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Stephenson Patentee (Trix)


47137

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The model of a Stephenson Patentee by Trix represents a design for a railway steam engine pioneered by Robert Stephenson and Company in the early 1830s.

 

By 1830, the company's 2-2-0 Planet defined an engine with inside cylinders located at the front, and a steam dome to prevent water from reaching the cylinders. The 2-2-2 arrangement of 1834 was an evolutionary development of the Planet, with the third axle adding stability and space for a larger firebox. The buffers and couplings were in the locations standardised with the Planet.

 

The engine 'Adler' ('Eagle') of 1835 was thus one of the earliest examples of the Patentee. It was delivered to Germany in a short time scale, supplied as a kit of parts and assembled upon delivery. The company sent their engineer William Wilson to supervise the build.

 

The company exported built examples of the Patentee to the Netherlands, Russia and Italy, and licensed construction of the first steam railway engine built in Belgium. By 1838 the type had become the company’s standard design for passenger trains. The 2-2-2 wheel arrangement remained the preferred arrangement for steam railway engines throughout the 1840s, and many of the Patentees continued to work in service for 20 years or so. The Adler was withdrawn and broken up in 1857.

 

The Trix model is probably based on the replica of the Adler built for celebrations of the centenary of German railways in 1935, supplemented by drawings of the original. The model comes as a train pack with three coaches, propulsion being provided by a motor in one of the coaches.

 

blogentry-14389-0-87251000-1542876406_thumb.jpg

 

The model is likely to find a home with the modeller of early railways or a person who wants to run a 'museum' style train from time to time. The wheels are coarse scale, and this seems to enhance the character of the model.

 

The model is a fine reproduction of the engine as initially portrayed by the replica. The frames were of wood, strengthened with sheet metal, and the mouldings reproduce these nicely. The detail at the front includes the fronts of the two cylinders and a dummy scale coupling with a hook and link. The wooden cladding on the boiler is neatly done too, and the model seems to capture the character of its subject well. The general look of the model is helped a great deal by the use of a true scale gauge. The use of a deliberately narrowed gauge for such a small prototype would upset the proportions.

 

At a glance, the only obvious compromise is the over-scale thickness of the moulded railings on the footplate. The model omits the headlamps seen on the replica, but to my eye the only significant differences are the boiler stays being finished in black (red on the replica) and the upper tender sides being black as well (green on the replica).

 

The Patentees had no flanges on their driving wheels, in an effort to help the engine negotiate sharp curves. The true necessity of this is unclear, though of course Tri-ang caught up with the idea over a hundred years later. The model has flanged wheels instead, but the error is not obvious unless you know the detail.

 

The prototypes achieved a speed of around 40 mph and could pull twelve coaches or wagons. The model easily achieves this speed, but as supplied there is no rear coupling to add a longere train.

 

The prototypes had no brakes. Braking was done with a spindle brake on the wheels on one side of the tender, and the model includes the brake handle.

 

These engines were built before the introduction of a standardised loading gauge, and the chimney is rather tall - about 58 mm (a scale 5 metres / 16' 6") above rail level. As it happens, the overhead line on my tramway is just high enough to let the model run through, but one of my tunnels is about 3 mm too low.

 

blogentry-14389-0-13355000-1542876433_thumb.jpg

 

The train can run on Hornby and Peco code 100 track, and a bit surprisingly on Kato Unitrack (code 83 FB) and SMP type J (code 75 BH) where the rail fixings are quite slender. The wheel flanges are too coarse to run on Peco Streamline code 75 FB track, Tillig code 82 FB track, or through a Peco code 75 BH turnout. There are electrical pickups on all three coaches, and my example never stalls or fails to start. Realistic slow running is not really possible with this generation of motor, but the three-pole armature runs reliably as it cogs its way from one pole to the next.

 

blogentry-14389-0-34233100-1542876448_thumb.jpg

 

The main limitation of the model is the provision of power in the train. Realistic operation is confined to 'watching a train go by' or a tram-style shuttle service. The train has simple bar couplers between each vehicle, attached with screws. You can uncouple the engine from the train by lifting the tender off the track, but the other couplers are semi-permanent and there is electric wiring between the coaches.

 

The modeller wanting to upgrade the mechanism to something more modern will find several candidates able to fit into the first coach, ranging from a Tenshodo spud to one of the QuadDriver units from High Level Models. I cannot visualise a chassis able to fit into the tender, even with a modern motor and an enlarged hollow load of model coal.

 

For those thinking of an upgrade before purchase, the wheelbase of the tender and of each coach is 22 mm, with 11 mm 10-spoke wheels throughout. An upgrade of the driving wheels in the engine requires some thought because they should be without crankpin bosses. It may be easiest to find a friend with a lathe able to turn down the front faces of the originals a little, and remove the flanges. The leading and trailing wheels of the engine are again 11 mm, 10-spoke.

 

The 1935 replica of the Adler was severely damaged in a fire in 2005. The Deutsche Bundesbahn decided to restore the replica, and in the process the replica became externally closer to the original engine. The modeller wishing to change the model to improve its authenticity should therefore look to the present-day version of the replica rather than photographs taken during the celebrations of 1935, 1960 and 1985.

