As many of the regular reader to his blog will know I have been assisting the Kernow Model Centre with the research and development of a number of the their Southern Railway related commissions.

I am pleased to advise that  after several iterations of the CADS have been processed that Kernow Model Centre  have today signed these off to allow tooling to commence.  It should also be noted that they are pleased to confirm that the final set (K1004) will be produced with the modified bodyside sheeting, continuing their commitment to produce models as accurately as possible and incorporating the many individual unique features of each individual vehicle.

Initially four version of the Gate Stock will be available.  I also should point out that to produce these four versions accurately it actually requires three different sets of tooling, see if you can spot the differences! (click on images to enlarge)



K1001 Set number 374 in SR Lined Maunsell Green livery



K1002 Set number 373 in SR unlined Malachite Green livery



K1003 Set number 363 in BR Crimson livery



K1004 Set number 373 in BR (SR) Green livery

Each twin pack will contain the Driving Brake Composite (which was downgraded to Driving Brake Third during 1939) and Third coach and will be priced at £99.99.  This price is valid for pre-orders only and will rise once the models arrive into stock.

Kernow Model Rail Centre Managing Director Chris Trerise said “It has been a frustrating couple of years where not much has happened.  The changes we made last year to work directly with the factory in conjunction with Dave Jones of DJ Models have meant every single outstanding project has come on in leaps and bounds!

Further information is available at Kernow Model Cente dedicated web page


Much has been written in the past about the locomotive exchanges that took place in 1948 shortly  after nationalisation; indeed my own Talking Stock #2 post here discussed the exchange trials and featured some of the locomotives that appeared on the Southern with respect to the Express Passenger, General Purpose locomotive trials.  Not discussed so often is the fact that as well as passenger locomotives a number of trials were also conducted with the freight locos of the time. This post looks at some of the freight locomotives that appeared through Salisbury on the Eastleigh to Bristol freight trials and therefore I have modelled to occasionally be seen on Fisherton Sarum.  My thoughts on the overall effectiveness or otherwise of the 1948 locomotive exchange trials will form the basis of a further post.

Hornby have produced models of three of the freight locomotives used on the trials on the Southern and whether by complete coincidence or not are two correctly numbered for the actual locomotives used. It should be noted that the Southern did not put forward a freight locomotive.  I am not sure why an S15 was not put forward perhaps the Southern felt it was not a modern enough design when compared to their Bullied Pacifics? I am yet to model the London Midland Region 8F number 48189 but it on the list of things to do.

28xx number 3803 from a Hornby model passes Fisherton Sarum during the trials.

28xx number 3803 from a Hornby model passes Fisherton Sarum during the trials.

First up is the 28xx class 2-8-0 from the that other railway the Western Region number 3803. I have fitted etched brass number plates over the original printed number plates to enhance the appearance, added real coal to the tender and lightly weathered. I am pretty certain this is not the first picture that has appeared on this blog of a WR locomotive, or for that matter run on Fisherton Sarum, but they are pretty rare!

Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789

Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789

The second Hornby locomotive is the Eastern Region O1 class 2-8-0 number 63789 and is generally thought of as being an excellent model. I have replaced the later British Railway crest (that did not exist at the time of the trials) with the correct style for the period wording ‘British Railways’ in Gill Sans.  Again just the addition of real coal in the tender and weathering was required before entering the fleet.

In addition to the above two locomotives the WD 2-8-0 and 2-10-0 classes were also trialed, although the 2-10-0 was larger with a larger firebox and grate area it was essentially the same boiler as its slightly smaller brother and in fact the 2-8-0 generally gave better results.

A back dated Bachmann WD 2-8-0 as allocated to the SR in 1946

A back dated Bachmann WD 2-8-0 as 78531 allocated to the SR in 1946

The Ministry of Supply WD 2-8-0 produced by Bachmann is in my opinion currently one of their finest steam outline models in terms of both looks and performance. My model does not strictly represent the exact locomotive used in the trials as she is based one of the class as allocated to the Southern Railway in 1946 having been backdated with the Westinghouse pump etc but is pretty much in the same condition as number 77000 that was used in 1948.

