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In-Box Review
Duchess Of Gloucester
“Duchess Of Gloucester” Coronation Class
  • Coronation

by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

In 1959 Kitmaster released their fourth kit, the stunning “Duchess Of Gloucester” Coronation Class, engineered to the United Kingdom’s standard OO (4 mm, or 1/76) scale. This model of Britain’s largest 4-6-2 passenger steam locomotive was enthusiastically received. Short-lived, but critically acclaimed, Rosebud Kitmaster kits of predominately British and European prototypes were, and still are, esteemed by countless railroad modelers. The Kitmaster Duchess Of Gloucester was, in its day, an outstanding model, as were all the Kitmasters.

London Midland & Scottish Railway Duchess Of Gloucester Coronation Class

The London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) introduced this good looking powerful type of “Pacific” (4-6-2) locomotive in 1937 to haul heavy but fast (up to hundred-mile-an-hour) express trains between London and Scotland. The locomotives were officially designated “Coronation Class.” The largest steam power on British rails at 73' 10¼ ", they were at the extreme edge of the British loading gauge. To enginemen they were all known as Big Lizzies.

One was shipped to the United States for the 1939 World Fair, touring 3,100 miles along American rails.

* Power Classification: 7P, reclassified 8P in 1951.
* Introduced: 1937-1948
* Length: 73 ft 10¼ in (conventional), 73 ft 9¾ in (streamlined)
* Weights:
o Loco: - 105 t 5 cwt (Conventional), 108 t 2 cwt (Streamlined), 108 t 10 cwt (Ivatt) .
o Tender: 56t 7cwt
* Driving Wheel: 6 ft 9 in (2.1 m)
* Boiler pressure: 250 psi superheated
* Cylinders (4): 16 ½ " x 28"
* Tractive Effort: 40,000 lbf (180 kN)
* Valve Gear: Outside Walschaerts with rocking shafts (piston valves)
* Fuel capacity: 10 long tons (10.2 t)
* Water capacity: 4,000 imp gal (18,000 l)

the kit

Kitmaster engineered the Duchess Of Gloucester with 80 black plastic parts. The molding is sharp, with no flash on any parts. The few ejection and mold marks are not visible, except on the interior of the steps. There are some minor dimples on the face of several of the smallest parts. The exception to that are the buffers, which are marred with sink holes.

The model was designed to roll and the rods and valve gear work. Aftermarket motorizing kits, were (and perhaps still are) available for this model.

Unfortunately, exterior details such as railings along the boiler and appliance piping is molded on. This is not appreciated but it is common even on today’s new host of high priced modern model locomotives! Lining patterns, i.e., decorative pin striping accents, are molded on. The name plate Duchess Of Gloucester is also molded onto the boiler jacket. Later Kitmaster kits featured these plates molded separately.

Aside from the backhead, no detail graces the visible interior of the cab. Nor were crew members provided.

Test fitting implies a tight model.

Livery and decals

The livery history for these locomotives involves no fewer than 11 variations.

LMS Streamliner – Blue, Red, Wartime Black
LMS Non-streamliner – Red, Wartime Black, 1946 Black
British Railways Experimental – Blue, Black
British Railways Standard – Blue, Green, or Red

The red was known as “crimson lake”, and accented with gilt horizontal lining.

British Railways Blue was carried by 25 of the 38 locomotives; the first two being so painted in May 1949, one locomotive is known to have carried the blue livery until June 1954. All locomotives carried Green. Only 16 locomotives were painted BR Red and these were allocated to the London Midland Region; Scottish Region allocated locomotives remained Green.

Kitmaster specifies two liveries, the crimson lake and yellow, and BR ‘Brunswick green’ with orange lining.

Decals are just the engine number and BR emblem.


The assembled model is almost 12 inches long. With the bright livery and busy running gear, it makes an awesome static model.

Unbelievably, this is one of the kits Airfix discarded.

This model would make a great centerpiece in any WW2 and post-war English diorama.
Highs: Eye-catching livery. Workable driving gear. Clean molding.
Lows: Uncommon scale for most railroad modelers outside of England. Molded-on details and minor sinkholes. Minimal cab detail.
Verdict: For a model five decades old, this kit holds up well. This kit can build into a fascinating model with great display potential.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:76
  Mfg. ID: No.4
  Suggested Retail: Varies
  Related Link: Kitmaster History
  PUBLISHED: Dec 07, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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    Tender sides, coupling and connecting rods, steps, fittings