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Tony Wright

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3 hours ago, Clem said:

I've been wondering about this virus and whether it's likely to affect the upcoming shows - York, ExpoEM,  Scalefour etc. Has anyone heard anything?  

The Governments stance is wait and see how things develop. There may come a point in the future when and if the number of people diagnosed with the disease in an as yet undefined locality where large gatherings may be banned. I'm sure the popular sporting events will be the first to be scrutinised, perhaps followed by  large musical events. I personally would have thought that large model railway shows would be fairly low down on the list of things to be cancelled.

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5 hours ago, micklner said:

      Its called each to their own, and long may it stay that way.

 

       The sad thing about Model Railway kits are they are a rapidly disappearing resource as the makers retire or go bust and no sign of it improving in the near future, the same for model shops which are even rarer. Kits have stagnated for years ,and how many new Loco kits have appeared recently?. No idea, but I would be amazed if there were even ten kits in the last year, I can only think of a handful. Some of the kits still being sold having been around for over 20 years or more and are poor value in the extreme, when compared with current r.tr. I am not surprised when no one wants them, why would they? 

      Look at other hobbies e.g Aeroplanes/Miltary , the relevant magazines are full of detail parts , add on parts,  decals etc , every month. Model railways most months very little change on whats available. The advent of 3d printing appears at the moment to be the way ahead, its not perfect yet, but give it a chance before ignoring it.

      Hornby are not helping r.t.r by releasing new items , with zero spares available for most. A few years ago when East Kent Models where in business, I rebuilt lots of ebay wrecks for a very small outlay, now no chance the parts are not available any longer in most cases.

    As to r.t.r reliablity who actually knows how many  fail ?, a few on here report faults , but that is a very small percentage of anything sold. I personally have very few problems with any of mine , but it dont expect them to pull huge trains and treat them with respect in how they are handled etc. No one knows the history of any such models usage and/ or abuse at the hands of its owner prior to failure, the same applies not only  r.t.r as it does kits which have been bodged in the first place. No one takes a working model to be repaired !!!

Fewer new kits may be appearing but perhaps that is because, in part, many loco classes have already been produced, by several manufacturers in some cases. 

 

The Aircraft/Military comparison is interesting. I suggest that those two hobbies have a much stronger kit building sector, so that may partly explain the difference compared to the  very RTR  focused model railway hobby (in 4mm at least). A/M also. AFAIK, still features static models and dioramas, whereas many railway modellers are more interested in "operation" or at least moving models. A proportion of RTR model buyers also, judging by Tony's comments from his show loco clinic, seem quite unable to handle any basic repairs so the idea of "improving" an RTR model would be beyond their capabilities. There is also the question of "devaluing" a model by doing anything to it - the Mint and Boxed concept of modelling.

 

I remain convinced that the hobby is increasingly splitting into two sectors, buying RTR locos, stock, track, etc. and concentrating on the scenic modelling and operating aspect or enjoying all aspects of model making to put your own stamp on what you do/achieve. I prefer the latter as it frees me to model a period and railway that I couldn't do if I relied on what is available RTR.

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3 hours ago, Barry Ten said:

 

I think that's Tony's model of the Anglo-Scottish car carrier.

Thanks Al,

 

It is the Newton Chambers Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier, but it's not mine. It's Dave Lewis', built from his own Southern Pride kits.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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When people say that RTR will not stand up the way well built kit locos do I sometime wonder if it is a statement to justify the skill, effort and time put into making a kit.  I am not trying to knock the proponents of kit building, far from it, but based on personal experience of 40+ years, I see RTR that has traveled large distances (in real terms) and has stood up very well.    As to fragility, both kit built and RTR can be fragile and have bit broken off if they are not handled properly.   However, I suspect RTR suffers more broken bits because the 'handler' may not have the general handling skill that comes from building and they do not have the knowledge of how the RTR went together and by default how it comes apart..   I have 2 Bachmann WD's that have consistently hauled 35 loaded wagons on my approx 80' circuit for20/30 years (they were purchased almost as soon as they came out).  I have a Hornby 04 with the same sort of life span.  There are others and, with the exception of some of the well known Bachmann split chassis models, all are still running well today.  In fact if I think about it my kit built locos have a worse reliability record than my RTR.  In one case a couple of the axle bushings came loose because of my poor soldering skills, I had a D10 motor burn out  and a bushing on a purchased gearbox came loose.  However, I don't consider them to have had poor reliability, it is just part of the hobby.

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10 hours ago, micklner said:

Hornby are not helping r.t.r by releasing new items , with zero spares available for most.

