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MikeCW

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  1. You'll note on the drawing towards the bottom right that Roche (correctly) specifies M/TE/25, his drawing of the ten ton type for non-streamlined Duchesses, as the tender for this engine. As you say LMS2968, the Kitmaster combination is all a bit of a mystery.
  2. The Kitmaster Duchess in the photos referenced by David is beautifully finished. I noticed that, although the model has the continuous, curved dropped running plate at the front, the smoke deflectors are the abbreviated type used on engines which have the "utility" style break in the running plate i.e. the smoke deflectors have no lower extension following the curve of the running plate. This (incorrect) combination features in the Roche drawing of a non-streamlined Duchess. So perhaps this was the source of the Kitmaster mouldings? Probably we will never know. Mike
  3. In my photo of 6231 ("Atholl") put up a dozen or so posts back I'd cropped out the tender as the discussion was about the relative positions of locomotive body and chassis. I've included the tender in the picture below. From your comment quoted above I'm assuming that this must be a 1946, or soon after, photo as she is pulling a partly "de-streamlined" tender, as well as being very scruffy? (Aside from the more obvious give-aways, the height of the tender side above the front handrail, pointed out by LMS2968, is very apparent.) For me, there is a judgement call about how far one goes in modifying a Hornby-Dublo "Duchess" (or other Hornby-Dublo locomotive). It depends on what one is aiming for on a scale between a Hornby-Dublo "might have been" at one end, and an accurate model at the other. My own preference is to keep any modifications both modest and in the spirit of Binns Road. These days, if I'm after an accurate model for my "scale layout", I'll start either with a kit or a good proprietary model and a Brassmasters detailing pack. But, as always, each to his or her own. Mike
  4. Near the bottom of page 83 82 of the thread about the retooled Hornby Coronation Pacifics https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/117259-Hornby-princess-coronation-class-duchess/page/82/ Robin Brasher has helpfully posted a photograph of the current Hornby "Duchess of Montrose" compared with Hornby-Dublo's 1950s product. Zooming in on the modern model shows clearly that Hornby have modelled the safety valve area as a "cover with four holes" rather than the "open-topped recess" of the Hornby-Dublo model. "You pays your money....." Mike
  5. Failing more photos or an authoritative source, it crossed my mind that the designers of the current series of Hornby Princess Coronations might have done their homework and addressed this detail. From what I have been able to ascertain from photos of these models, at least (4)6256 has the "cover with four holes" as in the photos above. Does anyone have an example of any of the other models in this series they can photograph? My reference to the Roche drawing wasn't an endorsement of its accuracy. My Roche drawing is dated April 1948 and, as Il Grifone has said, they (and the Skinley blueprints) were the then standard, and sometimes used by the trade in model design (David Belcher's example of the Jamieson B1). My suggestion was that the Binns Road designers, in preparing a new mould for the "City of London" in the late 1950s, might well have used the Roche drawing, right or wrong. For the record, here is the cab end of the Roche drawing of a non-streamlined "Duchess". Mike
  6. I had another trawl through various publications to find more photos but appear to have exhausted my supply of those which clearly show the safety valves. I've found a number (especially in David Jenkinson's The Power of the Duchesses, OPC 1979), which appear to show the same cover as on as 6233 and 6229. But drifting steam from the safety valves, reflected light, quality of reproduction, or simply the distance from which the photo was taken mean that I can't be sure. Turning the proposition around, none show clearly the uncovered recess as modelled by Hornby-Dublo on the "City" body casting. The Roche drawing shows the same arrangement as Hornby-Dublo's "City" - the uncovered, square recess with rounded corners. Perhaps this was the source for the Binns Road pattern-makers. Perhaps we'll never know! Mike
  7. A very good point LMS2968, one that I'd missed completely, and well shown on 6233 and 6229 in BR days. Trawling through my modest library was frustrating as 90% of the photos of these engines are of the 3/4 front view popularised by Eric Treacy and imitated by generations of photographers since. Finding a view of the top of the cab and boiler was a rare occurrence indeed. Based on these two photos it also seems as if, in BR days at least, the recess for the safety valves was not quite as Hornby-Dublo modelled it on the "City" body casting. It looks to me as if the square recess with rounded corners was covered by a plate with four round holes, one over each of the safety valves - a lot easier proposition for David Belcher to incorporate in his "Duchess" modification. Mike
