NSR Class M from Taff Vale Models

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by York Paul, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd been promising myself this kit for some time now because of it being something slightly different and away from the mainstream 7mm kits available, so this morning it arrived safely and well packaged from Taff Vale Models who are based in the Vale of Glamorgan.

    Now on opening the box I was nicely suprised with what I found inside, well documented instructions with colour step by step pictures, etches neatly wrapped in multiple layers of tissue, the white metal cast parts separated into various sealed bags and stapled onto a stiff card backer and finally the different wire lengths all tied together with a foam end block to prevent distortion. Nice, these are all the hall marks of a good kit because I always measure the strength of buildability from the standard of presentation in the visuals, the instructions are laid out in chronological order too giving a list of parts, historical info and most importantly the wheel size needed with the code spec, gearing motor and couplings are left for the builder to source for themselves.

    The North Staffordshire Railway M Class was an 0-4-4 passenger tank engine built in two batches by John Adams for use on the tightly curved Potteries Loop line where the curvature into Hanley station had a C1 restriction, M Class loco's also ran up the Cauldon Line to Waterhouses on passenger workings from Leek. Later M Class locos had longer bunkers and were designated New M, etches are provided to make both versions.

    So enough of my ramblings and as Toto will say ... lets have pic's of the shiny stuff.:giggle:

    First off the contents as placed in the box and instructions.


    Next off are the white metal castings which include Midland pattern buffers all pre assembled so tiny parts don't go missing, the backhead casting, chimney and dome are all very crisply formed with absolutely no distortion at all, also included are a few lost wax castings such as safety valves and whistle.


    The main frames and other associate items are etched in 28 thou nickel silver, this is going to make one very solid little tank engine.


    The etch brass parts are 18 thou and have a good crisp definition, the boiler and round top firebox is pre rolled so that helps too. Note on the top fret you will see the two different bunker sizes provided depending on which version you want to build. Tiny half etch bunker and tank rivet detail is provided so the builder will need a fine point press and anvil (4mm OO scale) fitted to their rivet embossing tool.


    Another thoughtful touch is the fret containing smaller etch items has a legible numbering system incorporated so identification is made simple... that's another nice touch showing the good level of care and consideration taken by the designer in his product.


    Finally how much... well for £265 plus P&P this is very competitively priced by Taff Vale Models and aimed particularly for the steam enthusiast who will want such an attractive little locomotive in their collection, I can see this one being a talking point amongst visitors on Dundee's Another Bridge, Toto's Luib Bridge and my own Ashbourne Line Norbury Bridge (when I get round to building that one). Pragmatically speaking I shall get the wheels ordered first before cracking this kit open and fit a 38 : 1 gear with 1833 motor with sprung pick ups.

    So all in all since this is my first Taff Vale purchase this kit gives me a good feeling of confidence and I am looking forward to the making, you never know I may quite easily be tempted into buying another M Class so I can do the earlier 1907 version as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
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  2. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Looks very nice.

    The instructions look very thorough. :thumbs: that's always a good thing.

    Toto
     
  3. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    That caught my eye too, very simply an A4 spiral bound affair with a laminate front cover, everything set out in chronological order with lots of easily understood directions with good visuals. :thumbs:
     
  4. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    The layout depends upon the photos taken throughout the build as it's the key elements that must be captured as the build progresses.

    The Highlander chassis and frame builds are reasonably straight forward but extensive and clear instruction are required for the bogie builds.

    Toto
     
  5. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Staff Member Administrator Feature Contributor

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    I recently put together some instructions for the Gladiator Ivatt Self trimming tender. I tried to post a pdf copy of it but it's too large a file.
     
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  6. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    Just for the moment the workshop bench is seeing a bit of a respite from diesel building, this is due to the fact I'm waiting for parts to continue with, no worries however because I cracked open another kit and this time it was the little NSR 0-4-4 tank engine of the New M class as produced by Taff Vale & Dragon Models. I'ts a lovely little loco to build and parts fit perfectly so with Xurcon snips and soldering iron I set to work on the frames and in only a weekend I had a rolling chassis for my efforts, such is the ease and delight in building this Taff Vale offering, so much so that I'm drawn to buying another of the same to represent the earlier Adams M class with short bunker, the kit offers the builder a choice of either version. My loco is going to be NSR number 15 as built by J.Hookham in 1920, as LMS 1436 this loco was the very last ex NSR engine in capital stock being withdrawn during August 1939 and cut up in Crewe works the following year. I also understand that 1436 carried unlined LMS Crimson livery with gold lettering and numbering counter-shaded black, photographic evidence certainly shows a deep back shading against the lighter tank and bunker sides, so I'm assuming this to be gold on black as it is definately not the later yellow on red or the plain cream numbering as carried by goods engines.


     
  7. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Nice work Yorkie. Another on the production line. :avatar:
     
  8. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    A bit more done this evening... we now have a level footplate and a good start made on fabricating the smokebox saddle. Driving wheel splashers formed and soldered ready along with the frame end extension for under the bunker will go on tomorrow evening, now to the tedious job of punching out all the tank and bunker rivets.

     
  9. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    Looks good Paul!
     
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  10. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks Andy, funnily enough the most complex part of this build is punching out all those rivets, the rest it seems is straight forward and when you look at the chassis as if it were the real thing it looks positively out of the arc for a loco built in 1920. So I guess the NSR were either not up on moving with the times or didn't want to spend money modernising their motive power. Now I'd like to get hold of some GA drawings of an Adams New F heavy tank and compare its design to that of a Longbottom DX light goods engine just to see how Stoke changed their build practice between 1902 and 1914.
     
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  11. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    Bit too deep for me, but I think I follow what your meaning. Was there a sudden change in development and progress? (Think the GNR did the same prior to the grouping - look at the original Greasley A1 cab and tender to see how they changed.
     
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  12. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm not sure Andy which is why I am interested to compare changes between two different locos from within a 15 year time frame governed by different engineers. Just look at how Longbottom converted Clare's 2-4-0 into the Class B 2-4-2 passenger tank which was a precursor to the 0-6-2 DX goods tank of 1902 which again formed the basis for Adam's Class L 0-6-2, an engine which morphed into the New L with a total fleet of 34 engines. Again the heavy versions of the Class L were the Class New C and New F built during the First World War for hauling long coal trains for the war effort. The Class M 0-4-4 tank is something slightly different being a more versatile clone derived from the Class L and used mainly on Loop Line passenger workings, their 5' 6" driving wheels being able to meet timings and navigate the sharp curves around Hanley station, Waterloo Road and into Cobridge Tunnel via the junction at Deep Pit Sidings.
     
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  13. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    Fascinating stuff. The locos, infact rolling stock full stop is not something I have actively researched.
     
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  14. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    Got the flaired bunker near on finished now just a bit more fettling to do, chassis painted and some lost wax castings ordered from Laurie Griffin, these include two Roscoe steam lubricator pots for the cylinder block and a five feed Wakefield lubricator. I need to scratch a return crank and rod to drive a rocking arm to the lubricator, this will work off the side rod in time to the revolution of the wheels. :scratchchin: A 1525 five core motor and 40:1 gearbox arrived from Taff Vale yesterday... this engine was after all relegated to shunting duties during its final years in LMS capital stock.


     
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  15. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    Very neat progress! :thumbs:
     
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  16. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks Andy, this evenings job is to anneal the tank end wraps then solder them to a 2mm bar on the tank backs so I can form a nice tight curve on the corners of each tank.Should be fun... we'll see how that pans outs.
     
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