N Gauge Forum

General Category => Crowdfunding => Topic started by: Karhedron on January 07, 2019, 10:35:17 AM

Title: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: Karhedron on January 07, 2019, 10:35:17 AM
Hornby's latest product announcement includes a newly tooled GWR large prairie in 00 gauge to replace their previous venerable offering. Whilst I do not begrudge 00 modellers their luck, it does mean that this is not likely to be coming to N gauge from the Farish range and Dapol seem to have slowed their N Gauge development somewhat of late. Therefore I would like to propose the GWR large prairie family as an ideal project for Crowdfunding is it is unlikely to be gazumped by any of the big manufacturers.

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8055/8112515744_7f16140fb9_b.jpg)

The large Prairies are handsome and iconic GWR locomotives but the existing Farish model is an ancient tooling that is well past its sell-by date. The prototypes were numerous with several surviving into preservation which makes researching them easier.

As any GWR aficionado will know, the large Prairies were not a single class but a family of related designs so to help refine the proposal, I have narrowed the field somewhat. The transition era is still a hugely popular era to model so picking sub-classes that lasted until the end of steam will help broaden the appeal of the model. For this reason, I propose modelling the 5101 class (which included the 41xx series) and the 6100 class. As a large tank engine, there would be ample room to include a good drive system (ideally coreless) as well as DCC socket as would be expected in a new model.

Visually these two subgroups were almost indistinguishable with just the usual detail differences in safety valve design etc to distinguish. Between them, these classes numbered around 300 members and could be found working everywhere from intensive suburban services into Paddington to secondary mainline trains at the far western fringes of the GWR system.

Equally at home on both freight and passenger services, these locos were blue-weighted meaning they could turn up almost anywhere on the system. Only the the lightest of branchlines were out of bounds to them.

5187 is seen on an Oxford to Birmingham passenger service at Leamington Spa in 1938.
(https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/gwr/leamingtonstation/leamington_locos/gwrls174.jpg)

6147 ex-works at Swindon.
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/GWR_2-6-2T_6147_at_Swindon_Works_%28level_adjusted%29.jpg)

6160 hauls the Loudwater goods through Cookham station in 1965
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Trains/Former-GWR-Lines/i-VC7BvMf/1/f5df707f/L/GMP_Slide1355_6160_Cookham_110665-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: Newportnobby on January 07, 2019, 11:17:07 AM
I have the Farish version but would definitely be up for at least 1 new version, especially as you posted a pic mentioning Oxford which had several 61xx allocated in 1965 :D
I guess there'll be a few groans of "Not another GWR/WR loco" and, I have to admit, the Eastern region folks are quite hard done by.
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: Train Waiting on January 07, 2019, 11:41:26 AM
What a good idea!  And I recall that Mike at Revolution Trains was asking recently for suggestions for prospective models that would sell 1,000 or more.  A 51XX 2-6-2T would certainly be in with a good chance of achieving this.  It would also complement the Revolution Trains' 56XX 0-6-2T already announced.

John
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: Snowwolflair on January 07, 2019, 11:52:05 AM
What a good idea!  And I recall that Mike at Revolution Trains was asking recently for suggestions for prospective models that would sell 1,000 or more.  A 51XX 2-6-2T would certainly be in with a good chance of achieving this.  It would also complement the Revolution Trains' 56XX 0-6-2T already announced.

John

This is possible especially as the commercial initiative has come from a Chinese manufacturer creating the model and OEM selling through the Revolution brand, so minimum cost and risk to Revolution.  My guess is if the first model is a success more will follow from the same source.
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: Bob G on January 07, 2019, 12:41:56 PM
This is a good one to do - I've got all three Farish China large prairies in legitimate BR liveries (they did do a 5101 in late crest green in a train set early on, but the one they modelled was scrapped in 1952 so didnt wear late crest - Doh!), but will happily wait for a new one. I just think the old large prairie model is almost bulletproof. Like the 94xx pannier. I had previously though of detailing it but the metal is almost undrillable.

Point of interest - Dapol is doing the 5101/6100 in OO along with the Mogul. So do you think they might do the OO one first and then the N one?

