Close up to show part of locomotive footplate


Finney7 GWR 4-4-0 Duke Class Locomotive

For a detailed history of this long-lived class of 60 engines Part Seven of 'The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway' published by the RCTS is essential reading. Also useful are A Pictorial Record of Great Western Engines Vol 1 & 2 by JH Russell, Standard Gauge Great Western 4-4-0's by OS Nock, Small Wheeled Double Framed 4-4-0 Tender Locomotives by David Maidment & Locomotives Illustrated No. 50, GWR Double-framed 4-4-0's.
No. 3312. The boiler on this engine was much larger and was Churchward’s prototype Standard No. 2. This engine looked more like a Bulldog than a Duke and in March 1906 it was rebuilt into a Bulldog with and orthodox Standard No. 2 boiler. Similarly nineteen further Dukes were rebuilt and became Bulldogs between 1902 and 1909.
In December 1912 the forty remaining Dukes were renumbered into a continuous sequence between 3252 and 3291; 3252 retained its original number. By 1946 eleven Dukes were still in service and these were renumbered again in the 90xx series. The last two digits were unaltered, thus 3254 became 9054. With a life of over fifty years, many detail modifications to the locomotives took place. Many of these are covered by including alternative components in the kit, however it is essential to have a photograph of the individual locomotive you propose to construct to enable an authentic model to be built.


Outside frames.   In original condition the outside frames have mostly flush rivets. Snap head rivets soon appeared after visits to the shops. From 1904 about half of the engines received frame strengthening plates around the horns with some also acquiring tie bars.
Balance weights.   A bewildering variety - we have attempted to include all the different permutations.
Coupling rods.   Originally fluted. Replacement rods from c1908 onwards were of plain section.
Bogies.   Originally of the swing hanger type with shallow frames, with splasher beading and the small lower splashers. Many replaced with deeper frames. Some were rebuilt to 'De Glehn' type without swing hangers and fitted with strengthening patches.
Small footplate steps.   Eight small steps were fitted to the platform, two in front of each splasher from an unknown date.
Boilers.   As shown above, most were built with a S4 boiler having a flush round top firebox. The last of these boilers was removed from 3279 in 1917. From 1903 new standard domed Belpaire (type B4) boilers were fitted.
Chimneys.   Originally copper capped without a capuchon. Soon a capuchon was fitted. At an unknown date the chimney was moved forward. From 1920 cast iron tapered chimneys were introduced for replacements.
Boiler feed.   Lots 97, 101, 102 & 105 were built with very large clack boxes which are not provided in the kit. Lot 113 were built with the smaller clack boxes supplied with the kit. Photographs suggest many of the earlier engines were soon fitted with the smaller clack boxes. The B4 boilers fitted from 1903 had the clack boxes fitted on the back plate inside the cab. From 1913 onwards, about half of the boilers had the boiler feed moved from the back plate to a position in front of the dome on the top of the boiler.
Smokebox.   The early smokeboxes had a plain front with a square front edge and ringed door. Later snap head rivets were used and from c1920 the smokeboxes had a pressed front with a rounded front edge and Churchward type door without the ring.
Cabs.   The original cabs were very narrow and fitted with a canvas covered wooden roof. Many of the Dukes were given large wide cabs when first fitted with B4 Belpaire boilers, others at various times thereafter. These wide cabs were fitted with steel roofs with two patterns of rain strip. Most of the wide cabs had standard Churchward windows, but several had wider ‘L’ shaped windows. The small circular windows above the firebox were blanked off after about 1926. When fitted with standard Churchward 3500 gallon tenders from 1930 the cab side sheets were set outwards at the back. Initially some locomotives retained the narrow low cab when fitted with B4 boilers. The larger firebox necessitated the fitting of very small cab windows which clearly provided a less than satisfactory forward view. This problem was subsequently overcome by raising the roof of the narrow cabs to allow the fitting of larger windows. They also received new steel roofs with two patterns of rain strip.
Cab side handrails.   The original narrow cabs had no side handrails. When the cab roofs were raised handrails were fitted. The wide cabs had handrails in at least three different positions.
Beading.   Much of the decorative beading from the splashers and bogies was removed during the Great War.
ATC Equipment.   Put on all but 3252/7/9/62/77 between 1930 and 1931.
Vacuum pipe.   Originally tall - later a shorter pattern was introduced.
Whistles.   In their last years, a few of the engines had their whistles removed from the cab roof to a position on top of the firebox and some acquired a whistle shield.


Boilers.    The domed, raised Belpaire BR4 boilers fitted to 3312 and 3328-31 when built are not provided. Other members of the class carried these boilers after repair and the last of these was removed from 3291 in 1913. Ten engines at one time or another carried domeless boilers with raised Belpaire fireboxes (type BR0). The last of these was removed from 3278 in 1929. From 1926 five engines (3254/69/71/72/79) had the boiler pitch increased by 5” to accommodate a new pattern of piston valve cylinders.


Lots 97, 101, 102 & 105 were built with very small tenders of 2000 gallon capacity. Larger 2500 gallon tenders were fitted to Lot 113. Later, most were paired with standard Dean 2500 gallon or 3000 gallon tenders. From around 1930 many of the class acquired standard Churchward 3500 gallon tenders


Driving wheels - 5’ 8", 18 spoke, 3/16" diameter axle (2)    Slater's Ref. 7868O/C
Extended axles with outside cranks (X720052G). These cranks do not fit but you need the axles.
Bogie wheels - 3' 8”, 10 spoke, 2mm extension axles (7319)    Slater's Ref. 7843SWMF
Motor/Gearbox.   A Canon motor with a SDMP 40L/15 gearbox (available from Finney7) or an alternative such as an ABC VML2 gearbox.
Crankpins. Heavy duty crankpins are available from Finney7.

To obtain a pdf copy of the instructions please click on the links below; the pdf will open in a new window.  Unfortunately the A4 and A3 pages have to be in different files.

Instruction  A4 Pages (PDF)
Instruction A3 Pages (PDF)

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