down again before finally getting round to finishing.  Certainly not a kit for the feint hearted. She is powered using a Portescap coreless motor along with quite a bit of lead weight added to provide adequate traction due to the lightweight thin etched brass construction of the kit with only the small dome, safety valves and chimney being white metal castings.

My usual excuse for an occasional appearance on Fisherton Sarum of an H16, as they were only allocated to Feltham, is on a running in turn from Eastleigh although that does not really explain her weathered condition, so perhaps she was borrowed for a freight trip down the West of England line?

Talking Stock #26 The four Urie G16 large tanks

I have a bit of a soft spot for all large tank locomotives and a number of classes of large tanks existed on the Southern Railway such as the H16 4-6-2T, W 2-6-4T, the Z class 0-8-0T that I featured in my Talking Stock# 19 post here and the topic of this post the G16 4-8-0T. The H16 and W classes will I am sure be the subject of future posts.

A Urie G16 class number 494 from a class of four locomotives

The ex London and Southern Western (LSWR) Urie G16 class of four 4-8-0tanks were introduced in 1921, the same year as the larger H16 4-6-2T. The two classes shared many common parts such as boilers and fireboxes.
Having eight-coupled wheels of 5′ 1″ diameter, they were clearly intended mainly for hump shunting duties at Feltham yard and spent most of their lives to the shed there. Weighing in at 95 tons they were certainly heavy tanks and with a Tractive Effort of 34,000 were the most powerful locomotives on the LSWR. In common with the T14 4-6-0 ‘Paddleboxes’ and H16 class were the widest steam locomotives in Britain.
At one stage Maunsell was considering building more G16 class locomotives, as only four were originally built, but instead opted for his Z class 0-8-0T. With the introduction of the 0-6-0 diesel shunters in the 1950’s one was withdrawn in 1959, another in 1960 and the final two in December 1962.

My model of 494 is built from a Golden Arrow Productions resin body kit

My model of the G16 makes the odd occasional appearance on Fisherton Sarum which must be a running in turn from Eastleigh works, as Salisbury would have been a bit far for a trip working! It has been constructed from a Golden Arrow Products resin kit mounted on a modified Hornby 8F chassis. This is somewhat of a compromise as the G16s had an evenly spaced 5’1″ driving wheels on 6′ centres whereas the 8F has 4’8″ drivers on unequal spacing. The kit correctly requires the cylinders and valve gear to be relocated further forward and the cylinders inclined. The main connecting rod is therefore relocated to be driven off the second rather than the third axle, this in itself creates another compromise as the large balance weight remaining on the third wheel set is incorrect and not easily rectified (it is not possible to simply swap the second and third wheel sets over as the chassis is driven via the third axle which therefore has the driving gear mounted on it).

As the kit only comprising of the resin body and chassis extension components for the detail items I used: Alan Gibson turned brass handrail knobs; Craftsman Models white metal Drummond style buffers and Urie whistle; brass clack valves, smoke box dart, etched rear spectacle protection bars and injectors from Mainly Trains; various pieces of copper wire for pipe work, plastic section for the bunker rear steps and lamp irons from Bambi staples.

Overall this is a relatively simple body kit, although the chassis modifications might not be for the faint hearted, resulting in a nice model, with a little care.

Talking Stock #16 The S15 Goods Arthurs…

Like the Urie’s other successful 4-6-0 designs the H15 and N15 King Artur Class, for the latter see my Talking Stock #9 post here, his S15 class was built in batches both by the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) and also the Southern Railway. The first Twenty were built at Nine Elms in 1920. Their appearance is very similar the N15 class and they shared many components including the 180 lb per sq in boiler and tender designs. Being designed for heavy goods work they had 5 ft 7 in diameter drivers and cylinders of 21 in diameter.

S15 No. 832 built in 1927 with a Urie style flared top 5000 gallon bogie tender. 832 was a Salisbury allocated locomotive for most of her career

Like the N15’s later builds under Maunsell, the newly appointed CME of the Southern Railway, also incorporated the revised front end and cab designs applied to the N15s, with the higher boiler pressure of 200 lb per sq in. Fifteen were built at Eastleigh in 1927/8 and a further ten in 1936.

