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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I thought I would share a couple of pics of my kit built B17 streamliner as Hornby have announced they will be producing it. It will be better than this but they may not do the late version with missing side valencing. Also pictured are B2 (modified RTR), J69, E4 and F5 from very old kits plus a resin kit Hunslet on a Flieschmann chassis and the RTR J70 and B12.
 

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· In depth idiot
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The little E4 2-4-0 regularly pops up among requests for RTR models, and with the mechanism of my tres ancien Stephen Poole kit now very worn out, I would purchase one (as I already have with the Hornby J15, superseding another old SP kit build).

Hornby have demonstrated that they can make a very good job of smaller tender locos by using diecast bodies for sufficient traction, and would be my brand of choice for this item. Between the B12/3, D16/3 and J15, and the Oxford N7, the LNER/BR GE section pre-group steam traction design picture is coming on rather well, and that's before we get to exotica like the J70 and B17/5.
 

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Ah but what about J6 and K2 surely have greater appeal?
You and I might think so, but the lack of small mixed traffic and goods GNR tender loco designs to run alongside Doncaster's Grand Parade of Flamboyant Velocity, is a persistent gaping hole which the brand managements successfully ignore.

For any that don't know, the smallest GNR mixed traffic or freight tender loco design available is the (Bachmann) K3 2-6-0, a 6MT, and very welcome though it is, only as constructed in the LNER period. Announced and hopefully appearing this year is the (Heljan) O2 2-8-0, an 8F, in the form as built by the GNR, the LNER constructed versions having appeared in 2014.

Much smaller would be so welcome, the J6 a 3F 0-6-0, and K2 a 4MT 2-6-0, are the so obvious choices, both lasting into the final years of steam working in their respective locations. Modelling the former GNR territory using RTR without these is 'unrepresentative'.

I am not ungrateful for the neat selection of GCR and GER design locos available RTR: small 0-6-0's that were seen on former GNR routes in the BR period, such as the J11 and J15, are particularly valuable in representing the small black engines of pre-group design. But it would be good to have the 'home team' represented...
 

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Would either Bachmann or Hornby be able to use an existing Chassis block for the K2? Not sure of the wheelbase compared to K3 or K1.
Not quite*! But my 'kit-bashed' J6 runs on a Hornby K1 mechanism, correct wheel diameter of 5'2", correct overall coupled wheelbase of 16'3", center wheelset out of position by scale for 3" (1mm) to the rear. Micrometer eyesight needed to spot that!

Information from manufacturers is pretty consistent that the mechanism layout is now a relatively low cost element in model development: they have templates in CAD, enter the wheelbase and other key dimensions, and the required outline mechanism layout is generated for the designer to adjust as required.

Most of the cost is working up all the external visible parts (and if it's a loco that's not black and unlined, the livery and lining).

Doncaster's standardisation for narrow firebox six coupled locos began with the Ramsbottom/Crewe standard of 7'3"+8'3" adopted under Stirling. Ivatt enlarged this to 7'3"+ 9' for his later designs, and Gresley then varied this to 7'6"+ 8'9" for some of his three cylinder designs. So when we come to the GNR/LNER types that lasted to the withdrawal of steam: Thompson B1, B2, Gresley B17, Ivatt/Gresley J6, Gresley J50, Gresley K2, K3*, K4*, Thompson K5, Thompson/Peppercorn K1, Ivatt N1, Gresley N2, Gresley V1/V3.

There's a formatting error in the software randomly deleting asterisks, making garbage of the final paragraph in italics. So I have used colour instead, as the problem doesn't seem correctable.
 

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This is the golden age for kit bashing opportunity: thinking back to the 60s and 70s, just a quarter of the present RTR selection would at that time have left us weeping with gratitude at what this made relatively easily possible.

I am a timetable operator above all else, and the advent of reliable smooth running mechanisms from late 1990s onwards Chinese production, has enabled a good number of mechanism transplants into both kit and RTR bodies, some mine and some for friends. To date I have utilised the following mechanisms:
Bachmann: 56xx, 57xx, Jinty, J11, K3, V1, BR 5MT, TOPS 20, 24, 45, 55
Heljan: class 27, 128
Hornby: A3, K1, 8F, M7, 7P, BR 7MT, 9F, class 30
Oxford: Adams Radial

The other side to this is that almost as fast as I complete a mechanism transplant into a kit or a (usually modified) RTR body, this proves to be the 'rain dance' that causes announcement of a 'current standard' RTR model of the class concerned. Those of mine 'superseded' (or about to be) include Pepp A2, B17, J50, N7, Thompson O1, V2 (twice!) DP1 TOPS 21, 23, 30, 40. For this reason I have been hesitating on an O4/7 from a Bachmann O4 and old Replica B1 body ...

My C12, J6, J39, J52, N2, look likely to put in a few more years yet, while the 'neverwazzas', Gresley G1, P3 2-8-2T and Pepp P4 2-8-2, are sure of long life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Heh Heh, 'rain dance' ;o) I know what you mean, my list of superceded kits/kitbashes goes something like: DP1, DP2, 10202, Falcon, Lion, TOPS cl 21, 23, 26, 27, 30 for diesels not including early shunters, and J15, J50, J70, B17s various, B12, Y7, D16. A lot of similarities in our stock...
Now when I think I might model something really obscure like D2999 or one of the two experimental EE shunters D0226/7 I have it in the back of my mind 'do I bother, someone will bring it out if I do it'.
I would not be surprised if the N2 gets a modern update, maybe even the J52, after all Hornby re-did the Terrier.
 

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Hi, I thought I would share a couple of pics of my kit built B17 streamliner as Hornby have announced they will be producing it. It will be better than this but they may not do the late version with missing side valencing. Also pictured are B2 (modified RTR), J69, E4 and F5 from very old kits plus a resin kit Hunslet on a Flieschmann chassis and the RTR J70 and B12.
Good to see fine models two 'old friends' there. We would see Royal Sovereign from the school playground in Baldock on ordinary King's Cross turns when it was the Cambridge royal engine; always nicely turned out. I occasionally saw that E4, 62785, from my uncle's place in Shefford, running round its train on its regular Saturday Henlow Camp leave train turn. I remember it as a remarkably heavy train for such a small locomotive.

andrew
 
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