  8. I looked at the photos on the previous page. The curious "pipe" on the rear "half-splasher" is clearly visible in the photo of David Belcher's bare metal "Duchess" included in his post of last Wednesday. But as you say, it's not there on your "Atholl". Neither is it on my two "Atholls" - one in a set and the other a nicely boxed original. (And I don't believe it was ever on the new casting for the "Cities".) I have half a dozen "Montroses" from different eras; some gloss, others matte. All have the "pipe"; more pronounced on some but clearly there on all of them. That itself is a mild curiosity as I've always thought that, apart from the slots for the smoke deflectors, the "Atholl" and "Montrose" castings were the same. A bit of a mystery but hardly of any great consequence for humankind. The protruding rectangle on a small number of "Atholls" is, as I understand it, explained by the nature of the moulds used for casting the locomotive bodies. The following explanation was given to me by a now-deceased English pattern maker who seemed both well-informed and not a blowhard. In those pre- computer controlled, spark erosion days, the steel moulds were cut by highly skilled pattern makers and machinists. It was far easier for them to incorporate detail which protruded on the finished model (such as pipes and oil fittings) as this only required these features to be cut into the mould. A recessed feature on the final model was a problem as it required the whole mould to be cut away to leave this item standing proud. A far more cost-efficient technique was to make the component separately and pin or otherwise attach it to the mould. In the case of the rectangular slots in the "Duchess" boiler, the pattern makers cut a corresponding slot in the mould into which a rectangle of the same size was forced. This rectangle was taller than the depth of the slot in the mould and stood proud of the surface, creating the slot in the boiler when the model was cast. But one day this piece fell out of the mould (probably stuck to one of the mazak bodies as it was released) and the "Atholl" bodies which were subsequently cast in that mould, before the problem was noticed, ended up with a protruding rectangular box instead of a recess. It doesn't say much for the quality control at Binns Road that these bodies were then painted and detailed, fitted to their chassis, tested, packaged and sent out the door, without anyone noticing. Or perhaps they did and didn't worry! This is apparently the reason those aeroplane kits we made inexpertly in the 1950s and 60s had raised panel lines - a lot easier to cut into a mould by the pattern maker. Now of course, with computer design and computer controlled machining, such constraints no longer exist. Mike
  9. As with LMS2968's comments about the respective merits of the "Duchess" and "City" castings, your comment also sent me off rummaging for my "Atholl", "Montrose" and "City" models as well as a prototype photo or two for comparison. I had known about the misaligned driving wheels and splashers on the "Duchess" models but hadn't fully realised that this was due to the whole chassis sitting too far back under the body. The photos below illustrate Il Grifone's point. Several things registered with me when I lined up these photos. (1) On the prototype 6235, the rear edge of the smoke-deflector is almost exactly in line with the rear edge of the outside cylinder lagging cover. On the "Duchess of Montrose" the cylinder is set noticeably to the rear of this position. (2) The front bogie axle on 6235 is in line with the front of the smokebox, which can just be made out where the hand rail ends. On the "Duchess" model, the axle of the front bogie wheel is clearly to the rear of the front of the smokebox. (3) Lining up the various lubricators and sand-box lids on the running plates with the driving wheels of 6235 and the Dublo "Duchess" tells the same story. (4) However, although the rear carrying wheels of the "Duchess" are set back towards the cab slightly more than those of 6235 (put a straight edge on the axle bearing in both photos) the difference is very small. (5) The same tests on the"City" will show the chassis is a much more prototypical fit under the body casting. Incidentally, the "Montrose" model is a different one to that which featured in my previous posts (a much better cared for example!) but the body casting has the same "pipe" over the rear splasher. Indeed a mystery. The misaligned body and chassis demonstrated on the "Duchess of Atholl". Notice the position of the front bogie wheel in relation to the smokebox front; the gap between the front of the outside cylinder casting and the drop in the running plate; and, compared with the "Montrose" above, a rear carrying wheel set further back than on the real thing. Does all this have a point? Well, I found it instructive. It seems to me if, when refurbishing and/or repainting a Hornby-Dublo "Duchess" (as opposed to a "City"), I can do three things: (1) lift the rear of the body to correct the "sag" at the cab end and therefore better align the cab roof and tender; (2) move the chassis forward by a small amount as per Il Grifone's modification; and (3) shorten the engine/tender drawbar to close up the yawning gap between the two; the overall effect will be significant. It will still be a Hornby-Dublo "Duchess" but will have a "presence" and visual tidiness which Tom Coleman and his team achieved with the real thing. In fact, with these minor tweaks, I don't think I'd necessarily prefer a "City" to a "Duchess" as a basis for a repaint after all. Mike
