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A Standard Goods for North Leigh – part 1


MikeOxon

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On a number of occasions over the years, I have posted comments indicating my dis-satisfaction with the ‘Mainline’ Dean Goods that is currently serving on my North Leigh layout. It’s really too late for my period, with Belpaire firebox and other details that place it long after the turn of the century.

 

810181658_DeanGoods_NorthLeigh.jpg.5f6fb1d2a15c467efd162169f49efda7.jpg

My model Dean Goods at North Leigh

 

I have recently been following Mikkel’s conversion of a ‘Belpaire’ Dean Goods into an earlier ‘round-top’ version and have thought of following suit but several events have sent me towards modelling an Armstrong Standard goods instead.

 

As readers of my Broad Gauge (BG) blog will know, my BG models were inspired by the knowledge that one of my wife’s ancestors was based at Bullo Pill at the time of a major accident in 1868. The official accident report provided me with ‘recipes’ for building two ‘authentic’ GWR trains of the period: an express mail train and a goods cattle train. Since then, however, more research into the family history has revealed a number of other engines that were driven by members of the family and one of these was (standard gauge) Armstrong Goods No.684 (built 1872).

 

As I thought about this, I realised that I had completely forgotten about having commented last year on ‘RosiesBoss’s conversion  of the ‘Mainline’ model. Looking again at his version, I thought it also looked too ‘late’ for my modelling period, so I decided it was time to go back to some basic research.

 

Armstrong’s Standard Goods

 

The Standard Goods started life as the ‘388 class’ in 1866 and set a pattern which was closely followed by Armstrong’s successor, William Dean, with his own well-known ‘Goods’ class. The Armstrong version had a slightly longer wheelbase (by 2 inches) and a boiler that was 9” longer (at 11 feet), although the engine was a little shorter overall, owing to a much smaller footplate for the enginemen. The earliest engines had no cabs but these were added from 1879 onwards. As was usual with long-lived GWR engines, a long list of modifications was made at both the Swindon and Wolverhampton works, resulting in a bewildering number of variants. If only GWR engines really did all look the same, as some commentators have suggested!

 

To build a model, the first thing I needed was a reasonable drawing and I soon found that there are several pitfalls that I shall record briefly. I first turned to Russell’s ‘Pictorial Record of GW Engines’, which contains several photos and drawings of these engines but they all show examples after they had been re-built with many Dean-type features, including large domes and shorter chimneys.

 

I tried tracing some drawings from this book to compare the dimension with the Dean Goods and realised that they are not always reproduced accurately. When looking at a drawing by Maskelyne, it became obvious that the vertical dimensions as printed did not match the horizontal scale. Because of this, the boiler pitch appears very similar to the Dean Goods, whereas at should be 3½” lower, which makes a noticeable difference to the appearance of the prototypes.

 

Next, I turned to Holcroft’s ‘Ouline of GW Locomotive Practice’, where I found a good side-on illustration of engine No.31 (built in 1872) with a cab but still with the smaller type of dome as originally fitted. This book also contains a drawing of Armstrong’s earlier goods engine, No.361. By E.L.Ahrons. When I overlaid this drawing onto the photo of No. 31, it was clear that they were virtually identical above the footplate, so I decided to use this drawing as a basis for designing my model. The earlier design had a shorter wheelbase to the leading axle and a different design of safety valve cover

 

1624266440_No31comparedwithNo361.jpg.f1ad5c7150baf25aeb653f2e128c9cc0.jpg

 

 

My plan is to use the technique I used for my model of a Broad Gauge ‘Gooch Standard Goods’,  with a length of brass tube to provide a strong structural component around which I shall 3D-print the other features, such as smoke box front and backplate. I have not yet decided on the chassis. The wheelbase is so close to the ‘Dean Goods’ that I may look to use a commercial chassis.

