BR (ex LMS) 4P compound no. 41186

BR(LM) 4P class Deeley/Fowler Midland Compound no.41186
BR( ex LMS) 4P class no. 41186. One of the famous Midland Compounds. Built from scratch in nickel silver by Laurie Pickard of Bristol. An elderly model that has for all of it’s life before I bought it, been displayed unpainted in a cabinet. I found this in a Dreweatts auction in Bristol. Now painted by myself and superbly lined out by bow-pen for me by John Cockcroft.

This loco has been superbly built in what I would call a robust style, around a very powerful motor/gearbox unit, the like of which I have never seen before. The pickups are wiper blades to the backs of the wheels. The wheels are of cast iron construction with fine spokes and are slightly thicker than fine scale. They negotiate Peco fine scale track and points well. The Poachers test track at Lincoln was built using Peco track and this loco can fly around there with six blood and custards in tow, no problem.

One hundred and ninety five engines of these Henry Fowler developed locos were built by the LMS. Adding to the 45 similar locos that had been designed by Richard Deeley and built by the Midland Railway, to which they were almost identical. The most obvious difference is that the driving wheel diameter was reduced from 7 ft 0 in on the Midland locomotive to 6 ft 9 in on the LMS version. The Deeley locos had been developed from a 1902 design of Samuel Johnson which had a three cylinder compound arrangement. This had a layout of one high-pressure cylinder inside the frames, and two low-pressure outside frame cylinders. The modelled loco, number 41186 being one of the Vulcan Foundry built engines built in 1927 and the class were still being built at Derby works in 1932. A long and complicated building history, but they got there in the end. The class were withdrawn between 1952 and 1961.


LMS 5P/4F class no. 2876

LMS Crab 2876
LMS 2876
LMS 5P/4F class (Crab) no. 2876.


Built and painted, using PC lining transfers, by myself. When I started O gauge modelling I soon set myself a target to build a Crab, one of my favourite locos. As soon as I heard of the Chowbent kit I had to have one. Over 20 years later and I have not been disappointed. Lots of people complain about the narrow tender, but I think it adds to the character. As does the high running plate over the inclined cylinders. The paint is starting to look a bit worn, but it is still a great livery and she looks a treat hauling my train of of six Peter Cowling LMS series one coaches. Portescap motor and gears, with fused protection. Current collection is by the American method, where the loco collects from one rail and the tender from the other. The insulated Slaters wheels have been shorted by thin wire behind a spoke on one or other side of the loco and tender. An insulated drawbar and fallplate is needed with this system and in my experience, with care, it works very well.

These very useful locos were designed by George Hughes, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London Midland & Scottish Railway. His background was with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and they were developed using L&YR practice. In 1925 Henry Fowler, previously of the Midland Railway at Derby, succeeded Hughes as CME and he tried to have the design changed to use Derby standard parts, but because the build process was so advanced, only the tender and some boiler fittings became the only obvious changes. Production commenced at the L&YR Horwich works and L&NWR Crewe works in 1926. A total of 245 engines were built, five of which were experimentally fitted with Lentz valve gear in 1931. In 1953 that was replaced with Reidinger valve gear. Otherwise the class remained virtually as designed throughout their thirty plus year life. No. 2876 was built at Crewe in 1930 and withdrawn from service in 1962.

GWR Grange class no. 6869 Resolven Grange

Resolven Grange
This unusual model has been built from scratch by Peter Everton, as a convertible 2 or 3 rail pickup, with third rail skate. By removing the skate and moving a small plug from one socket to another we have a two rail loco. Reverse that procedure and it’s back to three rail. Very clever and I have never seen this feature before. The loco is fitted with a set of chunky gears and a large motor. Driving wheels are of cast iron construction, with fine spokes and very slightly thicker than Slaters. They give a back to back of 28.25mm and negotiate Peco fine scale track and points with no problems. Slaters wheels (with 29.25mm back to back) are fitted to the bogie and tender. The Poachers test track at Lincoln,  was built using Peco track and this loco can fly around there with my eight chocolate and creams in tow, no problem. In fact I’m sure it would pull double that length of train. This well detailed and very heavy model is of extremely robust construction and would be well suited to either an indoor layout or an outdoor track. It was bought privately in an upainted and unused condition. It has now been painted by myself in unlined GWR green and lightly weathered by Warren Hayward. In addition, the model carries the small nameplate of the builder on the underside of the running plate to give that provenance.

The Grange class locomotives were designed by Charles Collett and built at Swindon between 1936 and 1939 as replacements for 43xx class Moguls. For comparison with one of these locos, no. 4302, follow this link.. In fact many Granges were built using a pool of reconditioned parts from withdrawn 43xx locomotives. They are effectively a smaller wheeled version of the Collett Hall class. For a description and images of one of these locos, Aldenham Hall, follow this link.

GWR Dean Single no. 3040 Empress of India

Empress of India
GWR Dean Single no. 3040 Empress of India. This good model was bought from a Vectis auction at Rugby. I suspect it has been built from the DJB kit. Expertly painted and a strong loco for a single wheeler. Terry Smith (TMS Models) sold this model for me so that I could fund another project with the proceeds. It was again for sale again at the Bristol show in 2017. It was such a good loco I was tempted to buy it back.