Jump to content
Sheffie

Quality of Graham Farish models?

Recommended Posts

Sheffie

For some time I’ve been looking for a nice British locomotive as the basis for a train. As an ex-pat it doesn’t feel right to have at least one British train. 

 

Given my age, perhaps, the type that appeals to me the most is the Class 37 or “Deltic Diesel”. I remember seeing a news item on the TV when the last service rolled into London King’s Cross in 1982. And I remember hearing it sounding its horn for the last time, a lonely call that echoed through that great Victorian station building and moved more than me to tears. 

 

I’ve been looking for a nice example ever since I started collecting N gauge trains. 

 

Here, I think I’ve found a great looking model. It’s not available yet, so it’s up to date. 

https://railsofsheffield.com/products/37727/graham-farish-371-453a-n-gauge-class-37-0-centre-headcode-d6984-br-green-small-yellow-panels-

 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why on earth are you getting the era 5 model instead of the era 7 livery that you saw growing up?

 

https://railsofsheffield.com/products/37729/graham-farish-371-465a-n-gauge-class-37-0-centre-headcode-37284-br-blue

 

Great question. I think the green one looks nicer. It’s classic BR colors, too. And I’m reassured by the fact that they’re showing a picture of it in N rather than OO gauge. 

 

But. 

 

I hear rumours about the quality of European N compared to Japanese, and I’m a little concerned. The price difference, I can see for myself. What about the quality, though? What sort of issues can I expect?

Edited by railsquid
Change thread title to a more neutral one

Share this post


Link to post
Tony Galiani

Back in the 1990's I traveled to the UK just about every year and picked up some Graham Farish items.  To be honest, most were disappointing - mediocre runners and not well detailed.  I remember a salesman showing off the then new A1 (IIRC) and being shocked at how bad the running gear compared to Kato steam locomotives.

My impression is that after Bachmann took over GF, the quality improved quite a bit.  I think you are likely to be satisfied buying one of the more recent GF products.

Still likely not to be at the level of a Kato or Tomix product but much improved over the older Graham Farish items.

 

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Nick_Burman

Present-day GF is very good. I bought a class 08 (for the chassis) and the loco is very well detailed and runs well.

 

Cheers Nicholas

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
railsquid
9 hours ago, Sheffie said:

Given my age, perhaps, the type that appeals to me the most is the Class 37 or “Deltic Diesel”. I remember seeing a news item on the TV when the last service rolled into London King’s Cross in 1982. And I remember hearing it sounding its horn for the last time, a lonely call that echoed through that great Victorian station building and moved more than me to tears.

 

Minor point of detail: the Deltic is a Class 55 (though both it and the Class 37 were made by English Electric and have/had some interchangeable parts).

 

Quote

I hear rumours about the quality of European N compared to Japanese, and I’m a little concerned. The price difference, I can see for myself. What about the quality, though? What sort of issues can I expect?

 

As far as British models go, the ones which have been released in the last few years are generally very good, and in terms of detailing often way of Kato/Tomix et al. Graham Farish models have had an unfortunate tendency to develop split gears (fairly easy to repair though), though for newer models produced in the last few years that doesn't seem to be an issue. Dapol locomotives have suffered from a tendency for the lighting units to fail, but they've finally redesigned their circuit boards and removed the weak points. With a few exceptions, models from both manufacturers don't come fitted with traction tyres, which somewhat restricts their haulage capacity on gradients.

 

Bear in mind the British N gauge market is at least an order of magnitude smaller than the Japanese one, so the economies of scale enjoyed by Japanese manufacturers aren't available.

 

I have a version of the Graham Farish Deltic:

 

40611328433_412ce3ce7d_z.jpg

Graham Farish Class 55 Deltic (55005) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

and am very happy with it, it looks like a Deltic and is a nice smooth unfussy runner with decent haulage.

 

Bear in mind there are 3 variants of the Deltic from Farish:

 

- current model with revised tooling, directional lighting and DCC, made since ca. 2012

- original Bachmann-era model with original tooling and reasonably decent "split chassis" (no lighting or DCC)

- original "Poole-era" Graham Farish model with a somewhat clunkier chassis/mechanism

 

You'll want the current model.

