Jump to content

spikey

4mm loco crew - which make and which way round?

Recommended Posts

I have need of a crew for my half-cab Bachmann 1F, so what's reckoned to be the best value for money nowadays?  

 

And what do people generally do about the fact that a tank loco will probably spend half its life reversing - have both crew members looking ahead, or one ahead and one astern? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure about value for money, but given that the crew will be more than usually noticeable in a half -cab, then I would suggest you find those that look the best in terms of features and proportions.

 

To that end, I would heartily recommend the Modelu range. No connection other than as a satisfied customer.

 

Within their range you will find crew in all sorts of poses, which you should be able to make look believable whichever way they are facing. Maybe looking sideways out of the cab would give the best compromise?

 

Al.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

First choice. Modelu

 

Second choice  Modelu

 

Third choice. Modelu.

 

:mail:

 

Happy new year

 

John

 

PS. I would have the driver facing the front and the fireman ( without a shovel in his hands) facing back.... you can select different poses from the Modelu range

Edited by ROSSPOP
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Modelu seconded, thirded, and fourthed, but you have to paint them.  Whatever you buy, I'd suggest avoiding the 'standard' poses, the driver leaning out trying out his best Casey Jones stance and the fireman wielding his shovel.  If your layout has trains passing through and only seen briefly this is ok, but if the loco is to be standing for any period on the visible part of the layout, or shunting, as a 1F probably will, then it looks a bit daft.  If your fireman is wielding the Tool Of Power, having him trimming coal in the bunker with it, not about to hurl half a hundredweight at a closed firehole door!

 

Pose your crew in relaxed positions, talking to each other, leaning on shovel or long pricker, gazing at the scenery, looking downwards to the side as if they are talking to staff on the ground or a platform.  If you can visit a steam railway, look at how the men behave on the footplate, their attitudes and stances, and try to replicate that.  My slightly out of focus shot of my Limbach, 8448, shows the idea; she is being held in a siding pending a passenger train clearing the platform road so that she can continue her pickup shunting work.  The (Bachmann) fireman is leaning out of the doorway, gathering wool; he is completely relaxed, but the pose is also good for speaking to staff on the ground, or just watching the world go by while the loco is in motion while he psychs himself up for the next part of the job.

 

Quite a lot of footplate work, especially on branch lines, involves little physical activity, it consists more of quiet moments like this or discussions over exactly how the next move is to take place, or just shooting the breeze, interspersed with periods of fairly intense activity.  The same may be said for a lot of main line freight work, involving a lot of time spent in loops or lay by sidings while more important traffic whizzes past.  He needs a bit of weathering; he's just worked a train up the branch's gradient and looks far too clean and tidy to me!

 

The more important traffic is real hard and continuous work of course, express passenger trains worked flat out a good bit of the time, and fully fitted express goods or parcels worked the same way with smaller engines and twice the load, busy stoppers or suburbans where you're constantly on the go doing one thing or another.  But even these do not have firemen continually firing or drivers constantly Casey Jonesing it out of the cutout, scarf flying in the breeze; on cold days they used the spectacle plates as much as they could!

 

Footplate crew were to be seen looking backwards on trains leaving goods yards or stations, to ensure the train was following in order and to get the 'tip' from the guard confirming that he is safely aboard his van.  They would also check this on suitable curves en route, and the guard would tip them to indicate the van's clearing of speed restrictions.  Similarly, don't pose your guards constantly waving to give the tip; this was done in seconds and guards had other duties to look to!

 

Whatever poses you settle for, they will be a compromise, as they are plastic figures which cannot be made to move (ok, they can, but they are a bit marionette/automaton whey they are).  So it looks better to pose them when you can in fairly static stances. railwaymen in groups talking to each other, passengers leaning or sitting.  Promote the idea that nothing much is going on but is about to.  This is easier to convince yourself about if the platform is hidden behind the train when it arrives and occupies it; you are then able to imagine the slamming doors, rumble of trolleys, whistles, and so on.  And go easy on the green flags!

