It may be the case that tender driven locomotives have been around for a
long time though I had never encountered them up till my leaving the hobby
so I am just wondering if there was a reason other than standardisation of
manufacture that locomotives became tender driven .....
In European modelling they are quite common.
As you suggest, they allow some standardization of components and in addition
they get the mechanisim out of the cabs and free space under the boilers.
Overloaded locos with tender wheels slipping look plain silly!
The quality tender drive concept was introduced by Fleischmann and copied
(and greatly cheapened) by Hornby from the early 1970s from memory.
The tender drive and associated pancake motor development has continued
since, despite general dislike by the serious model railway enthusiast.
However in recent years no doubt chastened by the introduction of better
quality drive systems by Bachmann in the UK, even Hornby have had to sit up
and take note as a result of tumbling market share.
We now have a situation where Hornby are reverting to loco drive (and not
before time) and at the same time introducing much better quality locomotive
models, whilst their grossly inferior tender drive system continues in some
of their older models.
It should be noted that Fleischmann and other manufacturers of continental
outline models have continued to produce high-quality tender drive systems,
and this critique is not aimed at their products.
You obviously missed the Tri-ang Hornby 9F or the Trix A1 and A4 then....
Cost, the same motor / drive unit can be used in many different models,
bother steam and diesel. IMO there is no advantage in tender drive and every
I cant be a serious modeller because I have only had a model railway
(train set in those days) since 1958, but I prefer tender drive in
large locos because they have complicated valve gear. I dont like the
pristine silver versions that models have straight from the box, nor do
I like the factory weathered version of coupling rods/valve gear, so I
prefer to blacken my own to look more like the real thing. The paint
tends to cause the motion to stick when it dries, but a loco with no
motor can be pushed along the track by hand to 'free the joints' quite
easily. Using the motor to do this can result in damage.
Easy solutions to the above;
a) remove motor before pushing along to free things up.
b) use a chemical metal blacking agent to get the main colour, and then its
very thin paint washes over the top to get the oil and grease effects.
I would LOVE to see some high res excellent close-ups of weathered locos
I used water paints as a kid (12-14) to weather mine .... I don't mean
crappy blobs of colour - professional artist's paint, to great effect in my
humble opinion - when photographed by my brother -then, a photographer with
the Royal Australian Navy. It was extremely handy to have unlimited access
to high-end Leica's and Hasselblad Cameras and lenses!
I stabilised the entire body with a matt finish lacquer, then "rubbed" this
back a tad to get some more depth. It was fun and I lament the tossing of
So, if anyone has some I would love to get the links or receive an email
So whats your point. The compicated valve gear on loco powered large models
runs fine, Hornby Duchess, Broadway "A" class
I dont like the
I have never experienced this and I have done about 20 "00" Britiish rtr
models, mostly using halfords car sprays.
Not had any problems, perhaps you are applying too much paint.
My point is that the more complicated valve gear cant be blackened in
one go as certain parts will be covered with other links/gear etc. So,
in order to achieve a proper coverage the whells have to be rotated
several times in order to see where the unpainted patches are. If, like
me, you are not the most 'subtle' of painters there is a tendency to
end up with too much paint in certain areas. When dry, this can seize
up the valve gear (yes you can reel back in horror at my philistine
approach, but I was born clumsy)