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Standard Cowans Sheldon 15T Crane (mk1 and mk2 Jib) announced!

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Does anyone know which of the four cranes that Oxford Rail are producing would be the most suitable for LSWR / SR ?

Cheers,

Chris

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5 hours ago, Jack P said:

 

Oooh, any of the current versions suitable for a repaint? or maybe with some minor modification?

I would imagine the Stewarts Lane one.

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Bear in mind that so far we have only been given the identities to be applied to these cranes - two from the first Midland batch of 1893, with curved jib; are the other two prototypes listed swan-necked types? We don't actually know what the models will look like though since grouping / BR condition is implied, one assumes they'll have some of the accretions these cranes acquired such as roofs, which I would imagine differ between regions. So an open question is, how straightforward it will be to backdate to original condition, as in the photo being used in the publicity?

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11 hours ago, Black 5 Bear said:

I question your label of a toy because it was quite obviously much more of a scale model than that.

I've seen various products from other well known manufacturers that can't hold a candle to this model.

As for a £40 price you quote, realistically the RRP was somewhere around £60.

This was still very much a bargain in today's market.

The few that I've seen left for sale at some outlets are closer to that mark.

I've got a feeling that we will again be pleasantly surprised both on quality and cost.

 

 

Sorry, perhaps I wasn't quite as clear as I could have been,

 

Even if the price of the crane is £40 not c£17 it will have been simplified, but I bet it will be simplified to still include the 'play value' of posing it, and that (both simplification and play value) to me makes it a toy. If they were aiming at the serious modeller I think it would have a match truck that suited the crane (or at least for one of the versions).

 

Oxford got the railgun entirely right in my opinion, and I'm very happy with my toy. An interesting prototype, a bit of play value, not so much stuff to get knocked off, and because of that a competitive price that made it attractive to a lot of people, despite almost nobody really needing one. Is that model better than the 1970's Lima Leopold gun, yes of course - they are separated by 45 years, but it's not MUCH better, but then its not the price of the Bachmann crane either, which is a state of the art model, with a price to match.

 

Jon

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59 minutes ago, jonhall said:

 

Sorry, perhaps I wasn't quite as clear as I could have been,

 

Even if the price of the crane is £40 not c£17 it will have been simplified, but I bet it will be simplified to still include the 'play value' of posing it, and that (both simplification and play value) to me makes it a toy. If they were aiming at the serious modeller I think it would have a match truck that suited the crane (or at least for one of the versions).

 

Oxford got the railgun entirely right in my opinion, and I'm very happy with my toy. An interesting prototype, a bit of play value, not so much stuff to get knocked off, and because of that a competitive price that made it attractive to a lot of people, despite almost nobody really needing one. Is that model better than the 1970's Lima Leopold gun, yes of course - they are separated by 45 years, but it's not MUCH better, but then its not the price of the Bachmann crane either, which is a state of the art model, with a price to match.

 

Jon

You seem obsessed with Oxford products in particular being toys and their play value.

Granted, they've made mistakes with some models where a tad more research would have been prudent.

However, please remember OR is quite new to the railway modelling side of things.

As for the steam crane appealing to "Serious Modellers", would it not be too difficult for such folk to source a match truck or in fact build one from available kits ?

OR have already given the reasoning behind this stance.

It's quite simple, if you don't like the product don't buy it.

Edited by Black 5 Bear
Omission.
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3 hours ago, bigherb said:

I would imagine the Stewarts Lane one.

 

A photograph of which, appears in Mr Tatlows article in Model Railways (Apr. 1990) and probably in his much weightier tomes?

 

Apparently the series of Model Rail articles have Phots of all the SR cranes.

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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.

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16 hours ago, bubbles2 said:

A few cranes from Flickr, none exactly like the picture Oxford have used.  All these pictures were taken in the mid 60s so they lasted well into the BR diesel era.

 

 

1964JULxxAHAR261cs

 

1966MAR05RWBR001cs.jpg

 

85B Breakdown Train.

 

Cowans Sheldon Steam Crane, Cashmores Newport c1965

 

LT Crane Cashmores, Newport 1965

 

 

With all these gears and cogs looks pretty Steampunk to me , more than some of the Hornby stuff to be honest . What have they done to Annie and Clarabelle ?  Thomas will not be pleased

 

But the crane looks good , even if it is £40. Again my issue is that the layout and storage is at saturation point . While I'd love one , the siding space could be more usefully used.

