Hornby Dublo Rebuilt West Country

Discussion in 'Collectors and Vintage Rolling Stock' started by Wolseley, May 27, 2020.

  1. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    October of 1961 saw the introduction of the last model of a steam locomotive in the Hornby Dublo range. The new model was a rebuilt "West Country" 4-6-2, named "Barnstaple" for 2-rail and "Dorchester" for 3-rail. It was also available in a Hornby Dublo train set, "Set 2035, Pullman Train S.R." (Southern Region), the box of which bore the slogan "The Luxury Set of the Year". The set was only available for the 2-rail version, with the 3-rail model being sold as locomotive and tender only.

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    I was lucky enough to find, a couple of years ago, a "Dorchester" in very good (but not quite mint, condition at an unusually low price ("Dorchesters" usually sell for considerably more than "Barnstaples" as there were less of them made).

    Subsequently, I obtained a "Barnstaple" chassis to convert to 3-rail, and had plans of fitting a Tri-ang "Battle of Britain" body to it, to give me something a bit different to run. I then found that the cab of the Tri-ang body would not fit around the Ringfield motor that protruded into the cab, no matter how much plastic I pared away. Then I had a thought - if I cut the cab off the Tri-ang body I could then mate the rest of it to a playworn Dublo "Barnstaple" body, after removing some metal from the firebox, boiler fittings and side of the footplate. At least that was the plan. My "Barnstaple" body arrived yesterday and, far from being playworn, after a bit of a clean up (the loco body, not me) I found it to be, except for badly scuffed cabside numbers (just the numbers, the lining is OK), in near mint condition.

    It just doesn't seem right now to proceed with my original plan, so I now find myself the owner of two rebuilt "West Country" locomotives, one "Dorchester" and one "Barnstaple" - and I'm not really a Southern modeller. I have tonight ordered a Dublo "West Country" tender top (I already had a tender chassis) from one of the eBay vendors who deals in Dublo spares to complete the ensemble.

    It does remind me though that, back in the 1960s, when all I had was a Tri-ang L1, a Lord of the Isles, and a Caley Single, I had a school friend who had a "Barnstaple" and I kept telling myself that I had to have one too. Well, now I've got it....
     
    SRman and York Paul like this.
  2. Echidna

    Echidna Full Member

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    Dear Wolseley,

    enjoy your newfound Bullied enthusiasms !

    RT Models ( www.rtmodels.co.uk ) has the Martin Goodall upgrade components for Bullied WC / MN still available, which will enhance your HD Models.

    Whilst I am aware that the HD r/b WC was considered a bit disappointing, in my limited experience of seeing HD & Wrenn r/b WCs running, I think they are a good loco that, if you are so inclined, a Martin Goodall component upgrade, with some judicious painting does result in a splendid model, when running at arm's length, the usual mode of watching, does make a good sight,

    Regards, Echidna
     
  3. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    Some very interesting stuff on that website, however, the condition of this model is such that the most I am inclined to do is replace the cabside numbers and leave it at that, other than maybe a quick spray with semi-gloss clear to protect the transfers and give a nice even finish. Not that I am averse to repainting or detailing Dublo models, as you can see from my many Duchesses and 0-6-2Ts, and I have also detailed (to a limited degree) a Castle and am currently repainting a Co-Co diesel in BR blue. I do tend to reserve such treatment for either badly playworn models (such as my Ringfield Castle, which was in a bad way when I got the bits that went together to form the locomotive!) or some of the commoner ones, such as the aforesaid Duchesses and 0-6-2Ts.

    I think that the main reason that the model was not received as well as it should have been was that there were a few points that could, with little effort, have been better (it did not help that it followed the Castle, which was, if anything, the model that blurred the line between toys and models) and the Ringfield motor, visibly filling all the cab didn't help appearance. Expectations were raised by the Castle, but the West Country, appearance wise, was a small step backwards rather than forwards, although it was still better than the opposition. It has been commented by others that the West Country was the best and smoothest running of all the Dublo locomotives, and my Dorchester lives up to this claim.
     
  4. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    Well, the various other bits and pieces that I need are on the way. I also got my hands on a Dublo (or probably a Wrenn, as it has a tension lock coupling) West Country tender chassis. I was going to fit the Dublo tender top to a spare Tri-ang/Hornby tender chassis I had but, as one of the genuine articles turned up on eBay, I thought it would be better to buy that instead.

    I suppose my first task will be to three rail my Barnstaple chassis using one of my spare Dublo pick-ups. I'll also try some electrically conductive paint (I bought some a few weeks ago but haven't used it yet) to short out the insulated wheels to provide better pick-up from the outer rails.

    Some photographs of my Dorchester and Barnstaple will follow soon.....
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020

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