Kernow Bulleid 10203
◆ SCALE ‘OO’ ◆ MODEL KMRC K2704 Bulleid 1Co-co1 diesel 10203, BR lined green ◆ PRICE £179.99 ◆ AVAILABILITY Kernow Model Rail Centre, 01209 714099, www.kernowmodelrailcentre.com
Can it really be January when we reviewed Kernow Model Rail Centre’s Bulleid diesel 1Co-co1? Our review praised the model’s good looks, attention to detail, performance and finish. The Southern Region built three diesels to Oliver Bulleid’s designs. 10201 and 10202 were built in 1951 and the model that we reviewed in MR243 was based on 10201. 10203 was built at Brighton works in 1954. It looked like the first two but it was three tons lighter and, more importantly, its English Electric engine boasted 2,000hp. There were detail differences between 10203 and its older sisters. They were subtle but required Kernow to tool another body. 10203 has now arrived and, at first glance, it’s every bit as good as 10201/202. We received 10203 in BR lined green with ‘ferret and dartboard’ emblem on the side (now sold out). And yes, 10203 did receive that primrose yellow roof – it just didn’t stay that colour for very long. Everything that was good about the initial models has been carried over to the new version. There’s lots of fine, separately fitted detail, including the flat section handrails. You can see a representation of the engine through the bodyside windows. The body shape looks right from every angle. The ‘face’ looks good too, and one of the key differences is that 10203 was not built with any form of nose gangway door. Moving down the bodyside, 10203 sports full-length side grilles fore and aft of the side window, whereas 10201/202 had half-grilles. 10203, as it wears BR green, has the angled gutter strip over side grilles at the No. 2 end that all three Bulleid diesels later received. Close-up photographs of these machines are comparatively rare but photographs in Modern Locomotives Illustrated No. 185 and Brian Haresnape’s Bulleid Locomotives suggests that, by the time 10203 received BR green, there was some kind of beading around some of the side grilles and that they had a slightly more curved profile than Kernow’s model. Even checking online photographic sources, it’s difficult to confirm these possible discrepancies. There is one minor shape issue that brings 10203’s rating below that of 10201. The two roof vents at the No. 2 end sit either side of the horn. Photographic evidence suggests that this arrangement was at the No. 1 end only. At the No. 2 end, one vent is behind the horn.
Performance was excellent. 10203 was smooth and quiet straight from the box and romped away with 13 coaches. 10203 has the same ‘floating’ arrangement as 10201 – the three powered axles are held by an inner bogie within the frames to allow lateral and vertical movement. The leading axle acts as per the prototype. The long bogies struggled a little with some tight curves and points. However, there was so much power on tap that 10203 tops the haulage charts on our 1-in-30 gradient – it made light work of the climb, hauling 13 Hornby and Bachmann bogie coaches. The livery is impressively rendered. The green has a pleasing finish and the numbers and ‘7’ power classification look good, especially as they’re partially obscured by the handrails.
The body shape looks right from every angle
There are a couple of issues on our sample: the line between primrose and body colour is very fuzzy in places and there are a couple of areas where the primrose lacks full opacity. Our sample also suffered from the lining, well, not lining up in all the corners. 10203 is almost identical to the sample of 10201 reviewed back in January. Minor niggles aside, it’s worth repeating the closing sentence from that review because it’s just as true now as it was earlier in the year: “KMRC should be commended… for producing a model that is a fitting tribute to Bulleid’s ground-breaking design”.
21-pin DCC socket
Directional lights NEM pockets