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Bachmann first announced the introduction of these ex South Eastern and Chatham Railway 60ft Birdcage coaches back in March 2013. Has it been worth the wait? Although at the time of writing only the BR Crimson versions are due this month, I have to say, yes very much so. The review is is a version of one I have written for British Railway Modelling magazine the electronic version of which is published today with printed copies to be available next week.

These 60ft three coach ‘birdcage’ sets were introduced by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SE&CR) between 1912 and 1915; and comprising of 62 sets were the most numerous sets compared to the previous 50ft examples. With the birdcage lookouts over each of the guards compartments these sets typify the standard SE&CR non-corridor coaching stock.

The sets comprised originally of:  2nd / 3rd class composite Brake Lavatory (later declassified to Brake Lavatory Third (SR Diagram 162), a 1st / 2nd (later declassified to 1st / 3rd) Lavatory Composite (SR Diagram 315/6)  and the Brake Third (SR Diagram 160), The Composites were built in batches with two distinct body side variations, with the initial batch having two wide windows on each side for the saloon, whilst the later batch had one wide and one narrow window for the saloon; Bachmann have tooled for both versions. The Southern Railway renumbered both the individual coach and set numbers between 1923 and 1929.

39-602 ex SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake Lavatory, No. 5468 Set 595

The initial Bachmann releases are as follows:

39-600 SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake Composite SE&CR Dark Lake, No.1174 Set 138
39-610 SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Composite SE&CR Dark Lake, No. 1178  Set 138
39-620 SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd SE&CR Dark Lake, No. 1182  Set 138

39-611 ex SECR 60’ Birdcage Composite, No. 5423 Set 613

39-601 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake Lavatory SR Olive Green, No. 3518  Set 613
39-611 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Composite  SR Olive Green, No. 5423 Set 613 (Two wide saloon window style)
39-621 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd SR Olive Green, No. 3446  Set 613

39-622 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd, No. 3428 Set 595

39-602 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake Lavatory BR Crimson, No. 5468 Set 595
39-612 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Composite BR Crimson, No. 5468 Set 595
39-622 ex SE&CR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd BR Crimson, No. 3428 Set 595

The SR versions are due to follow in October / November with the SE&CR versions November / December.

A view of the ends including separately applied lamp irons and brake control apparatus on the brake ends and showing the ‘birdcage’ lookouts

Separately applied fittings include the roof vents, vacuum pipes, handrails and grab handles. The brake ends also have separately applied lamp irons and brake control apparatus. The glazing is commendably flush and the window corner radii, especially in the drop lights are very nicely prototypically small. A representation of the internal window bars is included on the luggage compartment door window glazing.

The moulded interior and painted seating, and also showing the position of the body fixing clips.

The body is removed via easing the four clips located on each side to reveal a moulded interior with partitions, table in the saloon and even lavatories (where appropriate) and the seating painted in respective colours.

The fine underframe details with four sets of truss rods

The underframe detailing is exquisite with finely mounded brake details, 4 sets of very finely moulded queen post truss rodding and even the turnbuckles. The buffers are separate moulded items and not sprung.
Dynamos and battery boxes are fitted only to the the SE&CR composite, and on the SR / BR versions the Composite and the Brake Third as the electric lighting was through cabled to the other coaches in the set.

The separately fitted items and finely moulded 8ft Heavy Fox bogies can clearly be seen.

The all new well detailed 8ft Heavy Fox coil spring bolster bogies fitted with metal wheels sets and pin point axles running in metal bearings are very freewheeling. Detachable couplings in NEM pockets are mounted on the now standard close coupling mechanism.

The underside of the 8ft Heavy Fox bogies showing the electrical pickups incorporated

The resulting gap (4mm on the straight) between coaches could still benefit from being reduced slightly with perhaps an alternative to the supplied tension lock coupling (I test fitted Kadee No.18s, although of course the prototypes were not buckeye fitted, and this reduced the gap to 2mm) if your minimum radii allows. The coaches when test ran, run very smoothly both hauled and propelled though a complex range of pointwork.

No internal lighting is fitted but each bogie includes wiper pickups so this might be a potential option in the future.

Depending on the lighting that the coaches are viewed under the rendition of the crimson livery might appear to some to be slightly on the dark side, although it does match previous ready to crimson releases in that respect. The  initial SE&CR Dark Lake livery sample as previously shown by Bachmann has been commented on as being too brown and Bachmann I believe are currently looking at revising this to give a deeper red colour.

Please note: all the images on this post are copyright and courtesy of A York and BRM Magazine.