 

I have no passengers on my platform.  Cwmdimbath is a small South Wales Valleys mining community that trains approach up a steep bank; it experiences a climate appropriate to it's geography.  This means that the only time it isn't raining is when it's about to, and everyone stays indoors until the train arrives; they all know the timetable by heart and can hear it blasting up the bank anyway.  There are some sheep though, presumably without tickets...

 

I find the Modelu figures much the best for my needs though.  A greater variety of poses, and some of them are quite scruffy dishevelled types, much more like the real railwaymen I remember from back in the day, and a relief from Scalescenes/Bachmann's tall, fit, rather imposing types.  They are more human, being prints of actual humans, some of whom have let themselves go a bit and who have not learned poise in a finishing school.  Footplate staff on a locomotive at rest, in particular, could and did achieve Olympic standard slovenly and 'relaxed'.  In goods loops where you might be standing for some time. they'd hang the bucket on lower quadrant signals so as to be awoken by it's falling to the floor when the board was eventually pulled off.

post-30666-0-72301100-1546359138_thumb.jpg

Edited by The Johnster
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point about painting.

 

If you aren't up for painting them then Bachmann sell reasonable packs of loco crews.

 

https://www.hattons.co.uk/22245/Bachmann_Branchline_36_047_Locomotive_staff_x_6/StockDetail.aspx

 

https://www.hattons.co.uk/32672/Bachmann_Branchline_36_407_1950s_Train_Crew_x_6/StockDetail.aspx

 

I would also recommend the Monty's range.

 

https://www.dartcastings.co.uk/montys.php

 

 

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

To pick up on The Johnster's point about the crew looking relaxed one of the Modelu poses is of a fireman with a mug of tea in one hand, and the other hand in his pocket, which is quite effective:

 

post-17302-0-58771300-1546368480_thumb.jpg

 

Al

Edited by Alister_G
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those are indeed similar to Modelu and just as good; thanks for alerting me to their existence, Torpor!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Falcon Masterpieces do a superb set for the 1F. The rest of the range is just as good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking about it hardly any of mine has crew fitted apart from factory fitted crew in diesels. I'm waiting to build a layout first so that the crew can be "in context" with the layout. Same goes for things like lamps.

 

The only locos that do have crew are ones that had Airfix Luftwaffe Personnel fitted back in the 1980s. Surprising how easy it was to change these into enginemen with a bit of carving.

 

http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/review.aspx?id=466

 

 

 

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andrew Stadden figures are simply superb, with alternative Heads  and Arms . He will mix the sets on his webpage, if you ask him too as well.

 

 

https://www.acstadden.co.uk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The Modelu range looks great but a tad expensive for me.

I have always used Airfix / Dapol trackside figures suitably carved about as loco crew.   Jackets and overalls painted BR corporate blue with white or black mixed in for a bit of variety, white ish shirts and of course a tie.  Don't forget the railways had link systems where generally junior men started firing on shunting engines working their way up through local freight to the top links of express passenger and or long distance express freight  before getting driving turns so a weedy teenager on a 1F on shunting duties would be quite normal.  A young passed fireman driving or an old chap who had found main line work difficult and had requested light duties would also be common.  The GWR used top link crews on Paddington ECS one day and the "Cornish Riviera" etc the next just to be 1) awkward, and 2) avoiding milega payments.   

Getting a realistic pose is half the battle, firemen seldom spend much time pirouetting on one leg as per the Hornby model, or sitting on nice upholstered seats on GWR locos as suggested by Bachmann etc.  As suggested above there are various poses which suit almost any thing from  being prepared on shed to barrelling down the main line flat out but shunting is difficult, both enginemen are likely to be looking out in the direction of travel  

One recurring issue is modellers getting the height of the loco footplate wrong particularly on tank locos but also on kit built locos  The GWR specialised in awkward footplate layouts with tank sides where some people myself included put locomen

Edited by DavidCBroad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Preaching to the choir in regard to GW tank engines, which are my entire loco fleet.  Panniers, at least those with enclosed cabs, however have the advantage that a piece of plasticard can be put inside the cutout reveal to represent the sliding cab shutters (they were outside on the larger tank engines) and restrict the view in to the cab.  As my locos alway face the same way, I have been able to use this dodge to get away with only one man on some footplates.  

