Now that Duchess Builders have received Kit 4, has any of the 21 constructors decided on the actual loco that they will model?
The tender still can't decide if it is de-streamlined or non-streamlined and so far, Modelworks have been very quiet on the subject.
With a little "kit-bashing", the tender could easily become either options; Doug Hewson kindly pointed me towards some excellent drawings of the standard Stanier 4000 gallon tender, and now the fully welded - partly welded - riveted question is raised.
Identifying the tender will mean that I can decide exactly what should go in front of it!!
I would be very pleased to hear how any other Duchess Builders resolved this question, it would certainly help me!!
Hi Mike It has to be one of the de-streamlined engines due to the extended side sheets, only these engines had this feature. Ive had a look in my copy of "The book of the Corination Pacifics" which has some useful info on the tenders but doesnt make it clear.
Hi Mike, As Andy suggests,have a look at that book,and also "Profile of the Duchesses" and its two photographic accompaniments,as there were indeed certain differences between the 'Duchess' tenders.
Also (and yes,I know I'm rivet counting again! ;D ) there were noticable differences between the tenders for the 'Coronations',compared with those,say,for the 5MT,5XP,8F's classes,ie the 'Stanier Standard 4000 Gallon Tender' refered to.
There is a project on-going at the Birmingham Railway Museum in collaboration with the NRM to 'streamline' the "Duchess of Hamilton"
Post by paultomlinson on May 18, 2007 12:33:57 GMT
Hi, I am new to this website but I thought I would contribute as I am building the MW Duchess. All I can say so far regarding the tender is 'bugger'. I have been building the kits as they arrive exactly as it says on the instructions. I have completed the tender, painted and lined it without thinking too much about the prototype as I thought MW would have done their research. I should have known better as I have been building loco's for twenty years. I now have a completed tender which is not one thing or another, I can feel a letter to MW coming on.
On the plus side, the machining of the components is first class and I look forward to kit7 (plus the outstanding wheels)
Love to see more posts on this subject so any problems can be ironed out together. As an example MW are aware of the brakeshaft problem on the tender which I easily resolved but it would be nice to have some communication from MW when they become aware of these problems, after all an email costs nothing.
I understand that to some people a ready machined kit is an easy option but the tender i saw on the MW dispay at harrogate looked nothing more than a mechano kit,the horrid cap screws to assemble the tank along with simple things such as a lack of beading around the profile of the tank as seen on the Black five would make me abscorn back to my workshop,but if it suits then fair enough,all i can say is yuo can spot a winson britannia a mile off.....
Well Paul, its heartening to hear of another Modelworks builder! If you send me a PM, I'll send you the details of how to convert (kit-bash) the MW tender into either the non-streamlined or de-streamlined version which is much closer to the real thing than MW managed to do. One wonders if their product is meant to be either, with a little 'application'! Indeed, the MW machining is very good, and - yes, Collett's comments are valid, but having the machining done for you, is probably the raison d'etre of the majority of MW customers. That said, doing all the detailing (edge beading, sorting out the fasteners!) is still a very rewarding occupation; I can do that, but not machine....... Mike
Post by paultomlinson on May 23, 2007 14:22:57 GMT
Hi Mike Regardless of what Collett says there is a place in the market for MW. I have built both 5" and 7.1/4" locos but I wanted a quick Duchess so if Collett can produce one or a kit of parts for me within two years then I'll have one off him.
Regarding the tender brake shaft, you will find that with it in place you can't then slide the wheels/axleboxes in position, simply needs a couple of grooves milling in the shaft to clear the wheel flanges. Were you supplied the correct spring hanger brackets? I found the these were incorrect for this chassis and had to have them replaced (ofcourse I had painted them by this stage!).
I could do some work on the tenderto make it prtotypical, options being:- 1. Reduce the length of the tender sides and fit rear footsteps 2. Remove the steps from the rear of the tender tank and fit the ladder. My only problem it is now fully painted and lined! I have sent a letter to MW with a number of questions, the problem above being one of them, I'll let you know what they say when I receive a reply.
On the note of communication with MW, very few of my emails are answered. When I phone Debbie she is very helpful but I am not sure what they are charging on the 0870 number.