 

The complete set 595

Bachmann have been given assistance in the research and preparation of these excellent models by friend Trevor Rapley the owner of,  albeit one of the earlier 50ft version, birdcage Brake lavatory Composites preserved on the Bluebell Railway and the results speak for themselves (although I am sure someone will moan cryptically due to finding maybe a rivet slightly in the wrong place). The introduction of these sets with their distinct character, being of pre-grouping origin, that were long lived and little modified during their lifetime; along with recent and planned (check back on here after midday on Monday 11th for a further announcement) South Eastern & Chatham Railway / Eastern Section Southern Railway locomotives; will ensure that these excellent coaches prove popular.

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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 on those items of a Southern / Southern Region interest. As in previous years at this Media day no new product  announcements were made. All images on this post are copyright and courtesy of Andy York / BRM and or Bachmann Europe.

Firstly, in 00 gauge the relevant SR updates from Bachmann are as follows:

The impressive SECR livery sample of the 60′ birdcage stock

Since the London festival of model railways where I reported on the ex South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) 60′ Birdcage stock BR Crimson livery sample being shown, the livery samples for the SECR

The SECR 60′ composite livery sample

and SR Olive Green versions have now been received and signed off. I have to say the decoration and lining look extremely fine and

The other SECR brake 3rd livery sample

well done. The SECR dark lake version in particular is very impressive and must be a first  such accurate and highly detailed ready to run rolling stock for the pre-grouping era . Delivery is expected in September.

SR livery sample of the ex SECR 60′ Birdcage stock

The first releases will comprise of the following:
39-600 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake Composite SECR Dark Lake

SR Composite livery sample

39-601 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake Composite SR Olive Green
39-602 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake Composite BR Vermillion
39-610 SECR 60’ Birdcage Composite SECR Dark Lake
39-611 SECR 60’ Birdcage Composite SR Olive Green

ex SECR Brake 3rd in SR livery

39-612 SECR 60’ Birdcage Composite BR Vermillion
39-620 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd SECR Dark Lake
39-621 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd SR Olive Green
39-622 SECR 60’ Birdcage Brake 3rd BR Vermillion

Bachmann H2 Class CADs

The ex London Brighton and South Coast H2 class Marsh Atlantic 4-4-2 announced in September 2013  is being delayed by another 3 months as an issue with the curvature of the rear splashers was identified and a decision made to address that so it is likely to be around February/March 2018 when they are finally released. The CAD drawings can be seen left.
Two versions are due for initial release:
31-921 – 32424 “Beachy Head” BR Black Early Emblem
31-920 – 2426 ‘St. Albans Head” SR Olive Green

Bachmann Ransomes and Rapier 45T steam crane CADS

Bachmann first announced the 45T Ransomes and Rapier steam crane in March 2015. They were introduced by a number of railway companies, including the Southern Railway, during the war and some lasted into the 1980s.

A further CAD view of the 45T steam crane

The impressive CAD artwork is shown left, not all the gear wheels will work but some items such as the outriggers will be positionable.
Initially they are producing four versions:
38-800 SR livery,
38-801 GWR Livery
38-802 BR black livery
38-803 BR red livery

Lastly from a Graham Farish  perspective there is an update on the N gauge version of the ex SECR 60ft Birdcage stock and also the ex SECR C class 0-6-0.

Graham Farish C Class 0-6-0 CADS

Firstly the ex SECR C Class 0-6-0 that was announced in January this year is now at the CAD stage as per the image left. The model will feature a NEXT 18 DCC decoder socket, coreless motor, loco drive, fine cab detail and NEM couplers, the initial release will comprise of:
372-775 C Class 0-6-0 No. 271 in SECR plain green livery
372-776 C Class 0-6-0 No. 1256 Southern Railway Black livery
372-777 C Class 0-6-0 No. 31227 in BR Black livery with early emblem

Graham Farish EP of the N Gauge 60′ Birdcage stock

The first EP samples of the 60′ Birdcage stock were on show, they were first announced in July 2014,  and these are likely to be available in the second quarter of 2018. The initial releases will be sold as three coach sets, as follows:
374-910  60′ Birdcage Stock – 3-Pack – SECR Wellington Brown
374-911  60′ Birdcage Stock – 3-Pack – SR Olive Green
374-912 60′ Birdcage Stock – 3-Pack – BR Vermillion

Good to see further progress being made on the above items. As any additional information comes to light I will post accordingly.

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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.

 

 

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Announced as part of their range for 2016 this time last year the SR cattle trucks (technically correctly termed as being trucks being a sub set of wagons) have arrived in the last week or so from Hornby and certainly raises the bar again for rolling stock.