Ministry of Supply WD 2-10-0 number 73774

Ministry of Supply WD 2-10-0 number 73774

My model of the WD 2-10-0 number  73774 is built from a DJH kit specifically to match the condition of her real life counter part used on the Eastleigh to Bristol runs. For those confused by the 77xxx and 73xxx numbers of the WD Locomotives they were renumbered into the BR standard 90000–90732 number range in the early 1950’s.

During the trials the freight runs to assess performance, just like the passenger runs the ex North Eastern Railway Dynamomenter car was attached to the locomotive. My model is  from Golden Age Models and will also feature in a future Talking Stock post.

A am very fortunate through this hobby of ours to have met and made a good number of like minded friends. many of whom I would consider as being ranked as being talented and exquisite modellers that can achieve things far in excess of my humble efforts.  Yesterday I was fortunate and privileged, to have been able to arrange for a small gang of fellow members of the High Wycombe and District MRS, to visit and play trains on Little Bytham the layout , of  one such friend , the well known, talented and respected  Tony Wright. Little Bytham is in fact being built as a collaborative effort via horse trading with other talented modellers whom have carried work in return for Tony’s talents in the building of locomotives etc.

35023 sweeps into Little Bytham station. At this stage a lot of the buildings are just mock ups.

35023 sweeps into Little Bytham station. At this stage a lot of the buildings are just mock ups.

Tony, who actually lives in Little Bytham,  is modelling the East Coast Mainline Station and surrounds as it was in the mid 1950’s before both the station itself and the Midland and Great Northern that crossed the ECML at Little Bytham closed. The four track mainline through the station and its interesting track plan from an operation perspective is a perfect recreation of that period,and that, along with his superb stock completes the scene perfectly.

21C6 heads south towards Little Bytham Station

21C6 heads south towards Little Bytham Station

In addition to being operate his layout for the day, we were also able to run some summer excursion specials from our own collection, so I took great delight in adding a splash of malachite to the East Coast Mainline.

Firstly a few pictures in the shape a couple of my original Merchant Navy Pacifics 21C6 and 35023 ahead of a rake of Phoenix (ex BSL) Bulleid coaching stock, seen running alone the embankment and through the station as some of my fellow High Wycombe and District MRS members look on.

Another view of 21C6

Another view of 21C6

It is  pretty certain that the Bulleid Leader never reached the ECML but I couldn’t resist. Also my Drummond T14 ran through Little Bytham with the SR Cinema coach no. 1308s and Bulleid ‘Inspection saloon’ no. 100s, both paired with their respective generator vans.

The Bullied Leader waits for the road as a Pullman races past.

The Bulleid Leader waits for the road as a Pullman races past.

All in all it was an excellent, fun and enjoyable day just as the hobby should be.  It was a real tonic of a day being full of laughter, enjoyment and great company.

T14 on the Cinema Coach and 'inspection saloon' rake.

T14 on the Cinema Coach and ‘inspection saloon’ rake.

I must express my own personal sincere thanks, and those of  all of us at the high Wycombe and District MRS to Tony for allowing us and trusting us to play on his train set!

ps. also thanks to Tony for taking and providing me with the last two photographs, that remain his copyright.


Further to the announcement by DJ Models in July, reported here,  of their intention to produce a Class 71 in 00 and use a ‘ kickstarter’  process there has been a further development via The Kernow Model Centre whom have today made the following announcement:

“For the first time, a UK 00 model railway locomotive will be funded up front by the customers who will in return receive a model for their faith in signing up to this project.  By crowd sourcing the finance for this model DJ Models are able to start work almost immediately.  With the full co-operation of the National Railway Museum laser scanning will be carried out very shortly and cad/cam production can then follow.  Whereas otherwise it would take up to 2 years this process should make it possible to achieve in a much shorter timescale.

The model will feature a coreless motor, heavy chassis, directional lighting, etched grilles where possible, separate wire handrails, DCC 21 pin decoder socket with a large space for a sound speaker and sprung buffers.  Provision within the tooling will be made for alternate slide details for the Class 74 at a later date. (The Class 74 was of course converted from the Class 71 in BR days).