S15 No. 846 from the last batch built in 1936 with the later flat sided style 5000 gallon tender

The last batch were coupled to flat sided tenders, similar to the original Lord Nelson style rather than the Urie flared top style. Five of the 1927 batch, 833 to 837, were again like some N15s, fitted with six wheel tenders for use on the central section that had smaller turntables. Although primarily built for goods work they could often be seen on and keeping time on the occasional passenger turn making them versatile and as a result long lived.

I currently have a couple of S15s in my fleet that can be seen on Fisherton Sarum and these are built from DJH kits and represent the Maunsell SR built batches, one from the 1927 batch and one from the 1936 batch with the two different tenders.

Talking Stock #9 Around the table of the N15 King Arthurs

Although not iconically named after Arthurian legends until (Sir) John Elliot joined the Southern Railway in 1925, and set up what is reputedly the UKs first Public Relations Department, the N15 ‘King Arthur’ class of 4-6-0 locomotives were first designed by Urie of the London and South Western Railway in 1918. The design was adopted and modified by Maunsell as the newly appointed CME of the Southern Railway and this along with differing build batches, including some contracted to North British in Glasgow, means that there are a number of variations within the class both internally and externally.

Urie N15 no. 745 ‘Tintagel’ n Bulleid Malachite Green livery

The external more obvious variations include: tenders, cab profiles, footplate / running board heights (to match tenders), smoke deflectors, blastpipe / chimney and safety valves. Hornby with their model of the N15 class, first introduced in 2007,

Urie N15 no. 744 ‘Maid of Astolat’ in Bulleid black livery

have managed to successfully incorporate a number of these variations within their tooling. This post is not a full history of the class, as more can be found elsewhere such as here on the excellent SeMG website, but to simply illustrate the variations (and those renumbered, renamed and reliveried by myself) that can be seen on Fisherton Sarum.

Maunsell G14 ‘rebuild’ no. 455 ‘Sir Launcelot’, Still Urie style but note the Drummond style watercart tender.

The first batch introduced by Urie between 1918 and 1923, numbers 736 to 755, featured the LSWR style high arc cab roof profile and Urie style safety valves and 5000 gallon bogie style tenders.

During 1925 Maunsell ordered a number of G14 class engines to be ‘rebuilt’ as N15 class instead (although in practice these were new engines), numbers 448 to 457, and these can be identified from the original Urie builds due to the reuse of the G14 5200 gallon watercart style tenders.

Maunsell ‘Scotch Arthur’ no. 785 ‘Sir Mador de la Porte’ note the different safety valves and cab roof profile. This model I have repainted into Malachite as Hornby have not to date released an Maunsell version in this livery.

As the number of the class required by Maunsell in 1925 exceeded build capacity at the time a batch, numbers 763 to 792 was ordered from north British of Glasgow. Known as the ‘Scotch Arthurs’ these featured redesigned steam passages & cylinders and the new composite loading gauge style Maunsell Cab roof profile and safety valves.

Maunsell ‘Scotch Arthur’ no. 782 ‘ Sir Brian’ in Bulleid black livery, 782 retained this black livery until it gained BR Brunswick green, not gaining Malachite.

The final batch built at Eastleigh in 1926/7, numbers 793 to 806 were similar in design to the Scotch Arthurs but were paired with standard Ashford style 3500 gallon 6 wheel tenders, for use on the central section, and the running plate height at the cab end was raised to suit. I do not have a model of this variation.

Urie N15 no. 736 ‘Excalibur’ as fitted with the Lemaitre blastpipe and larger diameter chimney in January 1941

Five of the class from the Urie batch were fitted by Bulleid with Lemaitre blastpipes and large diameter chimneys to try and improve steaming (in addition 792 was the only Maunsell version so fitted). Number 755 ‘The Red Knight’ also carried unique vertical smoke deflectors in conjunction with it being fitted with the Lemaitre blastpipe. (Hornby originally announced their Lemaitre version as being 755 but changed it rather than tool revised deflectors).

Oil burning conversion no. 740’Merlin’ note the tank in the tender coal space and the electric lighting, powered by the generator just behind the smoke deflector. This is modified Wills Kit rather than a Hornby model.

One further variation is that four members of the class were converted for a short while in 1946 to Oil Firing, which involved modification to the fire grate, the oil tank fitted in the tender coal space and the additon of a steam generator and electric lighting. This was short lived and by the end of 1947 were converted back to conventional coal burning.