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Essar Locomotives. How rare?


Churchill8F

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Thank you. I've been able to identify one of the ones I need as the standard tank, and as such, will be able to use this.

 

The second of the two I wish to emulate was a home-made body on an Essar chassis, so it's not an Essar model as I thought.

 

Jack

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Don't forget the Bullied streamliner, with cast ends and steel main body, the HO cast 060 from pre-war, and the rarest was an attempt to do a cast brass bodied 060 of the standard type. These were done by using a normal brass casting mould to make a wax master and then using this as a lost wax master to produce the casting.

 

Mr Stewart Reidpath had the basic "master" very fully detailed, even the oil lamps were cast in place as one compete casting. I was told about 2 to 3 dozen were cast in lost wax before they realised the costs involved, and shelved the idea. The casting was done at the Herne Bay factory site.

 

Mr Stewart Reidpath got the idea from the American maker Robert Lindsay, who cast complete de-luxe locos in lost wax for his own and Varney mechanisms.I was told that the moulds for the Diesel shunter were also used to make lost wax cast examples, what happened to them I was not told.

 

Mr Stewart Reidpath also did make a Southern Bullied Q1 in lost wax as an experiment, the intention had been a kt of parts to be marketed by Hamblings, but none were made, bar a sample or two. A mould still existed at Hamblings in the 1970's for the Essar Standard tank in 3mm scale, whether any were made I do not know. It coincided with the change from S-R to Hamblings ownership. Essar also made plastic wheel sets in 3mm scale, one piece mouldings, of which I still have a few samples.

Stephen.

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What's the chassis on 400206524424 it appears to be a Castle arts Gaiety 062, but the Chassis is odd,, it is not Hornby Dublo , is it the 062 chassis said to have been made for Castle Arts for this body, must be unusual

The Gnat for sale by the same seller is a bit butchered to fit the Tri-ang Nelly, and the 060 with the Romford chassis, (same seller), is one made for Hamblings in a batch about 1953/4 to use up the S-R body castings after Essar Mechanisms ran out. Some were fitted with Taycol Motors or the Zenith ballraced version.

 

 

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For Reference.......Mr Stewart Reidpath was the founder of S-R ( Herne Bay, Kent ), running it from 1935 to about 1955, trading as S-R, with the ESSAR trademark on electrical gear etc., S-R on other models generally.

He shared Directors of the S-R Company with Arthur Hambling, (Cecil Court, London), who acted as wholesalers, and distributors of the S-R goods.

After the war Hamblings lost their factory at Southampton, and transferred model production still allowed under post war restrictions to Herne Bay, to add to the S-R goods still being made there.

The S-R Factory lease lapsed, coincident with Mr Stewart Reidpath's illness and Hamblings adsorbed the S-R range, with greatly curtailed production, after the closure of Herne Bay.

Most S-R products were 00, with some HO and TT. Some items like the Gnat and the 08 Diesel were made to order for Hamblings only, but other items were marketed direst from the Herne Bay plant.

As parts ran out in the 1950's other makers products were used to sell existing stock castings, commonly Taycol motors, Romford and Zenith motors and gears. No effort was made to make replacement parts, and production had finished by about 1960/62

 

Stephen.

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What's the chassis on 400206524424 it appears to be a Castle arts Gaiety 062, but the Chassis is odd,, it is not Hornby Dublo , is it the 062 chassis said to have been made for Castle Arts for this body, must be unusual

The Gnat for sale by the same seller is a bit butchered to fit the Tri-ang Nelly, and the 060 with the Romford chassis, (same seller), is one made for Hamblings in a batch about 1953/4 to use up the S-R body castings after Essar Mechanisms ran out. Some were fitted with Taycol Motors or the Zenith ballraced version.

 

 

 

The 0-6-2T chassis appears to be a modified Dublo fitted with a disc commutator. The Gaiety N2 chassis is the 0-6-0PT chassis with a pony added on (like the Wrenn ones) or, at least, the one I have is.

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I have an 062 with the normal Castle arts chassis and motor, it's the odd 062 in the picture, as you say it could well have been hacked from Dublo parts, but somebody once told me that Castle Arts did such a chassis themselves at an early point. It seems a lot of trouble to alter the armature with a flat disk commutator or did Hornby make a variant like that?

I suppose it will be easy to check from the castings, as the through the chassis block holes for the original Hornby brushes must still be there, even if filled in.

An interesting variant of the N2...

Stephen.

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Comparing with both types of Dublo Chassis, this appears to be a copy. The armature and pole pieces are similar but the block is slightly different. The low level piece extends further forward. The overall height is of course considerably lower. It could indeed be a 'one-off' prodution sample.

