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Tony Wright

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13 minutes ago, Dave Hunt said:

Regarding the Midland 0-4-4 tanks, the dome covers were 1/4 inch thick soft cast-iron, not sheet metal, and whilst some of the early rebuilds with Belpaire boilers received new covers with flattened tops, others retained their original covers with the bellmouths removed and curved plates welded, not bolted, in place. The different types of cover got swapped around during repairs and when later replacements were necessary they were sometimes of a slightly different shape. Not all the engines received Stanier chimneys. The only way to be sure which engine had what at any particular time is to consult photographs.

 

Having helped Bachmann slightly with details of the engines, I know that they went to great lengths to ensure accuracy in what they produced within the constraints of  making things fit 00 gauge and cost considerations. 

 

Dave Hunt

 

 

There are certainly at least two different thicknesses of dome cover when you examine photos. Were later replacements cast too? Many later period photos show a very thin edge, almost invisible to normal viewing.

 

One of the problems I have come across when researching for modelling is that most available drawings are of things "as new" and proper drawings detailing later alterations are a bit scarce.

 

As always, observation of the prototype is the key to getting models right.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Anglian said:


I've never tried but how easy is it to remove a large dome from an existing 4mm R-T-R product? I'd rather like to replace the pseudo-brass painted dome on a Bachmann C Class with a better item that actually looks like polished metal rather than matt finished painted plastic.

Removal of domes etc are pretty easy. Usually a razor saw or sidecutters or knife will do the job.

The problem would be the making good subsequently. The replacement fitting needs to fit exactly the area where the original sat or very slightly larger. The curvature of the rim needs to match the boiler curvature, and then you need to touch up any cosmetic paint damage around the work area to the same color as the RTR original. So usually its a simple task, on a complex or unusual livery the "finishing" is the key to the project.

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Tony,

 

You seem to be saying that those who can build their own locos should do so; or at least be prepared to replace components that are inaccurate. I don't accept that argument.'

 

You sound surprised by making the above statement. For well over 1,600 pages of this thread, that's what I've always been saying. 

 

Indeed you have, and I agree with you. What I am saying, though, is that when a new model is offered at today's prices, we should not have to replace components that are inaccurate. Those with the necessary skills, but lacking in time, would welcome the opportunity to devote their efforts to other projects.

 

'I cannot believe that it would be prohibitively expensive to reproduce, for instance, the bolted coverplate on the top of the dome'

 

For an 'extra' like that, add over £6,000.00 for a further tool! 

 

You miss my point - the plate covered the hole originally provided for the Salter valves. Locos that had Ross Pop valves fitted had cover plates on their domes - the model of 58072 is missing this plate, as will all models with Ross Pop valves. The cost of including this plate on the dome moulding would be negligible.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

Edited by cctransuk

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My digital copy of RM available today. We had a sleepless night and with the rain teeming down outside I felt no guilt in reading it straight away and turned to Tony’s piece on Bytham. Excellent I thought, that’s most encouraging thing I’ll read today...

 

Then I spotted the ‘Comment’ piece by Bryony Gordon wherein she extols the virtues of creative hobbies. It should be noted that this is a piece which first appeared in the national press. Never mind Brexit, the election and all the other stuff, her words should be shouted from the rooftops. 
 

Once again Ian Rice’s words come to mind about railway modelling being a pointless hobby but it may just stop someone loosing their marbles.

 

As a good friend of mine is fond of saying, “Railway modelling is the new  rock and roll!”.

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4 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

I think many of us have mixed feelings over such things. We don't want the RTR people to produce poor products even though we may prefer building things than buying them ready made.

 

If a superb V2 model, which pulls and runs as well as it looks, had been available a few years ago, would you have been building kits for that loco or would you have used the RTR ones and spent your time building more Thompson pacifics instead?

