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Model Rail Magazine have announced via their August 2019 issue, No. 263, that they have commissioned Danish manufacturer Heljan to produce the Class 12, 350hp diesel 0-6-0 shunters along the with the War Department, LMS / GWR Class 11 versions. Twenty six of the shunters, with English Electric 350hp engines, that became Class 12 were ordered by the Southern Railway before nationalisation but were first built at Ashford in 1949 and the order completed by 1952.

Class 12 350hp shunter, No. 15211 in orginal black livery

Numbered 15211-36, the Class 12 locomotives, looked very similar to the later numerous Class 08 and Class 09  and the earlier Class 11 350hp 0-6-0 shunters but had larger 4ft 6in diameter “Bulleid-Firth Brown” type wheels, the same size as used by Maunsell on his three 1937 shunters) as opposed to the 4ft 2in, normally spoked variety used on the others (Note not called ‘Boxpox’ as per the original North American style, as often incorrectly used for the Bulleid-Firth Brown type, including within the Model Rail magazine article announcing these models).

The Model Rail Class 12 version will include Bulleid-Firth Brown style wheels and the additional lamp irons / marker lights, however due to tooling limitations it may mean it will not be possible to include some of the smaller detail differences between the Class 11 and Class 12. All models will include a NEXT 18 DCC decoder socket, working head and tail lights, a stay alive capacitor and a factory fitted ‘sugar-cube’ speaker.

The Class 11s being produced first are not expected until Q1 2022 with 15 liveries available and the Class 12s the following year Q1 2023 with 5 versions available, all livery versions are limited to 300 pieces.

Class 11

  • MR-501: WD green, 70271
  • MR-502: Longmoor Military Railway blue, 878 Basra
  • MR-503: LMS pre-war black, 7120
  • MR-504: LMS post-war black, 7128
  • MR-505: BR black, British Railways lettering, 12043
  • MR-506: WR green, British Railways lettering, 15106
  • MR-507: BR black, early emblem, 12049
  • MR-508: BR black, early emblem (weathered), 12075
  • MR-509: BR plain green, late crest, 12105
  • MR-510: BR green, wasp stripes, 12100
  • MR-511: BR green, wasp stripes, 15105
  • MR-512: BR blue, D12062
  • MR-513: BR blue (weathered), 12052
  • MR-514: ICI grey/orange, Joule
  • MR-515: NCB orange, 12099

Class 12 (with larger 4ft 6in diameter “Bulleid-Firth Brown” type wheels)

  • MR-601: BR black, 15223
  • MR-602: BR black, early emblem, 15235
  • MR-603: BR green, wasp stripes, 15224
  • MR-604: BR green, wasp stripes (weathered), 15221
  • MR-605: BR blue, 15212

They will be eventually available to pre-ordered via the Model Rail webiste http://www.modelrailoffers.co.uk/ in due course.

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The topic of Bulleid coaches has come to the fore again via a number of mediums. Firstly; the new Graham Farish Bulleid coaches in 2mm N gauge have hit the shops, a good review of them by Nigel Burkin can be found on the Model Railways Live website here. Secondly; current Model Rail magazine editor Ben Jones included a bit of crystal ball gazing in his editorial within the magazines Winter issue No. 191 mentioning that an upgrade of the now long in the tooth Bachmann 4mm Bulleid coaches as a possibility for being announced this year, on the basis of the additional research having been carried out for the all new Graham Farish versions.

The original Bachmann 4mm  Bulleid coaches  were first introduced back in 1993 and were before the level of detail on the subsequently introduced BR Mk1 coaches such as close coupling, flush glazing, separate water tank filer pipes / end handrails and finer underframe detail, it does leaves the Bulleid range slightly lacking.  Further information on these models can be found on the page I wrote on the Southern Email Group website here.

Both the new Graham Farish and old Bachmann Bulleid coaches are based on the BR 1950’s built versions reflecting the type of underframe detail and the most obvious feature of the BR Built examples the 15″ deep window vents as opposed to the Southern Built versions with 10″ deep vents.

My modelling time frame of 1946 to 1949  therefore excludes the Bachmann versions so I have had to look elsewhere for the coaches in my fleet.

Coach coach multidoor set no. 984

3  coach multidoor set no. 984

First up is 3 coach set no. 984 comprising of Bulleid 63ft Multidoor stock (i.e. a door for each compartment)  first introduced in early 1946 built from the now unfortunately unavailable Southern Pride kits. This type of kit comprises of a pre printed colour overlay on a clear shell giving a near flush glaze effect. I have two of these three coach rakes although I do feel their version of malachite to be slightly on the bright green side of the spectrum. Although the Bulleid kits are no longer available from Southern Pride they are still a valuable source of coach detailing parts.

2 coach set no.63

2 coach set no.63

Following on from the multidoor stock, later in 1946, Bulleid introduced a new design layout with compartments no longer having individual doors and access being via the corridors and vestibules . These as explained above had 10″ deep ventilators which easily identifies them from the later BR built versions. Illustrated left is 2 coach set no.63,  built from Southern Railway Group’s Phoenix (ex BSL) range of aluminum bodied kits, comprising of Semi open brake 3rd No. 4371 (kit reference SC50) and Brake Composite No. 6700 (SC51)

3 Coach set no. 771

3 Coach set no. 771

My Set no. 771 also built from SRG Phoenix kits comprises of Semi open brake 3rd No. 4303 (SC50), Corridor Composite No. 5752 (SC52) and Semi open brake 3rd No. 4304 (SC50) This is usually coupled to Set 63 when on Fisherton Sarum. Like the prototype I use buckeye couplings between my coaches in their rakes and screw couplings at the outer ends.

I confess to having built these some years ago now and they do still lack some further detailing such as door hinges and handles etc. that some day I will go back to and fit, but as when running on Fisherton Sarum they are viewed from the 6th away it does not get noticed (I now await the first person to make a comment at the next about it…). There are a few other variants of Bulleid coaches and some of these will be the subject of further posts as I have one of Bulleid’s first 3 coach multidoor sets on the workbench that were built on Maunsell style 59ft underframes.

I can not say at this point if Bachmann will update their 4mm Bulleid coaches or not but If they do my guess is that they will still, as per the Graham Farish range, be the later 1950 BR built versions.

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Bachmann Europe Plc today, 31st August, have announced the addition to their range of an 00 scale ex London Brighton and South Coast Atlantic H2 Class 4-4-2

The announcement was made at their annual Bachmann Collectors Club members day that co-incidentally was taking place at the Bluebell Railway.

The new model will be released as:
31-921 – 32424 “Beachy Head” BR Black Early Emblem
31-920 – 2426 ‘St. Albans Head” SR Olive Green

Although none are preserved a replica of Beachy Head is currently being built on the Bluebell Railway.

Edit: just clarify this will be a general release anticipated to be available during 2015. Only the two liveries have been announced but maybe others will follow in due course.

In other news Model Rail magazine have today announced that their USA tank will now be produced by Bachmann rather than Dapol.

Further details will be posted later once I have returned from the event and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bachmann and the Bluebell Railway for the hospitality provided to myself and fellow members of the media, retailers and collectors club members that have attended. The day has included guided tours of the Wagon & Carriage Works, Locomotive Workshops and of course the Atlantic House workshop to see the progress being made on the replica, along with train travel along the entire line including the new Northern extension to East Grinstead aboard heritage rolling stock chartered by Bachmann.

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