The N&W Y class was first featured in a mass produced ready-to-run model by Rivarossi of Italy about 1959. For its day it was an excellent model. Only in 1999 did Rivarossi upgrade the motor and mechanism to equate with some of the new features introduced by other manufacturers.
Many thousands have been purchased and loved by their owners, so my comments need be few. This number 2197 was the subject of a company photograph, given wide publicity, and no doubt inspired the model produced in 1959. The 1999 Rivarossi version of the Y6b was produced as #2174, one of the first Y6b in production in 1948.
The body moulding represents the Y6b engine as built in 1952, but is quite suitable for all Y6b classes built from 1948. That is number series 2171 through 2200. Strictly speaking, until 1950, the smokebox door was a different oval shape, although all engines, including those already built, were changed to the round door after 1950. And after about 1954, all Y6b engines, apart from 2177 and 2188, received sheathing on the smokebox, which is not represented on this model.
The Y6b model could be used to
represent the class Y5 (numbers 2090 through 2119), Y6 (numbers
2120 through 2154) and Y6a (numbers 2155 through 2170). However,
the smokebox would need to be shortened by about 9 inches (a guess),
and feedwater heater removed from in front of the chimney. Also,
a large Worthington BL type feedwater heater would be fitted to
the left side of the engine, as in Lifelike's Y3 model. The right
side would then receive two air pumps instead of one. On the top
of the engine, the large pipe running from the header in front
of the cab, through the first dome would be removed, and the dome
filled in to make one whole. You may also like to add other bits
such as a clack valve, and a low water alarm on the top.
It could be easier to use a Lifelike model of a Y3 to model the Y5, Y6 and Y6a, as the smokebox and feedwater heater details are in situ. But I have not been able to investigate this.
To finalize my own modelling of different Y models, I would love to get the miniature castings of the smokebox number plates. If anyone knows a source for these, perhaps in etched brass or similar, I would be pleased to hear from them.
In an email to me, Mr Ralph Keith has added the following observations on the modelling of the Y classes of the N&W Railway. I will quote him verbatim (my notes in italics). I appreciate this sort of feedback.
"Just went through the page. Great Job! I look forward to seeing all additions. If you come up with anything for modeling the Class M or M2 (4-8-0s) I would really be interested.
I do have one comment though. For modeling a Y-6, Y-6a, Y-5,
or Y-4, the Rivarrosi model is a much better start than the Lifelike.
I have two of the Lifelike models, and they are hard to get, as
well as expensive. The Rivarrosi is much easier to get and much
cheaper, even if it is not as nice of a model as the Lifelike.
(You get what you pay for?????) Also, between the Y-3 and Y-4
the N&W changed to a "speed" cab, to provide better
access to stay bolts.
The feed water heater and air pumps are easily added details available from Cal Scale or PSC. The tender and frame on the Y-5 were upgraded to match the Y-6. For the Y-4, the Lifelike tender is more accurate for the pre-1945 versions, but in the late 40's the N&W put ACL tenders on the Y-4 with 8 wheel trucks.
For modeling the 16,000 gallon tender (which is the one on the Lifelike Y3 model) (too bad Lifelike will not offer extras for sale) or an 18,000 gallon tender, an original Bachmann Auxillary tender (sold in the early 1990's) could be a good place to start. This was usually sold with the red stripe to go with the 4-8-4 J class in excursion service. It was modelled on an ex L&N aux used behind the refurbished J. The bogies are correct three axle Buckeye. Bunker sides would need to be fashioned from sheet plastic.
In mid 2001, Bachmann released a very good plastic model of the auxiliary tender as used behind the articulated locomotives in revenue service, from the early 1950's.
I also heard a rumor that another Manufacturer will release a resin kit of the Auxillary tender with the correct trucks and possibly better detailing. But this is just a rumor I picked up at a show. From the Bachmann aux water tender, you just have to fabricate the coal bunker out of styrene. Hope all of this has been helpful.
(From a later email): In addition to Bachmanns auxillary
water tender, there will be another offering availible in May 2001
through the N&W Historical Society. This one will be a resin
kit and much more accurate than the Bachmann model. It will also
have the correct trucks, I believe they are the T-29 trucks and
are unique looking, and were also the standard three axle truck
for N&W locomotives prior to the late '40's, and existed unil
the end of steam.. Kit means assembly required, obviously. The
price will be approximately $60.00 for members and $70.00 for
Check www.nwhs.org for ordering information later this month, they usually have their offerings available on-line. I plan to buy one or two, and then look at how to make my Bachmann auxillary tenders more accurate.