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Author Topic: State of British N Gauge  (Read 5926 times)

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Offline Newportnobby

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #90 on: January 10, 2019, 03:44:14 PM »
I think we have now gone a long way off topic.

I wouldn't necessarily agree with 'a long way' but certainly we've gone off on a tangerine.
There remains, to my mind, a lack of RTR 1st generation DMUs and EMUs like the 304s/310s and many of the Southern Region green stock such as those being built by Snowwolflair (BILs and Tadpoles etc). I consider myself to be well provided for as a transition era modeller but do have sympathies for those building layouts set before and after my chosen period/location. There will always be stuff I'd like which the majors are unlikely to consider due to small numbers in the class or potential lack of demand for any particular prototype e.g. Falcon, Lion, Kestrel but I have to suck that up. It sticks in my craw when models I desire like the class 17, class 23 and Bulleid light pacifics get placed on hold (abeyance blah blah) but I have to accept that's the way things are (at least I might see BoB 'Spitfire' on my layout while I still have some hair on my head).
Things are looking up in that, along with RevolutioN Trains, other participants such as Sonic and Accurascale are participating in our chosen gauge and hopefully we'll see an N gauge loco from DJM. I reckon RevolutioN might do well to look at producing models for the Manchester-Sheffield-Wath Woodhead line and/or early WCML. That would make the entire UK my target :)

Online Intercity

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #91 on: January 10, 2019, 03:55:17 PM »
I think the hobby from the modelers side is still very healthy, however as I said before the manufacturers needs to produce stuff that new modelers can associate with, but not forget the life long modelers who have kept the hobby alive.

In this day and age we have so many resources to pull from, there are many forums (NGF being the best of course), videos/you tube, lists of clubs and shows, this helps both RTR modelers and kit builders.

Modelers are also looking for much more accurate models with better details, take a look at the old Lima stuff and early GF stuff and tell me if we are in a much better place these days, the price of that improvement is just that, a price hike in the cost of the model.

We have companies like the guys at Revolution Trains that have seen a gap in the market and are trying to fill it, but without the resources and funding of the big companies the models have to be a sure fire success, at the end of the day we control our destiny, if we dont voice our opinions and wants, or support the new guys then our future will diminish.
Support crowdfunding - its the way forward

Revolutions class 321 needs your help, lets make it happen.

Offline PaulCheffus

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #92 on: January 10, 2019, 04:21:30 PM »
I reckon RevolutioN might do well to look at producing models for the Manchester-Sheffield-Wath Woodhead line.


That would be nice but I'm not holding my breath.


Procrastination - The Thief of Time.

Offline Claude Dreyfus

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #93 on: January 10, 2019, 05:28:21 PM »

Question from a non-British guy.
My wish list for RTR models is as follows:
- diesel: classes 07, 17 and 23
- electric: class 71
- steam: class W4 Peckett 0-4-0ST (or at least class B2 Peckett 0-6-0ST), 4-4-2 'Atlantic' class H2/C1
- multiple units: underground stock 1938, Derby Leightweight (single unit or 2-car)
I can't figure out if they are part of the gaps or if some, not to say all, of them are "unrealistic expectations" as said by njee20.
What's your view?

In short order,  the 07 isn't on the horizon, nor immediately likely given its limited geographic range (although it ventured a little further afield in its industrial and preservation life). DJM have the 17 and 23, which means they are as likely to see the light of day as an 07. The 71 is also unlikely, for similar reasons to the 07 (unless DJM points the shrink ray at his 71 (but don't count on that).

Pecketts would be nice, but again not likely (especially as one of the reasons given by Bachmann for shelving their J72 was the size of the mechanism). I genuinely believe there is plenty of scope for a small industrial loco in rtr N (there is, of course the Farish 'J94' and the up coming NGS Hunslet).

I for one would love to see the Brighton Atlantic in N...would Bachmann take the plunge? Let's see how the C class turns out.

