The Peckett W4 Liveries Are Here!
Hello and welcome! Firstly, we’ve seen the results, and to say that we’re over the moon at coming second in the Website of the Year Category of the British Model Railway Awards would be an understatement! Thank you to everyone that voted for us. It was a close call, but as we all learned in school it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts. For us, launching the Engine Shed has been a tremendously rewarding experience and receiving your comments and suggestions after each edition is tremendously useful to Hornby. We've just analysed our 'viewing figures' for 2015, and nearly 15,000 of you tune in every fortnight (over 330,000 views last year) which is amazing - far more than we had initially predicted.
And now to come second to a website such as UK Model Shops (who can honestly say they’ve never used that site?) given that The Engine Shed is not even one year old yet, means that our hard work on this little blog is not going unnoticed and for that we are truly thankful. As mentioned, we'll be one year old in March, so keep your eyes peeled for a bumper Engine Shed and some other surprises on the website to celebrate our birthday!
Anyway, on with this week’s edition and boy do we have a treat in store! You’ll remember in October last year we asked for your help - we were having problems locating reliable colour photographs for an upcoming release, the Peckett W4 0-4-0ST and we asked you, our knowledgeable readers to submit photos of the Peckett in the livery that you’d like to see. Well the response we received was amazing - Adam, our Forum Administrator had a tough job on his hands going through all the entries, believe me!
'Bear' at the Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway, date unknown - unfortunately many of the Peckett W4s in preservation are heavily modified versions of the original, therefore tracking down reliable images for research was very difficult
Unfortunately, whilst we did receive a lot of entries, many of the photographs were unfortunately of the wrong loco and also many of them were in black and white. It was becoming clear that the problems that we were having locating reliable research material, you were also experiencing. Nevertheless we lived in hope and thankfully, us asking for your input paid off!
One afternoon at the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition a gentleman approached our Researcher Paul Isles for a chat. It turned out that he had worked with the Peckett whilst they were in production and, even better, was able to confirm the original works colour that they were being produced in!
Our Researcher had many visitors over the course of Warley 2015, one in particular proved to be very useful!
Unfortunately - and if you’d seen the amount of paperwork that sits on a Hornby Researcher’s desk you’d understand - in the excitement of receiving the photos and getting them to the appropriate people within the team, the covering letter and photo became separated and we cannot locate the name of the gentlemen Paul spoke to at Warley that enabled us to choose and design the three liveries we have. So if you’re out there Sir, please drop us an email as we'd really like to thank you properly.
So, it's time to unveil the three Peckett liveries that will be appearing later this year!
Once we were able to determine the base colour of each livery, the rest of the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. The gentleman we spoke to at Warley sent a picture of Nelson, a later Peckett R4 design, in its original livery. This matched the works black and white image of that loco tonally, as well as by its lining, which then matched back to the various works photos of the W4s that we hold. The foundations were laid and from there we were able to speak to Frank Bosher – a former machinist at Pecketts – who confirmed that the engines left the works in Leaf Green, complete with lining, unless the customer requested otherwise.
An image of 'Nelson' that was kindly sent to us after Paul's conversation at Warley
For this, our second livery of the Peckett W4, finalising the livery would be relatively simpler. Paul, amongst the mountains of research material he has, was able to locate a description of Manchester Ship Canal’s ‘house’ colours which he was then able to confirm by reference to other loco pictures, though it must be said, not of the Peckett itself. However due to the lack of reliable photographs of the Peckett in this livery, one has to suspend one’s disbelief somewhat and assume some historical and artistic licence.
Similar to the Manchester Ship Canal Peckett, the livery for the Huntley & Palmers loco was finalised thanks to a similar description of the yard’s ‘house’ colours, and reference to images of later rolling stock confirmed the description as well as it fitting tonally with the black and white image we hold on file.
So there we have it, we are proud to welcome to the 2016 range three Peckett W4s. R3427 0-4-0ST – Peckett W4, Base Livery 563 ‘Dodo’, R3428 0-4-0ST – Peckett W4, Manchester Ship Canal and R3429 0-4-0ST Peckett W4, Huntley & Palmer.
We are really happy with the outcome of these quite striking liveries. The hours of painstaking work put in by our Product Artworker have certainly paid off. The skill to determine lining routes, thicknesses as well as the majority of the colours is completely down to his experience, as it is for the majority of the products we produce. As always though, team work has been key here, and it has been great to be able to use the knowledge and experience of Hornby collectors to piece together the final pieces of the puzzle.
If you ever see us at a show and have a suggestion about a livery or a new model, please do not hesitate to come and speak to us, we really do listen! We would like to thank everyone that helped by submitting photographs and suggestions, and who knows? Maybe we’ll try it again sometime!
All three Pecketts are available for pre-order now and you can find out more about the history of what is shaping up to be a little bit of a legendary loco (certainly around the office anyway) by visiting the Peckett page.
Until next time, happy modelling!
The Engine Shed Team
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