No, they're not, and are unlikely to in the future, and I doubt any other manufacturer will be providing spares either.  Spares are sadly a thing of the past; modern production is in runs of set numbers, and each is a standalone project, which means that the exact number of components required to assemble the exact number of models are produced.  There are no spares, and even if there were it is not commercially viable to hold stocks of them, often at a glacial rate of turnover and requiring a big investment in time and resources to catalogue and store in a way that makes them available for customers to order.  The only source of spares is complete items for breaking into component parts, and Murphy's immutable Law holds that the part that is worn out or broken on your loco is also worn out or broken on the donor loco, or has been removed from it by a previous owner to keep his loco running and is the reason that the donor loco is on 'Bay for 'spares or repair' in the first place!

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13 hours ago, Denbridge said:

They should, once Slaters get round to bringing them back to market.

I'm not holding my breath.

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4 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Thanks Al,

 

It is the Newton Chambers Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier, but it's not mine. It's Dave Lewis', built from his own Southern Pride kits.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

The vans were double-decked, the "baffle plates" being the well where two cars were loaded. Four cars sat on the upper deck. The lifts were taken out of use, in the 70s I think, after some fairly serious accidents.

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10 hours ago, 96701 said:

The Governments stance is wait and see how things develop. There may come a point in the future when and if the number of people diagnosed with the disease in an as yet undefined locality where large gatherings may be banned. I'm sure the popular sporting events will be the first to be scrutinised, perhaps followed by  large musical events. I personally would have thought that large model railway shows would be fairly low down on the list of things to be cancelled.

Yes, that's pretty much what I thought but it's just the demographic of a model railway exhibition has a much higher percentage of older people who are far more at risk. On the lighter side, I was imagining everyone turning up wearing their air brush respirator masks and the locals mistaking it for a Dr. Who convention.

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8 hours ago, Theakerr said:

When people say that RTR will not stand up the way well built kit locos do I sometime wonder if it is a statement to justify the skill, effort and time put into making a kit.  I am not trying to knock the proponents of kit building, far from it, but based on personal experience of 40+ years, I see RTR that has traveled large distances (in real terms) and has stood up very well.    As to fragility, both kit built and RTR can be fragile and have bit broken off if they are not handled properly.   However, I suspect RTR suffers more broken bits because the 'handler' may not have the general handling skill that comes from building and they do not have the knowledge of how the RTR went together and by default how it comes apart..   I have 2 Bachmann WD's that have consistently hauled 35 loaded wagons on my approx 80' circuit for20/30 years (they were purchased almost as soon as they came out).  I have a Hornby 04 with the same sort of life span.  There are others and, with the exception of some of the well known Bachmann split chassis models, all are still running well today.  In fact if I think about it my kit built locos have a worse reliability record than my RTR.  In one case a couple of the axle bushings came loose because of my poor soldering skills, I had a D10 motor burn out  and a bushing on a purchased gearbox came loose.  However, I don't consider them to have had poor reliability, it is just part of the hobby.

I'm glad you say 'well-built' kit locos.

 

Poorly put together metal kit-built locos are even more susceptible to coming apart than anything made in plastic. 

 

I've just been making sure that the two kit-built locos given to me work well enough to be offered for sale on behalf of CRUK (photographs later). I've had to re-motor one, resulting in the necessity of removing some metal from inside the body. In gripping it for such 'surgery', off came steps, vacuum pipe, fall-plate, drag beam, cylinder drain cocks and so on. All originally glued in place! Not now - after cleaning up, they're now SOLDERED back in place. Why do folk glue metal loco kits together? The technique is hopeless. Anyway, both now run really well.

 

Soldered-together loco kits are far more robust than anything plastic RTR. Not only that, they're more powerful than their out-of-the-box equivalents and mechanically much sounder (if built properly). As I've stated on several occasions, for my needs - 14+ kit built bogies or 50+ wagon loads - RTR is of little value.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, The Johnster said:

No, they're not, and are unlikely to in the future, and I doubt any other manufacturer will be providing spares either.  Spares are sadly a thing of the past; modern production is in runs of set numbers, and each is a standalone project, which means that the exact number of components required to assemble the exact number of models are produced.  There are no spares, and even if there were it is not commercially viable to hold stocks of them, often at a glacial rate of turnover and requiring a big investment in time and resources to catalogue and store in a way that makes them available for customers to order.  The only source of spares is complete items for breaking into component parts, and Murphy's immutable Law holds that the part that is worn out or broken on your loco is also worn out or broken on the donor loco, or has been removed from it by a previous owner to keep his loco running and is the reason that the donor loco is on 'Bay for 'spares or repair' in the first place!

Not quite so at the moment , thats why Hornby were highlighted.