The price of the model through this process will be £125.00 which includes postage and packing withing the United Kingdom.  Overseas postage will be at cost with a VAT deduction for non-EU orders.  A special limited edition certificate and unique running number and livery combinations will make this batch of models more exclusive.

The likely RRP of any models released after this process is complete will be around £139.95.

Originally DJ Models had intended to use the “Kickstarter” process.  However there were many hurdles to cross to start one and it has led DJ Models to reconsider the Kickstarter funding situation via Kickstarter themselves not least that the price would have had to be 10% dearer to provide for their costs.

DJ Models has reached agreement with Kernow Model Rail Centre to run a crowd sourcing enterprise with some subtle differences to the US based Kickstarter that should will meet approval because of the lower price and it keeps all of the money within the hobby.


When you place your order for one of the four exclusive models below, you will be charged the £125 in full as soon as you place the order.  Your funds are secure with Kernow Model Centre and will be kept in a dedicated account.  Kernow Model Rail Centre will release the funds required to further the project as each milestone in development is reached.

Milestones include, laser scanning, cad/cam development, 1st EP tooling and 2nd EP tooling.

In the unlikely event that the project does not proceed then all monies will be refunded in full.  You can also cancel at any time, without penalty, and receive a full refund, right up until the model is sent to you.  The easiest way is to pay through the website, but you can also send a cheque or visit Kernow Model Rail Centre in person and pay by cash.  There is no limit to the number of models that you can order.  As this project is being handled on behalf of DJModels they are excluded from the Kernow Model Rail Centre loyalty scheme.

Only 1200 of these models will be available.  Once all 1200 models have been taken up under this process further models may be released but they will not be at this special price and will not include the special launch certificate.”

Further details can be found on the Kernow Model Centre dedicated webpage here.

Fisherton Sarum is set in the time when many boys, if asked about a career, wanted to be an “Engine Driver”. The dream of becoming a Driver in charge of crack express such as the ‘ACE’ or ‘Devon Belle’ whilst understandable, was not in those days a quick or easy process.  For nearly all such drivers the first step on the ladder, often literally,  maybe for boys as young as 14, was that of  ‘Engine Cleaner’.

Cleaners aptly at work on the side of Bullied West Country Class 21C102 'Salisbury'. There wooden steps / platform is being put to good use.

Cleaners aptly at work on the side of Bullied West Country Class 21C102 ‘Salisbury’. There wooden steps / platform is being put to good use.

This initial role that included other shed duties such as fire raising, assisting fitters and boiler smiths (with the usually very dirty and less than glamorous tasks) would be for well over 12 months. After which, without any formal additional training  they might be examined by the Locomotive Inspector and upgraded to being a ‘Passed Cleaner’ This new rank enabled them to be utilised by the shed foreman for firing turns on shunting duties and sometimes local goods trains. Eventually after such turns the Passed Cleaner would gain further promotion to Fireman and would then have to work up through the rosters  known as ‘Links’ before becoming a top link fireman for express services. Then progress  onto Passed Fireman and ultimately Driver starting once again in the bottom link before eventually progress up the links to be able to drive trains such as the ‘ACE’ or ‘Devon Belle’. Progress up all the links whether a Fireman or a Driver was often slow and often relied on members of links above you retiring or moving on.

Merchant Navy 21C6 received attention from the Fisherton Sarum Engine Cleaners before its next turn of duty on the Atlantic Coast Express.

Merchant Navy 21C6 received attention from the Fisherton Sarum Engine Cleaners before its next turn of duty on the Atlantic Coast Express.

I have a number of Cleaners going about their duties on Fisherton Sarum. Most are from either the Dart Castings or G T Stevens Model Railways range of white metal castings, suitably painted. Following the introduction of the air smoothed Bulleid pacific’s,  ladders and or platforms were required, both for cleaning and filling the sandboxes,  and these often were made from what ever materials the shed had available or could get hold of at the time.

