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In depth idiot
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All new tooling of the ubiquitous Black 5 and 8F would seem sensible, the Black 5 in particular has almost no provision for the many variations inflicted on this design. Scope for a competitor to milk Hornby's cash cows?

Going back a bit ref 'Gresley was right'
Gresley's Doncaster team was so very right when it came to the essentials of the pacific design. All the successful subsequent UK pacifics are heavily influenced by that lead, and Thompson was ill advised to discard so much that was well proven, and thereby quite unnecessarily introduced weaknesses in the frame in consequence. And very quickly after Thompson's retirement Pepp proved with the A1 and A2, that Thompson's programme of independent valve gear for each cylinder was fully possible within the established frame layout. So, a false step. (The established process of developments of pre-group classes that continued under Thompson was sensible; in particular the B16/3 and O4/8 and O1 built on what had gone before. As for the B1, it supplies very funny reading in the BR exchange trials, as various commentators try to understand how the significantly more expensive Belpaire firebox taper boilered religion failed to deliver the expected superior performance.)
 

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Yes 34c the desire for Thompson to make equal length conrods was behind those long front ends and Pepp simply crunched up the front end to make it look balanced but of course Pepp kept the 3 sets of valve gear that Thompson wanted and yes there was a lot right about the A1/A3/A10 and in this model the conjugated gear seemed to do better, but listen to one at speed and it sounds like a 4 cylinder loco with a missing cylinder and as I said above the V2 when put on the test plant showed it was not doing anything in one direction. So technically Thompson was right to try and even up but not at the cost of the long front end, actually this is one of the reasons I like the A2/1 because the balance looks right. The other issue was the sheer size of the 50 sq ft grate which actually cost coal in order to keep the grate covered. so again the A2/1 with the smaller grate looks right and they could run at very small cut offs, were fast and pulled well, shame there were only 4 of them.
On one point somewhat to my surprise the original A1 was no better in use than the Raven A2 again one suspects the conjugated gear did the A1 no favours whilst the A2 was sound it just looked antideluvian.

So I can add the A2/1 to my list

The other quite interesting effort was the V4, only 2 of them of course, I have one as a kit but a nice manufacturers model would be a nice effort, complicated and expensive as it was the B1 was clearly better in every regard but who knows we might have had a few hundred V4's.
 

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You can also see the influence of Gresley in the Caledonian 956 class with its conjugated valve gear (Gresley and Pickersgill knew eachother, both being prominent members of the wartime Association of Railway Locomotive Engineers Standard Locomotive Committee). The cylinder dimensions, boiler pressure and grate area of the 956 class were more or less the same as Gresley's 2-6-0s and both used three cylinder propulsion with a derived valve gear for the inside cylinder.

The 956 class were majestic looking locomotives but, unfortunately, the performance of the GNR engines was not replicated.......
 

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In depth idiot
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You can also see the influence of Gresley in the Caledonian 956 class with its conjugated valve gear (Gresley and Pickersgill knew each other, both being prominent members of the wartime Association of Railway Locomotive Engineers Standard Locomotive Committee). The cylinder dimensions, boiler pressure and grate area of the 956 class were more or less the same as Gresley's 2-6-0s and both used three cylinder propulsion with a derived valve gear for the inside cylinder.

The 956 class were majestic looking locomotives but, unfortunately, the performance of the GNR engines was not replicated.......
Quite what was fundamentally amiss with the design has never been resolved, and the ill advised tinkering with valve gear did nothing to discover it. Draughting at the grate and ashpan end of the boiler is the usual prime suspect.

