Specialist manufacturer OO Works has released the first versions of its all new ‘OO’ gauge ready-to-run model of the LNER ‘C13’ 4-4-2T – a locomotive design which started life in 1903 as the Great Central Railway ‘9K’ class. OO Works’ products are well known now but they differ from Bachmann or Hornby style ready-to-run models as each one is assembled by hand in Britain and is produced in limited numbers. This means the price per model is higher, but the result is a model which is different and stands out from the crowd.
The LNER ‘C13’ 4-4-2Ts were introduced in 1903 and 40 were built in four batches over a two year period to 1905.
The class received modifications including fitment of superheating, a shorter chimney and dome. During the 1920s and 1930s there were sub-classes within the ‘C13’ fleet, but these were subsequently dropped from 1938 when all locomotives were fitted with superheaters and modified to fit within the LNER 13ft loading gauge.
The class started out in London until the arrival of ‘A5’ 4-6-2Ts and they then moved North to Trafford Park and Sheffield. Further changes saw allocations to Gorton for work from Manchester. The last of the class to be withdrawn was 67417 from Gorton shed in 1960 – eight years after the first was withdrawn.
OO Works has done a wonderful job in capturing the appearance of the Robinson ‘C13’ tank. This characterful locomotives had the spirit of the Victorian era locomotives with its tall chimney and narrow diameter boiler – all of which are captured by the OO Works model.
At the front sprung buffers are fitted together with brake pipes, a dummy coupling hook and a full complement of lamp irons. The smokebox is dressed with a neatly cast numberplate on the BR liveried model and embellished with a separately fitted smokebox door dart and wire handrail.
The tall chimney of the ‘C13’ looks good when compared with photographs of the prototype while this model also features a superheated smokebox. The side tanks are good with basic detail on top including fire iron supports and water fillers. Turned brass safety valves top the firebox with a turned brass whistle on top of the cab.
The cab is very nicely done too. The roof profile of the ‘C13’ tanks is an attractive design feature in its own right and OO Works has recreated this superbly together with basic cab interior details such as a screw reverser, handbrake, regulator and gauge glasses.
Completing the body is the bunker which has a moulded metal coal load which is permanently fitted to the model. However, the outer shape is spot on for the class.
OO Works has improved its livery decoration from model to model and the ‘C13’ again sets new standards. The numbers and crests are neatly applied without any transfer backing show. The lining, though only two colours rather than three for the BR mixed traffic livery, is neat and straight.
On the track our sample proved to be an excellent performer from the word go – and in fact the best running OO Works product we have received here at the Hornby Magazine office. The mechanism is smooth and free running without any tight spots and the geartrain, after running in, quietened down to a gentle hum. The ‘C13’ is also fitted with pick-ups on the driving and leading bogie wheels which definitely assist in its performance.
The chassis isn’t fitted with a DCC decoder socket, making conversion to digital more complex. However, having removed the body and surveyed the interior there is space for a decoder to be installed in the ‘C13’ with care inside the boiler barrel. Naturally though this will have to be hard wired into the model.
Haulage capacity is plentiful. We tested the ‘C13’ with a rake of five Bachmann Mk 1 suburban coaches which it handled with ease and in many cases I doubt a model of this size would be subjected to much more than three or four coaches on most layouts.
OO Works has continued to grow and develop in every model we have received for review, but there is no doubt in my mind that the new ‘C13’ 4-4-2T is by far the best we’ve tested yet. The detail is improved with cab fixtures and other small features, while the performance of the chassis is excellent – its free running mechanism is a delight to operate.
The price for a OO Works ‘C13’ may appear high at first glance, but it is worth it. Building a comparable kit would cost just as much while having one built for you would be twice as much, if not more.
This is a delightful model and one which will add a unique flavour to an Eastern Region locomotive fleet. Excellent and available now. (MW)
Description: LNER ‘C13’ 4-4-2T 67434, BR lined black
DCC: No fittings provided
Couplings: Small tension locks, screw fitted