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Posts Tagged ‘Bachmann’

Originally announced back in April 2012 the SR USA 0-6-0T Tank commissioned by Model Rail Magazine has now arrived. The gestation period although appears long, due to a number of factors including switching the manufacture from Dapol to Bachmann, researching and checking all the variation differences but boy has been worth the wait, I am also pleased to have been able to play a small part in this process.

Model Rail USA Tank MR-102 No 68

Model Rail USA Tank MR-102 No 68

MR-104 No 30064 in Lined Green livery Picture copyright and courtesy A York

MR-104 No 30064 in Lined Green livery Picture copyright and courtesy A York

A rear 3/4 view of No 68

A rear 3/4 view of No 68

Model Rail Magazine originally announced 4 variations:

  • MR-101 4326 in United States Army Transportation Corps livery
  • MR-102  number 68 in Southern Black livery with Sunshine lettering
  • MR-103 number 30069 in BR Black livery with early emblem
  • MR-104 number 30064 in BR Lined Malachite Green livery with late crest (Sold Out).
    They later also added a further six versions:
  • MR-105 number 300 in Longmoor Military Railway blue
  • MR-106 number 30071 in BR Black livery with late crest and weathered finish
  • MR-108 number 72 in Keighley & Worth Valley Golden Ochre livery
  • MR-109 number 30067 in BR Black livery with Late Crest
  • MR-110 number DS237 “Maunsell” in BR Departmental Green livery

To a certain extent it is the number of variations being produced and the tooling differences required to cover them that has added to the complexity and time taken to produce the models. I am now the proud owner of two MR-102s one will stay as number 68 and the other will become s64 with British Railways in Southern ‘Sunshine’ style lettering on the tanks. The models have captured the looks and  fine details extremely well including; a multitude of separately applied hand rails and pipework, a detailed cab interior, well applied cab glazing.

The other side of No 68

The other side of No 68

The chassis with its fine and complex looking walschaerts valve gear is powered by a powerful and well geared 5 Pole Motor giving excellent performance with pick ups on all wheels. The die cast chassis gives a weighty feel and ensures good haulage capability.
The Bachmann and Model Rail Magazine team have managed to incorporate all the slight variations that existed between the relatively small members of the class that includes cab window styles, coal bunkers, steps, cab ventilators, handrails, pipe runs, smokebox doors and lamp irons etc. (although there has of course to be a compromise in some cases such as with smokebox door U shaped hand rails being present and single not twin lubricators on 30064).

A further view of 30064 picture copyright and courtesy A York

A further view of 30064 picture copyright and courtesy A York

An excellent new style of information sheet is included with the model, which I believe is to become standard with future Bachmann releases, also shows the positions of the additional detail items included with the model for owners to fit such as buffer beam pipes etc.

If you have have not ordered yours yet, then do so here, although I know MR-104 has already sold out and I am pretty sure others will do so soon! 

As a comparison MR-101 in original 4326 in United States Army Transportation Corps livery and condition

As a comparison MR-101 in original 4326 in United States Army Transportation Corps livery and condition

The Southern Railway purchased 14 (plus one extra for spares) of these powerful, short wheel based locomotives from the United States Army Transportation Corps in 1946 for use within Southampton Docks. They were modified at at Eastleigh works to suit SR use including: adding steam heating, vacuum ejectors, sliding cab windows and larger front square windows, additional lamp irons and steps and new cylinder drain cocks. Once the locomotives started to enter traffic, large roof-top ventilators were fitted, British regulators to replace the US-style pull-out one,  extended coal bunkers, separate steam and vacuum brake controls and wooden tip-up seats. Six of the class were later transferred to departmental stock and could be found at locations such Guildford shed and Meldon Quarry. They were eventually replaced at Southampton by the Class 07 diesel shunters. Withdrawal of the class took place between 1964 and 1967. A number have entered preservation.

 

 

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The Bachmann Europe team met up this week with the model trade press to update the market on the latest developments and progress, a full report can be found on the RmWeb forum here and I take this opportunity to update ion those items of a Southern / Southern Region interest. Although no new announcements were made  it was indicated that the next catalogue and product announcements are likely to take place  earlier next year, probably at some point in January. Although Bachmann have experienced delays in both the design and production arenas over the last couple of years tit is good news that they appear to starting to catch up a bit during the last twelve months or so of consolidation as had been previously promised.

The first EP of the ex SECR 60' Birdcage Brake. Picture Copyright and courtesy A York/Bachamnn

The 1st EP of the ex SECR 60′ Birdcage Brake composite (Dia 2432). Picture Copyright and courtesy A York/Bachmann

The item of most interest for Southern modellers was the first images of the first Engineering Prototypes (EP) for the ex SECR 60′ Birdcage stock Trio ‘C’ 30 sets, (SR set Nos 567-570, 575-589,  602-5 and 612-8) announced back in March 2013. These compriise of aBrake Composite to SR Diagram 162, a Composite to SR Diagram 315 and Brake Third to SR Diagram 160. These sets pretty much remained intact throughout their lives until withdrawal between 1956 and 1958.