Diagram 1529 ex SR Cattle Truck in BR livery

Diagram 1529 ex SR Maunsell Cattle Truck in BR livery

Hornby have produced two different diagrams of SR truck. The first is a Maunsell version to Diagram 1529. Introduced in 1930 a total of 299 cattle trucks to this diagram were built to essentially the same design as the the previous SR built trucks (Diagram 1515)  except being on a steel on a 10’6″ rather than wood underframe, that were themselves derived from an existing pre-groupling ex SECR design. The final batch of 100 cattle trucks to this Diagram were introduced in 1939.
The two versions of the Diagram 1529 cattle truck released by Hornby, both in BR livery, are as follows: R6737, with running number S53732 and R6737A, with running number S53691.

Diagram 1530 Bullied Cattle truck in SR livery

Diagram 1530 SR Bullied Cattle truck in SR livery

The second is the later Bulleid version introduced in 1947 to diagram 1530. These trucks differed in construction with the end planks being replaced by plywood, reinforced on the inside by metal (I believe, in typical SR not throwing anything away style, from the metal left over when Bulleid carriage windows were stamped out from the sides).

Dia 1530, higher view, showing the aluminium roof panels

Dia 1530, higher view, showing the aluminium roof panels

The roof boards were also aluminum sheets rather than wooden. Finally the brake gear was modified to give compensated and equalised brake forces on all brake blocks and also the handbrake was lever moved to the end of the wagon to assist when shunting as it meant the lever was less likely to get covered in  deposits from the wagon inhabitants, I will leave you to guess what I mean. Although due to their introduction date the SR livery would be thought of as being very short lived the fact that such trucks would not be repainted often they survived in this livery for a number of years, sometimes with just the SR on the sides and the ‘R’ of the ‘SR’ on the ends being removed.
The two versions released by Hornby, of the Diagram 1530 cattle truck both in SR small lettered livery, are as follows: R6735 with running number 52478 and R6735A with running number 52503.

Underframe comparisons Dia 1529 top & Dia 1530 bottom

Underframe comparisons Dia 1529 top & Dia 1530 bottom

I will pretty much let the pictures on this post do the talking as Hornby have captured these cattle trucks exceptionally well and I know they have been ably assisted by friend and Southern Coaching and Wagon stock guru Mike King. Hornby’s attention to detail shines through including all the, sometimes subtle, differences between the two Diagrams such as:  body ends, brake gear, brake handles, vacuum pipes, roof construction, tie bars (Diagram 1529 only) even down to the correct split spoked wheels (a first for Hornby I believe) on the Diagram 1529 and disc wheels on the Diagram 1530 trucks. My only one question is the colour of the floor and curb rail on the SR version as this appears to be bauxite in colour, perhaps they are trying to represent varnished wood but either way I do not think this is correct (I will be touching mine up with SR brown prior to weathering).

Hornby SR Cattle trucks Diad 1529 and Dia 1530

Hornby SR Cattle trucks Dia 1530 (L) and Dia 1529 (R)

Many have commented that the livery choice of BR livery for both the Maunsell Diagram 1529 trucks and the short lived Southern livery for both the Bulleid Diagram 1530 wagons was perhaps a little odd and it would have made more sense to either do one livery version of each or the Maunsell version being the SR livery version (with either pre or post 1936 styles possible i.e. large SR lettering or small SR lettering).

Cattle trucks Dia 1530 and Dia 1529

Hornby Cattle trucks Dia 1530 (L) and Dia 1529 (R)

Although I agree that perhaps this would have been preferable, I can also understand that the way things are manufactured these days it puts possible constraints on multiple livery variations for one given manufacturing run bar a simple change of number. I am sure that other livery variations will be announced in due course, even though I intend to back date to SR liveries, a mix of large and small lettered style, my Diagram 1529 trucks.

Overall Hornby should be commended for these two cattle trucks. I am sure many, not just those modelling the SR or BR(s), will be adding a few to their fleets.

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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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Baggage trucks has been used on South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) and subsequently Southern, Continental boat-train services but these original 6 wheel vehicles ceased being used at the onset of World War 2. When boat-train services resumed in 1946 simple goods stock ‘Conflat D’ wagons were initially used until it was decided by the Southern Region in April 1950 that the Golden Arrow service required two specific baggage trucks once again. Two good wagons (Nos 39582 & 39614)  were duly converted, painted in passenger crimson lake (side rails only), renumbered S4207/8 and could be seen loaded for four SNCF boxes. They were given the British Railways operating code of Carriage Truck – Open (CTO). The livery changed to green in June 1956 and they lasted until February 1961 when they regained their original goods stock running numbers and livery.