Tube stock is also unlikely, again given its limited sphere of operations. Derby Lightweights would no doubt be far behind the 117 or cross-country sets (119 or 120), just in terms of longevity...although some Derby Lightweights did live on in departmental use and some were preserved.

So, of that lot, two are promised and several are highly unlikely. The only possibility is the Atlantic.

Would it be remiss to mention that most are available in some shape or form in kit form (I like the Atso C1, very elegant)...some more challenging than others... I have also seen some very reasonable attempts at n gauge tube stock.

I'd love to build more kits, but as more than one here knows, I am not very diligent at things like that (I have spent the last 4 years scratch building a block of H0 half-relief flats (and my inattentiveness is frequently mocked). I have any number of unstarted or half built kits supporting my latest wheeze. One day I may get some discipline, but in the meantime I'll just wait for anything I fancy to turn up rtr. Could Bachmann turn their shrink ray on the E4?

Online Dr Al

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #94 on: January 10, 2019, 06:20:32 PM »
I read the original post as a summary of what is generally available RTR, and aimed my first post as a reply in that vein; which is why I said I had excluded kits from my post, as I wished to put forward a reasoned 'wish list' for ex LNER locos to be considered in the future for RTR-or why, in the case of the LNER, it would be difficult to justify as RTR.

Personally, I would look at items such as the J72. Bachmann have dropped it now, but I'm sure an enterprising concern could manage it, particularly now with the micro-sized motors we can get.  Failing that, a larger LNER 0-6-0T would be worth considering - J52, or J83 perhaps. There is a very old kit of the J52, but that's very difficult to obtain these days, so has no relevance to first order (hmm...I do have 2 to build....maybe that's why they are hard to find....sorry).

Beyond that, for a larger machine, a B12 might be a strong seller - whilst UM have a decent one, working it to a better standard would tempt me - I plan to detail my UM ones, but getting scale tender will remain impossible.

As a third run of the mill loco, I'd suggest a J36 0-6-0. These have recently been done in OO by Hornby and proved very popular, so that may be an interesting guide datapoint.

My own thoughts would be to avoid RTR versions all the kits I mention - as I think it'd be a crying shame to hit folks like @Atso who've invested so much in them. Sure, I know no manufacturer would remotely care about this; but I do.


P.s. As an aside, Revolution would need to give serious reassurances regarding their after-sales service, and attitude however. My Pendolino experience buying experience was excellent, but repair and fault rectification was abysmal, and only rectified after oodles of unsatisfactory communication - once I started a 4 figure credit card dispute with them it suddenly all got sorted (money talks).
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 06:53:49 PM by Dr Al, Reason: addendum »
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces. Dr. Carl Sagan

Offline Stevie DC

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #95 on: January 10, 2019, 10:28:33 PM »
Dr. Al;

Whilst agree with most of your choices, and why, some of which I'd like, part of my post was to point out that the LNER remained almost as if Grouping hadn't happened, as many of the locos remained on-or very close to-the original parent system.

The J72s generally remained on the ex NER section, with 12 in Scotland, and even the BR build went mainly to the NER, with about eight spread over four other sheds not previously having them; these eight tended to go back to the NER or Scotland after relatively short period.

Again, without going through each of my RCTS LNER history books, the ex GNR 060T tended to stay on that system; the J83s were always in Scotland. BTW, my J52 is recently finished.........J36-always in Scotland, or the ex NBR lines in Northumbria; after nationalisation, some went to LMS sheds-in Scotland. J38-I'm aware of the Union Mills loco-Scottish. B12-which I'd very much like, and yes, I do have the Union Mills one-did actually get around a bit, but mainly ex GER and GNSR. They did however work in the ex GNR area around Lincoln and Grantham; Cambridge engines got as far as Oxford. But B12? B12/3?B12/4? The B12 was the original and worked ex GER and GNSR, usually disfigured with ACFI gear; but of the two versions of the rebuild, B12/3 didn't go to Scotland, and B12/4 only worked in Scotland (I've nothing against Scotland, BTW!). D16/3 'Clauds' did also get around a bit, but not until after nationalisation (ex Cheshire Lines and Nottingham/Derby /Grantham on ex GNR routes, the ex M+GN, and routes westward from Peterborough ), and not for long.