 

There's also a version by Lima which is hilariously over-scale and is only of historical interest.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
railsquid
9 hours ago, Tony Galiani said:

Back in the 1990's I traveled to the UK just about every year and picked up some Graham Farish items.  To be honest, most were disappointing - mediocre runners and not well detailed.  I remember a salesman showing off the then new A1 (IIRC) and being shocked at how bad the running gear compared to Kato steam locomotives.

My impression is that after Bachmann took over GF, the quality improved quite a bit.  I think you are likely to be satisfied buying one of the more recent GF products.

 

 

Early 1980s Class 47 model:

41341665010_c3945bf3cc.jpg

Graham Farish (Poole) Class 47 (D1662) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

compared with contemporary model:

43169681681_8f1e01f77b.jpg

Graham Farish Class 47 (47404 "Hadrian") by Rail Squid, on Flickr


If looking at a Farish diesel model and you're not sure if it's "old" or "new" tooling, give-aways are the lack of struts on cab side windows, and very visible "pizza cutter" wheels.

 

Edited by railsquid
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Keith

The modern ones seem ok, although I’ve no idea how they run as I heave been procrastinating over many years.

The A1 has traction tyres, a 6 pin decoder socket in the tender and a alternate pony truck. The 04 is also reasonable.

 

 

FCEA02DD-6CB7-4F3E-9BAA-08FDC2021B18.jpeg

5E1BD007-3527-42AC-94B2-8DF246E7E986.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Sheffie

Let’s see if this link works for anyone else.  

 

https://railsofsheffield.com/wishlist/a2ee8180b3b642e9b7834483f0327567

 

This is (at the time of writing) the Graham Farish models covering era 5 (1958 to 68 ish) in green. Other colors are available of course, but these models do look particularly nice. 

 

Question

I’m considering getting a third class coach made by dapol. Does anyone know how well I can expect the color to match that of the Graham Farish cars?

Edited by Sheffie

Share this post


Link to post
railsquid

Dapol coaches do tend to have slightly different shades to the equivalent Farish liveries, on the other hand if you look at old colour photos, there was a big variety of shades anyway (due to fading/weathering, different depots using slightly different paint mixes etc.). Also the Dapol coaches (you don't say which one you mean) are models of different prototypes (pre-BR designs), so shade variants will be part of the mix anyway.

 

Putting my pedant hat on, the coaches in the linked list (hah) are BR Southern Region green, so would be mainly found on workings south of London and the occasional inter-regional working. For that era,  everywhere maroon coaches were the standard mainline livery and what you'd  most likely see behind a green diesel, particularly a Deltic.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Welshbloke

It did depend on where you were though. I think the Southern region had gone back to green and the Western to chocolate and cream (not the same as the pre-nationalisation Southern Railway and Great Western liveries, the BR versions had the BR crests). Everywhere else would have been crimson with some in the earlier crimson and cream mixed in.

 

Pre-nationalisation coaches would have been rarer by then but not unheard of. Some specialist vehicles hung on long enough for BR blue and grey, like a number of LNER-built restaurant cars and some LMS sleepers. Coaches tended to stay within their original regions, such as ex-GWR stock tending to remain on the Western and ex-LNER on the Eastern. Obviously there were escapees where neighbouring lines were operated by different regions of BR.

 

Southern green coaches turned up in odd places due to the other regions having their most recent and best condition MK1s taken for EMU conversions. They were swapped for Southern coaches which didn't get repainted immediately.

 

A Deltic would have hauled express passenger trains on th East Coast Main Line, a mix of BR Mk1s and one or two ex-LNER Gresley coaches in BR crimson would suit.

 

37s were pretty widespread, but I don't think they did much on the Southern. One with a lengthy train of 16t steel mineral wagons and a BR bauxite brake van would be a perfect fit for south Wales coal traffic, you can substitute 20t minerals or 21t hoppers to taste. Generally the wagon type would depend on what the pit facilities were set up to load (and obviously what the other end of the route had to unload them). All would be battered BR grey, private owner coal wagons finished during WW2 with compulsory pooling of fleets.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Sheffie

Thanks for the information, folks. Lots to think about here. 

