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Hi All,

 

A while ago, I found the useful information on making RTR Siphons more accurate on GWR.org.  I probably wouldn't have spotted that the planking was wider on the Lima version than the 'regular' O33. I brought the Slinn book on Siphons to get more information but it doesn't say which numbers were built with wider planking. I thought I would do some research on them.  I'll share it here in case it helps others.

 

I found that the easiest way to check the planking width was to look at the panels at each end - the 'standard' planking looks like this

siphon.png.d026073e2fe61dc6c64bb8e99342dd5e.png

with 7 planks (about 6½" wide) between the corner post and the door frame.  The Lima version has 6 x 7¼".  I have also found two narrower versions, 8 x 5½" and 10 x 4½".

 

Note: many of these were converted to O59 (O33 with shell vents) or M34 (O33 with shell vents, windows and steel plating over most louvres).  Bogies are another variable with a number of different types. These tables are purely looking at the planking.  Slinn has all the details of which had what bogies and which were converted.

 

Looking at all the photos I could find yielded the following results:

 

Lot 1441 - Nos 2052-2070 (20)

Number Built Planks  Photo Ref

2057     Aug-30 7 (6½") Slinn

2062     Oct-30  7 (6½") Slinn

2067     Nov-30 7 (6½") Slinn

2069     Nov-30 7 (6½") RCTS photo

2070     Dec-30 7 (6½") Slinn

 

Lot 1578 - Nos 2751-2800 (50)

Number Built Planks  Photo Ref

2756     Oct-36  7 (6½") Paul Bartlett Photo

2758     Oct-36  7 (6½") Russell Appendix

2774     Nov-36 7 (6½") Paul Bartlett Photo

2775     Nov-36 7 (6½") Internet search, preserved Shildon

2782     Dec-36 7 (6½") original body, Russell (New body 1945)

2792     Jan-37  7 (6½") Russell Coaches

2796     Jan-37  7 (6½") Russell Appendix, Preserved Didcot

2800     May-37 7 (6½") Paul Bartlett Photo

 

Lot 1651 - Nos 2917-2931 (15)

Number Built Planks  Photo Ref

2926     Apr-40  7 (6½") Internet search, preserved SVR

2927     Apr-40  7 (6½") Warwickshire mrb14 - buffer stop accident BR time 

2930     May-40 7 (6½") Slinn

 

Lot 1664 - Nos 2937-2946 & 2975-2994 (30)

Number Built Planks  Photo Ref

2937     Sep-44 6 (7¼") Russell Appendix, Planking as per Lima body

2938     Sep-44 10 (4½")  BR Maroon (John Lewis) later 6 or 7 - not clear (Photo on RMWeb - BR Blue 1975)

2940     Oct-44  7 (6½") Paul Bartlett Photo (1979)

2942     Oct-44  10 (4½")           Slinn

2943     Nov-44 6 (7¼") Internet search, preserved Long Marston

2975     Dec-44 7 (6½") John Lewis

2980     Feb-45  10 (4½")           Paul Bartlett Photo, Preserved WSR

2981     Feb-45  7?        Slinn planking not clear

2983     Feb-45  8 (5½") Internet search, preserved Toddington

2988     Mar-45 8 or 10 - not clear          Preserved? Badly damaged Dean Forest

2992     Apr-45  8 (5½") Russell Coaches, Preserved but destroyed by fire

2994     May-45 8 (5½") Internet search, preserved Bodmin

 

I think we are safe to assume that the first three lots were all built as 7 plank.  Lot 1664 gets very messy.  It may be that 2940 was re-planked at some time before 1979. It looks like they used whatever width planking they could get hold of during WWII.  The only two Siphons I have found that the Lima body can be used for are 2937 and 2943 - but the underframe is wrong for both as lot 1664 was lever brake, not Dean Churchward.

 

Has anyone got any other pictures of O33/O59/M34s that can fill in the gaps in lot 1664?

 

Thanks

 

Will

Edited by WillCav
Adding info on 2938 & 2975 (thanks John Lewis)
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24 minutes ago, chrisf said:

I think it would be much easier to alter the underframe than the planking.  I also think that your explanation for the varying widths of the planking is spot on.

 

Chris

Totally agree Chris,

I've already made 2937 from a Lima model by chopping the DC off, adding a kit spare lever brake on each side - and changing the bogies.   It's not perfect but it's better than what was in the Lima box.

Will

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40 minutes ago, chrisf said:

think it would be much easier to alter the underframe than the planking

While certainly easier, its most annoying.  I was planning to use the left over DC bits from my kit build to upgrade a Lima.  Now I need to find more long leavers for it.

 

going to have to just bite the bullet and have a go at correcting the planks I think (or learn to live with it...)

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Will, that is indeed useful and very timely as I have had a second-hand Lima Siphon turn up in the post this morning that is intended to be the “van” in the formation that I have been describing elsewhere.

 

I was going to try to find out over the next few days what the Lima model most accurately represents for a quick re-number and it seems that you have just done all of my homework for me!

