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My Prewar Bassett Lowke(fairly certain its a late prewar model). LMS 4-4-0 Compound.  Lithographed finish instead of the enamel of the postwar era along with the jogged handrails where the boiler transitions to the firebox are hallmarks of the prewar version of this engine according to my books.  The key hole for the clockwork version shouldnt be there but then, nothing is definitive when it comes to toy trains, the factories did what they needed to sell models, especially as the war loomed large and larger.  The real unique part is this is one of the more rare 20V AC powered versions, where as the majority were 12v DC or clockwork.  Same basic motor but with a field winding instead of a magnet at the rear of the motor.  Runs decent after a major cleaning, still dealing with some intermitten contact in the manual reverse contacts, its a very odd design and its being tempermental still.  I even got the original box, a bit tatty and water stained, but considering its age the beating the UK took in WWII, its amazing these models are still here at all.   AD

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Yes the typical British steam locomotives do make great tinplate models.  All the piping and plumbing that hang all over a typical USA engine are hidden away, so even non streamlined engines looks like they are.  And the colors are perfect as well, very few were dull black till the very end.  Most were colorful with fancy lining and kept very clean for many more years than we did in the USA.   Even the coaching stock was stunning, LNER had coaches made of Teak wood, all varnished and highly polished!  My two favorite lines are the LMS(London Midland & Scottish) and the LNER(London North Eastern Railway).  LMS passenger engines were a stunning deep crimson red and the LNER had a couple shades of green with Apple being the best known as it was what Flying Scotsman wore most of its life.   The headache for me is most UK O gauge tinplate needs big curves, 048 and larger for most engines to run.  At best I could run 042, so I have to stick to smaller 4-4-0's and not even all those are happy on tight curves.  The Hornby 4-4-0s need 048 to be happy.  Only the Bassett Lowke ones are happy on smaller curves.  I may go to 042 outer curves and 031 inner loop, not sure yet. 

One has to be very careful with the LMS Crimson models from Hornby, as any exposure to sunlight turns them from red to brown very quickly I am told.  I just put a deposit on a LNER Bramham Moor 4-4-0 with 20v AC drive.  I think its one of the most beautiful of the scale 4-4-0's from Hornby in the tinplate years.  BTW, ACE Trains is taking preorders for a reissue of that model.  They are doing the LMS Compound as Hornby and as the Bassett Lowke versions, then all of the rest of the Hornby versions.  Look to be made by ETS as it has the clutch drive that will coast when power is cut.  They run on 3 or 2 rail DC power.  You can see them over on Station Masters Rooms website.   I may preorder the LMS version since the originals are prone to turning brown.  But I wanted an original LNER one.   The reissue will lack the bulb thru the smokebox door of the electric powered originals.   But thats part of the prewar charm, not sure of Hornby's thoughts with it though as UK engines do not have headlights as such. 

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