[FICTION ALERT] Then again, let's imagine that it had been a real success, capable of matching Gresley's K3 and Raven's B16 designs (either of which could have been used as the standard heavy mixed traffic class for the new LNER). Then they would have been deprecated really rapidly by the Derby-Horwich axis: we're not having something better than any of our efforts left standing... [/FICTION ALERT]
 

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[FICTION ALERT] Then again, let's imagine that it had been a real success, capable of matching Gresley's K3 and Raven's B16 designs (either of which could have been used as the standard heavy mixed traffic class for the new LNER). Then they would have been deprecated really rapidly by the Derby-Horwich axis: we're not having something better than any of our efforts left standing... [/FICTION ALERT]
Not possibly as far faetched a thought as all that. At the time of the Grouping, there was a Pickersgill design for a massive 2-6-0 that was never built. Hughes was quite impressed with it. The outside cylinders of it would have fouled the loading gauge of most of the English constituents of the LMS, so he redesigned it by modifying and inclining the valve gear (he also gave it a Belpaire firebox in place of Pickersgill's round topped design) and the result? The well known LMS "Crab".

Fiction aside, the Rivers should have had a chance at becoming an LMS standard design, but apparently were not even considered, although the LMS did build another batch of Pickersgill's 60 class 4-6-0s.
 

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That just had me thinking that a Whitelegg Baltic Tank would be nice, but I can't imagine there being any likelihood of a Glasgow & South Western Railway locomotive ever being available as RTR.
 

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... I can't imagine there being any likelihood of a Glasgow & South Western Railway locomotive ever being available as RTR.
Contra: grounds for optimism.
As the pool of Big Four and later steam designs without RTR OO models shrinks, the net must be cast wider if completely new subjects are to be offered as models.
Wholly or largely neglected pre-grouping companies have really started to get a look in over the past decade: CR, GCR, GER, GNR, LBSCR, LNWR, L&Y, NBR, NER, SECR.
Commercial competition is still expanding to raid the RTR OO customer's wallet.
Scotland has some of the best railway modelling potential of any part of the UK: lovely scenery, shared running rights between companies, as far away from Brunel's great blunders as it is possible to get without exposure to seawater, to name but three.
 

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Just add I have 2 K1's as kits but they have fallen apart but a K1/K2 is a good model (I mean the GNR design not the later Thompson) so that would be a useful loco.
 

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... a K1/K2 is a good model (I mean the GNR design not the later Thompson) so that would be a useful loco.
Any GNR design tender freight class of significantly smaller rating than the 6MT of the K3 would be most welcome. Either the Ivatt/Gresley J6, a 3F 0-6-0, or the 4MT K2 2-6-0 would be good.

My own preference would be the 0-6-0, because this type had emerged as the ubiquitous and essential freight machine within twenty years of the inception of the UK's railway network, and would remain so until just ten years from the final exit of steam traction from that network. The K1/K2 marked Gresley's abandonment of the 0-6-0 for GNR freight purposes, and could be found well beyond the GNR under LNER and BR, with a tranche of the class allocated to Scotland.
 

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I have a J6 but it fell apart never quite repaired this one it being a kit of course, but being brutally honest the mass produced models are much better especially more recently than a 40 year old kit would be. So yes a J6 would also be a good choice but I slightly favour the K2 all the same.
 

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I have a J6 but it fell apart never quite repaired this one it being a kit of course, but being brutally honest the mass produced models are much better especially more recently than a 40 year old kit would be. So yes a J6 would also be a good choice but I slightly favour the K2 all the same.
That depends on the kit and the builder thereof!
To my eternal shame and regret, I had a lovely kit built J6 many years ago that I sold on a whim. As far as details go, I cannot say but I clearly recall the mechanism. The wheels were properly round, It had springing on maybe two axles and an excellent gearbox as well as a decent motor giving silky smooth running. It ran really well but it showed up the abysmal running of all my other LNER locomotives at that time, Airfix N2, Mainline (?) J72, Hornby J52, maybe others. That was the mid 1980’s.
I understand from reading these pages that current versions of the above, are much improved and I have been tempted but a high quality J6 would do the trick for me.
I’ll give up my H0 scale red & blacks, only when they are pried from my cold dead hands but a 4mm scale diversion would be welcome here in Greece.
The big BUT is that any such loco has to perform as well as my smaller scale stuff.
John E.
 

