Hornby Dublo Castle Class

Discussion in 'Collectors and Vintage Rolling Stock' started by Wolseley, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    The Hornby Dublo model of the ex-GWR Castle Class was announced in 1957. The model, which operated on the three rail system, had current pickup from the centre rail via two plungers in the tender and was named Bristol Castle. It was powered by Dublo's half inch motor, which was not unlike the Tr-ang X04 in appearance. Around 1960, Meccano Ltd introduced a two rail system, although the three rail system continued in production until the takeover by Tri-ang. A two rail version of the Castle was introduced, identical to the three rail version other than the method of current pickup and was named Denbigh Castle. The Dublo Castle, although it leaves a bit to be desired appearance wise when compared to present day offerings, was outstanding in its day and was one of the models, if not the model, that blurred the line between toy trains and scale models.

    Then, around 1963, Dublo introduced their powerful Ringfield motor, and redesigned the Castle and ex-LMS 8F 2-8-0 to use that motor. The Ringfield powered two rail Castle was named Cardiff Castle and the three rail version Ludlow Castle. Ludlow Castle was only produced in small numbers and is today one of the rarer and more expensive items from the Dublo range.

    There were three models in the Dublo range that I always wanted back in the early 1960s, but I didn't get my hands on any of them of course, as they were too expensive. The Three were the City of London, Golden Fleece and Cardiff Castle.

    Anyway, over 50 years later, I managed to get myself a Castle when I bought, on a whim, a boxed set of the Hornby Dublo Bristolian, albeit with the three rail Bristol Castle rather than the two rail Cardiff Castle. It was my first piece of Hornby Dublo and led to me starting a collection of Dublo Three rail. Here it is:

    P1010549 copy.jpg

    P1010550.jpg

    Now the original Dublo Castle looks more realistic than the Ringfield version, as the Ringfield motor is rather bulky and visible, taking up virtually all the space in the cab, but I still wanted a Ringfield Castle. As I was running three rail Dublo this meant, if I was concerned with originality, I would have to search for a rare Ludlow castle and, when I found one, pay between five and ten times what I have paid for most of my other locomotives. So, when a rather playworn two rail Cardiff Castle popped up on eBay sans tender, for £27, I bought it and then had to find a tender top (I had a tender chassis complete with plunger pickups in my box of spares) and found one for £5. It should be a pretty straightforward job to convert it to three rail.

    Here is my Cardiff Castle (the tender top hasn't arrived yet):

    s-l1600.jpg

    Now it would be irresponsible to restore it as Ludlow Castle, and the Cardiff Castle nameplates are damaged, so I decided to finish it as something else, and it will end up as Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The lining is in a bad way (the other side is worse) and will have to be replaced but the paintwork (except for the cab roof) isn't too bad, so I'll probably get away with retouching it and giving it a spray with semi gloss clear. I ordered transfers and nameplates from Fox Transfers last night.....
     
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  2. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    Well, I've got it running. I needed to replace the magnet, and one of the motor's bearings was missing, which is probably why it initially made some strange noises at full power (or at least the fullest power I could achieve with the magnet it had). After I reassembled it, it went perfectly in reverse, but stopped and started when going forwards. I have no idea why that was, but running it at near full speed in reverse for half an hour freed everything up, and it now performs well in both directions.

    Castle 1.jpg

    I have cleaned up the loco and tender bodies, and will paint them tonight. I didn't strip it back to bare metal as, with the exception of the cab roof, most of the paintwork is still present and adhering well to the body. I did strip the transfers off with acetone based nail polish remover though. Here's what it looked like after cleaning but before removal of the transfers:

    Castle 2.jpg

    Castle 3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2019
  3. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    I ended up adding a few details as well as refinishing the loco. Here's the result:

    Castle.jpg
     
  4. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    Fascinating thread Wolseley and a great job you've done of it cheers

    Ian vt :cheers:
     
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  5. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    Wow!

    I’m sadly not a GW fan, but the HD Castle as you say did always look quite the prince!

    great work on the restoration! :thumbs::thumbs:
     
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  6. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    Super restoration / make-over job Wolseley, its great to see a classic like this given a new lease of life.:tophat::tophat::tophat::thumbup:
     
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