 

I am committed to buying the locomotive in green. The question is what to run behind it.

 

To me, a decent mix would be one first class coach, one dining car, two second or third class, and one luggage/brake/guard’s van. 

I’ve been trying to find this sort of group  of coaches in maroon, green, or chocolate and cream, and it’s been really difficult. The problem is, history may tell us that these trains would have been mixtures of different liveries, and there are plenty of options if you’re willing to mix and match... but personally I just wouldn’t be happy with a mis-matched set. Especially considering the prices of these coaches (£20+ for Dapol and £30+ for Graham Farish) I need to get something that looks really nice together. 

Share this post


Link to post
railsquid
2 hours ago, Sheffie said:

To me, a decent mix would be one first class coach, one dining car, two second or third class, and one luggage/brake/guard’s van.

 

Sounds reasonable, though bear in mind third class was abolished in 1956, so you'd only find 2nd class coaches behind green diesels.

 

Note that the luggage van in your link would not be found on passenger trains (no corridor connections for a start), you'd want a "BG" (Brake Guard) for that, unfortunately the Mk1 variant in green is rare as hen's teeth (IIRC there were only ever a couple in that livery anyway). On a short rake a BSK or BCK (Brake Second Class or Brake Composite Class), which is part guard/luggage, part passenger accomodation, would be more realistic anyway. And more widely available in green. Though personally I'd go for maroon.

 

It is also worth keeping an eye on Hatton's 2nd hand listings for coaches, I've got a lot of my British coaching stock from there.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Sheffie

Sounds good. I’m happier not adding a third class coach anyway, to be honest. I will consider switching the luggage van to brake composite (or whatever else I can find).  But I’m going to add the horse box to the train, anyway, because it’s super cute and rule #1 applies. 

Share this post


Link to post
VJM

I really like the classic look of a green locomotive, and pairing that with maroon coloured coaches

 

spacer.png

 

In this case, a green Duchess of Hamilton locomotive and maroon Stanier coaches (all Graham Farish).

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
railsquid

I wouldn't go there, it's fallen victim to the epidemic of cephalopod moderators 😉

 

For scale-independent prototype information I'd also recommend RWweb, the modelling side tends towards "proper" modellers, but on the other hand if you want to know what the signalman in Lower Grinch Bottom had in his lunchbox on a wet Saturday in 1965, someone will have the answer.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Welshbloke

One other possibility might be a race day special if you want horseboxes. These were XP rated (fitted with vacuum brakes and cleared to run in passenger trains at normal speeds) but I'm not sure how the traffic was worked. Whether the racehorses would have gone on the same train as their owners or whether there would have been an earlier working of horses, jockeys and stable lads followed by a more luxurious one.

 

You have a choice between:

 

Current Farish horsebox, a BR MK1 design (hence why it shares window shapes and the bodyside curvature with the coaches).

 

Old Farish horsebox - I'm not sure what this is supposed to be a model of, it's not that bad if you get a tidy one, add new blackened wheels and some glazing.

 

Old Lima horsebox - I think this was a GWR design. It's one of two or three vehicles that Lima managed to model very well indeed for their day (the others being a BR MK1 CCT and the GWR bogie van), and won't embarrass itself after some minor detailing. New wheels, glazing, some paintwork and maybe new couplings. One or more of these is on my mental list while trawling used stock boxes in shops.

 

Incidentally, you could probably get away with Pullman cars if desired. Farish used to do an older style parlour car and brake 3rd, more recently they've offered the BR MK1 type. Brake vehicle for the latter would have been a BG when running as a pure Pullman train, or in some cases the earlier brake 3rds were used.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
VJM

BR Express Blue and Southern Rail Green look very smart too...

 

spacer.png

 

Unrebuilt Merchant Navy Class East Asiatic Line in BR Express Blue with a set of Bulleid Southern Coaches (all Graham Farish) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
dabsan
On 2/27/2020 at 3:58 PM, railsquid said:

I wouldn't go there, it's fallen victim to the epidemic of cephalopod moderators 😉

 

For scale-independent prototype information I'd also recommend RWweb, the modelling side tends towards "proper" modellers, but on the other hand if you want to know what the signalman in Lower Grinch Bottom had in his lunchbox on a wet Saturday in 1965, someone will have the answer.