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...Hornby J52, I understand from reading these pages that current versions of the above, are much improved ...
But specifically not that one! Still on the dodgy universal mechanism with its traces of 1950's Triangness lurking in the mechanism layout and dimensions, garnished with the gungy rubber traction tyre.

The all newly tooled introductions made in China since the late 1990s are much better, borrowing technique long proven in HO to great advantage. More of the refinement long established in HO has been steadily incorporated over the years since. What's truly pleasing of late is that this improvement has now reached small black locos in earnest. So st last there is a useful selection of the 0-6-0 classes that are so essential to steam era modelling of most locations, if the layout is to realistically represent the prototype .

Of recent 0-6-0 releases Hornby's J36 is a lovely item, and the review photos of the Rails/Bachmann 812 look similarly promising. And Oxford Rails' J27 may not be quite so refined in appearance, but the price is attractive, and the mechanism runs very sweetly indeed.
 

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Have to see what father christmas leaves in the stocking but most likely to be wife's credit card bills. (she needs it!)
 

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I have seen it mentioned that the GER/LNER/BR J69 0-6-0T is in the 'highly probable' zone for a RTR OO announcement in the near future. Welcome news if true, as these escaped the GER section in LNER operation and got all the way to Scotland, so should have wide ranging appeal. I can certainly use one, on my KX inner-sub area of the ECML in the late crest BR steam period.

Any more smoke signals, bush telegraph, or 'I never told you this' information lurking out there?
 

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There are a few items based on the Longmoor Mil Railway already available, a couple of Austerity 0-6-0 Saddle Tanks, an 08 Diesel 0-6-0, a couple of austerity 2-8-0 8Fs and an [as yet] unpowered experimental Landrover. All very nice indeed - but, where are the two majestic 2-10-0 Austeritys, Gordon and Kitchener [of St Trinian's fame]? At a pinch, they could both be done with a basic body, with alternative name plates and alternative drop-in Tender loads, one coal, with an oil tank for Kitchener. They shouldn't be too difficult to do, as, unlike the later 9Fs, they are, essentially, extended Austerity 8Fs and the chassis are already about.

J
I'm really reluctant to get a couple of 2-8-0 Austerity bodies to cut and paste together, as I can see, quite clearly, how that could end up!!
 

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...where are the two majestic 2-10-0 Austeritys, Gordon and Kitchener [of St Trinian's fame]? ...They shouldn't be too difficult to do, as, unlike the later 9Fs, they are, essentially, extended Austerity 8Fs ...
I share your thought, especially given the popularity of the 9F, another ten wheeler model would likely go down well.
 

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Rather than new models being created, notwithstanding that some models may have actual dimensional/shape errors, I'd prefer that manufacturers fix the problems on their existing models. Manufacturers have been making model trains for long enough to know what works and what doesn't. Unfortunately, we seem to have had a few new 'kids on the block' who thought they knew better and this has resulted in mistakes which have long since been solved suddenly rearing their heads again almost like no-one ever learns!

Things I would like to see fixed:

1) The Hattons/Heljan class 14 is an absolute disaster: Heljan Class 14 Modifications - Model Railways On-Line Please fix it Hattons/Heljan before you start reproducing more of this tat!
2) The Kernow class 41 had a motor that was completely unfit for purpose. I believe that it had origins from a 'new kid on the block' who also created similar problems in another range of locos
3) Dapol need to get their class 22 gear ratios right. At the moment, it is too high such that the motor can't turn slow enough to make the loco creep along without jerking to the vibration of slow motor revolutions. Optimal gear ratios have been known for half a century. Why are we still getting this wrong ?
4) Hattons need to fix their P tank so that it actually accepts the decoder that they advertise for it! Or at least make the model so it will accept other decoders without requiring chassis grinding: Hattons SECR P Tank Review - Model Railways On-Line
5) Loco manufacturers to stop putting body attachment screws directly behind the centre of buffer beams. Believe it or not, some of us actually fit prototype couplings and are not wedded to the NEM socket fad, so we need the space behind the buffer beam! Put the screws on the corners, not the middle!
6) Manufacturers to design their locos in ways that make them straightforward to dismantle. Hornby have go this right. Bachmann have always been a bit behind with their steam locos. Heljan completely stuffed up their class 14
7) Dapol need to fix their quality control on their electronics: many of their locos seem to be delivered with defective motherboards in their first release. Upside down decoder sockets or incorrectly/oppositely wired wired sockets are not on!