Bachmann have a excellent parts department, and I think its now Gaugemaster who have just taken over Heljan spares , this even includes sprues for body parts . They appear to be only availabale for short periods, so buy when they are available. I only have Heljan O2 and most of the sprues are long gone for that one  ( I wonder why , a very fragile loco!! ) . Unless Heljan supply more from new runs in due course.

Oxford parts appear to be non existent ?

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I think prople glue metal kits together because they are afraid of soldering.

 

The fact your dealing with something hot that can and will burn you if you handle it incorrectly has to be a factor there.

 

Many times someone at the club will ask me to solder something electrical for them. When I say 'why don't I show you how' they reply with various variations of 'I can't do that'.

 

Completely agree that metal kits should be soldered together. There's a reason why plastic glue is often called 'plastic weld' as it melts the two peices together. You can't melt metal with glue.

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27 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

I'm glad you say 'well-built' kit locos.

 

Poorly put together metal kit-built locos are even more susceptible to coming apart than anything made in plastic. 

 

I've just been making sure that the two kit-built locos given to me work well enough to be offered for sale on behalf of CRUK (photographs later). I've had to re-motor one, resulting in the necessity of removing some metal from inside the body. In gripping it for such 'surgery', off came steps, vacuum pipe, fall-plate, drag beam, cylinder drain cocks and so on. All originally glued in place! Not now - after cleaning up, they're now SOLDERED back in place. Why do folk glue metal loco kits together? The technique is hopeless. Anyway, both now run really well.

 

Soldered-together loco kits are far more robust than anything plastic RTR. Not only that, they're more powerful than their out-of-the-box equivalents and mechanically much sounder (if built properly). As I've stated on several occasions, for my needs - 14+ kit built bogies or 50+ wagon loads - RTR is of little value.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

Tony

        Soldering ? regarded as a Black Art by many. Scared of burning themselves ,  flood the part with solder and then give up, etc etc . They are two obvious reasons, probably many many others if people are asked. 

       Soldered up kits are more robust, but when you look at the lumpen whitemetal poorly detailed kits still out there, I can understand why plastic is far more popular. Buyers want detail nowdays hardly any are bothered about pulling power as said before.People are basically stupid when handling items, showing little care .

       Etched brass/whitemetal only for detail parts if well designed are the best current kits , you can always add lead to them , as with many of the r.t.r Locos if needed as well.


Mick

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17 hours ago, Clive Mortimore said:

He said that the RTR industry is feeding the RTR buyers with what they want.

 

Unfortunately not so much in N/2mm. Without wish listing there's plenty that could be produced RTR. Consequently I've adapted kits, bashed and hacked things to produce some of the units I want. And I still have to do that to end up with what I want.

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Hmmmm ......... I'm not sure where I stand on kit v. RTR 'debate'. As a youngish teenager 55 years ago, I did tackle whitemetal kits, Ks and Wills, that were glued together and still are in one piece, as at the time I had absolutely no skills in simple soldering and the one time I did try, I melted the pieces concerned. My fault as I used the then new Weller 135w instant heat iron (that I still have and works) - but at a young age and no instructions (and no internet) it did rather put me off - and so glue was my first choice.

 

Insofar as painting was concerned, as my locos were all GWR, it was matt black from a rattle can and the green brush painted on. Lining was by 'Pressfix' transfers (where applicable - sometimes were not - I was only following the box photo, honest guv). A coat of matt varnish from a rattle can finished everything off - and I was so pleased with the end results.

 

HOWEVER, where everything came off the rails, so to speak, was the mechanism. Those body kits that sat on a RTR chassis, I had no issue, some I even changed the wheels to Romfords with insulated rims on both sides - and they worked - despite the axle centres being 'nearly but not quite' as per prototype. The problem arose where wheels other than Romfords were used and quartering was the issue, again there being no instructions and as a result three-legged-dog running ensured The other issue was poor meshing of gears despite using 40 and 60:1 ratios. This, I'm afraid, pushed me into the arms of RTR and I have so continued.

 

Would I try a kit loco now at my age? I don't know - at least on this thread I have picked up a tip regarding quartering so that may be less of an issue. Painting? I have an airbrush now, but really need to brush up (see what I did there?) my skills. I do have some very old Airfix kits and some recent Parkside ones, to build and paint - I suppose restart small and work up. But an expensive loco kit - probably not.

 

My two pen'orth worth.

