Model Locomotives built by Bing and Carette for Bassett Lowke

Bowen Cooke LNWR 4-6-2 tank.

This model appears to have been electrically driven originally since there is no sign of a winding hole.  The wound field motor now fitted is not an original and seems to be of WW2 surplus origin. It drives through cascade of clock gears which may be the original BL drive train, but at present it's not possible to say. Power is now provided by three 18650 Li-ion cells.

As can be seen, the loco is in beautiful condition for it's 110 years, with just a little 'crocodile skin' cracking visible on the top surfaces. It may have been colour washed but the lining and legends do appear to be original. It's unusual in having a rather overstated LNWR cast numberplate, which seemed to be a feature of these models, each with a unique number.
(Note the MR gondola following - this is the Carette model with reproduction photograhically printed sides and 3D printed Carette bogies with 3D printed 3'6" wheels running in ball bearings. The GW brake van is inscribed "Guard: Greenly" and Greenly is likely to have had a hand in the design of all the locomotives in this section. Greenly apparently did have a grandfather who was a guard, but not on the GW).

The Bowen Cooke tank was announced in 'Models, Railways and Locomotives in January,  1912.

In the photograph below it can be seen in the shop window at 112 High Holborn. The model in the photo is not the same one since that one appears to have clockwork controls and carries a different number plate. (Photo from "The Bassett Lowke Story", Roland Fuller, 1984 and said to have been taken in 1910).

Today, the wound field motor is wired in shunt mode with a bridge of heavy duty Schottky diodes powering the field. It's interesting to drive since there's a noticeable delay in energising the field before the armature spins up. When running it's a reasonable performer but does rely on a tiny brass bevel pinion which protests loudly at reductions in power overunning the motor!

Great Central class 9N 4-6-2 tank.
Bing for Bassett Lowke, c. 1914, "The most powerful clockwork locomotive ever made" according to Bassett Lowke.

Here it is advertised in Greenly's 'Models, Railways and Locomotives' December, 1912. (Copy courtesy of David Knighton).

Fully wound this large loco runs for about 150'. Here it is being 'assisted' by Abergavenny:

Here you can see it running
on a very windy day in February, 2024. (There's no fire to blow out in a clockwork locomotive!)

Back to Gauge 2

Great Western 'Atbara' class 'Sydney'.
Bing for Bassett Lowke c. 1908, originally clockwork G2, came to me converted (crudely) to G1, now G2 electric.

'Sydney' was one of the earliest German made locos offered by Bassett Lowke in G2. This one can be identified by the slab sided firebox (later models were waisted) and the tender style with coal rails (missing on my example) in place of the raised side plates found later. This model was avilable from c. 1905, but it's hard to put an accurate date on it. It's been heavily modified during it's long life and is in fairly average condition, making it ideal for use on a working railway where occasional bumps and scratches are inevitable!

Here is the later version in the 1911 catalogue: (Note the tender still has coal rails).

The model now has new brass frames using the original wheels and axles and fitted with the standard design of 3D printed gearbox. The motor is a 540 and power is from two 18650 cells, probably making this the most powerful 'Sydney' ever built!

Back to Gauge 2

Peckett 0-4-0 tank, Carette for Bassett Lowke.
This delightful little engine was originally G1 but the same tooling was used for G2 with longer axles. In this case the wheels have simply been moved out on the axles! This example had been modified for electric drive by persons unknown.

In G2 the little loco is plausibly sized (it's big for G1) and has impressive hauling powers despite it's diminutive size. This one has been doctored to represent 'Lightmoor', a genuine prototype Peckett, and these changes are part of the model's history now.

Power is supplied through a home made gearbox with Chinese worm gears, not an ideal solution because with worm drive in G2 a sudden reduction power will cause the loco to tip on end! This arrangement will be replaced at some time with the standard 3D printed gearbox, which allows the loco to drift when power is cut.

Back to Gauge 2

Great Northern N1 tank.
Originally clockwork, this came to me with the mechanism stripped but retaining the original clockwork frames. Now converted to electric power with 385 motor running through heavy duty brass worm drive. This high gear ratio means 12v power with 3 18650 cells and heavy duty Speed Controller (Mtroniks Viper) and this arrangement will be replaced with the standard 3D printed drive in due course.

Note the immaculate condition of the paint finish on this 110 year old model! The N1's seem to have been favoured with a very long lasting quality of paint (in G1 and G2 versions), quite different to that on other Bing products. Perhaps they have all been stored in the dark! Or worse, perhaps they are all repaints. I do have my suspicions about this.

Here it is on the road, where few observers notice the trailing wheelset is in fact 3D printed!

Well, that's it on Gauge 2 locomotives .... for now. If you have been, thanks for reading.