  10. I find myself in considerable agreement with LMS2968. But first, an apology for setting a hare running. When I implied that the Hornby-Dublo "Duchess" firebox profile was understated I should have made clear that I was referring only to the "shoulders" on the top front. As in the photo below of "Sir William" these are quite pronounced, depending of course on angle of view and the light. I still think they are are too soft on the "Duchess" casting but, all down to the eye of the beholder. More generally, the comments quoted above sent me off to dig out unmolested examples of the two Dublo LM Pacifics for closer examination at the dining room table. My wife rolled her eyes, affectionately of course, but in truth there's not much incentive for outside activities on a cold, rainy and windswept Southern Hemisphere winter day. To my eyes the body castings for both have their problems as the photos below may show. Both castings have compromises to accommodate the vertical motor. Looking first at the fireboxes from the top, to my eye the "City" casting has a more convincing firebox shape. But that's about the best news. Because to achieve this convincing top view and fit the body over the motor, the firebox top is slightly over-scale which, in turn, results in some difficulties when it comes down to meet the running plate - of which more anon. While the covers for the washout plugs on the "Duchess" are probably too large, at least they are on the shoulders of the firebox and not curiously placed on the top as with the "City". The compromises in both castings become more apparent in the following views. 1. Both fireboxes taper insufficiently back towards the cab. If one compares the two photos above with the first photo of the real 6256, the fireboxes on both models come right up to the bottom corners of the cab window. On the prototype they are well inside the window frames. 2. The "Duchess" firebox side has a curious curve or rounded shape throughout, not at all like the flatter profile of the prototype, seen in both prototype photos posted here. The "City" firebox side is flatter, I think as per the prototype but, because it is too wide at the top, has to have a steeper slope from top to bottom to meet the running plate at a sensible distance from the edge That gives it the square, slab-sided look referred to by LMS2968. 3. Both castings fudge the area around the rear splasher, the motor pole pieces preventing full development of this feature. The "Duchess" casting includes a curious "pipe" across the vestigial splasher, not found in any prototype photos I've examined. (You may have noticed on my model of 6256 in my previous post how I spent considerable time cutting away the firebox casting and building a full rear splasher.) Finally (Thank Heavens did I hear?) a comparison of the firebox/running plate junction. In the photograph below of the original "Duchess of Montrose" you can see how, due to the rearward taper of the firebox, the running plate widens as it goes back alongside the firebox towards the cab front. (The firebox top and side cladding look near-flat in this view, but the top to bottom angle of the side is much more pronounced than the near vertical sides of the City casting.) This area on the two Hornby-Dublo castings. The "Duchess" casting shows this taper on the running plate, just, but the "City" casting does not. If anything, the running plate narrows slightly as it nears the cab front. So what does this long-winded narrative prove. Not much if truth be told. Both castings have their faults and, annoyingly, the later casting, while addressing some of the problems with the earlier one, introduced new ones. On balance, I still think that the "City" casting is better but have renewed respect for the venerable "Atholl/Montrose" bodies. On the bevelled smokebox, thank you LMS2968 for the correction about the reasons for and process of replacement. I had read somewhere of an ex-streamliner having a cylindrical smokebox fitted at a heavy general repair and assumed, wrongly, that this was the usual practice. In that case it seems that the life-expiry of the smokebox just happened to correspond with a scheduled "heavy general". Mike
  11. Adding to my last post, here is my Ivatt Pacific, bodged from a Hornby-Dublo "City of London" at least 30 years ago, fitted with Romford driving wheels closer to scale which, as in David Belcher's conversion, required filing of the motor pole pieces. I've posted the photo before but am putting it up again as it shows my modification to the front corners of the firebox. I've softened the square shoulders of the Hornby-Dublo casting by filing and sanding, probably too much in retrospect. The engine still sits too low at the stern when engine/tender height are compared. I'm pretty sure that this is the result of my fitting a new tender chassis with larger, near-scale, wheels, inside the original Dublo tender chassis casting. The following photographs illustrate the other comments in my earlier post. The Hattons photo of a "Duchess of Montrose", which I bought for repair and repainting, shows to advantage the enormous gap between engine and tender. (Because the chassis hadn't been properly slotted into the body at the cab end when the photo was taken, the cab sits far too high.) "Duchess of Buccleuch", another "Montrose" repaint previously posted, shows the customary "Atholl/Montrose" dip at the cab end, resulting in misaligned cab roof and tender top, as well as the large engine/tender gap. And my most recent repaint, a three rail "City of Glasgow" in early BR Blue with the bevelled top to the front of the smokebox carried by the ex-streamliners until their next "heavy general". I think that this photo shows the altogether better appearance resulting from a properly aligned cab and tender, and a closer engine/tender coupling, when compared with 46230 above. (With reference to David Belcher's question, my understanding is that this smokebox modification (to fit under the streamlined casing) was the only significant difference in firebox/boiler/smokebox dimensions between the streamlined, un-streamlined and de-streamlined Coronation Pacifics.) Mike