The various NER classes-very good locos and very long lived, simple design-tended to stay there. I had thought that some NER 060s moved around the system, but it was limited numbers only to the ex GER, and they had all returned by the end of WW2. Some J21 allocated to GWR during WW2.

Some ex GCR locos moved about-but not many, generally not for long, and most were withdrawn soon after Nationalisation. Exception-previously mentioned Robinson ROD O4-but they went to 04/8, ie 8 sub classes (though some were very minor differences); D9s, which went to the GER and M+GN; D10, which had a spell on the GNR, but all withdrawn by 1955; and most widespread, the D11 'Directors', of which a sub class was built for, and remained, in Scotland, as well as the originals working services on the ex GNR.

Without more examples, it makes the point of my original post that it is difficult to get an LNER class that was

3)Didn't have major cab/tender/bunker detail variations
4) reasonably long lived
5)etc, etc.

each of which gives a manufacturer difficulties in deciding what to produce. That was what i had intended to show as part of the post.

So what would I choose? In no particular order;

K3-but many variations; I'm not sure that the OO version sells that well........others may know.
K1-but a late entrant (really BR), but tended to be allocated in batches to a small number of sheds.
V2-updated to moden standards-but this too was allocated, and tended to be restricted to, the ECML and ex GCR London Extension.
D11-an OO model already exists, so potential sales may be gauged.
Tank engines;
all for reasons already mentioned, and all with drawbacks.
J50-effectively a Group Standard loco, but most remained on the GNR, with numbers going to other section sheds; bunker differences.
J52 or J57-but tended to stay on the ex GNR; however, they looked quaint!
G5? Small numbers to GER and NBR, but early withdrawal.

The ex GCR and NER areas had a number of classes of 062T, for both passenger and freight workings; but again, they tended to stay on the parent system.

However, part of your post refers to the fact that, eg, the J36, despite its localisation, has been a good seller in OO, and likewise, the J83 has been in the Hornby range for a very long time. So it's quite possible that there would be sales of the classes you have mentioned.

But this is a very wide ranging hobby, and I'm sure that all of us-me included-have at least one or more Rule 1 locos, and I would hope that any LNER class produced would sell; but 1000 units?

Quote from Dr Al;

My own thoughts would be to avoid RTR versions all the kits I mention - as I think it'd be a crying shame to hit folks like @Atso who've invested so much in them. Sure, I know no manufacturer would remotely care about this; but I do.

End quote.

I wholeheartedly agree, but it hasn't stopped Farish in the past! Especially coaching stock and wagon kits.

Sorry for the long reply, but all I can say is that it is a very fine judgement of what to produce, should an RTR manufacturer decide to do an LNER loco class.

I'm also quite happy for someone to point out a class or classes I've forgotten that WOULD fill the bill-I might like one or more!

I also hope that I'm not being taken as fanatical about allocations and variations; I'm just giving information so that all may make thier own choice.

Hopefully, the final addition to this post; whilst I'm talking about allocations, it is to be remembered that locos may have been on diagrams which took them regularly some distance from theior home shed; and there were always examples of locos being 'borrowed', sometimes more than once, and hence ending up far from home.


Having stayed away from this thread and forum all day, after having gotten several email notifications I logged back in to see what I'd been tagged in. I'll be honest, having spent the last year trying to make Atso-Cad fly as more than just a hobby, after being made redundant two years ago, not being able to find a new job and continually battling depression and suicidal thoughts, I really don't know whether I should be laughing or crying right now.

Please can nobody else tag me in this thread, I have found it a very depressing read and will not be participating in it any further.

Offline martyn

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #96 on: January 11, 2019, 08:16:29 AM »
My post #95 has been deleted-probably it was rather pessimistic.

I didn't mean to upset Atso-I regard his kits very highly-and I didn't realise that copy and paste something would result in him being tagged again.