 

Unfortunately that is where the good news for me stops, the cut-off date that I have been trying to work with is the end of the 1930’s so both of the vehicles with the “correct” planking are outside my time frame and I think I will have to number it as a vehicle from lot number 1578 and live with the planking issue.

 

I’ve also probably jumped the gun with the bogies having just ordered some 7’ SRMW / Shapeways items. My understanding is that some of the Siphon Gs were mounted on these and to my eye it looked like 7’ under the one at Dicot (here: https://didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk/article.php/146/no-2796-collett-siphon-g ) so hopefully it will match up with something from lot 1578.

 

On livery, I am guessing that lot 1441 would have been out-shopped with GW lettering and all of the subsequent lots with the roundel?

 

Best of luck with your project.

 

Pete.

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Will,

I have a colour photo of 2938, it is undated, but apparently it was in (very) weathered crimson and it seems to have 10 planks between the right hand corner and the door (ignoring the framing). I get the impression that the outer planks in this panel may be marginally narrower than the others. I also have a photo of 2975 which has 7 planks, and again I am not sure that they are all the same width.

 

On the subject  of getting it right, I think the Lima model Sphon G has BR Mk1 8ft 6in w/b bogies, which might pass for the GWR ones from their articulated express sets which were fitted to some of Lot 1578, but not, I think, to Lot 1664.  Does anyone do GWR 9ft Pressed steel bogies in 4mm scale?

 

There is also Lot 1441 where the Register (now in the NRM) shows them allto have 9ft American bogies, but all the photos that I have seen of identifiable Lot 1441 Siphons have Collett 7ft bogies. I do have a photo of an O33 Siphon G with 9ft American bogies and a Churchward type handbrake lever, but the number is not visible. Can anyone help with Lot 1441, please?

 

Finally, post-WW2 modellers should be careful with the electrical 'boxes' slung from the underframe as there seem to be several variations. Another subject for research?

Thank you

John

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The Lima G indeed has BR B1 8’6” wb bogies, which are completely incorrect.  I have 3 Siphons, 1 each of the old RTR models, a Lima G with Collett 8’6” bogies, an outside framed Mainline G with it’s original Collett 8’6” bogies, and a Mainline H (end door bogie GUV) with 9’ ‘American’ bogies.  
 

The replacement bogies are 3D prints from Stafford Road Works/Shapeways, who also make Collett 7’, 8’6” ‘fishbelly’ and 8’6” or 10’ Dean bogies, with pivot pins suitable for Lima, Hornby, or Bachmann stock.  They all include NEM pockets, and will run very freely with Hornby or Bachmann wheels with no need for brass bearings. No connection, satisfied user. 

 

Stafford Road also provide parts for a Siphon J, but it is not cheap; ISTR working out the cost of the whole thing at over £70

without wheels and couplings, and of course you have to paint and letter it as well!

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13 hours ago, Star-rider said:

...

Unfortunately that is where the good news for me stops, the cut-off date that I have been trying to work with is the end of the 1930’s

...

I’ve also probably jumped the gun with the bogies having just ordered some 7’ SRMW / Shapeways items. My understanding is that some of the Siphon Gs were mounted on these and to my eye it looked like 7’ under the one at Dicot (here: https://didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk/article.php/146/no-2796-collett-siphon-g ) so hopefully it will match up with something from lot 1578.

...

 

Pete,

I've checked bogies for you - 7' bogies were fitted to all of lot 1441 as new but none of lot 1578, which were 9' pressed steel or leftover 8'6" from articulated stock.

If you're doing pre WWII, you don't need to worry about any being converted to ambulance trains / O59 / M34, they will all still be O33.

Will

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11 hours ago, John Lewis said:

...

There is also Lot 1441 where the Register (now in the NRM) shows them allto have 9ft American bogies, but all the photos that I have seen of identifiable Lot 1441 Siphons have Collett 7ft bogies. I do have a photo of an O33 Siphon G with 9ft American bogies and a Churchward type handbrake lever, but the number is not visible. Can anyone help with Lot 1441, please?

...

John,

 

There is a photo in Slinn (plate 55?) of 2070 with American bogies - this was the last one of lot 1441 and was converted to O59 post WWII.  That is the only picture I have found of one with American bogies.

 

Thanks for the additional info (added to the table).  Unfortunately, it mixes up the variations on the last lot even more - I think if you add the planking variations, conversions, bogies and underframe all together, it makes the old "copy a photo" the safest way forward.

 

thanks

 

Will

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2 hours ago, WillCav said:

Pete,

I've checked bogies for you - 7' bogies were fitted to all of lot 1441 as new but none of lot 1578, which were 9' pressed steel or leftover 8'6" from articulated stock.

If you're doing pre WWII, you don't need to worry about any being converted to ambulance trains / O59 / M34, they will all still be O33.

Will

Thanks Will.

 

It looks like I have painted myself into a corner then with the 7' bogies that I have bought and I am going to have to let it masquerade as a lot 1441 vehicle.

 

As these were built in 1930 and prior to the "shirtbutton" it looks like I have a bit of a repaint on my hands rather than just changing the number. Assuming that they would have come out in GW branding I can't see that they would have been in for a repaint before 1940, but as you say a photo is safeest if I can turn one up.