 

On the chimney and dome post, I was really trying to say that it is very difficult to get such things right. No drawing shows all the different radii that go into making the flare where a fitting meets a curve. Most people, myself included, try our best and maybe get close but very few models are spot on in that area, so the Bachmann tank is no better or worse than many others if it is less than perfect.

 

i don't even know if the base of a chimney should be round or oval on a plan view. People use different ways of making the flare and some create an oval base and some a round one. If a round bar is turned to shape, hollowed out and squashed onto a bar, it will end up oval as the sides wrap round the curve. If it is turned and the flare turned and filed away, it ends up round. I have no idea which matches the real thing.

 

in the end, I suppose if it looks right, that is good enough!

 

I am sorry to say that I just don't believe that an alternative chimney costs £6000 to produce. If each component cost that, they would have to sell many thousands of models at silly prices to make any money.

 

If you ask any of our kit manufacturers how much it costs to produce a chimney, it won't be £6000! So why does it cost so much out in China? If the cost is for a whole new boiler, smokebox and firebox with new fittings, perhaps that figure may be right but just for a separately fitted chimney, I doubt it.

Thanks Tony,

 

I don't think it costs thousands to produce a chimney out in China, or anywhere else. 

 

To fit, say, a double chimney on an RTR V2 (in place of a single one) would require (I'm guessing here, I admit) at least a new smokebox moulding or even a whole new boiler! It's a question of if the chimney is separately-fitted, or not.

 

The figure I've quoted was the figure given to me. Now, it could be a fib, but I doubt it.

 

I state again, it's both a pleasure and a privilege to be involved (in a tiny way) with the production of new RTR models. I hope you realise that (I'm sure you do) I'm nobody's puppet!

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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2 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

 

There are certainly at least two different thicknesses of dome cover when you examine photos. Were later replacements cast too? Many later period photos show a very thin edge, almost invisible to normal viewing.

 

One of the problems I have come across when researching for modelling is that most available drawings are of things "as new" and proper drawings detailing later alterations are a bit scarce.

 

As always, observation of the prototype is the key to getting models right.

 

 

 

 

Thanks Tony,

 

'As always, observation of the prototype is the key to getting models right.'

 

If you'd have written that same statement (as I did, give or take) and had it published in the RM a year ago, it would have made your hair curl as to what was said about you in some social media!

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

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2 hours ago, cctransuk said:

Tony,

 

You seem to be saying that those who can build their own locos should do so; or at least be prepared to replace components that are inaccurate. I don't accept that argument.'

 

You sound surprised by making the above statement. For well over 1,600 pages of this thread, that's what I've always been saying. 

 

Indeed you have, and I agree with you. What I am saying, though, is that when a new model is offered at today's prices, we should not have to replace components that are inaccurate. Those with the necessary skills, but lacking in time, would welcome the opportunity to devote their efforts to other projects.

 

'I cannot believe that it would be prohibitively expensive to reproduce, for instance, the bolted coverplate on the top of the dome'

 

For an 'extra' like that, add over £6,000.00 for a further tool! 

 

You miss my point - the plate covered the hole originally provided for the Salter valves. Locos that had Ross Pop valves fitted had cover plates on their domes - the model of 58072 is missing this plate, as will all models with Ross Pop valves. The cost of including this plate on the dome moulding would be negligible.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

As always,

 

Thanks John.

 

'You miss my point - the plate covered the hole originally provided for the Salter valves. Locos that had Ross Pop valves fitted had cover plates on their domes - the model of 58072 is missing this plate, as will all models with Ross Pop valves. The cost of including this plate on the dome moulding would be negligible.'

 

An ideal opportunity, then, for an after-market supplier to offer just such a thing (in etched brass?), taking moments to fit. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

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49 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Thanks Tony,

 

I don't think it costs thousands to produce a chimney out in China, or anywhere else. 

 

To fit, say, a double chimney on an RTR V2 (in place of a single one) would require (I'm guessing here, I admit) at least a new smokebox moulding or even a whole new boiler! It's a question of if the chimney is separately-fitted, or not.

