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.

Further to the earlier announcement of new items to added to the both the Bachmann ’00’ and Graham Farish ‘N’ ranges I can also now update on the status of the work in progress on previously announced  items. To a certain extent it is the shear amount of work still in progress that has dictated the size of the announcement of new items yesterday as a certain amount of catching up is required.

Bachmann ’00’ Gauge items

The ex LBSC H2 Atlantic announced last August is still with the development team before entering the drawing office, along with the following: LMS Stanier Mogul 2-6-0, Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2T (DCC chassis upgrade), V1/V3 2-6-2T (DCC Chassis Upgrade), Class 158 (all new tooling and to include DCC provision), Class 24/1, Thompson coaches and WD Warflat,

The ex SECR Birdcage rolling stock announced in March 2013 is in the drawing office, with CADS being preparded before tooling can commence, along with the following items: BR Auto Trailer, Mark 2F coaches (including DBSO), Wickham Trolley (Type 27) and the 20T tank wagon.

Within the tool room is the Class 43 Warship and the 21T grain wagon, whilst Engineering Prototypes of the SR PLV/PMV/CCT utility vans have been received but unfortunately these were not shown to us today.

The E4 hand painted sample to give an impression of what is to come.

The E4 hand painted sample to give an impression of what is to come.

The ex LBSC E4 is now at the livery artwork stage (although some hand painted mocks have been completed but are just mocks and incorrect in some areas. Other items at this artwork stage include: GWR 64xx 0-60T, GWR Hall Class 4-6-0 and GWR Modified Hall Class 4-6-0.

The delightful Midland 1F 0-6-0T is now in production and the ex LMS inspection saloon should be in the shops soon.

Graham Farish ‘N’ Gauge items

The SR PLV 4-wheel van  is still with the development team before entering the drawing office, along with the following:  GWR Castle Class 4-6-0, BR Mark 2F coaches and the GWR Auto Trailer.

The SR Bogie B luggage van along with the GWR Hawksworth coaches have progressed to the tool room whilst the BR Standard 4MT (80xxx) 2-6-4T and GWR 64xx are still in the drawing office.

The Graham Farish N Class and 3rd series Merchant Navy no moving to livery artwork stage.

The Graham Farish N Class and 3rd series Merchant Navy now moving to livery artwork stage.

Engineering Prototype  samples have been received for the SR Ventilated vans whilst the SR N Class 2-6-0 and SR Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 are now at the artwork preparation stage along with the Class 47/7 and Class 31. The BR Mk1 CCT is at the livery sample stage along with the Class 57 (Dellner coupling version), LMS (Ex-MR) 4F 0-6-0 and Polybulk bogie hopper.

The following items have been approved for production: LNER A2 Class 4-6-2, 20T Midland Brake Van, COVHOP and LMS Princess Coronation Class 4-6-2. On their way to the shops soon are the Class 25 and Class 37/4.

As can be seen this is a fair amount of work in progress and there is still a further locomotive announcement  being made on Tuesday 29th in conjunction with the National Railway Museum. These announcements of new items is in effect an short term announcement before going back to the usual timing of March for the next new product announcements in 2015.


Today, 20/07/14,  Bachmann Europe celebrated its 25th anniversary this year with a trade event at their Leicestershire headquarters. Bachmann Europe was established in England during 1989. Initially its  Branchline product range consisted of models produced using the moulds of the old Palitoy ‘Mainline’ range. The Branchline range  has continued to grow and raise the standard for British outline ’00’ models.  Graham Farish was purchased by Bachmann Europe during the year 2000 and its production of British ‘N’ scale  models was also transferred to the factory of  Bachmann’s parent company Kader  in China.

Today at their celebration event they have announced the following:

Baldwin 009 loco (picture courtesy or Bachmann)

Baldwin 009 loco (picture courtesy of Bachmann)

Firstly a new venture with a foray into the narrow gauge 009 market. With a tie in to the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1  they are to produce a Baldwin Class 10-12-D locomotive,  in four different liveries. With British factories fully committed to the war effort, the British government turned to the American manufacturer, Baldwin, to produce 495 of their 4-6-0T locomotives. To complement the new locomotives, they are  introducing a number of wagons – two covered goods and four open bogies. Both types of wagon would see service after the war in the UK and will be available in an assortment of liveries including WW1 WD Grey and Nocton Light Grey. In addition to the locomotives and wagons, Bachmann are to  introduce three Narrow Gauge station buildings based on Woody Bay Station on the former Lynton & Barnstaple Railway.