1st EP Ex SECR 60' Birdcage stock composite. Picture Copyright and courtesy A York/Bachamnn

1st EP Ex SECR 60′ Birdcage stock composite (Dia 2315) . Picture Copyright and courtesy A York/Bachamnn

As can be seen from the pictures, copyright and courtesy of Andy York and Bachmann, the first impressions are very favourable with a high level of detail, although I have not had the chance to see them up close and in the flesh (plastic) yet.

Ex SECR 60' Brake Third EP (Dia 2431). Picture Copyright and courtesy A York/Bachmann

Ex SECR 60′ Brake Third EP (Dia 2431). Picture Copyright and courtesy A York/Bachmann

Also the ex LBSC H2 class Atlantic, announced even earlier in August 2013, has now also progressed to tooling for the engineering Prototypes and we hope to see these EPs soon.

Delivery of both the Birdcage stock and the H2 Atlantic is expected in May 2017.

 

The Model Rail USA Tank as No 68 in SR livery

The Model Rail ref MR-102 USA Tank as No 68 in SR livery. Picture copyright and courtesy Kernow Model Centre

The SR / BR(s) USA 0-6-0 tanks being produced by Bachmann for Model Rail magazine are imminent to arrive at Bachmann’s Barwell HQ, before being shipped to the Kernow Model Centre for orders to be despatched, this could take a few weeks to complete due to the shear column of orders so be patient.

The South West Trains class 450 Desiro 3rd rail units, based on tooling changes to the previously released 350 class units are now ready to enter production although delivery was stated as being likely to be February 2017,  while the class 414 2 Hap units announced earlier this year are still at the design stage. Although announced back in march 2015 along with the Class 450, the 45 ton Ransomes and Rapier steam crane is still at the design stage prior to CAD work taking place, so is some way off yet.

Keep an eye on this blog in the next week or so for further updates on both released and imminent Southern / Southern Region relevant models form other manufacturers.

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Kernow Model Rail Centre have today announced that they have been working with Bachmann to produce the Southern Region 4-TC unit, also known as class 491 and later class 438,  that were usually propelled by 4 REP EMUs, Class 33/1s and also Class 73s, Class 74s and other compatible 1951/57/63 built EMUs. Although the 4-TCs were un-powered the Southern Region regarded them as Electric Multiple Units.

The first Engineering Sample of the Kernow model Rail Centre 4-TC

The first Engineering Prototype sample of the Kernow model Rail Centre 4-TC

This model, although based on the existing Bachmann Mk1 design, actually required three totally new tools to produce the four car unit along with their correct bogies and therefore is the equivalent of tooling three completely new locomotives. Despite this Kernow Model Rail Centre have managed to keep the price of the unit to £289.95, which is reduced to £269.95 if you place a pre-order before the model leaves China.

The first Engineering Prototype (EP) sample has been received and a few tweaks are required, such as moving the headlight to the correct position and re-configuring the wiring to allow the unit to be connected in the correct formation.

Another view of the first EP of the 4-TC

Another view of the first EP of the 4-TC

The units will feature working internal lights and the head and tail destination blinds also illuminate. Separate connecting doors are provided to give variations in headcodes, similar to the previous Bachmann 4-CEP. The unit is wired throughout using connectors similar to the Bachmann Blue Pullman, which allows full electrical connectivity while also allowing relatively easy uncoupling when required.

A side on view of the first EP of the 4-TC

A side on view of the first EP of the 4-TC

Switches below the unit allow the internal lights to be switched on or off, and also allow for independent switching of the destination blinds at the front and rear of the unit. The model is fitted with a 21 Pin DCC Decoder socket and also has provision for DCC Sound fitting. One decoder is required for DCC operation and is fitted within the luggage compartment of the Trailer Brake Corridor Second (TBSK) vehicle. The switching arrangements for internal unit lighting are replicated for DCC and can all be controlled from the single decoder.

Initially six liveries will be produced, with delivery expected to be around January 2017:

The 4-TCs were converted from Mk1 loco-hauled coaches, with 31 units converted in 1966-7 by British Rail Engineering at York Works. Initially 28 x 4 car units were created with 3 x 3 car units. The four car units were formed Driving Trailer Second Open (DTSO), Trailer First Corridor (TFK), Trailer Brake Corridor Second (TBSK) and Driving Trailer Second Open (DTSO). The 3 car units omitted the TFK. Summer services to Weymouth were frequently overcrowded so in 1974 a further 3 x 4 car units were converted and at the same time the 3 car units had a TFK inserted to make them up to 4 car units.