  12. I agree that the firebox profile on the "Cities" was too pronounced, but have always felt that the firebox profile on the earlier casting was not pronounced enough. Somewhere between the two seems about right to my eyes. I agree too that it makes a considerable difference to the overall stance and "presence" of the locomotive if that slight "droop" towards the stern of the "Duchess" locomotives can be corrected, as shown to advantage in LMS2968's photos. The photos also show a correction to another visual problem with the Hornby-Dublo LM Pacifics, the yawning gap between engine and tender. This may be necessary for the models to negotiate the tight curves of tinplate track but, again to my eyes, it makes the model look like it is made up of two disconnected items. If the locomotive cab roof can be raised to line up with the tender, and the engine/tender gap reduced, the result is a far better proportioned unit, conveying a sense of the power of the prototype - again as LMS2968's Duchess of Atholl shows well. By contrast, I think that the smaller gap between engine and tender on the Dublo A4s makes for a more convincing unit straight out of the box, notwithstanding the well-known problems with the A4 body casting. Mike
  13. To clarify the way I wired the points on my test track above, the following photo may be useful. Red dots are feed; green dots are return; mauve dot is isolated i.e. no power. The drunken blue arrow is the insulation gap. This "traditional" 3-rail wiring of turnouts is simplicity itself. All outside rails including frogs/common crossings, but with the exception of the point's switch and closure rails, are wired up solid - think the Hornby Dublo tinplate track base. The switch and closure rails are left "un-wired". With the point set for the diverging route above, the curved switch/closure rail (the upper one) is physically connected to the outside rail and energised - red dot. The lower switch/closure rail is not physically connected (nor wired) and is electrically "dead" - mauve dot. On an engine coming from right to left, its third-rail pick-up shoes slide from the centre rail (green dot), over the dead closure rail and then continue on to pick up power from the next "green dot" rail. Relying on physical contact between switch and stock rail for electrical connection, unreliable in 2-rail wiring, is perfectly fine for 3-rail for, as seen in the example above, there is already a continuous feed to the locomotive's wheels - uninsulated on a 3-rail locomotive - from the outside "red dot" rail at the bottom of the photo. All isolation of sidings, creating track sections etc, is done only via the third rail. My apologies if this comes across as "teaching Grandma...." or as stating the bleeding obvious, but I thought that a picture might be a useful addition to the discussion. Keep safe Mike
  14. Going back to the discussion on converting Hornby Dublo 3-rail locomotives to 2-rail, do I remember correctly that the following method was favoured by some modellers in the 1960s? With the driving wheels still in the chassis, every second spoke on the driving wheels on one side was sawn through and the saw cuts filled with Araldite, a new and very high tech product back then. When the Araldite had cured after 24 hours or more, the rest of the spokes on the same wheels were cut through and the Araldite filling process repeated, After sanding and painting the spokes where they had been cut and filled, one had a chassis with insulated driving wheels on one side, and with quartering undisturbed. I assume that bogie and pony wheels were replaced with insulated equivalents. I wonder if these "conversions" fell apart 20 or 30 years later, completely mystifying some new owner. Mike
  15. As D51 noted, Garry Hall had an impressive three-rail layout based on Peco track, which is well worth finding on YouTube. His work inspired me to have a shot at something similar. I built a test track using Peco streamline points and flex track. One of the points was insulfrog, the other live frog. Both were well-used, second-hand items. As you can probably see from the photo above, the third rail is normal Peco Code 100, attached by inserting copper-clad sleepers at intervals into the streamline track and soldering all three rails to the sleeper. Remember to cut insulation slots each side of the centre rail. I kept the third rail consistently centred by using a couple of crude jigs made out of MDF. The third rail was attached to the points by a drilling the sleepers for small stationery staples and soldering the third rail to these. These were older Peco points with the over-centre spring in a housing on top of the sleepers, so I ground away the underside of the third rail where it crosses this housing. Modern points won't require as much work. The only mistake I made was bringing the third rail which starts from the toe of the point too close to the outside rails. As a result, the pick-up shoe on some engines sometimes touched both and caused a short. This is shown in the photo below with the yellow dot and was easily fixed by trimming a couple of mm off the third rail at this location. I'd forgotten how simple three-rail wiring is. The outside/running rails are all just wired up solid, requiring some bridging wires where the two rail points are insulated, and all sections, siding isolation etc are controlled through the third rail. I'm not saying that this is the only way, but it has worked for me.
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