The  Branchline 00 scale range continues to grow with the introduction of a number of new products, further to the announcement last August of the ex LBSC H2 Atlantic, newly announced today are a Class 90 Electric and Freightliner FFA and FGA flat wagons. The Scenecraft range will feature: a Container Crane,to complement the Freightliner flat wagons, a Rail Milk Depot in low relief buildings and a System-Built Post-War Station based on Forest Hill in South-East London. A further locomotive announcement is being made on Tuesday 29th in conjunction with the National Railway Museum.

SECR Birdcage Stock will now be produced in N (picture courtesy of Bachmann)

SECR Birdcage Stock will now be produced in N (picture courtesy of Bachmann)

Graham Farish in ‘N’ gauge marks  the arrival of the N Class steam locomotive newly adorned in SECR Dark Grey livery and adds to its range the replicating of the SECR Birdcage coaching stock previously introduced in 00. Scenecraft in N scale, will see the introduction of the power station collection, a static caravan and low relief power signal box along with a host of new low relief shops and businesses.

At the event further information has been provided on the development status of previously announced items and I will post separately about this news in the next day or so.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Bachmann Europe team for their hospitality today in addition to wishing every future success (and maybe even more Southern models in the future!)

Kernow Model Centre has today announced the following:

Following many requests we have decided to produce two more versions of our award-winning Beattie Well Tank models.  We will be using the same upgraded coreless motor that will be incorporated into our Adams O2 models and the economies of scale from this mean we can keep the price of this batch of Well Tanks to £94.99 for pre-orders.  The Well Tank will be produced in the same factory and by the same people in China as previously, which is also the same factory producing our Adams O2 models.  We will be making these Well Tank models to order and guarantee to supply every order placed by 31st August this year.  At this stage we will decide on the final quantity to be produced but there will be at least 250 of each version.  As always, no deposits are required and we do not charge for the models until we are about to despatch the orders.  We will be offering DCC Fitted versions which will have the Gaugemaster DCC 23 Decoder fitted.  We expect delivery by the end of this year and as soon as the models are on the way to us the price will rise to £99.99 for new orders.   See more information on our website

The Kernow model of  30586 in early British Railways Livery with Bulleid Sunshine lettering will be as per my own repainted version

The Kernow model of 30586 in early British Railways Livery with Bulleid Sunshine lettering will be as per my own repainted version

K2056 DJ Models 2-4-0WT Beattie Well Tank Steam Locomotive number 30587 BR Late Crest £99.99 (£94.99 pre-orders)
K2056DC DJ Models 2-4-0WT Beattie Well Tank Steam Locomotive number 30587 BR Late Crest DCC Fitted £119.99 (£114.99 pre-orders)
K2057 DJ Models 2-4-0WT Beattie Well Tank Steam Locomotive number 30586 Early British Railways 1948 livery with Sunshine lettering  £99.99 (£94.99 pre-orders)
K2057DC DJ Models 2-4-0WT Beattie Well Tank Steam Locomotive number 30586 Early British Railways 1948 livery with Sunshine lettering DCC Fitted £119.99 (£114.99 pre-orders)

Hot on the heals of the first Engineering Prototypes (EP) of the Kernow Model Centre ex London & South Western Railway (LSWR) Adams O2 class being received a couple of weeks ago as reported here, the first running sample has now been received.

The first running sample of the O2 class tank

The first running sample of the O2 class tank

Whilst this running sample is substantially more complete detail wise than the first samples there are still a number of details to be added and this running  sample,   does  not yet represent the finished models, although it is pretty much the Kernow Model Centre K2105 variant representing number 225 (the finished model will be in Southern Black with Bulleid sunshine lettering) as fitted with Pull Push gear.

The left hand side of the running sample.

The left hand side of the running sample.

It is good to see we are getting tantalisingly close, the next steps will be a few  minor tweaks / corrections before moving onto livery samples.