I'm building the Modelworks Britannia and I've made a lot of detailed improvements, particularly to the tender, to make it more prototypical - see www.britanniabuilder.co.uk/kit4.htm . I've found that this makes the project more satisfying than simply bolting the kit together as supplied. I get the impression that Modelworks have followed the Perrier/Spink drawings fairly closely, just omitting things such as beading around the tender and smoke deflectors that would require the builder to do some soldering. It would be interesting to know what drawings they have used for the Duchess - I suspect that the detailing will derive from these rather than Modelworks' own research.
Modelworks seem to charge about 10p per minute for their 0871 support number judging from my latest bill, which I guess is not untypical for helplines these days. Response to emails has not been good in recent months.
Hi John I have been following your build of the Brit, well done so far. I built a Brit from the Perrier plans(plus lots of detailing) and run it virtually every weekend, fantastic puller. It appears that the Duchess is from the M Breeze drawings, unfortunately they modified the tender tank so its a bit of a hybrid, still waiting for a response from MW as to where we go from here.
Hi Paul, Thanks for the info on the brake shafts, I had fitted the wheels and boxes, and now that I've looked, they will foul if I need to drop any of them out!
The spring hangar brackets that were supplied would not let the springs align properly. MW answer to my email was that they would replace them later, you obviously done better than me... For your more prototypical approach, the first option also needs a couple of ventilators turning, (I have a drawing) but the second option needs another filler adding such that there's one on either side.
I too struggle to receive replies to emails, usually resorting to a phone call. Yes, its around 10p per minute but I'm looking out for the 'proper' telephone number.
John's Britannia is inspirational, I have printed every 'kit' from his website, and refer to them for ideas with the Duchess build as I progress.
Looking forward to receiving some wheels! Best wishes, Mike
Post by paultomlinson on May 30, 2007 11:14:28 GMT
Just a quick update with the Duchess....
I am still waiting for a reply from MW, I have emailed them numerous times with no reply, I have even written to the MD of the company but as yet still no reply. I have asked the company for their response regarding the tender identity, don't know why it is taking so long for a reply. I have informed MW of anything I have found during the build so far but again I have had no response from their design team. As an example beware if you have fitted the front buffer beam permanently, there are no holes for holding brackets for the running boards or indeed holes for the vacuum pipe brackets.
The chassis looks really well so far, I am painting everything as I go along, hopefully the next kit will arrive in the next couple of days. We are supposed to receive a kit a month but we are already one kit behind. I can understand the difficulties MW may be having with their suppliers etc but they didn't let us know that they would not be suppling a kit in Feb(?).
All in all I am pleased with the quality of manufacture but for a company like MW they have a long way to go in the field of communication and customer service (exception Debbie who does her best with the constraints she has)
Modelworks seem particularly bad at communication on the locomotives - I've never had a response from the designer (who I believe is called Arthur) to any of the questions or suggestions that I've forwarded via Debbie, and I've never seen him on my visits to Daventry. Steve Baldock who designs the road vehicles (Burrell, Foden, Locomobile) is much more accessible - he told me about the problems they've had getting castings made in India, and I gather they've now reverted to getting them made in the UK. If you're waiting for wheels for the Duchess, this is probably the reason. I hope that you don't suffer the same delays that we've had on the Britannia - the last 3 of the 18 kits have been shipped over the space of the past year, and indeed we're still waiting for the second half of the final kit.
Post by standardsteam on May 31, 2007 10:15:27 GMT
To be honest I'm surprised a letter didn't go out to the Britannia builders, there must be a few at or close to kit 18 and a note to say what the delay is for would be helpful. I use your site JJ to keep me informed, partly because I don't want to add load to Debbie, who I assume has to keep repeating herself to customers when a mail-out would keep us all in touch.
I'm not annoyed with Modelworks or anything like that as the delay isn't holding me up - in fact I'm catching up with you JJ, but it's an area that they could really sharpen up their act. The letter about the smokebox was helpful and useful, and more like that would go a long way to making builders feel their not out there on their own.
In response to the previous post I would just like to say that I am annoyed with Modelworks. I am expecting kit 7 so I have just called MW to see where it is. Lo and behold there is another delay! Why don't they communicate this to all customers in good time, saves everyone ringing them! They are very quick to sell you the kit and take the deposit but from that point on you are on your own, I wouldn't mind the delays as long as there is a plausible reason and it has been communicated. I could quite easily build a Duchess from scratch but I thought a MW kit would produce me a loco within two years. I wonder if there is a contract issue, any lawyers out there?