4-TC Unit number 416 in BR Blue livery with small yellow warning panels and etched BR logos as per model 32-640Z

4-TC Unit number 416 in BR Blue livery with small yellow warning panels and etched BR logos as per model 32-640Z

When the route from London Waterloo to Bournemouth was electrified in 1967 there was insufficient funds to complete the electrification of the route through to Weymouth. An alternative method of operation was designed with high-powered Class 430 4-REP units propelling one or two 4-TC units from Waterloo to Bournemouth. At Bournemouth the 4-REP would be detached and a Class 33/1 Diesel Locomotive would be attached at the Weymouth end to haul either one or two 4-TCs through to Weymouth. In the reverse direction the 4-TCs would be propelled from Weymouth to Bournemouth where the 4-REP would then haul the 4-TCs to Waterloo, leaving the Class 33/1 at Bournemouth to await the next Weymouth service.

4-TC unit number 8022 in BR Blue and Grey livery with Network SouthEast branding as per model 32-642Z

4-TC unit number 8022 in BR Blue and Grey livery with Network SouthEast branding as per model 32-642Z

The usual area of operation of these versatile units was between London Waterloo and Weymouth, although they could frequently be seen throughout the South Western division of the Southern Region. Regular duties included the Kenny Belle peak shuttle service between Kensington Olympia and Clapham Junction. They were also used extensively on West of England line duties between Yeovil and Salisbury to London Waterloo and between Reading and Portsmouth Harbour. Until the closure of the Swanage branch they worked on through trains from London Waterloo.

4-TC unit number 410 in BR Blue livery with half yellow ends Premier Charter with etched BR logos as per model 32-644Z

4-TC unit number 410 in BR Blue livery with half yellow ends Premier Charter with etched BR logos as per model 32-644Z

Railtours saw the units make trips to varied locations throughout British Rail, including Birmingham, Cardiff, Meldon and Barnstaple.
With the electrification of the entire Weymouth line complete by 1988, along with electrification of other South Western division routes, the need for the 4-TCs was removed and most were withdrawn by 1990. Two units were retained and repainted in original blue livery, albeit with larger yellow warning panels, with the intention to use them for “Premier Charters”, a role which they performed until 1994.

Chris Trerise, Managing Director of Kernow Model Rail Centre, said “When I first left Cornwall to work for British Rail I was based at London Waterloo and was immediately fascinated by the Southern and the variety of units in operation.  The 4-TC has always been a favourite of mine and there was never any doubt that Bachmann would produce a model to be proud of.  This is probably the largest project we have embarked on but our team work very closely with Bachmann and this has made the entire process very enjoyable.  We are really looking forward to receiving the painted samples!”

All images on this page are courtesy of and copyright of Kernow Model Rail Centre / Chris Trerise.

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With a nod to the fact that today, 23rd April, is not only St Georges Day, but also the date on which William Shakespeare is understood to have both been born and this year the 400th anniversary of his death, hence the stretching of a few quotations from his writings (so much more than witterings) in the title.
My last Workbench Witterings #4 post detailed some of the locomotives I have been working on and finishing over the last few weeks and this Workbench Witterings #5 post shows a few more.

The Kernow Model Rail Centre O2 number 225 now weathered

The Kernow Model Rail Centre O2 number 225 now weathered

First up is a pair of the Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR Adams O2 class, 0-4-4Ts in the form of two mainland versions in SR post war black livery. Number 225, Kernow Model Rail Centre release K2105, was already in post 1946 SR black so has been lightly weathered, crew added

O2 Number 225 will be coupled to a Pull Push set using a prototypical screw coupling

O2 Number 225 will be coupled to a Pull Push set using a prototypical screw coupling

(nice and simple to do as the cab roof is designed to be easily removed) and real coal added to the bunker.
She will generally be seen on Fisherton Sarum sharing duties with an M7 class loco coupled to my Pull Push set number 734 or the Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR Gate Stock Pull Push sets when they arrive.

O2 Number 193 on shunting duties

O2 Number 193 for use on shunting duties

Number 193 started life in BR lined black livery as 30193, Kernow Model Rail Centre release K2106,  and repainted into unlined SR livery, unlike 225 is non pull push fitted.
Now backdated to number 193 as well as crew on the footplate and real coal added to the bunker she has been fitted with both red and white lamps at each end on the lamp irons above the buffers, as per a locomotive carrying our shunting duties.

A rear 3/4 view of O2 number 193

A rear 3/4 view of O2 number 193

I have also, carefully using a small razor saw, cut out the cab doors as these were only found on the pull push fitted mainland O2s (although those on the Isle of Wight also had cab doors). To reduce the distance that the tension lock coupling extends past the buffers I also shortened the NEM coupling pocket slightly by cutting off a few millimeters from the front face and holding the tension lock coupling in with a spot of glue.
If you own one these Kernow Model Rail Centre O2s it is also worth checking that the back to backs of the driving wheels are correctly set to 14.5mm, as some have reported issues with haulage which has mainly been due to the back to backs being slightly too wide and simple to rectify by pushing the wheels in slightly, not that mine needed any such adjustment.