 

The figure I've quoted was the figure given to me. Now, it could be a fib, but I doubt it.

 

I state again, it's both a pleasure and a privilege to be involved (in a tiny way) with the production of new RTR models. I hope you realise that (I'm sure you do) I'm nobody's puppet!

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

When Bachmann did the J11 with the original Robinson chimney as a "Collectors Club" GCR liveried version, I was hugely impressed by the cleverness of their design in the smokebox and chimney area. It had the chimney towards the front of the smokebox, as a superheated version but I wanted one in original condition with the chimney more in the centre of the smokebox.

 

Once I had got a thin blade under the chimney to release the lightly glued joint, I was delighted to find that the fixing lug was off centre on the chimney and but turning it round, the lug now put the chimney in exactly the right place.

 

That is what "design clever" should be all about.

 

If they have planned the 0-4-4T with various chimneys from the start, I would be very surprised if they haven't made it a separate moulding based on their past work.

 

Having said that, there are many different features on the 0-4-4T smokebox (unlike the J11) so maybe it is more cost effective for them to do a whole new smokebox.


I know little about commercial manufacturing but it would be interesting to know just how a figure like that £6000 is arrived at. It is probably a business sensitive matter not for public discussion but if you take that as the cost of a single component and then look at how many components there are in a loco, which may be a limited edition of, say, 500 units, the maths just don't seem right to me.

 

Perhaps it is the cost of booking a factory for a special production run, rather than adding another part to an already booked run.

 

I don't doubt for one second anything you have written. I have too much respect to even think like that!

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The chimney on the MR liveried version doesn't look at all like a Johnson chimney, which is the type worn by No. 1273 in the photo that Bachmann have used to advertise this model. It may be that the chimney on the model is in fact intended to represent the Deeley chimney, though I'm not convinced. Of course one could replace it with an aftermarket component; the problem is that the beautiful chimney that Craftsman used to do for their 1532 Class kit is, as far as I'm aware, no longer available. (My intention is to backdate mine to full Johnson condition, which will require a new smokebox door too - so I'm not quite so bothered whether Bachmann's door is flat or dished!)

 

The point is that the shape of the chimney is one of the key defining elements of Johnson's style, making a more prominent contribution to the look of the whole engine than does the short little annulus on the smokebox of, say, an East Coast pacific.

 

 

Edited by Compound2632

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2 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

When Bachmann did the J11 with the original Robinson chimney as a "Collectors Club" GCR liveried version, I was hugely impressed by the cleverness of their design in the smokebox and chimney area. It had the chimney towards the front of the smokebox, as a superheated version but I wanted one in original condition with the chimney more in the centre of the smokebox.

 

Once I had got a thin blade under the chimney to release the lightly glued joint, I was delighted to find that the fixing lug was off centre on the chimney and but turning it round, the lug now put the chimney in exactly the right place.

 

That is what "design clever" should be all about.

 

If they have planned the 0-4-4T with various chimneys from the start, I would be very surprised if they haven't made it a separate moulding based on their past work.

 

Having said that, there are many different features on the 0-4-4T smokebox (unlike the J11) so maybe it is more cost effective for them to do a whole new smokebox.


I know little about commercial manufacturing but it would be interesting to know just how a figure like that £6000 is arrived at. It is probably a business sensitive matter not for public discussion but if you take that as the cost of a single component and then look at how many components there are in a loco, which may be a limited edition of, say, 500 units, the maths just don't seem right to me.

 

Perhaps it is the cost of booking a factory for a special production run, rather than adding another part to an already booked run.

 

I don't doubt for one second anything you have written. I have too much respect to even think like that!

Thanks Tony,

 

I can make some more enquiries.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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37 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

The chimney on the MR liveried version doesn't look at all like a Johnson chimney, which is the type worn by No. 1273 in the photo that Bachmann have used to advertise this model. It may be that the chimney on the model is in fact intended to represent the Deeley chimney, though I'm not convinced. Of course one could replace it with an aftermarket component; the problem is that the beautiful chimney that Craftsman used to do for their 1532 Class kit is, as far as I'm aware, no longer available. (My intention is to backdate mine to full Johnson condition, which will require a new smokebox door too - so I'm not quite so bothered whether Bachmann's door is flat or dished!)

