Jump to content
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Captain Kernow


Whilst the 14XX 0-4-2 is more closely associated with the last years of goods services to Kington and Presteigne, Dean Goods locos did once work through from Rhayader to Leominster, when the through route via Capel Bethesda, New Radnor and Kington was open. It seemed appropriate, therefore, to have an example on the roster for 'Bethesda Sidings', working the occasional goods train from Leominster and back.


I am aware that much has been written about the Oxford Rail model, not all of it good and in truth, I probably wouldn't have bothered with a Dean Goods, had this RTR model not been available, but I had the opportunity to acquire one as a birthday present last year, so I thought I would.

Whilst an etched kit or even a thorough upgrade of the old Mainline body might have 'put right' the various faults that some have pointed out, I decided that the model passed the Captain's 'Black 5' test (if it looks like a Black 5, then it must be a Black 5).


I was fortunate to end up with a decent-running example in BR black and am happy to report that the gaps in my knowledge about the class mean that I am content enough to give it house room on the layout.


I decided that my Dean Goods would be one of the last ones in BR service, namely 2538, which was allocated to 89A Oswestry prior to withdrawal on 31st May 1957. Although that date falls within my somewhat flexible operating period on 'Bethesda Sidings', I might perhaps pretend that it's usefulness on the Bethesda goods allowed it to survive a little longer.


The loco is, of course, far too clean and needs weathering, before it can be put into service. Although I am normally happy to weather my own locos and stock, I decided that I would ask Tom Foster - https://tomfosterweathering.wordpress.com/ - to weather 2538, which would save me a lot of time and hopefully enable 2538 to be used on the layout at it's first booked show next year. I really like Tom's work and would recommend him to anyone wanting a good weathering job done.


Before the loco could go off to Tom, though, I needed to do a small number of little jobs, namely make up and attach screw link couplings, fit the smokebox door plate and remove the moulded plastic cabside number plates and fit replacement brass ones, with the correct number on. Why do manufacturers think that it's clever to mould a number plate onto a cab side, by the way?


The plates were supplied by the ever-helpful Brian Moseby at 247 developments:



I attached the smokebox door number first. I wanted to try to see if I could have it standing slightly 'proud' of the smokebox door, as they do in reality, rather than gluing the number plate directly to the front of the loco, so I soldered a couple of 0.5mm p/b spigots to the back of the plate and glued them into some corresponding holes, drilled in the smokebox door, working from a photograph to ensure that it went at exactly the correct height (see photo below).


I then had to remove the moulded cabside plates. This is the original (apologies for being slightly out of focus):



I considered just gluing the new plate on top of the old one, but I felt it didn't lie flat enough:



So, it was out with a curved scalpel blade (a brand new, very sharp one is required) and the old plates were carefully pared away:



The new plates were then glued in place. Full marks to 247 Developments for getting the correct brown background colour, too:



I had already made up the screw couplings (mainly Smiths, with a home-made brass 'dangling shackle' and Exactoscale steel end links. I use the overscale Smiths hooks, because they are much easier to use under exhibition conditions.


The loco was finally reassembled and tested on the layout again. I had to remove one of the tender wheel sets, which had a back-to-back of 15mm (the rest of the wheels were the correct 14.5mm) and re-set the back-to-back.


Here is the loco posing on 'Bethesda Sidings', before being sent off to Tom for weathering:







  • Like 31


Recommended Comments

Those sodding quality control Friday night jobs again.


"Hurry up Barry, I wanna go 'oowwm!"


As a result, the BtoB was fudged in a frenzy to exit the building.


Will look the doggies danglies after Tom's weathering.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

YEY ! A Dean Goods.....and why not ?


No.2538 was allocated to Shrewsbury as at 31st December, 1922.


At the end of 1955 Nos. 2516 & 2538 remained in service and were allocated to Oswestry. 2516 was to be part of the Condemed Programme but 2538 survived this and went on to Wolverhampton Works in January 1956 for heavy repairs and returned to duty on 18th February.

In June 1956 she was noted to be engaged in shunting duties and occasional trip working to Gobowen.

September 12th saw her on Moat Lane - Brecon goods / Oswestry and Whitchurch.

She was called back to Swindon on 15th May 1957 and by 16th June her boiler was noted in the dismantling shed with the words " The Last Dean" chalked on the smokebox side.

She was indeed a lucky and well used locomotive and you are paying her a well deserved tribute Tim.



  • Like 4
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

Very nice Captain. For all it's faults, I agree that the critique of this model ended up going too far. You have to look for the potential in a model, not just the errors.


Did I understand your Black 5 test right? If a Dean Goods looks like a Black 5, then is must be a Dean Goods?





  • Like 2
  • Agree 2
  • Funny 2
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
2 hours ago, Mikkel said:

Did I understand your Black 5 test right? If a Dean Goods looks like a Black 5, then is must be a Dean Goods?


Well, conceptually it rather depends on whether the aesthetic continuity of the natural lines of the Black 5 can be morphed into an analytical resolution of the internal dynamic of it's free standing resonance.


  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
  • Funny 3
Link to comment
3 minutes ago, Captain Kernow said:

Well, conceptually it rather depends on whether the aesthetic continuity of the natural lines of the Black 5 can be morphed into an analytical resolution of the internal dynamic of it's free standing resonance.



Given the anesthetic qualities of tablets and their catchers I would assume that a large net may be needed to catch a Black 5 for disection which would reveal the inner makings of a Dean Goods, obviously the parameters of a scalpel may hinder such matters.



  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

Although I have a Dapol/Comet-chassis Dean Goods  which I'm very happy with, I was more than pleased to acquire one of these Oxford DGs as a Christmas present a year or two ago. Unfortunately the running was atrocious, with a terrible tight-spot which no amount of running-in was going to fix. I took it back to the shop ( a general model shop rather than a railway-specialised one) and after some faffing about, a controller and length of track were set up on the counter. The loco was plonked on it, given full juice backwards and forwards, and off it shot. The bloke then looked at me with a "what's your problem, mate" type of expression. I realised then that there's a gulf of understanding between what passes as acceptable running to the likes of us, and those to whom any contact with model railways may have been confined to the train set on a table, where it's enough that a loco moves at all! Happily I did eventually get a replacement DG which is a much nicer performer than a first - although still not quite as good as it should be, I feel. Anyway, I look forward to attempting to emulate your good work here, Tim.

  • Friendly/supportive 4
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
7 hours ago, Captain Kernow said:

Well, conceptually it rather depends on whether the aesthetic continuity of the natural lines of the Black 5 can be morphed into an analytical resolution of the internal dynamic of it's free standing resonance.



I think that is a very hurtful thing to say. You should not be judging a locomotive on whether it has aesthetic continuity. Ugly locomotives have rights too. Also, it is easy for someone like you to talk about 'free standing resonance', but not everone is free and not everyone has resonance.

  • Like 1
  • Funny 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
14 minutes ago, Mikkel said:


not everyone has resonance.

Tell me about it, brother!


  • Informative/Useful 1
  • Funny 1
Link to comment
Guest Jack Benson




I appreciate the 'looks like a Black 5' mantra rather than trying to find some fault in any loco. Your Dean Goods looks as it should and could not be mistaken for any other loco.


Thank you


Jack Benson

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...