Did he have marmite sandwiches at Lower Grinch signal box ? 

Share this post


Link to post
ranger10178
On 3/14/2020 at 3:12 AM, VJM said:

BR Express Blue and Southern Rail Green look very smart too...

 

spacer.png

 

Unrebuilt Merchant Navy Class East Asiatic Line in BR Express Blue with a set of Bulleid Southern Coaches (all Graham Farish) 

Looks fantastic! I've got Canadian Pacific in BR Brunswick Green and a rake of four Bullieds in BR(S) Green! - Though I'd like to add at least one of the ex SR bogie luggage vans to the rake!

Share this post


Link to post
Claude_Dreyfus

The green 37 with small yellow warning panel was one of the South Wales allocations, mainly used for freight; although they were not unknown on passenger services. Really this example would only be seen with maroon carriages, plus the first of the blue/grey stock; certainly around when that particular 37 was introduced (chances of a 37 hauling a top link western region service with chocolate and cream carriages would be very slim, but I suppose not unknown).

 

In terms of mixtures, the maroon livery replaced the carmine and cream (known as Blood and Custard) in 1956. Southern region adopted the green livery for their carriages (similar to their EMUs), whilst the Western region did their own thing (as was their wont) and adopted chocolate and cream livery (but maroon stock was frequently seen in both regions, especially interregional services from the Midlands). That said, examples of blood and custard could still be seen knocking around the network in the early 60s. Blue and grey started to appear in 1964.

 

As mentioned, individual carriages popped up all over the place during this period, but in reality, you would have mainly maroon for Scotland, North Western, Midlands and East. South West and South Wales would be chocolate and cream (for mainline express stuff... branch line and secondary seemed to remain maroon). Most of the Southern stuff was green. Any mix and match pre blue/grey would generally be these regional colours with the odd maroon.

 

Most of what I am talking about are BR mark 1s. You also had all the big four carriages, which also were painted in the BR liveries. Apart from interregional services, they broadly stayed in their home region, although some did wander around a bit.

 

So, if you want a green diesel, your basic rule of thumb would be:

 

Green coaches: 24 (combo with 33), 33, 47, 73 (electro diesel).

 

Chocolate and cream: 35 (not frequently) 42, 43 (hydraulic version, not HST), 47, 52. So basically the hydraulics with the exception of the 47.

 

Maroon: All of the above, plus everything else... including the 37.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
AhmadKane

Ive been reading and a lot of you guys are talking about the diesels.

 

What about the steam models? Are they any good? Im thinking of buying the LMS coronation class, particularly the city of birmingham.

 

They have 6 pin dcc ready slots, most of the coronations have sound but I do not see such here

Share this post


Link to post
tavora

I have 4 Graham Farish steam trains and 3 Dapol. In my opinion mechanically the Graham Farish are better than the Dapol ones. 

I personally don't like tender driven locos, because the axle (between loco and tender) disconnects easily. All my Dapol ones are tender driven which makes the loco lighter and creates problems with the derailment of the small front wheels (points or tight curves).

 

For me the old steam trains made by Graham Farish were better than today.

They don't have issues with Kato points but seem to have a dislike towards Peco points thought.

The Graham Farish locos with small front wheels behave much better than the Dapol's, simply because they have the motor in the loco making it heavier.

Graham Farish are good locos with loads of detail but every one of them have different behaviours due to their own special design.

I would recommend them overall.

 

This is my personal opinion and experience with both brands, others might have different views. 😉

Share this post


Link to post
railsquid

I have a few, the modern models are very nice and detailed but feel very delicate (particularly the drive rods and associated bits) compared to say Kato locos, so I tend not to get them out so much.

 

Here's a Farish "Black 5" I acquired not so long ago:

 

50101100447_1962868f5d_z.jpg

Graham Farish LMS "Black 5" (5190) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...