 

Also the 'keyhole' suggests a Trackmaster/Tri-ang body. All the Gaiety ones I've seen have 'BRITISH RAILWAYS' & '46917' cast into the sides, though I understand there is a version without this.

 

The question arises, why did anyone else bother to make an N2, without correcting the errors in the Dublo one? :unsure: Sales were bound to be low unless the model was either more accurate (quite easy) or cheaper (very difficult.

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Not exactly, the dies were made by Stewart Reidpath, for Hambling, at about the time his health deteriorated and they were to have been a S-R product sold via Hamblings, who folded the centre steel section. and tender parts that were not cast. By the time it came out Arthur Hambling had control of the S-R company, (some of the directors were in both companies). The last were assembled in about 1955. The moulds were still at Hamblings in the 1970's.

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Comparing with both types of Dublo Chassis, this appears to be a copy. The armature and pole pieces are similar but the block is slightly different. The low level piece extends further forward. The overall height is of course considerably lower. It could indeed be a 'one-off' prodution sample.

 

Also the 'keyhole' suggests a Trackmaster/Tri-ang body. All the Gaiety ones I've seen have 'BRITISH RAILWAYS' & '46917' cast into the sides, though I understand there is a version without this.

 

The question arises, why did anyone else bother to make an N2, without correcting the errors in the Dublo one? :unsure: Sales were bound to be low unless the model was either more accurate (quite easy) or cheaper (very difficult.

 

Shown the listing to a friend who collects as well and he says he has seen this Dublo clone type before. The body is not Castle Arts, you mentioned Trackmaster, but I thought they were much cruder. Was the Tri-ang ever Metal? Could the chassis be a Zenith? , they made many odd items in the late 1940's. No other maker I can think of had such a motor so similar to the Dublo type.

I am sure I have seen such a motor before in a Rowell Duchess, with top mounted brush gear, did Rowell produce any chassis like this?

Stephen.

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I had a Trackmaster N2 many moons ago (I has given the set new around 1950, when they were available). I lent the loco to a friend - that was the last I saw of it! :( From what I remember it was quite reasonable - at least to my young eyes.

 

The Tri-ang version was basically the same with nasty Tri-ang wheels and was the only die-cast loco they ever made. It was replaced with a new clockwork mechanism with the vaguely S class saddle tank body or their travesty of a Diesel shunter.

 

The only other N2 I know of is the Kirdon one. It has been suggested this was actually the Gaiety body, but I don't remember ever having seen one and the photo in their adverts doesn't reveal much. It is quite rare - even more than their 10000/10001 diesels. Probably the silly price has something to do with it - something like twice the Dublo version.

 

I'll dig out my copy of the Dublo bible - it has pictues of the Trackmaster and Tri-ang locos, IIRC.

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Looking at the book, there are photos of the Trackmaster and Gaiety locos.

 

The main differences appear to be the addition of coal rails and a lump behind the chimney on the Trackmaster version (snifting valve?). There are small differences in length and the Gaiety version has the raised lettering. Both copy Dublo's undersize wheels. The Trackmaster loco in the book has had her coupling replaced with a Dublo one - the original was a loop similar to the pre-war Dublo. The casting of the Trackmaster appears superior as well.

 

The Kirdon model is quoted as identical? to the Trackmaster model and priced at 3/6d for the body and £1/9/6d* for a kit for the complete loco.. This is at variance with an advert I remember as £6/9/6d. Further investigation is required.

 

* This would seem to be extremely cheap. Motors alone were that sort of price.

 

The model for sale has the lump and together with the filled hole in the tank suggests a Trackmaster (or possibly Tri-ang) body. The original clockwork machanism would give a reason for the unusual electric one, there possibly not being clearance in the body for a Dublo chassis

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I was trying to remember the Trackmaster makers name and it was Pyramid Toys, I believe taken over by Lines Bros , so the body may be theirs, but the chassis defeats me. Kirdon certainly dabbled with an N2, and it is likely to have been the J.V. Murcott diecast body (JVM Birmingham). Maybe the chassis is Kirdon, who had the facilities to make such an item in the early 1950's

Perhaps the fact it is a non runner indicates Kirdon!.......,most of their stuff was a bit iffy!

 

Stephen.

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To retrn to the OP. I recall Essar models of :-

a generic 0-6-0T, a MR/LMS 4F 0-6-0, a 0-6-0 diesel shunter (class 08* ) and the 'Gnat'. An airsmoothed WC/BoB/MN has been mentioned but I don't recall this one.