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2 hours ago, Black 5 Bear said:

As for the steam crane appealing to "Serious Modellers", would it not be too difficult for such folk to source a match truck or in fact build one from available kits ?

 

As has been stated elsewhere, the crane will come with a jib cradle which can be added to any suitable wagon. Unlike the bigger cranes, such as the Ransomes and Rapier modelled by Bachmann (or the venerable Hornby Cowans Sheldon), the real thing didn't have a dedicated crane runner - instead, whatever was available locally was converted for use.

 

What that means is that people who buy this one will have three options:

 

1. Plonk the cradle into any suitable wagon they've already got (and I can't imagine there will be many, if any, buyers who don't already have one), and be happy with it even if it's not quite right for their particular crane.

 

2. Do a bit of research to see what kind of wagon was actually used (or likely to have been used) as a runner for the crane that they've got, and then buy one if it's available.

 

3. Kit or scratchbuild a wagon that really is ideal for their crane.

 

That covers a wide spread of modelling skills, and the last of them is precisely what I'd expect a "serious modeller" to do. And even if there is an RTR wagon which is suitable, there's a lot of scope for customising it with the addition of toolboxes and stuff that would normally be lying around on the runner (as very well illustrated by micklner's superb model shown earlier).

 

In many respects, this is a better way of doing it than for Oxford to supply a runner that isn't actually correct for the vast majority of cranes that were actually in use. If they did that, a lot of us would want to replace it anyway, so it's essentially a wasted expense. And not having to tool a dedicated runner wagon is one of the things that will be helping Oxford keep the cost of the model down. So it's probably better all round to do it this way, even if it goes a bit against the grain of wanting everything to be complete in and of itself.

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42 minutes ago, Legend said:

With all these gears and cogs looks pretty Steampunk to me , more than some of the Hornby stuff to be honest . What have they done to Annie and Clarabelle ?  Thomas will not be pleased

 

I know, Thomas is definitely a goth...:unknw_mini:

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43 minutes ago, MarkSG said:

 

Unlike the bigger cranes, such as the Ransomes and Rapier modelled by Bachmann (or the venerable Hornby Cowans Sheldon), the real thing didn't have a dedicated crane runner - instead, whatever was available locally was converted for use.

 

 

As I've tried to emphasise several times, this statement simply isn't correct for many of these 15 ton cranes. The nine purchased by the Midland had specially designed and constructed match wagons - in a previous post I linked to the drawing; their running numbers are known. The LTSR example also had a specially-constructed match wagon. No "conversion" involved. I'm not so well up on other companies' cranes but the Great Western match wagons were also, I believe, specially constructed.

 

It is true that Cowans Sheldon did not, as far as I'm aware, supply crane match wagons of their own design for these 15 ton cranes, so from Oxford's point of view not supplying one probably makes sense, though two of the listed versions (Stoke and Wellingborough) are from the Midland's 1893 batch and retained their Derby-built match wagon. 

 

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12 hours ago, Black 5 Bear said:

You seem obsessed with Oxford products in particular being toys and their play value.

Granted, they've made mistakes with some models where a tad more research would have been prudent.

However, please remember OR is quite new to the railway modelling side of things.

As for the steam crane appealing to "Serious Modellers", would it not be too difficult for such folk to source a match truck or in fact build one from available kits ?

OR have already given the reasoning behind this stance.

It's quite simple, if you don't like the product don't buy it.

 

I think Oxford have made a very sound business decision, a 'railroad' product at a 'railroad' price, they have clearly identified a market for items at that price/value, and the railgun seems to have sold well (including one to me), as I suspect will the crane, but would it sell better if a match wagon was available?

 

There only kit available for a suitable match wagon is, as far as I know, the Brassmasters GWR type, which is fine except the crane that it was partnered with had a very characteristic cab which isn't available. I would be delighted to be proved wrong and told what other suitable kits for match trucks are available (particularly for the SR constituent companies).

 

Jon

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The odds are that it won't satisfy those who are hoping for an excuse to avoid building that carefully salted away D&S kit but it will look very good parked on the shed back road.

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1 hour ago, jonhall said:

 

I think Oxford have made a very sound business decision, a 'railroad' product at a 'railroad' price, they have clearly identified a market for items at that price/value, and the railgun seems to have sold well (including one to me), as I suspect will the crane, but would it sell better if a match wagon was available?