 

My intention is to present my model in the livery introduced in 1881. This was the first move away from the original Holly Green and also introduced Indian Red frames and orange chrome lining. At that stage, the wheels remained green, although this was changed to red a few years later. I have colourised an early photograph to show the effect I wish to achieve:


1194068163_ArmstrongGoodscol800x600.jpg.b94a8be31ce5a13779f934f2be0ce661.jpg

My coloured impression of Armstrong Goods No.31, c.1881

 

I have taken the plunge and made a plan. In succeeding posts, I hope to follow through to a complete model – it may take some time :)

 

Mike

Edited by MikeOxon
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This I shall watch with great interest Mike. About 9 months ago I gave great contemplation to buying a Keyser outside frame Dean Goods and making it into an Armstrong, but ended up buying a Beyer Goods. Best of luck to you!:read:

 

 

Douglas

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I guess I'm now committed to keep going at this!  My research showed that the Armstrong Goods changed in appearance quite considerably over the years.

 

Mike

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A most interesting project Mike! Can't wait to see progress on this one.

 

Quote

a number of other engines that were driven by members of the family and one of these was (standard gauge) Armstrong Goods No.684 (built 1872).

 

What a statement. Your wife is very lucky. Imagine having ancestors who drove an Armstrong Goods.

 

The Russel books are incredibly useful and I couldn't manage without them, but there are many errors to look out for. Thanks for pointing out another one. 

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Thank you Mikkel.  The story of the ancestors gets even better, because one of them drove a 'Badminton' class!  That's more of a modelling challenge.  We only know about that because an accident report records that he slipped and fell between the engine and the platform at Paddington!!!

 

1657916192_GWR_Badminton4-4-0col.jpg.54ad3a6095e61ed4e8005bf325ce9edb.jpg

 

 

I think those engines marked the pinnacle of Victorian elegance :)

 

Mike

Edited by MikeOxon
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I have an old etched brass Jidenco kit of an Armstrong Goods in my round-to-it pile.  I have acquired a broad gauge outside frame tender to run behind it (obviously narrowed to standard gauge).  Will watch with interest.

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Mikkel

Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, MikeOxon said:

because an accident report records that he slipped and fell between the engine and the platform at Paddington!!!

 

Ouch, can't have been nice. He must have been very experienced, driving 4-4-0s into Paddington. Mike, I shall henceforth be bowing when I address you :)

Edited by Mikkel
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7 hours ago, MikeOxon said:

interesting, Brassey - do you know which version the Jidenco kit represents?

 

The Jidenco kit is of a later version with a belpaire firebox but I will build it as an S4 round top boiler.  I also have a K's Beyer Goods that will get a similar treatment.  Both will entail new boilers and probably cab fronts.  I've done the same to a Mallard Dean Goods.

 

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8 hours ago, Brassey said:

 

The Jidenco kit is of a later version with a belpaire firebox but I will build it as an S4 round top boiler.  I also have a K's Beyer Goods that will get a similar treatment.  Both will entail new boilers and probably cab fronts.  I've done the same to a Mallard Dean Goods.

 

The cab on my Beyer Goods actually wasn’t too horrible, mainly depends on how accurate you want things to be.

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14 hours ago, Florence Locomotive Works said:

The cab on my Beyer Goods actually wasn’t too horrible, mainly depends on how accurate you want things to be.

 

I am assuming that the cab windows on a round top boilered loco were larger and in a different position to those on a belpaire which firebox was higher.  Such was the case with the DEan Goods.

 

beyer_334.jpg.5d3900d4c30916056a44bbdff3ea7a88.jpg

 

 

Edited by Brassey
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Beautiful curved frames on the Beyer but the over-size Dean boiler fittings look a bit oppressive to me.  I may use tender drive for my model and will take comfort that the coal heap in the photo would cover any motor I could reasonably choose :)

 

Mike

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On 10/07/2020 at 06:25, Brassey said:

I am assuming that the cab windows on a round top boilered loco were larger and in a different position to those on a belpaire which firebox was higher.  Such was the case with the DEan Goods.

........

 

What a fantastic photograph!

 

Otis

Edited by MikeOxon
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