Development of the 2MT 2-6-0 tender locomotive in N gauge has been a protracted affair, the model taking about six years or so to appear. It appears that the tiny size of both engine and its tender required a change in approach in motor development. The completed model, released in the summer of 2013, has a compact high-powered coreless motor fitted to the engine which provides excellent performance.
Graham Farish has produced a beautifully proportioned model which compares well to photographs of the prototype. Subtle lines such as the tapered boiler are well represented. Moulding is subtle too, with discreet rivets, wash out plugs and boiler bands
Small parts together with separate wire hand rails make for a refined appearance. When researching this brief model overview, particular attention was paid to the shape of the chimney, smoke box door and the Ivatt dome which all have a good-looking profile. The cab shape, including the roof is also a good match to photographs of the full size locomotives.
The Ivatt 2MT features a tender cab and inset coal bunker sides to protect crews and allow good visibility when running tender first. The model includes these features including detail on the inside of the tender cab. Some detail appears to be absent from the rear face of the tender cab, including rivet detail, coal guard rails on the rear facing windows and glazing. The tender has a full load of coal which was glued in place on the review sample.
A very well executed detail is the rear ladder which is a fine looking detail together with the rear hand rails. The tender chassis tooling is also well executed, although some small details such as the axle box covers are a tad coarse when compared to photographs. Detail has been included on the inside buffer beam including the pair of miniature buffers and rubbing plate.
The model was found, during tests, to be able to negotiate curves a little as 10 inches despite the close coupling between tender and engine. However, the supplied add-on front steps may interfere with the front bogie when operating on minimum radius curves. The instructions advise that the absolute minimum radius of operation is 10.5 inches.
NEM coupling pockets are fitted to both the tender and the engine itself. The conventional Rapido type coupling is supplied with the model. Whilst the train couplings are unremarkable, the coupling between the locomotive and tender is well designed producing a close coupled appearance and simple separation of engine and tender by gently pulling apart. It conceals two electrical contacts from the current collection pick-ups fitted to the tender.
All of the model’s wheels feature separate spokes, including the tender wheels. Two of the driving wheels are fitted with traction tyres whilst the tender wheels have split axles. The front bogie wheel set is spoked and fitted with a conventional steel axle. The electronics are relatively sophisticated, with a 6 pin DCC interface socket fitted to the tender. The tender also features all wheel pick-up through end of axle bearing cups and the afore mentioned split axles. Current is conducted through to the engine using spring contacts in the engine to tender coupling.
The review model is finished in lined BR black with straw coloured numbering and the early BR lion and wheel emblem. Lining and printing is razor sharp on a pleasingly eggshell finish which is evenly applied over the body, tender and chassis parts. Lining of the boiler and cylinders is refined, being two distinct lines despite the complex shape of both features. One area which could be improved is the application of red to the buffer beams which is ragged along some edges. Overall, the model is well presented and neat, with no signs of adhesive used to apply the various details and assembly is solid and robust.
A handsome locomotive has been well-captured in N gauge with sufficient power and tractive effort to (assisted with traction tyres) run the length of trains the full size locomotives would routinely handle. The finishing and quality of assembly is as good as anything I have observed in N gauge in recent years and oversize valve gear and chunky front bogie wheel apart, the model looks refined and delicate. Ordinary locomotives such as the 2MT formed the bulk of the locomotive fleet on most parts of the steam era British railways and so models like this are much welcome additions to the Graham Farish range.