June 03, 2010

"Stanier Twins...or not?"

The above is my railroad Black Five, numbered 45249. I've bought - second hand - another Stanier Black Five to restore. Pic below shows the extent of the damage it had when it arrived at the works:

45455's smokebox was badly melted, with the chimney at an odd angle, and the smoke gen popping through. It also had (not clear in this photo) damage to the LHS valve gear.

After removal of the smoke generator, and the damaged chimney, and rebuilding the smokebox to some extent, I fitted a spare stanier chimney to the smokebox I had in the parts bin.

The result is something much better looking, but showing up a lot of inadequacies of the Railroad Black Five - however, with some twists:

First off, length. Lining them up I expected them to be similar lengths - the Railroad Black Five is clearly about two scale foot and a half shorter (close to one centimetre) and it shows up very clearly. The firebox and cab seems to be the main culprit - it flabbergasted me as I was told by a fairly reliable source they were doing the same thing as the A1/A3/A4 chassis - same one for Railroad and super detail but with different valve gear. That's not actually the case here.

Why is this? Its tender drive heritage perhaps, as its the same chassis that was utilized for the old Patriot model too.

Looking at the cabs, the differences in length become slightly clearer:

And yet - here's a question for you. Which tender goes to which engine?

The correct answer is 45249 on the left, and 45455 on the right. But aside from a little detailing at the front of the tenders - the buffers are clear on 45455's front - the two tenders are identical in length and wheelbase, and share the same style top too.

The two engines are meant to be of the same class of engine, in the same batch - and while one is definitely better looking than the other, at the engine end, that Hornby haven't produced a Stanier tender that's better than this one suprises me.

Until next time!

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