Although the video quality is slightly questionable Kernow have posted this video showing the running sample doing what a running should be doing i.e. running…

In other 4mm 00 news…

Dapol have been pretty busy recently, especially as per below in 7mm scale, in 4mm they have released a image of the first EP’s of the Class 73/0 JA variant with a promise that the Class 73/1 JB EPs are not far behind

Bachmann have recently received the 2nd EP of their ex London Brighton and South Coast E4 class , the first EP images can be seen here, this 2nd EP incorporates one or two minor modifications following consultation with the Bluebell Railway, where the preserved E4 resides, and is now ready for livery samples to be produced. Pictures of the 2nd EP can be seen here on RMweb.

Latest deliveries from Bachmann with a Southern flavour include a couple of livery variants of the Wainwright C Class 0-6-0: 31-464 number 593 in Southern Railway Black livery with Green Lining and also 31-464 number 271 in simplified SECR lined green.

In 7mm 0 Gauge news…

Dapol have released a first image of the EP of their ex LBSC Terrier A1/A1x class which has been produced from completely revised CAD drawings after Richard Webster joined team at Dapol. The image can be seen here. Once again as with all tooling samples this does not necessarily represent a complete or correct variant as it may well be a combination of optional detail parts.

Also about to hit the shops from Dapol in 7mm is the first of the SR 25t Pill Box Brake Vans. This first variant is the even planked Right Hand ducket version and was first tooled before Richard Webster started at Dapol. Whilst Richard was able to retool a couple of areas, e.g. the roof profile,  of this model there are still a number of errors that will be corrected on later variants.

Douglas Drummond’s first locomotive class built after his appointment as Chief Mechanical Engineer to the London South Western Railway (LSWR) in 1895 was the 30 strong 700 Class of 0-6-0 goods engines later to be widely known as ‘Black Motors’.  They were in fact very similar to a previous class of his built for the Caledonian Railway some years earlier. Eventually the class had many parts standardised with the Drummond’s later classes the M7, C8 and K10’s. such as the boiler, firebox, cylinders and motion.

Drummond 700 Class number 352 in original saturated form built from a BEC kit

Drummond 700 Class number 352 in original saturated form built from a BEC kit

Although known as the 700 class the first locomotive delivered was in fact number 687 and although originally number in sequence from 687 to 716, in 1898, numbers 702-16 were renumbered, somewhat haphazardly to make way for members of the T9 class.  Although intended as goods locomotives they could often be found on passenger turns and were allocated widely across the LSWR system with general at least five members of the class allocated to Salisbury.

The later modified Superheated version number 691 also built from BEC kit

The later modified Superheated version number 691 also built from BEC kit. The slightly stretched vertical proportions can be seen in this image.

In 1919, number 316  was modified by Urie by being superheated this changed the over look of the engines as it  included extending the smokebox, extensions to the frames,  raising the boiler pitch by 9 inches and modifications to the cab design. The rest the class of the class were similarly modified and superheated in Southern Days between 1923 and 1929. Wholesale withdrawal of the class took place in 1961 and 1962, although 30697 survived until January 1964.

Hornby's Black Motor is progressing well as can be seen from this pre-production sample

Hornby’s Black Motor is progressing well as can be seen from this pre-production sample

In model form a number of kits have been produced, with the first being a white metal version by BEC Models, as illustrated in both original and modified superheated versions left. The design of this kit unfortunately appears to be stretched in the vertical dimension giving the model a distorted look especially in and around the cab. Since then etched brass kits have also been available from the likes of Jedenco/Falcon Brass and PDK models.

A further view of the Hoornby pre-production sample (both images copyright and courtesy of A York)

A further view of the Hoornby pre-production sample (both images copyright and courtesy of A York)

In December 2013 Hornby announced as I reported here, and a subsequent update post here, that it was to produce a ready to run version of the superheated Black Motor. Pictures of the latest Engineering Prototype taken a couple of weeks ago are also shown left. The model has a cast footplate and boiler, similar to their T9 model to give weight for traction and the level of detail looks very good from what we can see so far. Hornby have also indicated that they are to produce both the 13′ and 14′ wheelbase tender versions as well.
All being well the latest availability information we have from Hornby is that they are aiming  for deliveries in October this year.


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