 

There only kit available for a suitable match wagon is, as far as I know, the Brassmasters GWR type, which is fine except the crane that it was partnered with had a very characteristic cab which isn't available. I would be delighted to be proved wrong and told what other suitable kits for match trucks are available (particularly for the SR constituent companies).

 

Jon

Hi Jon,

 

I like the idea of a "Railroad" product as it means that it may be detailed or repainted without ruining it as would be the case with the Bachmann crane. I think you are quite right that it will represent good value for its price. The prototype chosen is relatively ubiquitous and also long lived, better still the fact that it is much more representative of the type of crane found at small to medium sized MPD's which are found on model layouts.

 

Another bonus is that it will save me having to scratch build one and it may even be useful as a basis for a conversion to the larger 25/30 ton crane. Such a conversion remains to be researched properly, I might buy a crane and have a look first.

 

As for match trucks they are relatively easy to build or even convert, if nothing else it will sort out the modellers from the box openers !

 

Gibbo.

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490359544_IMG_20200123_001636352_BURST000_COVER2.jpg.d1427befd36905ad65c3774f6e894c6c.jpg

 

Here is my D&S crane, the kit does not include a jib runner wagon. This one is a Kenline kit, not exact but close to the Midland Railway version. It is made of the correct materials; wood body and underframe with metal fittings. The jib rest is scratchbuilt in wood. Numbers and lettering still needs doing. 

 

 

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For a GWR version, there is a match truck available as a plastic kit as part of the Cambrian C5 Hand crane.

 

The GWR also converted ex long wheel base open C/tube wagons into crane runners. Kits have been available from Ratio and David Geen in the past

 

Mike Wiltshire

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Far more interesting prototype of crane than the Bachmann Ransomes and Rapier version for me.  Especially with regard to my modelling era 1930's and the more manageable size of the 15 tonne crane.

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I think it looks really nice. Also, stupid question, but could someone post pictures showing the difference between the curved jib and swan-necked jib? I think I know the difference between them, but I'm not quite sure.

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Sorry to sound dumb, but at the advertised price (and even if it doubled), this crane seems like a bargain compared to others on the market. It seems silly not to get one. I was thinking of getting one but wanted to know what liveries they'll have? Yes I know LNER, LMS, BR etc. but more specifically, what's the colour?

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5 hours ago, Gibbo675 said:

 

As for match trucks they are relatively easy to build or even convert, if nothing else it will sort out the modellers from the box openers !

 

 

I'd like to think with two of the D&S cranes under my belt, and as the manufacturer of more different varieties of crane detailing and conversion kit than anyone else, I'd already passed the 'beyond box opening' test. All I'm looking for is a match truck that is correct for the crane and the details on the crane to match the match truck, and no such kit (or donor wagon) seems to exist.

 

Jon

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4 hours ago, MGR Hooper! said:

Sorry to sound dumb, but at the advertised price (and even if it doubled), this crane seems like a bargain compared to others on the market. It seems silly not to get one. I was thinking of getting one but wanted to know what liveries they'll have? Yes I know LNER, LMS, BR etc. but more specifically, what's the colour?

Not wishing to pre-empt OR as they haven't as yet given details of liveries only running numbers and depots.

I would hazard a guess that it will be Full black/Full red livery for the BR versions era 4/5 respectively.

Not sure as to the other variants, grey for the LNER possibly?

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4 hours ago, jonhall said:

 

I'd like to think with two of the D&S cranes under my belt, and as the manufacturer of more different varieties of crane detailing and conversion kit than anyone else, I'd already passed the 'beyond box opening' test. All I'm looking for is a match truck that is correct for the crane and the details on the crane to match the match truck, and no such kit (or donor wagon) seems to exist.

 

Jon

Hi Jon,

 

To me the term box opener is applied to one that buys something while at same time complaining at the price, the details, the livery, the numbers, worse still  while not mentioning that they have never built a model in their life that even resemble anything recognisable.

 

Your fine work shews quite clearly that you are not a box opener, especially that which you posted on my Rail Mounted Crane thread.

 

As for match tucks and jib runners, in the case of the smaller cranes most railways simply converted existing flat or low plank wagons to re-purpose them as such. Any self respecting modeller ought to be able to manage that with access to basic drawings and decent photographs.

 

Gibbo.