A repainted and weathered Bachmann E4

A repainted and weathered Bachmann E4

Next up is a Bachmann ex LBSC Billington E4 Class, 0-6-2T repainted and numbered as 2486. Although ex LBSC locomotives they could seen seen across a wide area of the Southern network. After the closure of the Salisbury Western Region shed in 1950 the ex SR shed was allocated numbers 32506 and 32486.

A rear 3/4 view of a work stained E4 number 2486

A rear 3/4 view of a work stained E4 number 2486

This was reported as being much to the annoyance of the ex WR crews on the duty shunting Fisherton Yard as they preferred their previsous GWR pannier tanks! So modellers licence regarding the bringing date of allocation to Salisbury slightly earlier will apply on Fisherton Sarum. She has been finished in a condition where she could benefit from a good clean and a bit of an overhaul.

Van B number 231

Van B number 231

Finally for now, it is not just locomotives that I have got round to finishing off with a bit of weathering, also seen here are a couple of Non Passenger Carrying Cars.
Firstly the Hornby Bogie Van B that I  mentioned on my Workbench Witterings #1 post after repainted into malachite green a while ago as non stove fitted version number 231.

A weathered Bachmann PLV

A weathered Bachmann PLV

The other is a Bachmann PLV, Parcels Luggage Van (coded PMV in BR parlance) and is still in Maunsell green under the layer of grime.

As I said before I have managed to catch up with finishing a number outstanding projects and these last two Workbench Witterings Posts don’t yet cover them all but I wont bore you with more pictures of weathered black locomotives for now  so watch this space for something different next time around.

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The Kernow Model Rail Centre have today announced two new model livery releases based on Bachmann models both are now in stock and available for immediate delivery.

Kenow Mk1GUV S86804 with SURBITON - OKEHAMPTON CAR CARRIER roof-boards

Kenow Mk1GUV S86804 with SURBITON – OKEHAMPTON CAR CARRIER roof-boards

The first: for BR Southern Region western section modellers, is a BR Mk1 General Utility Van (GUV) as number S86804 in BR (SR) green livery complete with SURBITON – OKEHAMPTON CAR CARRIER roof-boards. The car carrier train ran between the 18th June 1960 and 12th September 1964 as a way of encouraging holiday traffic to the South West without the hassle of driving all the way there, especially avoiding the then notorious A30! The GUVs had end doors for loading / unloading, and those for car carrying also included hinged flaps to go over the tops of the buffers. They were originally delivered in lined maroon but the Southern Region soon repainted them green as per the Kernow Model Rail Centre release.

The other side of the Kernow Model Centre car carrier service GUV

The other side of the Kernow Model Centre car carrier service GUV

The standard formation of this train was eight (initially 7) of these roof board branded GUVs that could contain up to 32 cars (i.e. three or four cars in each GUV and once loaded the cars were held in position by a securing bar across the front and rear wheels of each car) along with usually three passenger coaches either of Bulleid or BR Mk1 origin. Referencing an Ivo Peters photograph taken in 1964, the three coaches at that time comprised of a Bulleid brake second open, Bulleid Kitchen/Restaurant (although for the first year of operation the resturant car was not provided and was an ordinary coach) and a BR MK1 second open.
The summer 1960 timetable showed the Down train leaving Surbiton, the end loading dock being located in the coal yard, at 8.03 am arriving at Okehampton  12.28 pm.  The GUVs were shunted off the passenger coaches to the loading dock at the sidings known as the ‘military sidings’ just to the west of Okehampton station. The corresponding Up working left Okehampton at 3.55 pm reaching Surbiton at 8.11 pm. The fare for a driver and car was £20 plus £4 13s for additional adult passengers.
This type of service was one of the forerunners of the ‘Motorail’ branded service that was introduced in 1966 lasting until 1995, initially with GUV’s but later often replaced by ‘Carflats’ and many of the GUVs were reassigned to parcels and newspaper traffic.

The model code number for this release is 39-273Z and is priced at £44.95 each

Kernow Class 47 D1670 'Mammoth'

Kernow Class 47 D1670 ‘Mammoth’

The second release is a class 47 locomotive D1670 in two tone green livery, named “Mammoth” as she would have run between 1965 and the early 1970’s. Although primarily a Western Region engine she was the locomotive that worked the inaugural ‘Clayfreighter’ service from Burngullow in Cornwall, then over Southern Region metals to Sittingbourne in Kent conveying clay slurry to Bowaters for the production of paper products.