Your spec should include DCC sound as there is plenty of space in that tank for a speaker.

Bob
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: Snowwolflair on January 07, 2019, 12:59:36 PM
With the release of a modernised Castle a modernised spam can, a modernised 8F, etc.  I suspect in time all the early Farish models will get the rejuvenation treatment, and the Prairie is a very suitable candidate.

What I find striking is the up coming C class and the N a few years ago gently pushing the boundaries of their comfort zone.
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: red_death on January 07, 2019, 01:11:46 PM
I don't have the answer to this, but my question/concern would be whether the market would be large enough to justify producing a new version to modern standards.  I think for some locos it is very clear that the answer is yes, and for locos never produced before there is the novelty element.

As I say that is my ignorance of the prototype and potential market, but I'd be interested in people's views!

Cheers Mike
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: Chris Morris on January 07, 2019, 01:22:50 PM
Agree. A large Prairie would be a useful loco. I could do with one but wouldn't run the old Garish one even if I was given one. Call me picky but I like my locos to something like the real thing.
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: Karhedron on January 07, 2019, 02:44:31 PM
As I say that is my ignorance of the prototype and potential market, but I'd be interested in people's views!


I think the large prairies definitely fit this bill well. They were very numerous, widespread and flexible workhorses. GWR tank engines seem to sell well as both the Dapol small prairie and pannier get regular reruns. The large prairie ticks all the same boxes but has the added advantage of also being at home on longer trains than the small prairie. This is particularly useful in N Gauge where decent stretches of secondary mainlines or busy suburban lines can be modelled in quite small spaces. The large prairies were particularly at home in such settings.

With around 300 members of just the 2 classes I have identified, they really are one of those engines that could turn up almost anywhere on the GWR, often several of them. The fact that so many examples have been preserved (with some even running on the mainline) is just icing on the cake as it helps widen the appeal to modern modellers too.

6106 returned to the national network in 1973 in order to celebrate the centenary of the Marlow branchline (one of its old stomping grounds). It is shown here at Bouren End with some slightly newer stock in tow.
(http://www.mdrs.org.uk/localrailways/as_mdcd_0009.jpg)
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: twinklekev on January 07, 2019, 06:19:13 PM
I've got a couple of the old Farish one's and, as previously said, they are pretty bomb proof. But, they are showing their age so something a bit "newer" would be really nice. Especially if they came in GWR green (please!!!).

Twinklekev
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: leachsprite4 on January 07, 2019, 07:08:18 PM
I like the idea and agree wide range of both numberscand area covered.

However I think it's to risky because:
(1) dapol are working on a OO one (so could down size)
(2) djm are working on the mogul of similar design in which hasn't been released before and was equally well traveled but is struggling for backers.
(3) the uptake in djm king has been slow for a (in some views) more prestigious engine that has been released before.

Graham

Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: Karhedron on January 07, 2019, 10:01:48 PM
However I think it's to risky because:
(1) dapol are working on a OO one (so could down size)

I guess that is a possibility but it is worth remembering that the CAD work is only about 10% of the overall cost of developing a new loco. It may give Dapol a modest head start but is hardly a deal-breaker.

More pertinently, Dapol have not released any new N gauge steam for quite some time. IIRC their last new steamer was the Grange around 4 years ago(ish). Their GWR railcar has been a good seller in 00 gauge, so much so that they are doing another run as well as the parcels version but they have shown no interest in shrinking that down to N Gauge (and believe me, I have been pestering them about it ;) ).

The only new steam coming form Dapol in the foreseeable future is the SR light pacifics and even these are only reheating a model they designed about 5 years ago. They are putting a lot of effort into their 00 and 0 gauge ranges and just keeping N gauge ticking over at the moment (in steam at least). Maybe they will come back to it in the future but my hunch is if they were planning an N Gauge large Prairie, they would probably have announced it.

(2) djm are working on the mogul of similar design in which hasn't been released before and was equally well traveled but is struggling for backers.

That may be true, I suspect though that a lot of people are waiting to see how the King turns out. If Dave delivers a good model, I suspect the Mogul will pick up quickly.

(3) the uptake in djm king has been slow for a (in some views) more prestigious engine that has been released before.