 

Pete.

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1 hour ago, Star-rider said:

Thanks Will.

 

It looks like I have painted myself into a corner then with the 7' bogies that I have bought and I am going to have to let it masquerade as a lot 1441 vehicle.

 

As these were built in 1930 and prior to the "shirtbutton" it looks like I have a bit of a repaint on my hands rather than just changing the number. Assuming that they would have come out in GW branding I can't see that they would have been in for a repaint before 1940, but as you say a photo is safeest if I can turn one up.

 

Pete.

Pete,

 

I've heard 7 years as an typical repaint schedule for a coach - so 1937 for a 1930 build going to monogram.

 

I had to paint out the old number on a lima siphon as trying to remove the printing revealed a hint of creamy plastic underneath - so you may end up re-painting all the brown to get an even colour.  

 

Depending on how far you want to take it - the tare weight is affected by the bogie change (but closer than the Mainline Siphon G which has a tare weight 5 tons out).

 

I'll have a look in the Slinn book later - there's a few photos of that lot and one might have a monogram and 7' bogies.

 

Will

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11 hours ago, chris45lsw said:

9ft pressed steel bogies:  apart from Hornby (not sure if they are readily available) or Bachmann which are offered as spares they are offered by MJT (part of Dart Castings) and Southern Railways Group in various combinations ([email protected]).

 

Chris KT 

ABS used to do some nice 9' h/d bogies; it's to be hoped that rumours of someone taking the range over have some foundation in reality.

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On 07/12/2020 at 21:04, John Lewis said:

On the subject  of getting it right, I think the Lima model Sphon G has BR Mk1 8ft 6in w/b bogies, which might pass for the GWR ones from their articulated express sets which were fitted to some of Lot 1578, but not, I think, to Lot 1664. 

 

You are correct, they are BR bogies and totally wrong for the Siphon. The 8'6" articulated bogies look very much like the 9' pressed steel ones, with slight difference in the step arrangement. Had a look through my collection of pics of 2796 at Didcot but have no complete side shots of the bogies

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8 hours ago, 57xx said:

 

You are correct, they are BR bogies and totally wrong for the Siphon. The 8'6" articulated bogies look very much like the 9' pressed steel ones, with slight difference in the step arrangement. Had a look through my collection of pics of 2796 at Didcot but have no complete side shots of the bogies

 

There are pictures of 2796 in the link in my post above, as I say they look like 7' units to me but others may know better.

 

Pete.

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11 hours ago, Star-rider said:

 

There are pictures of 2796 in the link in my post above, as I say they look like 7' units to me but others may know better.

 

Pete.

 

You are right Pete, they do look like 7' bogies. I didn't pay any attention to them when I was measuring up the underframe (hard to get any distance shots too as it was in the carriage shed). My flaky memory was quoting what they were built with originally (8'6" single bolster) and knowing they were different to the 9' bogies, made a bad assumption they were still the 8'6" units.

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O33s really are a minefield!

• 2 different brake systems

• 4 different planking widths

• Conversions to ambulance / O59 / M34 / enparts / newspapers etc

• 7' , 8'6" and 9' bogies

• Gas / electric lighting

• multiple livery options

I don't think we'll ever know the whole history of all of them. It's just a shame that Lima chose the wider planking version.

Will

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On 12/12/2020 at 20:10, WillCav said:

O33s really are a minefield!

• 2 different brake systems

• 4 different planking widths

• Conversions to ambulance / O59 / M34 / enparts / newspapers etc

• 7' , 8'6" and 9' bogies

• Gas / electric lighting

• multiple livery options

I don't think we'll ever know the whole history of all of them. It's just a shame that Lima chose the wider planking version.

Will

Also need to add different bogie centres - 35' or 34'6". Note that Lima use about 33'3" centres and if you change to 9' bogies, they can colour the DC brake gear - another thing to correct in the Lima - oh dear!

 

Will

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On 08/12/2020 at 12:49, WillCav said:

I've heard 7 years as an typical repaint schedule for a coach - so 1937 for a 1930 build going to monogram.

 

I think this 7 year period is more usual for vehicles with passenger accommoadation, and NPCCS might easily be in service a lot longer before getting a repaint.  My Mainline outside framed Siphon G runs on a 1948-58 period layout and is in very heavily weathered pre-1934 G   W big initials brown livery, a Rule 1 punt but I'm quite happy with it, especially as a war intervened.  Siphons in service were usually every bit as filthy as Southern PMVs, and livery was often academic...

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You can, of course, go even further with the variations: eg

  • There were two types of handbrake and the ones sold to the War Department and sent to Europe had Westighouse air brakes (I am not sure how much they operated in the UK with dual vacuum and air brakes.)
  • On the planking widths, I think BR might have changed some of these when doing repairs.
  • There were two types of the ex-Artic 8ft 6in bogie, single and double bolster.
  • There were 2 and possibly 3 types of 9ft bogies - American (on 2070) and pressed steel. there may have been some 9ft 'heavy' bogies fitted to some, possibly as replacements.
  • There appear to be several arrangements of battery boxes and regulators - certainly after WW2.

John

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