The model code for this Class 47 is 31-650L and is priced at £149.99 for DC version, £169.99 for DCC fitted or £249.99 for a DCC sound fitted version. There is also an limited period additional special offer of the Bachmann Delabole Slate Presflo wagons Triple Pack being available for an additional £49.99, a saving of £30 per pack, provided they are bought and sent at the same time as ‘Mammoth’.

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Today Bachmann Europe Plc. announced their plans for the next 18 months, or so (which I know some will find amusing as progress on some of the previously announced models have certainly taken, or are taking longer longer than their intended 18 month timescales for a number of reasons),  for both the Bachmann Branchlines (00) and Graham Farish (N) brands. They also provided updates on the current work in progress. I outline below the couple of items of Southern / Southern Region interest, much centered around the 30th anniversary of Network SouthEast including a Class 47, Class 166 Networker, and Class 08 in NSE liveries.

The Launch of Network South East took place on 10th June 1986 at Waterloo Station. Picture courtesy and copyright Brian Morrison

The Launch of Network South East took place on 10th June 1986 at Waterloo Station. Picture courtesy and copyright Brian Morrison

Bachmann also advised that 2016, like the last couple of years will also have to be a year of consolidation to catch up with previously announced models with addition of new resources being put into the areas of CAD and tooling, which is generally where the currently bottlenecks are occurring, as opposed to production . Overall in addition to the two new tooled EMUs over 300 new items (liveries) have been added to the two ranges.

A further development will be the addition of passengers to coaches and loads to wagons. Selected coaches in the Mk1 and Mk2 range and some of the EMUs will soon be available with factory fitted passengers.

Bachmann 00 gauge

The headline new tooling is the Class 414 (2 HAP) EMU that will be produced in Blue and Grey with NSE branding, BR Green, Blue and Grey and Network SouthEast livery.

2 HAP No. 6061 in BR Green. Picture courtesy and copyright Rodney Lissenden

2 HAP No. 6061 in BR Green. Picture courtesy and copyright Rodney Lissenden

The 2 HAP was introduced between 1957 and 1963, for outer suburban services, totaling 209 units the majority were of Mk1 design, numbered 6001-6173, whilst a batch of 36, numbers 5601-5636, were SR Style slam door bodies built on the underframes of older withdrawn units. The last of the class were withdrawn in 1995.
The N Class 2-6-0 will once again be available in BR lined black livery with early emblem as 31874, 1406 in SR black livery and as Number 1854 (again)  in ‘The Thanet Flyer’ train set pack with two Bulleid coaches (BTK & CK from exisiting tooling) in SR Malachite Green (albeit incorrectly SR branded as the coaches are based on the later post 1950 built versions).
The E4 0-6-2T will be released as 2517 in SR Green and 32494 in BR Lined Black with early emblem.

There will be further releases of the SR PLV in SR Livery, PMV in BR Green livery with black ends and the CCT in BR Blue (weathered) and in Departmental Green liveries.

31-380 Class 416 2 EPB EMU No. 6262 in blue & grey livery with NSE branding with Passenger figures
31-390 Class 414 2 HAP No. 6061 in BR green livery
31-391 Class 414 2 HAP No. 6062 in BR blue & grey livery
31-392 Class 414 2 HAP No. 4322 in Network SouthEast livery
31-654 Class 47 No. 47576 ‘Kings Lynn’ in Network SouthEast livery
32-109 Class 08 No. 08631 ‘Eagle’ in Network SouthEast livery
32-165 N Class No. 31874 in BR lined black livery with early emblem
32-166 N Class No. 1406 in SR black livery
32-290DS Class 101 2 car DMU in Network SouthEast livery with with Passenger figures and DCC SOUND
35-076A E4 No. 2517 in Southern green livery
35-079 E4 No. 32494 in BR lined black livery with early emblem

30-430 Capital Commuter Train Set Pack Class 416 in NSE with Art Deco low releif station building and track.
30-165 The Thanet Flyer Train Set Pack as desribed above.
39-525A SR PLV in Southern Railway green livery
39-528A SR CCT in BR blue livery (weathered)
39-529 SR CCT in Departmental green livery
39-530 SR PMV in BR green livery with black ends
39-003 BR Mark 1 coach pack (1 x SK and 1 x BSK) in BR blue & grey livery with NSE branding with Passenger figures
39-188 BR Mark 1 BG Full Brake in Network SouthEast livery
39-265 BR Mk1 RMB Restaurant Miniature Buffet in Network SouthEast livery
39-273 BR Mark 1 GUV General Utility Van in BR (S) green livery
33-831 Queen Mary Brake Van in SatLink livery (weathered)
33-832 Queen Mary Brake Van in EWS livery
38-075B 12T Southern ventilated van in Southern Railway brown livery (large letters)
38-076C 12T Southern ventilated van in BR bauxite livery
38-990 20T Brake Van and SR Pill Box Brake Van twin pack in Network SouthEast livery

Work in progress includes the SECR Birdcage Coaches and the LBSCR H2 Class 4-4-2 Atlantics which are now in the drawing office.  The USA tank for (Model Rail Magazine) is now about to move into production.