 

Were there any others?

 

*or one of the prototypes?

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Further to the above, in the Tri-ang book there is a reproduction of an ad for the Zenith 'Double-O-Four' motor at 37/6 + 8/4 purchase tax! :blink: (With only three months guarantee as was common then.)

 

The book refers to Pyramid Toys' tools being purchased by Lines Bros. in 12/51. This added the 0-62T and two wagons to their range. The wagons are still quite common (a van of L & Y design (I think) and a RCH 7plank side door mineral, available as GWR and LNER - neither correct - on a die-cast 9' 6" wooden underframe of archaic design - with crown plates). Unfortunately the bodies were moulded in cellulose acetate (or similar) and all have warped to a greater or lesser degree. ( the ends and roofs in particular). There is a rumour of a BR version of the van, which I have never seen. The Tri-ang book describes these as "too short and with the buffers set too high" on a 9' wheelbase. None of these accusations is true.

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That list is right, the Bullied should be included as S-R made the moulds and did the castings for Hamblings., the same applied to the 08 Diesel(sold as LMS/ GWR as well. Gnats were not sold direct from S-R, only Hamblings. There was an HO version of the cast standard tank, without the Belpaire firebox top, sold pre-war only. Stewart Reidpath personally preferred HO to 00, his ESSAR motor design could fit either scale.

 

The cast standard tank in 4mm has two version, one with Belpaire and one without. The brass mould used was the same, with just the top part of the mould changed before pouring the lead in. The Belpaire boxed one was also made for a time with a tapered top boiler, to be sold as a GWR variant. I was told the mould part got damaged and was discarded, so these are the rarest.

 

S-R moulds were brass/bronze blocks, held together by hinges and pegs, in several parts that were assembled and fitted into steel tongs to handle them. The whole lot was heated on a gas ring to about 200C to dry it and ready it for casting. One cast was made and discarded, the temperature would then be right for further castings as long as no problems occurred.

 

Very much a cottage industry production, low volume, but did make a very sound body for further detailing. I do know the details from very direct experience as I worked at Hamblings in the period that they still cast accessories etc., with the then elderly S-R moulds. I also repaired several, and tried to trace the loco ones, but the then owner had removed the loco ones and they vanished. At various points in the 1950/60/70 period the old moulds were used for further production in the Cecil Court workshop, or by Kirdon or other sub contractors, so exact age of the castings is difficult to determine, but no locos were made after about 1959/60, only the bogies, parts and buffer stops etc., All Hamblings cast parts were ex S-R products bar some moulds made by me.

Stephen.

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I recall the loco being sold as the 'Hamblings Gnat'. Somewhere I have an advert where it's sold in several different liveries. The other locos were less well known.

 

There was an article (MRC 1959 IIRC) on motorising the Kitmaster Diesel shunter, which suggested using the Essar mech. These were £3 something, with the whole loco about £5, again IIRC.

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I recall the loco being sold as the 'Hamblings Gnat'. Somewhere I have an advert where it's sold in several different liveries. The other locos were less well known.

 

There was an article (MRC 1959 IIRC) on motorising the Kitmaster Diesel shunter, which suggested using the Essar mech. These were £3 something, with the whole loco about £5, again IIRC.

 

The Gnat was ordered by Arthur Hambling from Stewart Reidpath just before the war in 1937/8, but the project was put aside with the war.

The intention was to make the Gnat loco at Hamblings factory at Ringwood Nr Southampton, but with the war it got no further than test castings and was finally introduced about 1948, made at Herne Bay, with the standard Essar post war motor and chassis, fitted with spoked cast brass wheels. As the companies worked together, it was sold as a Hamblings item. As S_R closed down the last were made by Hamblings as body only with a brass chassis with any suitable motor, usually Romford, with Hamblings wheels.

I believe Mr Stewart Reidpath died after a long illness in about 1954, and the actual day to day running of S-R was in Arthur Hamblings hands by about 1949 anyway. After Reidpath's death the dual company directors merged the two companies, technically closing S-R and buying the assets for Hamblings.

It is not often realised that the Hamblings wheel system was an S-R design, as were the wheel press and track gauge,the two companies were run side by side.

If the war had not occurred the companies were going to manufacture RTR products based om cast parts for ease of production, and the combine Ringwood and Herne Bay facilities were the largest scale model railway manufactures in the world then. The war simply stopped any expansion, and caused the direct closure after the war.

S-R survived as they did very specialist models, with no mass production, and Hamblings survived as a shop and workshop, with sub contractors, but could not return to mass production.

Stephen.

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