Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘British Railway Modelling magazine’

Delivered via its current day namesake, my Hornby 21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ arrived this week. It is gratifying to see a project that I have in a small part been involved with for nearly two years come to fruition. I have already posted on this blog a few times about the Merchant Navy classes, in connection with the prototype, my kit built examples, progress of the Hornby versions since their announcement in 2015 and also the variations possible from the first releases. Click here to see a list of such posts.

Hornby 21C3 with the detailing items added and the nameplates replaced with Fox Transfers etched versions

So far the first two have arrived in the guise of R3434 21C1 ‘Channel Packet’ and R3435 21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ with the other two BR liveried versions of the first releases due in the next couple of months. This post is not a full review as such but aims to discuss some of the features of the model, although I hope the pictures (and thanks to Andy York and BRM magazine for some of the images on this post) speak more than my words.  Ultimately tooling will be such that the majority of the number of the variations / modifications of the Merchant Navy class in their original form can be produced, but of course it will be a number of years before all will be seen.

An X-ray style view showing inside the body (picture courtesy and copyright A York /BRM)

Starting with the chassis and drive, a large 5 pole motor and brass flywheel drives the rear axle via a gear tower and provided very smooth and powerful running and impressive haulage  as I have witnessed on the High Wycombe and District MRS layout Hinton Parva. Electrical pick up is via the driving wheels on the loco and those on the tender, the drawbar between the loco and is of the latest permanently fixed style, with two positions via a screw on the loco, to allow close coupling should your layout curves allow.
The wiring between the loco and tender terminates in the usual Hornby plug and socket, but as the they are permanently coupled there should be no need to repeatedly remove the plug from the socket.

A close up of the chassis, coupling rods, and factory fitted brake rodding on 21C3

The coupling rods are some of the best I have seen on a ready-to-run locomotive, even down the to representation of the lubricating oil filler corks. The Bulleid-Fuirth-Brown wheels are well represented although the metal tyres might look better slightly toned down a little.

A close up of the cab and ashpan of 21C3

The fixed rear pony truck has flangeless wheels as is Hornby’s current way for pacific wheel arrangements allowing for a better representation of the ashpan etc. It may be possible if your curves allow to fit a flanged wheelset if you wish.  The pony truck is also a separate component, held on with a single screw which should allow for Hornby to change between the cast and fabricated versions of the different prototypes in the future.
Thankfully Hornby have decided to factory fit the characteristic brake rodding on both the loco and tender (although some owners have reported that they have had to re glue the rodding at some of the mounting points), the former, was on their past Bulleid models difficult to glue in place due to the small contact area and type of plastic they use.
For those wanting to get under the body it is easily removed by first removing the front bogie, held in place with one screw, and then the two chassis to body screws. The DCC socket and space for a speaker is within the tender, the body of which is simply held on with two screws.

The front end view of 21C3, the larger size of the ‘C’ compared to the numerals is correct to the prototype, noting the Fox Transfers etched roundel I have fitted

The body captures the shape and curves of the original well, being as in her very early condition with ‘widows peak’ cowl above the smokebox there are no smoke deflectors and if being a little critical the front edge of the body side, due to the limitations of the tooling for a mass production model ,are perhaps slightly too thick and I may well look to bevel these from the inside edge slightly to deceive the eye in the area (although part of me is still deciding whether to forward date this model by cutting back the front sides, fitting smoke deflectors and the later top cowl). Looking down the chimney you even see a representation of the locomotives blast pipe, (21C1 also has its unique chimney cover plate modelled in the open position).

The impressive cab detailing and printing (picture courtesy and copyright A York /BRM)

The cab is very well represented, complete with nice representations of the two part cab doors, with great attention detail internally with exceptional printing of the various pipework, handles, gauges and dials. The cab roof, complete with lifting eyes etc., has a separately applied ventilator that can be opened or closed. The side windows are neatly glazed and modelled in the open position (rear pane slide behind the front pane and are complete with the windshield.