Graham Farish N gauge

New tooling in N Gauge is the Class 319 EMU in Network South East, Thameslink and ‘Northern Powerhouse’ Northern Rail liveries.

372-875 Class 319 No. 319004 in Network SouthEast (original dark grey) livery Picture courtesy and copyright of Dennis Lovett.

372-875 Class 319 No. 319004 in Network SouthEast (original dark grey) livery Picture courtesy and copyright of Dennis Lovett.

72 of these four car dual voltage units were built by BREL in York during 1987/8 for the launch of the Thameslink services between Bedford and Brighton.

Also announced are a couple of train packs: ‘The Capital Connection’ comprising of a Class 47/4 and 3 off Mk1 coaches in NSE livery and ‘A Day at the Races’ featuring a Class 3MT 2-6-2T number 82001 in BR Lined Breen livery with 3 off BR Mk1 Horseboxes in BR Green.

371-427A Class 170 No. 170308 3 car DMU in South West Trains livery
371-023 Class 08 No. 08600 ‘Ivor’ in Network SouthEast livery
372-875 Class 319 No. 319004 in Network SouthEast livery
372-876 Class 319 No. 319382 in Thameslink livery
372-877 Class 319 No. 319362 ‘Northern Powerhouse’ in Northern Rail livery
370-185 A day at the Races Train Pack
370-430 Capital Connection Train Pack
374-016 BR Mark 1 SO in Network SouthEast livery
374108A BR Mark 1 RMB in BR (S) green livery
374-131A BR Mark 1 GUV in BR green livery
374-166 BR Mark 1 FK in Network SouthEast livery
374-193 BR Mark 1 BSK in Network SouthEast livery

From a work  in progress perspective The SECR Birdcage coaches are still at the development stage whilst the SR 4 wheel utility vans have now been approved for production along with the BR standard 4MT (80xxx) 2-6-4Ts. The Queen Mary brake vans are in the process of being shipped.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bachmann for their kind hospitality at their media event today.

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In a way this post follows on from my previous ramblings in my ‘armchair’ series such as “Armchair R-T-R Designers” and “Armchair R-T-R tooling and manufacturing Logistics” and even my comment piece on “The process in producing an R-T-R Models”.
Questions were recently raised on a popular model railway forum why certain Ready-To-Run (R-T-R) models either have not been or are going to be produced in either Pre-Grouping liveries or form, even to extent that the manufacturers were losing sales because of it. I would point out however that if the demand was not actually there to sell a complete batch, as minimum production run sizes often come into play, of a certain livery then it might be a case of not enough sales rather than one of loosing sales.

I picked up on this because the models in question being discussed were the recently released Adams O2 class 0-4-4t and the forthcoming Pull Push Gate Stock from The Kernow Model Centre, that were not being produced in London South Western Railway (LSWR) liveries. The particular post also cited the fact some manufacturers had already managed to issued Pre-Grouping livery versions such as: the Bachmann E4 Class 0-6-2t and C Class 0-6-0; and the Hornby M7 0-4-4t. Whilst other models including the Hornby 700 Class 0-6-0 and T9 class 4-4-0 and the aforementioned O2 have not yet been so issued.

In an ideal world if money was no object I am sure the likes of The Kernow Model Centre and even the larger manufacturers such as Hornby would love to tool for all permutations and variations of a particular prototype, but economics do rule and decisions have to be taken based on the size of a potential market for a specific variation / livery and the return possible.

Where the existing tooling is correct / accurate for the same locomotive / rolling with either no or very limited detail changes for an earlier period such as the Pre-Grouping era, or even early Grouping times, then producing such liveries, in perhaps a smaller production run becomes a viable option. However where there would need to be substantial tooling changes, complexities or even completely new tooling the return on such an expense, that can easily run into tens of thousands of pounds, against potential sales needs to be taken into account.

I would therefore not perhaps rule out an LSWR liveried Adams O2 at some stage, as this importantly could be achieved from the existing tooling.

With respect to the Kennow Model Centre ex LSWR Gate Stock these were modified in the early 1930’s from the original LSWR design and therefore the proposed tooling would not be correct for any liveries before that modification took place. Sets 373/4 were converted to Southern Railway air control system in 1929/30 and at the same time gained the standard Southern Railway four window pull push unit style front end, instead of the earlier LSWR 3 window front end.  Set 272 was disbanded in 1929 (prior to driving front end and air control conversion) and reformed as set 363 in 1933, with standard SR front and air control, as per sets 373/4.

