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I'm primarily a Great Western man, but I've always had a soft spot for the Brighton.  My books are not to hand and my knowledge and resources are not that extensive anyhow.


Though I love the Stroudley liveries, I have a K Class as running in 1913, and, so, the Bachmann E4 seemed a suitable companion. I believe the standard Bachmann model in umber, which I have, represents the class from 1912, or so, after re-boilering.


Given that, I was surprised to see the Collector's Club edition lettered "Birchgrove"; I would have guessed that this engine would have worn that name only with the earlier boiler and in Stroudley Goods Green. 


In short, is this simply a model of the locomotive during her preservation career at the Bluebell, or did she ever look like this in service?   


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I was very tempted - especially as I've been a Bluebell regular since their early days, but I recently picked up the original numbered version in Stroudley livery (at a good price, too), so have  decided to resist. The E4 is a lovely model, though, whatever the livery (and yes, that's as she ran on the Bluebell in preservation, not in service).

Edited by tersono
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One of the problems for those coming at the hobby/pre-grouping with growing, but still limited, knowledge, is the difficulty in distinguishing between pre-grouping liveried RTR models that represent the locomotive's pre-grouping career, and those that represent only its preserved incarnation.


I'm afraid the rule must be to research the proto-type class before you buy.  My some what scanty recollection of Russell's SR locomotive book and the odd comment picked up here and there led me to conclude that the 'Birchgrove' model represented only the preserved state, but I wanted, and was grateful for, confirmation.  I could easily have assumed that the preservers were historically correct and, therefore, purchased a useless, if beautiful, model.


Take, for example, the City of Truro.  Indian Red frames plus a top-feed are, I suspect, only correct for the preserved history.  This has not stopped Bachmann selling other pre-1906 Cities with a top feed.


I suspect the Midland Compound No. 1000 with the long tender is another example.  I believe that the T9 No.120 did not run in LSWR livery (even Urie livery) in her rebuilt state before 1962. 


What about the GNR Atlantic?  There is a livery error (the top of the splashers) but other than that, with my limited knowledge, I could not identify any difference between her preserved appearance and her in-service appearance in GNR days.


The Stirling Single at least will allow you to run the locomotive in a number of eras, depending on your tender choice, though I would prefer one with closed in splashers to represent the class in its last years of GNR service.

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The market for preserved versions of locos is no doubt healthy, and any model bought is good for the manufacturer. But as you say a little caveat emptor is required for historical layout use. More than one Hornby Bulleid is in malachite, yet has safety valves in the rear position adopted in the '50s, long after that livery had gone. Great for Blackmore Vale as preserved, less so for a '40s model.

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Yes, and generally they are labelled "as preserved" by the manufacturer, though the Bachmann Cities, and the Bulleids you mention, are perhaps misleading.  It would help if reviewers could specify whether a model of a preserved locomotive is only good for representing the preserved state.


I like to visit preserved lines, and I like to model historic railway subjects, because, frankly, it's a way to inhabit the past.  If I modelled preserved lines, that would be to model other people living in the past, which is not the same thing!  So, one of the umber E4's will work for me, but the other will not.

Edited by Edwardian
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