The cab roof including the sliding shutter (picture courtesy and copyright A York /BRM)

The nameplates and smokebox door roundel on 21C3 and also the number and tender ‘Southern’ plates on  21c1 (with the roundel correctly being the initial style inverted horseshoe) are separate parts but flat printed rather than having any cast relief such as you would get with etched versions. I have therefore already replaced those on my 21C3 with etched plates from Fox Transfers. For those also wanting etched number plates and Southern plates for 21C1 these are available from C.G.W Nameplates. The nameplates are simply held in place by three spigots one in the middle and one at each end of the ‘Merchant Navy Class’ cross bar lettering and they came away from the model easily using the tip of a modelling scalpel enabling the etched plates to be glued in place directly to the body side. The overall painting, lining, printing of the numbers and ‘Sunshine’ Southern lettering, correctly slightly different between the numbers and the Southern lettering, and the larger ‘C’ as part of the 21C3 number is of Hornby’s  usual high standard.

A view of the other side of 21C3

Included with the loco is an accessory pack that contains a pair of front steps for the loco buffers (which might like the wheel tyres benefit from being toned down from the bright steel) and rear steps for the bufferbeam on the tender, cylinder drain cocks and also steam and vacuum pipes. As with previous Hornby Bulleid pacifics the front steps in particular require glue to affix and is a little tricky, I may well end up replacing these with more robust lost wax castings from RT models, the other items all have positive location holes for fitting. A front tension lock coupling is also included.

Just like when the rebuilt Merchant Navy model was first introduced in 2000 it raised the bar as far as models from Hornby was concerned, I feel that once again the Merchant Navy has been the cause of the bar being set even higher and I am pretty certain that it is no coincidence that it coincides with Paul Isle, whom it has been a pleasure to assist, coming on board at Hornby as head researcher. I look forward to the release of more members of the class and variations in due course, as they are sure to be popular.

 

 

Read Full Post »

The winners of the first British Model Railway Awards for 2016 have been announced today and can be read here.  This year saw a resurgence for Hornby wining not only 00 manufacturer of the year, but also Overall Manufacturer of the year,  helped by within a number of the categories Southern Railway / Region related products winning and or polling highly.

Set 45 comprising of a Dia 418 Brake Composite and and Dia 99 Brake Third

Set 45 comprising of a Dia 418 Brake Composite and and Dia 99 Brake Third

Congratulations to all the winners; and especially Hornby as mentioned above, coming top in a number of the individual categories including: 4mm scale carriage stock award, with their excellent SR Maunsell 58ft ex LSWR rebuilt coaches; and the 00 gauge wagons award with the super SR diagram 1529 / 1530 cattle trucks .

Diagram 1530 Bullied Cattle truck in SR livery

Diagram 1530 Bullied Cattle truck in SR livery

Also polling well was their Class 71 electric locomotive with over 25% of the vote in the 00 Gauge modern traction award; therefore ensuring that the Southern Railway is well represented in the awards, which is always good news. With the Hornby original Merchant Navy and ex SECR H Class 0-4-4T due to the hit retailers this year  in my opinion they will also have a strong contenders for the awards in 2017 as well.

Also well done to the UK Model Shops website for justifiably winning the website of the year award, for the second year in a row, a category in which I was surprised to have been again nominated and came a creditable 5th among a wide range of high quality and informative websites, so many thanks to all who did take the time to vote.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Voting for this years British Model Railways Awards promoted on RMweb and British Railways Modelling Magazine is now live and open for voting until 9th February, with the winners being announced in the Spring edition of British Railways Modelling Magazine and on RMweb.

As well as giving you the chance to vote for your favourite models and manufacturers of the year, the categories also celebrate excellence and innovation in the wider British model railway scene such as websites and exhibitions (see below).

There have of course been a number of Southern / Southern Region related models released during 2016  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

Following a few difficult years Hornby certainly appear to have turned a corner, and with the Cattle trucks to Diagram 1529 and 1530 and the ex LSWR Muansell 58ft non corridor stock alone have provided us Southern modellers with some excellent models (and more are to come in 2017 I assure you) so must be in with a good chance in the 00 manufacturer of the year category this year…

I am also very humbled to see that this little corner of the blogosphere of mine has once again been nominated (it was voted 4th in last years awards) 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 Wycombe and District Model Railway Society and our annual Wycrail exhibition is once again 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…

Also if like me you have received excellent service from a particular retailer such as Kernow Model Rail Centre please also vote accordingly.

Please make sure you vote counts to support the Southern / Southern Region models that have been produced in 2016 by voting here before the 9th February.

Here endeth the shameless plug(s)….

