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Tower Models O 4575 2-6-2 Tank

Review by Peter Morgan

During the 1930ís a larger tank locomotive was needed to haul small passenger and light goods trains. Collet improved upon the design of the 4500 prairie and enlarged the water tanks to produce the 4575 tank locomotive. 100 of the engines were built at Swindon and did good service right through almost until the end of steam.

Photo © Alan Harris, source Wikipedia

More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GWR_4575_Class

11 have been preserved and continue to haul passenger trains on tourist lines across great Britain.

The tower brass model comes in the same very sturdy box as the saddle tank. Its obvious that they really sat down and thought about how the tower brass models were going to be packaged. They are not easy to remove from their boxes (especially when you have only borrowed the model and you are very anxious not to get fingerprints on the bare brass!)

Once you have finally broken through the packaging you are presented with the perfect stereotypical GWR prairie.

A quick glance at the only drawing I could find revels no errors dimensionally and all of the detail and castings are very crisp.

Starting at the front, the loco seems perfectly proportioned. In true Swindon style!

There is a stunning amount of detail crammed into a very small space at the front of this loco. I had always regarded this as one of the easier locoís to build a kit of but seeing this model it makes you realise just how much work went into both the model and the prototype.

My only real criticism of this model is the smoke box saddle. I have been looking at pictures of the real thing and the one on the model just doesnít look heavy enough. But it could be an optical illusion. On the pictures I have it seems like a very chunky component and the etched brass hasnít really done it justice.

But someone would need to be very picky to notice that. And once its painted I seriously doubt it would be noticeable.

There are no extra fittings to go on this model. It was a standard locomotive in practice and the model is just as standard. I believe some of the prototypes were auto fitted but I think it would be quite a conversion job!

The tank sides are fully riveted and judging by the picture I have, every one is present!

Moving on to the cab, there is a fully detailed backhead in there. A real snakes nest of pipework!
I did my best to show the backhead in the pictures but it was no use. I really must figure out how to take a pic through a cab side.

On the back of the locomotive, everything is beautifully represented. Eash bar across the wondow is a separate part, and the Swindon lamp irons are perfectly reproduced. There is a bit of a seam down either side of the bunker but I am sure it would disappear under the paint.

Handling these locomotives is a real pleasure. The sand blasted finish looks so professional. I wish I was allowed to get my airbrush out but alas it was only a loan for this review!


This locomotive is available from SMR & Concept.

- April 2009


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