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  1. My personal view of the railgun is that it is an excellent value-for-money model built to a particular price. Due to being built to a price it has many shortcomings and unsatisfactory features, but that doesn't make it bad. To my eye it is comparable to state-of-the-art from twenty years ago. (The most unsatisfactory and bizarre" feature" time is the fixed side platforms which render it out of gauge and unsuitable for running in train formation). Based on Oxford Rail's track record I expect that the crane will also be excellent value, pretty good, but with some significant compromises to meet the price. Many will love it, and many will criticise it, that's how it goes. People have been buying the awful Triang (now Hornby) crane for years, it's rubbish in almost every respect and expensive, but it has sold well. This one is bound to be vastly better. Personally I admire Oxford Rail for what it has achieved so far (including some courageous choices of prototype) and I think the firm has been a force for good in the market.
  2. "...operation of the loading of the relieving bogies became pneumatic latterly. " "Pneumatic"?
  3. DE330102/ADRR95214 was at Tinsley from 1965 to 1986 (now at the NYMR, I believe currently OOS). I can't tell you when it was first painted red, but it was red and the paint looked fresh in 1976. See http://www.bdca.org.uk/gallery/index.php/Ransomes-and-Rapier/ADRR95214
  4. Do you have any pictures, or links/references to this incident please? They'd be much appreciated.
  5. The "hooks" are a rudimentary representation of the chimney lifting gear which this crane retained far longer than most. The shape of the moulded parts only makes sense when the chimney is in the lowered position, so in some ways it's not a bad thing if they've fallen off if you ever want to raise the chimney. It's not a widely-reported problem however. I suspect that the reason that this particular crane retained its lifting gear for so long is that it was actually never used. This crane, whilst at Gorton, received some unique modifications, one of which appears to have been an alteration to the exhaust to produce forced draughting through the boiler, which would have made it impossible to raise the extension chimney. There is actually photographic evidence that the lifting gear stayed on the crane after the chimney it was designed to raise had been discarded. I have noted earlier in this thread that on the whole the extension chimneys on the 45-ton R&R cranes were seldom used since they made (and make) very little difference to the excellent steaming qualities of the Cochran Hopwood cross-tube boiler. I can only speculate on the consequences of introducing forced draughting, but I imagine that it would tend to rip holes in the fire. Sadly no records exist concerning the modification, so we don't know why it was done, whose idea it was, nor whether it was considered a success. All traces had been removed by the time the crane was sold into preservation.
  6. I believe that the ladder is provided for the benefit of those who want to represent ADRR 95208 (RS 1097) in its final condition. This crane has a steel ladder affixed to the rear of the tail weight to facilitate access to the cab roof, probably originally provided to allow a chimney extension to be safely fitted. I haven't been able to determine when this ladder was installed but I believe it was before the crane was sold into preservation. When I get the time I will research this interesting question further. I suspect that the ladder was fitted at the time the hinged chimney was removed, possibly as a result of concerns about safety running under OLE.
  7. The ladder on the water tank in the second photo would be an exciting climb! I was reading the Model Rail review earlier. According to its reviewer you can see the cylinders move when you twiddle the knob! Do these clowns never actually read what they're writing?! Apart from that the magazine rates the model rather highly, suggesting that it's possibly the best RTR OO model yet produced.
  8. 1560 and 1561 were essentially identical throughout their lives. The only differences that spring to mind are that '61 received Ferodo linings on the slewing clutches whilst '60 did not (not significant in 4mm) and '61 was fitted with a through pipe for air brakes (both were through piped for vac from new). The air pipe was conspicuous during the crane's red era. 1580 differed significantly from the two earlier cranes. The most significant differences as far as a model is concerned are: 1. The cylinders have outside valve chests with the valves operated by rocking levers from inside the crab (the first six cranes, 4 GW and 2 SR, had inside valve chests). Bachmann has tooled for both but only the LNE cranes have the later arrangement. 2. The RBs are completely different since 1580 has the hydraulic loading gear introduced with the MoS cranes that followed the LNE pair. However 1580's RBs had SR axleboxes whilst the MoS cranes, like their predecessors, had GW axleboxes, and as a result the RB solebars on 1580 are unique and very distinctive. 3. As mentioned above, all the cranes except 1580 had GWR axleboxes, buffing gear, and draft gear. 1580 used SR components. 4. 1580 has BFB (Bulleid-Firth-Brown) wheelsets on the carriage and RBs. 5. All the cranes prior to 1580 used a Cochran Hopwood cross-tube boiler designed to take GWR standard fittings. 1580 uses a similar Cochran Hopwood cross-tube boiler, but modified to accept standard industrial fittings. The consequence of this is that the safety valves are in a completely different location which has resulted in the tail weight castings and cab roof being significantly different. There may also be differences in the jib runner, but I cannot off-hand recall. To create an accurate model of 1580 from the Bachmann model would take considerable work.
  9. Correct. 1560S and 1561S were significantly dissimilar to any other SR cranes. DS1580 is the least dissimilar, but even that has significant differences (cylinders, relieving bogies, and tail weight being the most obvious).
  10. This is actually a periodic adjustment required on the prototype too, where it is rather more difficult to carry out. There is actually a very large nut at the top of the centrepost, deep down under the gears, completely obscured by the bevel gear at the top of the travel spear shaft and about as inaccessible as it is possible to be, which must be tightened to take up any slop in the roller path. The nut is circular and about a foot in diameter, with two barring holes drilled in it. The only way to tighten it is to fit a bar into a barring hole, then slew the superstructure till it contacts the bar, then slew inch by inch to turn the nut the required amount. It requires enormous finesse on the controls not to end up with a bent bar and overtight nut. The crane must also be perfectly balanced on the roller path at the time. Some tasks are really much easier in 4mm/ft. !
  11. My comments were aimed not so much at the presence of grime - inevitable however house-proud the gang - as at the location of the grime, which suggests something of a failure to appreciate the engineering involved. I imagine that TMC's weathering artists, who I think do an excellent job, have probably never seen a well-used steam crane. Few people have.
  12. Some slightly odd weathering on that (eg the slewing ring would always be black/steely and shine) but it looks good. The Gorton gang however would not appreciate the grime, 122 was always bulled up (see http://www.bdca.org.uk/gallery/index.php/Ransomes-and-Rapier/ADRR95215-Album/scan0001). Your second photo really highlights what a stunning job Bachmann did representing the slewing clutches and bevel gears, depicted with the postwar Ferodo lining upgrade fitted to some of the class.
  13. Trix, Marklin, Lilliput, and Fleischmann have (I believe) produced fully-operational DCC cranes so far. Expensive, though, my Trix "Goliath" cost me around £1200 new. In terms of detail, quality and price these make the new Bachmann crane a bargain!
  14. Sadly the Netherlands does not have a good reputation where cranes are concerned. Remember this? Completely predictable.
  15. Fair point Mr Gibbo, thank you! Not long ago I had the unenviable of fitting a set off one boiler onto a different boiler, a lot of hard work that was.
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