A version of the Kernow Model Centre ex LSWR Beattie Well Tank was produced in SR Maunsell 1930’s livery No 3329 but as in the early 1930s the Well Tanks were already on their second substantial rebuild, completely new tooling would have been required to be correct for any earlier livery application.

Both the Hornby produced 700 class 0-6-0 and T9 class 4-4-0 engines were fitted with superheaters from the very end of the pre-Grouping period onwards that not only extended the smokeboxes but in the case of the 700 class also raised the pitch of the boilers, by some 9 inches, extended the frames and a new taller cab, and in such a case would not only require a totally new body tooling but would effect the chassis design as well, which even with the high pitched boiler of the superheated version produced is already very tight for space for the motor a gearbox etc. I do note however that that there would be possibly 4 or 5 members of each class that could legitimately be produced in late LSWR livery in the superheated form from the existing tooling, if Hornby felt the the market was there for them.

I hope this post goes a little way to further explain the issues and complexities of producing Ready To Run models and that sometimes it is neither practical or cost effective to be able to please all modellers all of the time. I am pretty sure that none of us want to return to the days of putting any livery on any model regardless of any historical accuracy!

 

 

 

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As regular readers of my blog will I know I often assist a number of the model manufacturers and commissioners with support, advice and research in conjunction to models that they are in the process of developing. This post is a ‘comment piece’ and my own opinions on aspects of the process to producing a Ready-To-Run (RTR) model and I apologise in advanced for it ending up a little longer than I initially intended…

My own involvement varies from sometimes providing the initial idea, research and concepts, providing information from my own collection of drawings, documents and other reference material, checking drawings / CADs and perhaps checking livery samples etc. My involvement also varies depending on the manufacturer or commissioner involved as each has their own resources either full time employed, sub contract (sometimes off shore) or part time as they endeavour to run their own business.

I am not always at liberty or indeed willing to divulge or publish such intent, discussions, details and or CADs etc. as this is often of course commercially sensitive information; also with some manufacturers I have formal non-disclosure agreements in place.

This is not a full time occupation for me as I as I have a full time proper job and so is carried out in what little spare time I have. I should also make it clear that I do not get directly paid for my involvement, as my main interest is support the production of Southern Railway / Region related models (even in scales in which I have no direct interest), however my involvement does sometimes lead to a benefit in kind to which I am of course grateful.

Often I will speak to others whom I know and trust, that are experts in a particular field, or put them in direct contact with the manufacturer concerned, to obtain further information and advice. Others often assist with constructive comments and advice once a project in the public domain and on the whole this is welcome.
Sometimes however certain individuals decide to be: less than constructive, cryptic, verging on the rude and insulting; and often this has led to them being ignored or even blocked from communicating (including by a number of the manufacturers / commissioners), as their sometimes combative style does not encourage further dialogue (which is often a shame as their direct input could perhaps be useful if they were prepared to be involved on sensible and civil terms), although in some cases this does not stop them from trying to voice their often cryptic opinions elsewhere.

The overall process includes some or all of these steps, all within the constraints of scale, gauge and mass production techniques, of which I may or may not be involved in one or more:
Initial research » concepts / proposal for costings » additional research » collation of available information » laser scanning of any available prototype »
initial basic design of the model (such as chassis, PCBs etc.) »
production of full design and CADs – 3D printed samples (to check initial designs for fit etc.) »
tooling » Engineering Prototype(s) (EPs) – tooling changes / modifications / corrections »
2nd or more EPs » testing » livery artwork » livery samples » packaging design »
production » and finally of course sale to the general public.

Manufacturers and commissioners must be expected at the end of the day make a return on the not insignificant investment. This hopefully will then encourage more such investment in the future.

Differences, sometimes mistakes, can occasionally creep into the process due to a number of reasons such as:
Changes and/or variations in the prototype from available drawings, mistakes in available drawings, alterations made during lifetime and also preservation (which needs to be noted when scanning is used), and/or variations within the same prototype(s) even with only a small number of original prototypes, and during different periods in their life. 
All of which have to be accounted for and sometimes compromises will have to be made to make producing a model costs effective. The collaborative approach hopefully limits the number of these items that go unnoticed or misinterpreted by any one individual.

This process can take anytime between 18 months or so to even four or more years depending on the particular manufacturer / commissioner concerned, the available resources (either in house or sub-contract, full or part time), the information available and/or due to unforeseen circumstances that can sometimes crop up along the way.

Whilst I agree that often the process does appear to take too long this is sometimes beyond the control of the manufacturer for a variety of reasons, some of which have been well documented over the last 5 years or so. In some case s however such intent to produce a certain model can be seen to be announced to early, although often a market force at the time dictates such a decision whether right or wrong. Such a stake in the ground, as we have seen in the last 12 months or so,  does not of course prevent possible duplication, especially where one party is already well down the development process detailed above. Any form of behind the scenes collusion between manufacturers would of course be illegal as being a restrictive practice under completion law. I would however prefer such announcements to be made in a timely manner when the initial work undertaken is at such a place to backed up with a realistic delivery intent.