I just want to see manufacturers stop making stupid mistakes with really basic stuff that were long since fixed in the hobby half a century ago!
 

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BR had 50 of the 2-10-0 austerity locos and I think used them on the Caley between Glasgow and Carlisle but who cares I want one! look good on windcutters between Annesley and Woodford yard, as to Grahams comments above all a bit sad really, models are not cheap so much as I am sure we all wish newer suppliers well reputation is still very important, if they need anything testing it may be worth asking we armchair experts to have a go!
 

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Rather than new models being created, notwithstanding that some models may have actual dimensional/shape errors, I'd prefer that manufacturers fix the problems on their existing models. Manufacturers have been making model trains for long enough to know what works and what doesn't. Unfortunately, we seem to have had a few new 'kids on the block' who thought they knew better and this has resulted in mistakes which have long since been solved suddenly rearing their heads again almost like no-one ever learns!

Things I would like to see fixed:

1) The Hattons/Heljan class 14 is an absolute disaster: Heljan Class 14 Modifications - Model Railways On-Line Please fix it Hattons/Heljan before you start reproducing more of this tat!
2) The Kernow class 41 had a motor that was completely unfit for purpose. I believe that it had origins from a 'new kid on the block' who also created similar problems in another range of locos
3) Dapol need to get their class 22 gear ratios right. At the moment, it is too high such that the motor can't turn slow enough to make the loco creep along without jerking to the vibration of slow motor revolutions. Optimal gear ratios have been known for half a century. Why are we still getting this wrong ?
4) Hattons need to fix their P tank so that it actually accepts the decoder that they advertise for it! Or at least make the model so it will accept other decoders without requiring chassis grinding: Hattons SECR P Tank Review - Model Railways On-Line
5) Loco manufacturers to stop putting body attachment screws directly behind the centre of buffer beams. Believe it or not, some of us actually fit prototype couplings and are not wedded to the NEM socket fad, so we need the space behind the buffer beam! Put the screws on the corners, not the middle!
6) Manufacturers to design their locos in ways that make them straightforward to dismantle. Hornby have go this right. Bachmann have always been a bit behind with their steam locos. Heljan completely stuffed up their class 14
7) Dapol need to fix their quality control on their electronics: many of their locos seem to be delivered with defective motherboards in their first release. Upside down decoder sockets or incorrectly/oppositely wired wired sockets are not on!

I just want to see manufacturers stop making stupid mistakes with really basic stuff that were long since fixed in the hobby half a century ago!
Dear Graham,
One of the problems with the Heljan/Hattons class 14 is that it is essentially an 0-8-0 chassis, length wise - it’s due to the jackshaft drive being within the main wheelbase.
If the prototype had the drive at the end like a class 03 for example, us modellers would have had less problems!
I had one of these when they were first released, I ran it in well on 00 track with analog control and all was well. Later I fitted my pre-ordered set of P4 wheels from Ultrascale, I had to wait some time for these.
Having read up numerous times how to go about it, I was very, very careful - one of the first things I did was to remove the cab steps for example! Yes, I had trouble fitting a decoder but I managed it okay. I spent time, money and effort finding something small enough that could actually power it but I did it because I wanted it to work! Not a problem now though, it’s easy to get such powerful but tiny decoders.
I actually wrote up how I did it all for my club magazine, the MMRS “Link”, no idea now what issue, sorry. My friend and colleague from that time, Craig Welsh, was going to etch a P4 chassis but I don’t know if he ever did.
All I’m saying is that I don’t think this model is quite as bad as you are indicating and believe me, if I get a chance to knock Heljan - I take it!
John E.
 
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