 

The point is that the shape of the chimney is one of the key defining elements of Johnson's style, making a more prominent contribution to the look of the whole engine than does the short little annulus on the smokebox of, say, an East Coast pacific.

 

 

Many thanks,

 

'making a more prominent contribution to the look of the whole engine than does the short little annulus on the smokebox of, say, an East Coast pacific.'

 

Get even a pair of 'dustbins' the wrong shape on the top of the smokebox of a model of an ECML Pacific, and the loco loses a lot of its character as well. 

 

What is it that Robinson said? He who produced the most elegant of chimneys bar none. 'A chimney is like a top hat to a gentleman - the finishing touch!'. 

 

I think everyone who's commented about chimneys on here is dead right. They are one of the most-vital components of all on a model loco for getting it to look absolutely right.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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Just now, Tony Wright said:

 

What is it that Robinson said? He who produced the most elegant of chimneys bar none. 'A chimney is like a top hat to a gentleman - the finishing touch!'. 

 

 

 - bar one!

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3 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Thanks Tony,

 

'As always, observation of the prototype is the key to getting models right.'

 

If you'd have written that same statement (as I did, give or take) and had it published in the RM a year ago, it would have made your hair curl as to what was said about you in some social media!

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

My hair has curled up, whitened and fallen out since I tried to make that point about "modelling track" in the USA press and on-line. Accurate track parts are actually banned from NMRA competitions and their MMR qualification submissions. Completely false stuff is however welcomed.

 

Andy

 

 

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I prefer Riddles approach ' Put a Bl88dy ugly chimney on it and no-one will notice anything else about the loco'....

 

Andy G

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Love the new railway crane. The original was made by Ransomes and Rapier, a world renowned Ipswich engineering company sadly no more. I recall that they had their name as a casting along the jib which this one seems to miss. I was interested in Clive's scratch built one which looks fine but is a product of  the rival Cowans Sheldon company. Strange as I had Clive down as an east anglian type! 

 

There are models and drawings of the Ransomes cranes in the Ipswich Transport Museum where I have been known to do the odd stint. The museum has the custody of the Ransomes archives which are available to researchers along with a huge number of official photographs.

 

Martin Long

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50 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

 - bar one!

 

Bah humbug! Robinson every time!

 

To be fair, how anybody can decide a winner between Robinson and Johnson, both great artists, is beyond me.

 

If I didn't model pre-grouping GCR, it would be pre-grouping Midland.

 

The only difference is that Robinson improved the look of the locos he inherited. Deeley did the opposite! 

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35 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

 

Bah humbug! Robinson every time!

 

To be fair, how anybody can decide a winner between Robinson and Johnson, both great artists, is beyond me.

 

If I didn't model pre-grouping GCR, it would be pre-grouping Midland.

 

The only difference is that Robinson improved the look of the locos he inherited. Deeley did the opposite! 

'The only difference is that Robinson improved the look of the locos he inherited. Deeley did the opposite!' 

 

They did indeed.

 

Looking at some the M&GNR locos which had Midland influence, why was the beautiful, original smokebox door replaced with that nasty 'Midland' thing with dogs instead of two handles to secure it? The smokebox door is the 'face' of the locos, and, in my view, the later Midland style (the like of which the original 'Pats' and 'Scots' received) is rather ugly. It has no 'nose'! 

 

And I wonder who decided that Robinson's most-elegant chimneys would be replaced with stumpy 'flowerpot' types by the LNER. Someone at Gorton, because that's where it took place? I know the originals were prone to cracking, but a better looking type could have been substituted, surely? 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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43 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Looking at some the M&GNR locos which had Midland influence, why was the beautiful, original smokebox door replaced with that nasty 'Midland' thing with dogs instead of two handles to secure it? The smokebox door is the 'face' of the locos, and, in my view, the later Midland style (the like of which the original 'Pats' and 'Scots' received) is rather ugly. It has no 'nose'! 