Offline Les1952

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #97 on: January 11, 2019, 07:37:58 PM »
"Anyone can build a kit"

As a result of too many years spent keyboarding and teaching ICT skills to others I now have Repetitive Strain Injury in my right wrist.  This adds to the early arthritis I have in both hands.  If that were not enough I have a (fortunately mild) dyspraxia which manifests itself in an inability to recognise parallel lines and verticals as such- overcome in most areas by teaching myself that certain things are ALWAYS parallel or vertical. Just don't ask me to CREATE parallels as I can't recognise if these are......

In my younger days I built quite a few loco kits in OO, and a few loco body kits in N.  I am not sure that the heartache every time I completed a kit has been worth it, as not one has been good enough by my standards.

That hasn't stopped me concentrating on the things I can do- modifying r-t-r items to get different sub-classes, renumbering, weathering etc.  However to get a decent stock to model a lot of areas you do need the basic types. 

I model the North Eastern Region.  Union Mills are a godsend.
The J25, J26 and J27 are the basic ex- NER 0-6-0s.  Colin will supply the LMS small tender as a seperate item and more recent J27s have them in any case.  N Brass do a set of coal rails that, with a deal of filing and intemperate language, can be fitted to make these tenders more NER-shaped- I ignore the tank fillers being in the wrong place.  The UM J39 appeared at one time with a shorter tender, which is a basic LNER 3500 gallon type- a different sub-class to the Farish.  Likewise coupling a small Midland tender modified as above gives a J39/3, the third sub-class. All of the LNER's biggest class accounted for.  UM also do the D20 4-4-0, which needs a tender change as noted.

 My pair of DCC-fitted J25s.  The far one done professionally, the near one by me.  As I was unable to ream out the inside of the tender to get the chip in, I put it in the cab and fashioned a storm sheet to hide the wires. 

"I don't build kits"


PS I am lucky enough to have gone to school with a guy who builds professionally, and to have a son who CAN build kits, and who also confiscates my efforts and brings them up to standard.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 07:39:46 PM by Les1952 »

Offline Les1952

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #98 on: January 11, 2019, 07:49:54 PM »

Union Mills J39 altered to J39/3 by fitting a Midland tender.  Some of the NER tenders on J39/3s had coal rails that sloped down at both ends.  This one has since been renumbered and weathered, and I've also coaled the tender and glazed the cab with liquid glaze, and may be running on "Rise Park" at Doncaster next month. 

A simple modification, and the oversized tender that comes with the J39 can usually be sold on eBay for more than the cost of the Midland tender from UM....


Offline JasonBz

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #99 on: January 12, 2019, 01:05:36 AM »
It is interesting (to me) and probably quite telling about what the hobby means to people, that after seven pages its still all about locomotives and rolling stock.
The creation of a realistic railway scene in miniature is about so much more than that - Its the infrastructure,  the setting, achieving that feeling  of Time & Place one tries to replicate that separates the good from the not so good.

Modern N gauge RTR is invariably to a very high standard - Make the rest of the scene to match that standard and you will have a layout that both looks and feels the part :)

Offline railsquid

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #100 on: January 12, 2019, 01:15:43 AM »
*warning - potentially inane personal thoughts and ramblings, not intended to offend, but instead encourage*

However, there's so much that can be done easily to RTR to differentiate a model, yet so few bother -

"so few bother" - such an encouraging statement.

fit the detail parts (nobody seems to - that hole in the bufferbeam looks awful folks!!!!!),

Presumably at least some people do? But, Dr. Al, do you know the reason why I have not prioritized this (or "bothered")? It's because these are a pile of tiny parts which I just know will fly everywhere, come loose on the layout, leave me with unfortunate glue stains etc. I have enough other things to be getting on with; maybe at some future date I will look into it. In the meantime I simply do not see that "awful" hole in the buffer beam, in the same way I do not see the massive chunky rapido coupling, or the apparently empty cab, or the overscale flanges or the code 80 track I use.

renumber it (very easy to do - I've given a guide to this on my workbench thread - nobody read it clearly)
How do you know that? I wasn't aware of it (unfortunately I can't read all of every thread), but noted for future reference.

weather it, mechanically tune it (most RTR can benefit from this), close up the couplings (nobody does this either).