Last year I posted about Armchair Ready-To-Run designers being an extension of the  term “armchair modeller” that has been used in the hobby referring to those who are vocal in criticism and comment but are sat in their comfy chairs tapping away on their keyboards without actually the processes involved in various aspects of the hobby. That particular post focused on the design side of things and why just because one model has been produced it should mean that a further slightly different model can or should also be produced.

The NRM Ivatt C1 Atlantic

The NRM Ivatt C1 Atlantic (picture courtesy and copyright NRM)

The announcement today by the National Railway Museum working with Bachmann of the exclusive model of the ex Great Northern Railways Ivatt C1 4-4-2 Atlantic locomotive has prompted this further ‘Armchair’ post.
Some say… that such a model was inevitable as Bachmann had already announced the ex LBSC Marsh H2 Class Atlantic.

ex LBSC H2 Class Atlantic  (picture courtesy of Bachmann)

ex LBSC H2 Class Atlantic (picture courtesy of Bachmann)

It is true that the  Marsh H2 Class and its predecessor the  H1 class can be directly traced back to the Ivatt C1 Atlantic owing to the fact Marsh had previously worked with Ivatt on the C1 class whilst he worked for the GNR and that the boiler and a proportion of the chassis design is the same.

In model terms though such lineage does not necessary mean savings in design, tooling, or production costs. As I mentioned in my previsious armchair post a common boiler does not help with tooling costs as often it is combined with different cabs, fitting,  running plates or other differing details. In the case of the two Atlantic models, and I discussed this with Bachmann staff a couple of weeks ago,  in reality only approximately 70% of only the chassis components are actually common. The loco body, tender and trailing truck are all different and therefor unique tooling. Therefore it is only a small proportion of time that can be potentially saved at the design stage,  as such as design work carried over for those small number of common components (remember its  approx 70% of the chassis only that is common) that can be simply copied.

Even with these limited number of common parts the two models are likely to be completely separately tooled. This is due to other reasons which a lot of people do not consider such as: the fact that if part of the tooling is used for more than model it creates double the wear on certain tools compared to the rest, the logistical issues of either stock holding between production runs or trying to manage production slots of both models at the same time.
This logistical challenge is hard enough for Bachmann whom unlike Hornby only have production at one factory. Hornby have different models being made at a number of  factories which is another reason why they would not usually share any aspect of tolling or components between models / factories as other wise it would be a logistical, transport and stock holding nightmare, in addition to the issue of uneven tooling wear.

I hope this post gives further food for thought into the issues that have to be considered in the design, tooling  and production of models for the Ready-To-Run market.

Dave Jones of DJ Models has today announced the addition to his range of the Southern Region Class 71 Bo-Bo 3rd Rail electric locomotive.

Dave Jones advised: what makes this model so special is that this model will be attempted to be financed by crowd sourcing through a ‘Kickstarter’ campaign. This will allow, for the first time, a UK 00 model railway locomotive to be funded up front by the customers who will receive a model for their faith in signing up to this project.

By crowd sourcing the finance for this model I am able to start work almost immediately with the laser scanning (Thanks to the National Railway Museum) and cad/cam production, whereas otherwise it would take up to 2 years rather than the possible 1.

Southern Region Class 71, Picture courtesy of Dave Jones and Ben Jones.

Southern Region Class 71, Picture copyright courtesy of DJ Models and Ben Jones.

The model will feature a coreless motor, heavy chassis, directional lighting, etched grilles where possible, separate wire handrails, DCC 21 pin decoder socket with a large space for a sound speaker, sprung buffers, and of course alternate slide details for the class 74 at a later date.

OO71-001  E5003 BR Green with small yellow warning panel

OO71-002  E5004 BR Green no small yellow panel

OO71-003  71009  BR Blue with full yellow ends

OO71-004  71013  BR Blue with full yellow ends

The recommended Retail Price will be in the region of £139.95

DJ Models have also today announced a Class 59 Diesel, Hudswell Clake  24T 0-60-0 saddle tank and the ex NER/LNER Raven Q6 0-8-0 steam locomotive in both N and 00 gauges. Also a Churchward 63xx 2-6-0 GWR Mogul in N.


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