For all that Dave is an N Gauge veteran, DJM is still an unknown quantity in some peoples' eyes. I think the slow uptake is a reflection of the fact that people are cautious of parting with money up front from a "new" company.

Personally I have faith in Dave and have signed up for 2 each of the Kings and Moguls and would sign up for a similar number of large Prairies.

And just to show I do not favour any particular manufacturer, I have also signed up for the RevolutioN 128 and 5600. ;)
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: leachsprite4 on January 07, 2019, 10:20:59 PM
Fair points.

Re the railcar , as farish do one (I know it's not the same but you some people can't appreciate the differences between a hall and a castle  ;) ) it might have warned dapol off. Equally I think the next dapol steam engines will be upgrades to chassis after the West Country, well I'm hoping for the 45xx improved and m7.

I am hoping you are right re djm I am personally holding off the mogul for that reason and I'm gutted for Dave re the diesel he lost out on as this would have made a big step forward fire him.

I am pleased with the revolution team entry to the market with  the 5600. I may be tempted if I can get over my dislike for the loco class (they just look unbalanced and I've almost had a ride behind one twice at different railways but it failed before it left the platform).

Graham

Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: 5944 on January 08, 2019, 12:09:14 PM
That may be true, I suspect though that a lot of people are waiting to see how the King turns out. If Dave delivers a good model, I suspect the Mogul will pick up quickly.
I'm certainly waiting. I wouldn't preorder for something that is such an unknown. Some of his OO models have dubious running qualities, and his total N gauge output so far is one wagon.

If Revolution offered a large Prairie, I'd certainly be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that a decent model would appear relatively quickly, and would certainly purchase at least a couple. I wouldn't trust DJM to bring one to the market any time soon.
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: Ashio on January 10, 2019, 12:29:31 PM
Fair points.

Re the railcar , as farish do one (I know it's not the same but you some people can't appreciate the differences between a hall and a castle  ;) ) it might have warned dapol off.


Graham I would hope that is not the case as I was very very disappointed with the Farish railcar and so didn't buy one, it looks like a total half hearted effort and actually put GF down in my estimations. I would love an earlier DETAILED 1930's version of the railcar.

As for the large prairie, I have always wanted one but have held off buying any of the old GF versions in the hope that someone will release a model as frankly those old models are ugly by modern standards. I'd definitely buy a couple in 1930's shirtbutton livery and possibly a single in late BR.

I also think Dapol's small prairies need a detail and wheel update, guess i'll have to do them myself if its a struggle to convince people to support DJM's moguls. I have shown an expression of interest for two of those, one BR and one GWR with the aim to re livery it to shirtbutton. If shirtbutton was an option from the start I would prob buy 2 of those.
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: chalfytich on January 26, 2019, 11:26:55 PM
I've got a 70s Farish one and while they may be bulletproof, it runs nowhere near as well as a modern model should. Goes like a rocket but slow running isn't that good and almost all the Gradar stuff from that era rocked as it moved, probably because the quartering was out a bit. I was never able to improve the black 5. the panniers were the only exception with both the ones I had being good runners even after I hacked one around to make a 56XX. Anyway they are all put in a box now I have gone dcc and can't be bothered to convert them so a modern one would be most welcome.

Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: Bob G on January 26, 2019, 11:29:53 PM
Actually the China ones are better than the Poole ones, both in running and paint application, but if we have to have a new one.... could it please run well as well as look pretty? And not be stretched out of proportion one way or another?
Title: Re: Suggestion for GWR large Prairie
Post by: chalfytich on January 26, 2019, 11:32:49 PM
I have the Farish version but would definitely be up for at least 1 new version, especially as you posted a pic mentioning Oxford which had several 61xx allocated in 1965 :D
I guess there'll be a few groans of "Not another GWR/WR loco" and, I have to admit, the Eastern region folks are quite hard done by.

I know there are a lot of GWR engines already being produced but there are a surprising number of omissions still. Apart from a large prairie it would be good to have a 42XX or 72XX tank as well. I always thought the 47XX was a nice looking beast and it's a shame nobody has produced a model of that as well. Hopefully the DJM King will come to fruition and then the mogul.
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