My dog's (dogs') got no nose...

 

etc., etc.

Edited by St Enodoc
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59 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

It has no 'nose'! 

How does it smell? .......

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Wasn’t the change to the flowerpot chimneys at Gorton driven by a need to meet a common standard loading gauge on the LNER? Agreed the t*t who come up with that design deserves ostracism or something. 

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6 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Thanks Tony,

 

I don't think it costs thousands to produce a chimney out in China, or anywhere else. 

 

To fit, say, a double chimney on an RTR V2 (in place of a single one) would require (I'm guessing here, I admit) at least a new smokebox moulding or even a whole new boiler! It's a question of if the chimney is separately-fitted, or not.

 

The figure I've quoted was the figure given to me. Now, it could be a fib, but I doubt it.

 

I state again, it's both a pleasure and a privilege to be involved (in a tiny way) with the production of new RTR models. I hope you realise that (I'm sure you do) I'm nobody's puppet!

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

A quarter century ago I worked for a certain railway track components company and a new design of plastic insulator was developed.  While dimensionally accurate, they are nowhere near as precise as a 10mm long 1mm thick (-ish) plastic component like a loco dome or chimney.  Two spark-eroded injection moulds to make those insulators cost £24,000.

Kit manufacturers make up some brass or white metal components in very small numbers.  They cost considerably less per item, but you cannot scale up production in the same way plastic injection moulding can.  In any case, many of the manufacturers are almost hobby businesses where they barely account for their own time, but even if you did have to write-off £6 per model (£6k/1000 models), that might wipe out a quarter of the expected profit margin.

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Beatrice there has the built-up chimney which gave way to the one-piece casting that was Johnson's chef d'oeuvre:

 

1174846400_MR115Class4-2-2No.118smokeboxandchimney.jpg.0c5f4e3fa790e2b4e61f207c3afa5cf1.jpg

 

I do agree re. the Deeley smokebox door - a new style for a new century; the seeds were sown with the second series of the Belpaires and the Smith-Johnson Compounds but it was under Deeley that it went to the dogs.

 

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44 minutes ago, Lecorbusier said:

 

What an absolutely beautiful  locomotive, and this comes from an O scale American railroad modeller who loves plug ugly Yank diesels !!!!

 

Last Saturday I went with family on a shopping expedition to Liverpool. The train out was a brand new 331 EMU, a nice looking train but the seats as hard as nails, as was the riding quality over rough track. Coming home at Lime St I closely observed the new Trans Pennine loco hauled Scarborough train, a new something or other diesel electric loco an a new push pull coach set. Coaches looked nice and comfortable, loco looked quite swish & modern but oh !!  what a noise it made. I could hear the noisy bu**er idling when passing through the ticket barriers. Some young uns were photographing it at the end of the platform. Good to see young spotters these days. Brand new locos on brand new push pull coaches - who would have thought that a few years ago !! Anyway home to Wigan on an ancient 319 EMU, swift(ish) quiet and comfortable.

 

Our railways are getting a bit more interesting these days, but oh for a trip behind locos such as the above !!!

 

Brit15

 

 

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9 hours ago, cctransuk said:

You miss my point - the plate covered the hole originally provided for the Salter valves. Locos that had Ross Pop valves fitted had cover plates on their domes - the model of 58072 is missing this plate, as will all models with Ross Pop valves. The cost of including this plate on the dome moulding would be negligible.

 

The plates were welded into the holes left by removal of the bell mouths when the engines were rebuilt with Belpaire boilers so if the weld was dressed properly they would not be detectable. It is possible, of course, that should the plates have needed replacing later for some reason that the welding may not have been as good but even so not all would have been visible.

 

Dave

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