 

There are several situations in which this is prototypical anyway; the driver may be carrying out Rule 55 or have sent the fireman to do so (this means visiting the signal box or telephoning it to confirm that the signalman has not forgotten the presence of a train held at a signal), or the fireman may be off the footplate attending to the lamps or topping up the tanks, for example.  On a pannier with the shutters closed, a man on the viewing side of the loco effectively blocks your view in to the cab, and one with a man on the far side looks good in silhouette and the other man is hidden by the shutter, perhaps attending to an injector or something.

 

In other words, this is a great opportunity to employ some creative thinking.  A good layout is a sort of theatre, with suggestion being as important as the actual detail; the pirouetting shovel wielding fireman will destroy this sort of illusion completely!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Falcon Masterpieces do a superb set for the 1F. The rest of the range is just as good.

 

Thank you, but nothing relevant comes up for that name on Google. Do you perhaps have a link?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally like Monty's Models and the Airfix/Dapol workmen set. The face sculpting is very detailed and characterful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, but nothing relevant comes up for that name on Google. Do you perhaps have a link?

 

I'd second Falcon Figures - I don't think he's got a website, but he attends a lot of exhibitions in the South.

 

Contact details are on this thread

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, but nothing relevant comes up for that name on Google. Do you perhaps have a link?

He doesn't have a web presence but does attend a lot of shows in the South-East

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He doesn't have a web presence but does attend a lot of shows in the South-East

 

In which case alas, he's no use to me ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally like Monty's Models and the Airfix/Dapol workmen set. The face sculpting is very detailed and characterful.

 

I too have used the Dapol figures, but I found them a bit bulky, somehow - not quite in proportion:

 

post-17302-0-79103000-1546433790_thumb.jpg

 

Al.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sometimes use the steam loco crews available from Preiser and Noch.  OK they're to H0 scale, but people come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and the smaller size sometimes makes them easier to fit into loco cabs.  For tender engines, the Preiser 'Seated Industrial Workers' make quite good seated firemen.

 

http://www.gaugemaster.com/item_details.asp?code=PR10351&style=&strType=&Mcode=Preiser+10351

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

 

Thank you, but Tunbridge Wells to Bognor is 60 miles.  It can't be done by bus, it's 2hrs 40 on the train and it's £47.10 return.  There's only two exhibitions within reasonable travelling distance/cost - Uckfield and Tonbridge.

Edited by spikey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned, Falcon's contact details are here. You could try contacting him by the traditional means. He may be able to send you a list of the figures he currently has. His speciality is sets of of crew to fit RTR locomotives. I have his pre-painted figures for the Bachmann 1F and very good they are too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I too have used the Dapol figures, but I found them a bit bulky, somehow - not quite in proportion:

 

attachicon.gifDapol-figures.jpg

 

Al.

Wow - I wonder if the Dapol/Ex-Airfix moulds have worn somewhat over the years, as I don't recall my set of Airfix men looking so out of proportion - 'big headed' back in the 1980s.

 

Another vote for Modelu here; admittedly mine are 7mm scale men, so a bit easier to paint, but they can be put in some nice natural poses that - like others in the thread have said - suggest a pause in the action, but with more work to do...

 

post-704-0-01911500-1546467954_thumb.jpg

 

post-704-0-35419000-1546468000_thumb.jpg

 

post-704-0-52094700-1546468057_thumb.jpg

 

post-704-0-77216800-1546468132_thumb.jpg

 

Yes the Fireman on 3675 (Minerva) and the Driver on 4698 (Dapol, & yet to be weathered) are the same figure, "but" ... as bought, when he stands flat on his feet, he isn't leaning far enough forwards to rest his arms on the Cab side. On the Fireman's side there is enough space to place the figure at a bit of an angle, so he does lean on the cab side. On the Driver's side the reversing lever is in the way, and the figure could't be positioned to rest elbows properly on the cab side. I had to cut him in half & file an angle in his stomach and re-glue him leaning further forwards. The figure was made good with filler, and so in 4698 he actually leans a bit lower than his mate in 3675. Fortunately, I can't think of any time I shall be running my Panniers cab-to-cab, like this...

 

post-704-0-27532800-1546468276_thumb.jpg

Edited by F-UnitMad
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.