I hope this comment piece gives an indication of the processes involved in getting a RTR model to market and long may we continue to see Southern related models being produced as accurately as possible. I certainly believe that it is a positive step taken by many of the manufacturers and commissioners over the last few to involve members of the wider modelling community. We cannot expect all those involved at such companies to be experts in everything, especially the larger manufactures that are producing a range of RTR models over a wide range genres and eras. I therefore maintain that the constructive involvement of any subject experts in the wider community should be a benefit to us all.

I realise that some of the content of this comment piece, and it just that, a comment piece and my own opinion and views, might not be welcome in some quarters but if the cap fits…

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Danish manufacturer Heljan have made a new year announcement that they are to produce a Class 07 Diesel electric shunter in 00 gauge with a release anticipated in 2017.

Introduced in 1962 this class of 14 locomotives was designed specifically for use in the Southampton Docks complex, replacing the SR USA class of 0-6-0T steam locomotives (which are being produced as Model Rail magazine commission by Bachmann). The locomotives were a modified version of a standard Ruston and Hornsby design. They had a wheelbase of only 8′ 7½” and were powered by a Paxman 6RPHL Mk III six-cylinder diesel engine, rated at 275 hp at 1,360 rpm., compared with 11′ 6″ in for the larger 350hp English Electric powered 08 class, which made them ideally suited for use within the docks and its associated tightly curved trackwork.

Class 07 number 07012 in its later BR blue guise. Picture courtesy of Heljan

Class 07 number 07012 in its later BR blue guise. Picture courtesy of Heljan

They were originally numbered D2985 – D2998 and became 07001 to 07014 under the TOPS numbering scheme. Initially, the locomotives were finished in dark green livery and carried British Railways badges of the type use on coaching stock. All were later painted in the standard BR blue.

With the decline of traffic within the docks the class was re-assigned to duties in the Eastleigh area before withdrawal, that commenced in 1973 with many finding work with a number of industrial companies, including 07009 that ended up in Italy. Six examples are preserved.

Two versions will be produced reflecting ‘as-built’ condition and later modified locos with waist height air brake connections.

Rumours of Heljan producing this model have been around for a while now so it is nice to have it finally confirmed. Heljan have made a bit of a niche for themselves producing some of the smaller and slightly obscure classes of locomotives and this is a welcome addition to the range.  Further details of liveries and numbers etc. will be announced as the project develops.

With Dapol having announced the ex LSWR Adams B4 0-4-0 tanks and the SR USA tanks already mentioned above, the Class 07 completes yet another era of Southampton Dock locomotives that will be available in 4mm scale.

[Edit 30/11/16] The versions being initially produced are as follows:
Version 1 non-air braked
2900  D2985 BR Green
2901  D2990 BR Green
2902  D2992 BR Blue
2903  07010  BR Blue

Version 2 air-braked (extra cabinet, air receiver compartment and air pipes (high level)
2910  2993  BR Blue
2911  07005 BR Blue
2912 (07001) Peakstone yellow
2913 (07003) British Industrial Sand white

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In previous years the model of the year poll was jointly run between RMweb, Model Rail Magazine and the online MREmag.com. This year Model Rail Magazine have decided to run their own awards and so the established process and poll will now be promoted on RMweb, through British Railways Modelling Magazine and on the online MREmag.com as the British Model Railway Awards.

As well as giving you the chance to vote for your favourite models and manufacturers of the year as before, the categories have been broadened to celebrate excellence and innovation in the wider British model railway scene. New awards cover retailers, websites, exhibitions and layouts, acknowledging the huge contributions they make to our hobby.

The voting is now open, running from Saturday 26th December to Saturday 9th January and the results will be published at the end of January to tie in with the magazine sale dates.

There have of course been a number of Southern / Southern Region related models released during 2015 so I urge you to support the production of these models by choosing your best in the relevant category and voting accordingly. These Southern models are as follows:

N Gauge:

00 Gauge

0 Gauge

  • Dapol A1x ‘Terrier’ 0-6-0T

I am also very humbled to see that this little corner of the blogosphere of mine has been nominated within the website of the year category, so and this is a bit of a, well a big, shameless plug, please feel free to vote for it, if you have enjoyed my ramblings over the last twelve months.

Regular readers will also know that I am member of the High Wycoombe and District Model Railway Society and our annual Wycrail exhibition is one of those that has been nominated in the Exhibition of the year category, so again if you attended it, enjoyed it and think it deserves your vote…

Please make sure you vote counts to support the Southern / Southern Region models that have been produced by voting here before the 9th January. 

Here endeth the shameless plug….

 

 

 

 

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