 

Secondhand prices in Great Brtain vary a great deal. I paid £75 for my train at a swap meet in early 2018, but I see dealers on eBay asking around £200. The condition of a forty year old model can be very worn indeed, and it is sensible to exercise caution when buying such a model at a distance. A reputable seller will allow returns for 14 days, which is useful if a model is found to fall short of expectations on receipt.

Edited by 47137

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  • RMweb Gold

That is a lovely model of an iconic loco! Thanks for such an informative post, Richard.  

 

BTW for those unlucky individuals who are not modelling British railways in 3.5 mm, I see Newman Miniatures now has 3D printed Patentees in N and OO on its Shapeways page.   

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The overheight chimney is easily dealt with as it's conveniently segmented. Just saw off one segment and glue it back together and your loco is then of a more reasonable height for bridges, tunnels etc.

 

1019837515_Adlers03(600x450).jpg.5da084e8c09f08a88898eccbd8dfddc6.jpg

 

IMHO getting rid of the red underframe is also a good idea - did German railways use that colour at such an early date? In any case mine will represent an English example when I can get new nameplates. 

 

George

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  • RMweb Gold
13 hours ago, 45587 said:

The overheight chimney is easily dealt with as it's conveniently segmented. Just saw off one segment and glue it back together and your loco is then of a more reasonable height for bridges, tunnels etc.

 

IMHO getting rid of the red underframe is also a good idea - did German railways use that colour at such an early date? In any case mine will represent an English example when I can get new nameplates. 

 

George

 

Thanks for this George.

 

Narrow Planet do a custom nameplate they call Serif B, this might be suitable:

https://shop.narrowplanet.co.uk/collections/custom-etched-products/products/npp-105

 

Their delivery is currently quoted as three months, but I find in these circumstances if you place an order "now" the time passes quickly while you do other modelling.

 

- Richard.

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There are actually two replicas - the one you mention, which is in working order and is used for special trains, and another static version. One is on display in the main hall of the Nuremberg transport museum, but I'm not sure which of the two it is.

 

2079996590_20161211022AdlerlocoreplicaRailwayMuseumNuremberg.JPG.7f69bf808789b2b13a248d2d09075d56.JPG

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  • RMweb Gold
15 hours ago, 45587 said:

IMHO getting rid of the red underframe is also a good idea - did German railways use that colour at such an early date?

 

I understand, the early railway companies were surprisingly brand-conscious and they adopted their own distinctive liveries from the start, following the examples of the colourful stage coaches and canal barges. So most likely, each company that bought Patentees (and other locos from the various builders) painted the frames to match their own liveries. So red might still be ok for a British prototype.

 

 

44 minutes ago, St Enodoc said:

There are actually two replicas - the one you mention, which is in working order and is used for special trains, and another static version. One is on display in the main hall of the Nuremberg transport museum, but I'm not sure which of the two it is.

 

Thank you for the excellent photo! Regardless of whether this is a working or a static replica, I do think the Trix model would look better with flangeless driving wheels to match.

 

- Richard.

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Thanks for the recommendation re nameplates, Richard. Narrow Planet (I'm a very satisfied customer, see below) will get my order just as soon as I can think of three related names for my three Patentees.  Meanwhile, here's my cut down Patentee next to a Bachmann Prussia loco (also, of course, a resident of Germany), showing that the chimney is now a reasonable height (but still pretty tall). Do you think the Adler might be a bit overscale for H0?

 

George

 

1103490710_AdlerAtlantic02(600x450).jpg.743d302bb2c2d252fb3b4c8a57a27b5d.jpg

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  • RMweb Gold
On 29/09/2020 at 21:13, 45587 said:

Do you think the Adler might be a bit overscale for H0?

 

I have had a look at the entry in Wikipedia, and this suggests the leading and trailing wheels are 0.5 mm too big on the model, and the driving wheels are 4 mm too big. But the Wikipedia entry gives absurd dimensions for the wheelbase and length.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adler_(locomotive)

 

So really, I don't know, but the model looks about right to me.

 

I will make an inspired guess, Trix based their model on one of the replicas not drawings of the original Adler.

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1 hour ago, 47137 said:

But the Wikipedia entry gives absurd dimensions for the wheelbase and length.

 

I suspect those dimensions are for total wheelbase and length including the tender.

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The Wikipedia picture of the replica in Frankfurt shows the top of the smokebox roughly level with the tops of the spectators' heads (say six feet) whereas a rough measurement of one of mine from wheel tread to top of smokebox is 27mm or so (about 7 foot six or more?). Perhaps it was made to 1:80 scale rather then 1:87, like the Rivarossi Royal Scots? But as you say the model looks right so I'm keeping mine. 

 

George

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6 hours ago, 45587 said:

The Wikipedia picture of the replica in Frankfurt shows the top of the smokebox roughly level with the tops of the spectators' heads (say six feet) whereas a rough measurement of one of mine from wheel tread to top of smokebox is 27mm or so (about 7 foot six or more?). Perhaps it was made to 1:80 scale rather then 1:87, like the Rivarossi Royal Scots? But as you say the model looks right so I'm keeping mine. 

 

George

Trix did use 1:80 for their later British outline models so that is quite plausible.

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