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2 minutes ago, Gibbo675 said:

 

As for match tucks and jib runners, in the case of the smaller cranes most railways simply converted existing flat or low plank wagons to re-purpose them as such. 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

 

Hi Stephen,

 

I deliberately didn't mention Cowans Sheldon 15 ton crane and used the general term, "in the case of smaller cranes" for good reason.

 

Here is a smaller crane, not from a box, not Cowans Sheldon, not even Midland Railway, with a jib runner made, as noted, from a converted LNER plate wagon with a jib rest attached to it:

 

DSCF0904.JPG.afc2fb296376018af152b64bb9150ea4.JPG

Coles 10 ton diesel electric crane and converted plate wagon complete with, perish the thought, made up numbers !

 

Gibbo.

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@Gibbo675, fair do's, and nice models. My reason for banging on about the purpose built match wagons is that two of the cranes Oxford are offering, the ones allocated to Stoke and Wellingborough, were from the Midland's 1893 batch and, to the best of my knowledge, retained their purpose-built match trucks throughout their life.

 

The Midland had a smaller standard design of match wagon used with a variety of hand cranes of up to 5 tons capacity; I suppose other companies may not have been so fastidious. I've discussed Midland match wagons and how one might go about replicating them in my wagon building topic. For convenience I'm copying-and-pasting that here:

 

I've been mulling over Midland crane match wagons. These come in two basic varieties, to drawings 826 and 847. The former covers match wagons used with hand cranes up to 5 tons capacity, either 4 or 6 wheeled. This type of crane often overhung at both ends, so match wagons came in pairs - one with a jib rest, the other with a recess in the end to accommodate the weight box. These wagons were built on the standard 14'11" over headstocks, 9'0" wheelbase underframe and had sides 1'8⅜” high - 3 planks. One such is very nicely restored at Butterley, though without its jib rest. 182 of these were built in the 1890s, enough for 91 cranes - so, a reasonably common sight around the Midland system. It would appear that many of these cranes were assigned to the Engineers, Way & Works, or Signal Departments. Some of these pairs of wagons may have replaced earlier dumb-buffered wagons of similar design. The Midland acquired a number of 10 ton 6-wheeled hand cranes from Cowans Sheldon in the mid 1870s; these had negligible weight box overhang and hence, it would appear, only jib rest match wagons.

 

From a modelling perspective, the most straightforward approach would be to start from a Slaters D299 kit, cutting the ends down to 3 planks, and scratchbuilding the sides. The tail match wagons might need completely scratch built ends as well.

 

The second variety of match wagon, to drawing 847, first appeared in 1891 as a single example to work with a 10 ton crane. This was a stretched version of the standard jib rest wagon, 17'11" over headstocks and 10'6" wheelbase. Fortunately, the Midland Railway Study Centre has made a copy of the drawing available. This drawing has various additions and annotations relating to the next batch of four, Nos. 114903-6, built in 1893 for the first batch of Cowans Sheldon 15 ton steam cranes, Nos. 25-28, including a note that the Loco Dept had provided a different design of jib rest and sketching in various brackets under the frame to carry the crane's stabilisation girders. A further one-off was built in 1899 for another 10 ton crane, then another batch of four, Nos. 116950-3 the same year for the second batch of 15 ton cranes, Nos, 29-32. These were built to another revision of the drawing, 847A, and incorporated equipment lockers under the underframe. A further one of this design, No. 117284, was built in 1901 for the final 15 ton crane No. 33.

 

The dimensions of these wagons don't match those of any other Midland wagons. My current thinking is that the best starting-point would be a Slaters cattle wagon underframe - 19'1" over headstocks, 11'0" wheelbase, with 2 mm taken out of the middle of the solebars and 1.3 mm trimmed off each end. The molded oil axleboxes would have to be replaced with MJT cast Ellis 10A grease ones and the brake gear trimmed to fit. The ends and sides would be as suggested for the standard jib match wagon.

 

Once upon a time the underframes of the Slaters Midland wagon kits were sold separately but these haven't reappeared along with the re-issued kits. I have a stash of the 9 ft wheelbase ones but none of the 11 ft wheelbase so a whole cattle wagon would have to be sacrificed to this project! I also need to have another look at my D&S kit...

 

Full details of the Midland and LTSR Cowans Sheldon 15 ton steam cranes and their match wagons, with modellers' drawings of the Loco Dept's improved jib rest, are in a couple of articles by Dave Hunt in Midland Record Vols. 2 and 6.

Edited by Compound2632
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