Marc Models Golden Arrow Baggage Truck

Marc Models Golden Arrow Baggage Truck – CTO

My friends at Marc Models are in the process of producing an etched kit for these two baggage trucks, including their boxes and although slightly outside own modelling period I have been privileged to have been give one of the test samples to have a look over.  As with all Marc Models  products (see my Talking Stock #5 post about the Cinema Coach and Inspection Saloon models from their stable here) the quality is exceptionally high, and dimensionally accurately matches the drawing available, figure 22, in Mike King’s An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons, Volume 4 (OPC, 2002) and available pictures. The inset floor etch currently slightly too narrow but this is known to Mike Radford of Marc Models (and indeed the issue was advised to me by Mike) and is being corrected, which is of course the purpose of such a test etch and assembly, the brake handle is also currently missing.

A higher view of the Marc Models CTO showing the lifting eye detail on each of the containers

A higher view of the Marc Models CTO showing the lifting eye detail on each of the containers

The details are of a high level and include the various chain anchor points to hold the boxes down along with, as you would expect, all the fine underframe details and brake rigging. The boxes themselves are exceptionally fine including their vents, doors complete with mesh panels, end ladders and handrails giving access to the lifting eye included on the roofs. The lifting eyes has been the subject of some discussion and doubters but Marc Models do have photographic evidence, which I have seen, showing the eyes as they have be reproduced here in miniature.

This kit, once released by Marc Models, will be invaluable to anyone trying the model the correct Golden Arrow formation between mid 1950 and February 1961.

 

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The humble brake van was an every part of the railway scene up until the advent of continuous brakes for most freight stock in the early 1970’s.  They initially served two purposes: to provide additional braking for ‘unfitted’ goods trains and of course somewhere for the guard to travel; later vans were also ‘fitted’ for working on such vacuum brake fitted formations. They were a weighted wagon equipped with a hand internally operable brake acting on all wheels they ranged from the 4 or 6 wheel type to sometimes 8 wheels and also bogie types. The ‘fitter’ versions having vacuum cylinders and able to operate the brakes on the fitted stock that make up the train (some vans were simply through piped to allow continuity of the braking system without being able to actually operate it, in such such cases just the hand brake was available for use.

The guard’s accommodation often included one or two verandas, or closed ends with windows and many also incorporated side lookouts or duckets to allow a guard to look forwards along the side of the train.

This post follows on from the announcement by Kernow models of their ready to run version of the ex LSWR 10T Road van to diagram 1541 and will look at a few kit built examples of brake vans that can be found running on Fisherton Sarum.

Dia 1545 Road Van

Dia 1545 Road Van

The ex LSWR 10T road van mentioned above was known as a road van as in addition to the guard’s accommodation and single veranda it has side opening doors on each side and the van could also be used the carrying of goods. This van is currently available in resin kit form from The Smallbrook Studio.  To the left can be be seen my model of the  20T Diagram 1545 Road Van also a resin kit form from The Smallbrook Studio. As well as being heavier that the Diagram 1541 road van  they were also larger, had a veranda at both ends and side duckets.

Dia 1543 Van, still requires completion of transfers and matt varnish before being complete

Dia 1543 ex LSWR 20T Brake Van, still requires completion of transfers and matt varnish before being finished

Staying with the LSWR seen left is my model  20T brake van to diagram 1543. This is built from a Jedenco / Falcon Brass  etched brass kit. 75 of this this type of van were built between 1915 and 1921.  They were known to staff as ‘new vans’ a name which they kept well into the 1950’s!

Dia 1748 ex SECR Ballast Plough

Dia 1748 ex SECR Ballast Plough Brake Van

Moving further east, I have a couple of ex SECR brake vans firstly is one that is perfectly at home on the ex LSWR metals as it is ex SECR 20T Ballast Plough brake van, diagram 1748, in the civil engineers fleet. The first lone prototype was built in 1914 with 3 more being built by the SR in 1932, a further 8 with slight detail differences were built in 1949.  In addition to the brakes it also had ploughs to rake freshly applied ballast from hoppers in the same train. These ploughs could be raised or lowered as required from inside the van. This particular model, also built from a Jedenco etched brass kit, has already featured on these pages here along with its companion rake of 40t Ballast hoppers.

Dia 1559 ex SECR 'Dancehall' Brake Van, yes must properly fix that handrail!

Dia 1559 ex SECR ‘Dancehall’ Brake Van, yes must properly fix that handrail!

Finally for this post we see an ex SECR ‘Dancehall’ 25T brake van to Diagram 1559 First introduced in 1921., The SR built a further batch between 1923 and 1927 but these had deeper 15” instead of 12” channel underframes and were given the diagram number 1560. These vans gained the nickname ‘Dancehall’ due to the large amount of space inside them. They were long lived vans surviving, albeit modified, in departmental use right up until the 1970’s. This is built from a Cambrian Models plastic kit. 

There are of of course other SR related kits and ready to run brake vans available and some of these may well feature in future posts, although my review of the Bachmann RTR 25T ‘Pill box’ brake van can be read here. 

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