Thursday, November 05, 2009

Ready to Run Y3

ex-LNER Y3
Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker
Model Rail magazine has commissioned Dapol to produce a ready to run Y3 shunter. It will doubtless be available in the next year or so and sell by the bucket load.

I say, "Oy, Model Rail - Leave the nice easy to build shunters alone ! Go and do a fiddly loco instead !"

I say this because I have a Y3 in my locmotive stud for Melbridge Dock. It's built using a Crownline kit and runs on a Tenshodo SPUD. Being based on a motor bogie is a probably the reason Dapol plumped for it as they can use parts from existing diesel power units rather than going to the expense of tooling up the parts for a proper steam engine.

Sadly, that's what has made it appealing to generations of modellers too. Nu-Cast produced a kit in whitemetal, Crownline did the same thing in etched brass. Higfeild (I think) made a vauum formed 7mm scale version which to be honest wasn't that good. As for scratchbuilding, there isn't much that is simpler. But no more.

The new model means mine will stay in the box in the future. Y3's will appear on every layout. They will be on the front of passenger trains (wrong), goods trains (wrong), shunting branchline stations (wrong) and generally infesting the scene a bit like the ex-L&Y Pug, another excellent RTR model, does. People haven't paid good money to come into a show to see me running out of the box models, they should demand more than this, or at least I want to provide more.

Nowadays we are blessed with some excellent quality ready to run models which let newcomers into the hobby far more easily than the fold days when you had to make every single item. Prices aren't bad either. Despite comments in one magazine that a £135 9F locmotive is poor value for money, the costs aren't that high either in my opinion. Building kits certainly costs as much in money and you still have to invest the time !

I suppose this still leaves Toby. But I bet they do one of those one day too.


Iain Robinson said...

Agree totally. When you consider that a handbuilt model loco in 4mm from a top builder can run into four figures, I don't think a model of my favourite loco from Bachmann at just over a ton is unreasonable. Not that I can afford it... But as the Railway Modeller editors through the ages have said..."we've never had it so good"...

I do think that the little Y3 is rather naughty. It's not exactly a ubiquitous prototype and as you say, we're going to see it everywhere as it will be cheap, and ultimately, a little cliched.

Andy in Germany said...

What were these locomotives used for then?

Think I'll stick to 5,5mm scale- about a hundred of us and a few kits. Much more fun.

Phil Parker said...

Andy - Think industrial shunting. Inner city yard or huge factory. That's the natural home for a Sentinal. They weren't able to travel at much more than fast walking pace.

5.5mm scale. I completely understand. I've always fancied S gauge myself but can't work the imperial measurements.

Michael Campbell said...

Well I rather like them! And I may be even tempted to get one ... for some future industrial layout perhaps?

But it is interesting to see how modern manufacturing is making unusual prototypes (and presumably small batches) viable, which can only be a good thing. It still seems an odd choice though.

As for Toby, I believe Hornby and Bachmann make them in OO - with face attached of course!