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

This months picture…

N1 No. 1822 heads  past the shed at Fisherton Sarum. The N1 is a conversion from a Bachmann N class. M7 class No. 47 sits in the carriage siding.

N1 No. 1822 heads past the shed at Fisherton Sarum. The N1 is a conversion from a Bachmann N class. M7 class No. 47 sits in the carriage siding.

Read Full Post »

This months picture…

A line up on shed, including Bulleid Light Pacific 21C103 'Plymouth', M7 243, Bulleid Leader 36001, G16 494 and a Beattie well tank 30586

A line up on shed at Fisherton Sarum,  including Bulleid Light Pacific 21C103 ‘Plymouth’, M7 243, Bulleid Leader 36001, G16 494 and a Beattie well tank 30586

Read Full Post »

This coming weekend, 13/14th February,  I will be assisting fellow High Wycombe and District MRS members Alan and Simon Paley with their delightful Pre-Grouping Midland and London North Western Railway layout Loughborough Road at the Festival of British Model Railways organised by Warners (the publishers of BRM magazine and also owners of RMweb). The show, celebrating its 20th anniversary, is being held at Doncaster Exhibition Centre, The Racecourse, Doncaster, DN2 6BB. Loughborough Road will be joining 30 or other layouts in a variety of scales, gauges and genres.

A view of Loughborough Road. Picture courtesy and copyright A York/BRM magazine

A view of Loughborough Road. Picture courtesy and copyright A York/BRM magazine

Alan’s Loughborough Road layout, as I have mentioned on this blog before, is a fictitious location but is based on the premise of the main road running south from Nottingham through West Bridgford to Loughborough. The Midland Railway line linking Kettering/Melton Mowbray/Nottingham runs through West Bridgeford and slightly further East was the London North Western and Great Northern Joint Railway line built to link Market Harborough & Peterborough/Melton Mowbray/Nottingham. There is no evidence that any station was proposed for West Bridgeford but it is not entirely impossible that the good citizens of West Bridgford – in 1900 a thriving and growing suburb – might have ambitiously established a terminus for the Midland Railway with LNWR running powers and all linked into a growing Nottingham suburban railway network.
The layout featured in the July 2015 issue of British Railways Modelling magazine.
It is the first outing of the layout in its slightly longer form, Alan has been beavering away replacing the short centre board with a longer one to enable more sweeping trackwork and the addition of a cattle dock to further increase the operational interest.

I always enjoy assisting Alan and Simon operating Loughborough Road, and additional operator ‘Arduino’ Roger, with its pre-grouping splendour. I can usually be found sat out the front happily shunting the yard and trying to keep up with the running sequence; which I assume has had to change slightly due to the extension to the layout and hopefully correcting the few slight anomalies that were in the old sequence to keep me on my toes. If you are planning to come along to the show, please do say hello. I was last at this show with Fisherton Sarum back in 2012 and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

Read Full Post »

What was previously known as the ‘Model of the Year’ awards have this year been promoted on RMweb, through British Railways Modelling Magazine and on the online MREmag.com as the British Model Railway Awards. As part of the evolution the categories were broadened to celebrate excellence and innovation in the wider British model railway scene. New awards now also cover retailers, websites, exhibitions and layouts, acknowledging the huge contributions they make to our hobby.

The winners of the first British Model Railway Awards for 2015 have been announced today and can be read here.

Kernow Models K2105 number 225 as mainland pull push fitted sits awaiting coaling on Fisherton Sarum

Kernow Models K2105 number 225 as mainland pull push fitted sits awaiting coaling on Fisherton Sarum

Congratulations to all the winners; and in particular the Kernow Model Rail Centre  for winning the best 00 gauge steam locomotive for their  ex London and South Western Railway Adams O2 class 0-4-4T , Graham Farish for winning the N gauge steam locomotive of the year with their original Bulleid Merchant Navy 4-6-2 and also Dapol for winning the best 0 Gauge steam locomotive with their ex London Brighton and South Coast A1 / A1X Terrier 0-6-0T, therefore ensuring that the Southern Railway is well represented in the awards, which is always good news.

Also well done to the UK Model Shops website for justifiably winning the website of the year award, in which I was surprised and honoured for this humble web blog to have been nominated and came 4th, so many thanks to all who did take the time to vote.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: