As first announced by Hornby in January this year the models of the BR conversions of Maunsell stock into Twenty Pull Push sets, that were converted by BR(SR) from late 1959 to mid 1960, have now started to hit the retailers. The Hornby models correctly consisted of an 1935 built ex-Diagram 2403 Maunsell Brake Corridor Composite and a Diagram 2023 (ex 1930 built Diagram 2005) Maunsell Second Open (was designated a Third Open until 1956). Hornby have released the sets both as a coach pack (R4534) as Set 610 and the train pack (R3087) as set 600 with M7 30029.
Building on the success of their excellent Maunsell coach range they have of course utilised a number of common components such as the underframes and bogies, complete with their standard close coupling cam arrangement and NEM pockets etc. Both coach bodies are new toolings to take into account the driving brake and also the Diagram 2023 Third / Open Second.
The models correctly recreate the modifications to the prototype; where the brake end was modified by inserting two windows to form a driving compartment, the corridor connection removed and plated over (complete with rivet detail), and droplights replacing the familiar former guard’s lookout duckets. Similarly the outer end of the Second Open had its outer corridor connection removed and plated over but the corridor connection between the two vehicles was retained. Hornby’s attention to detail has included the up-rated EMU style buffer stocks fitted to the outer ends of both coaches along with fine rivet detail, the additional lamp irons, handrails, steps and whistle on the driving end. This attention to detail has also extended to the fact that the driving end bogie correctly has the guard irons represented, and also within the interior that features correctly coloured seating for both 1st. & 2nd. class along with brown partitions, all very nice touches!
Livery and printing matches the high standard of the existing Maunsell Stock range, and unlike on their recently released Van Bs have they managed to get the ‘Guard’ lettering on the doors the correct size. 30029 within the R3087 Train pack version has the shed plate 75F for Tonbridge Wells West, printed on the smokebox door, which is correct for both the 30029’s and Set 600’s allocation for the time period c1963. They have however used the dog clamp fitted smokebox door arrangement on this M7, where in reality 30029 retained the centre dart method of keeping the door closed.
The Second / Third Open type is also due to be released as a Diagram 2005 loose coach in Olive Green as No. 1400 and BR(s) Green as s1314s but of course fitted with standard buffers and corridor connections at each end.
As these were only introduced by BR(s) from 1959 for those of us modelling earlier periods it should be remembered that ex LSWR Gate Stock Pull Push units have been commissioned by Kernow Model Centre for release probably early 2013 and I know that the early stages of the CAD preparation is underway.
Note: ‘Pull Push’ rather than ‘Push Pull’ was the description usually coined by the Southern Railway / Southern Region within working notices etc for these type of workings.