"Nobody"? Oh really?

As such, every one of my locos has had mechanical strip down and improvement, many are renumbered, all have supplied detail parts fitted, weather some, detail some (particularly older ones, again I did some guides on this in the past - the info is all out there for those who bother to look). Coaches all have short shank couplings fitted (trivial with NEM pockets)

Last time I tried that, I was stymied by a mismatch between the (newer) Farish short shank couplings and the (older) Farish NEM pockets. Not an insoluble problem I presume, but one I will defer until a later date.

and all old ones have wheel changes, some having short rapidos fitted. It's all small 10 minute stuff, but all great starters for those beginning the journey.

And the "journey" is as short or as far as each individual wants to go. It's a hobby, not a competition.

I should note one of the things I like about this forum is the exposure to a wide range of different aspects of the hobby; just because I or others do not take up certain aspects, doesn't necessarily mean we aren't "bothered" or interested, it's because everyone is different, with different situations.
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

Offline Portpatrick

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Re: State of British N Gauge
« Reply #101 on: January 12, 2019, 12:15:45 PM »
I sympathise Railsquid.  Ultimately we all know what we are prepared to attempt and/or "put up with".  I leave the packs of small parts in the box because I am simply unable to deal with them - ever worsening Essential Tremor being a major factor in that.  And at normal viewing distances what shows?  With stock which is handled regularly, taken to shows etc even some of the fixed detail is fragile, so the small bits would end up all over the place.  I do intend to put crew in more steam engine cabs - I have a few packs in hand - Tacky Wax being good for that.  Just not got round to it.  I also glue real ground coal over the bunkers/tenders.  In my view that is easy and improves appearance.
On residue old stock (around 8 coaches and 40 wagons) I have replaced all the pizza cutters with modern wheellsets, over a period of time.  Though now all my Mk 1s are current issue and I have not felt a need to fit short shank couplings - OK on my straight end to end but not good on the club layout with radii down to 11 ins. 

I am not averse and have done some mild weathering on some but given the fragility of handrails and valve gear etc, and my innate clumsiness I am not inclined to do much. 

Generally I feel N gauge is in a much better place than when I changed to it in 1976.  Standards have gone through the roof.  Though the result of that improvement is the much greater fragility of steam engines in particular and issues over haulage capacity on some.  Also as with motor cars DiY servicing and adjustments is so much more difficult compared to when removing one screw meant the whole body came off in one lump.  I have often compared the price I paid for a Brit in 1976 with the current Dapol offering.  For the last few years prices have risen faster than the RPI so yes real cost has now increased, as have standards of appearance.  I do get a sense that quality control is still an issue.  Not that 80s stuff was always brilliant from the box but it was usually easy to tweak things to improve running.  The range of RTR has been phenomenal.  Though shorter and infrequent runs can be an irritant - you cannot be at all sure of getting what you want when you have the money to buy it.  Basically we have to jump as and when things appear, which is not possible for many.  And it seems to me manufacturers are still announcing new items far to long before they are going to appear in the shops.  Dapol and Farish are both guilty (Farish Ivatt 260 took c 5 years to appear and Dapol's 142 for an example from that stable).  I do wish they would not announce things until we have a reasonable knowledge of availability.

And a small moan about Farish steam locos with leading 4 wheel bogies.  Pick them up to place on track or in John Burman's boxes and the bogie swings round so easily by 90 degrees or more that there is a real risk of it fouling and damaging the valve gear when you place it on the track or in the box.  Another aspect of the greater fragility of modern steam locos.  The old Poole design of bogie could not do that.  It swung no more than necessary to go round a 9 inch curve. 

In the past I have built many wagon and loco kits and a few Ultima coach kits as well.  But these days I am more limited to RTR, doing coupling changes (easi shunt) where I want them.  Neither have I attempted renumbering for a long time. 


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