 

Here's my very first whitemetal kit loco - an ex-TVR U1. Everything that was not supposed to be done, was done:

Lining that shouldn't be there, RTR mechanism so the axle spacing is incorrect, mechanism protruding into the cab and brush painted. However, I DID put lamp irons on (though two have gone walk-abouts) and I did have lamps - even all those years ago. Nonetheless, I was chuffed, and the only only one in school that did my own kit locos (takes a bow). (PS - ignore the figure - son-in-law who didn't have a clue decided to 'help' in setting up the mini scene :(.)

 

 

DSCF0038.JPG.406c21ce5f3b574b9953773800c89ac3.JPG

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

 

 

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11 hours ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

Fewer new kits may be appearing but perhaps that is because, in part, many loco classes have already been produced, by several manufacturers in some cases. 

 

The Aircraft/Military comparison is interesting. I suggest that those two hobbies have a much stronger kit building sector, so that may partly explain the difference compared to the  very RTR  focused model railway hobby (in 4mm at least). A/M also. AFAIK, still features static models and dioramas, whereas many railway modellers are more interested in "operation" or at least moving models. A proportion of RTR model buyers also, judging by Tony's comments from his show loco clinic, seem quite unable to handle any basic repairs so the idea of "improving" an RTR model would be beyond their capabilities. There is also the question of "devaluing" a model by doing anything to it - the Mint and Boxed concept of modelling.

 

I remain convinced that the hobby is increasingly splitting into two sectors, buying RTR locos, stock, track, etc. and concentrating on the scenic modelling and operating aspect or enjoying all aspects of model making to put your own stamp on what you do/achieve. I prefer the latter as it frees me to model a period and railway that I couldn't do if I relied on what is available RTR.

I was involved in a joint exhibition of model railways, aircraft modelling and military modelling. The railway modellers were in awe of the wonderful detail and weathering of the aircraft, soldiers and vehicles. When we told the other modellers their reply was, "You get yours to move."

 

Watching two trains meander around my layout with no scenery is still a delight for me.

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8 minutes ago, grahame said:

 

Unfortunately not so much in N/2mm. Without wish listing there's plenty that could be produced RTR. Consequently I've adapted kits, bashed and hacked things to produce some of the units I want. And I still have to do that to end up with what I want.

Hi Grahame

 

Fortunately there are still many DMUs and EMUs from my modelling period that the RTR blokes seem to ignore in 4mm as well. Happy modelling. 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, micklner said:

 

       Soldered up kits are more robust, but when you look at the lumpen whitemetal poorly detailed kits still out there, I can understand why plastic is far more popular.

 

I find it is possible to fettle and detail white metal kits, such as replacing moulded handrails with wire, to make them very acceptable, but that does require some modelling effort. 

 

For me there are two issues with soldering. Firstly in N/2mm (my chosen scale) parts are tiny and more difficult to handle and solder. And secondly I find that I end up with a whole range of material parts in just one model such as a white metal body, wire handrails, cast brass parts, 3D printed acrylic bits and styrene/plastic details which means much, most or all needs to be glued on/together.

 

Edited by grahame
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14 minutes ago, Clive Mortimore said:

 

Fortunately there are still many DMUs and EMUs from my modelling period that the RTR blokes seem to ignore in 4mm as well. Happy modelling. 

 

Modeling units is an interesting, colourful, varied and an essential genre for modelling the railways of longer than just the last half a century. It's a shame there isn't more. I guess those 'RTR blokes' (who often complain about prices) are more happy to shell out £120 for a loco than a lot more for a complete unit despite that they get a whole train.

;-)

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

 

I remain convinced that the hobby is increasingly splitting into two sectors, buying RTR locos, stock, track, etc. and concentrating on the scenic modelling and operating aspect or enjoying all aspects of model making to put your own stamp on what you do/achieve. 

 

I think it's probably less polarized than that, certainly currently.

 

There are those who utilize RTR but will breath life on it (correcting, detailing, weathering, etc.,) and run it in conjunction with kit and scratch built stock and other models on a beautifully constructed scenic layout. Then there are those who buy and run RTR out of the box but also haven't bothered with any hand crafting of the scenics. And there are those of the other persuasion who scratch build rolling stock but run it on a layout with no scenics or just display it. Plus some bash RTR into completely different beasts to fit their requirements.

 

Although somewhat a cliché, the hobby is made up of a broad church of individuals who enjoy their hobby in a wide range of ways. And that is perfectly fine. RTR facilitates some of that choice although there is concern that it is driving out or marginalising the constructive element of the hobby.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

I'm not holding my breath.

David White at Slaters told me, only just before Christmas, that they have sorted what was needed to release them again. It's a matter of sorting out box artwork and finding the time to do it all. Their 2019 flood didn't help matters. They have already released many of the wagons.

I played a small part in assisting with the return of these kits, so I too am looking forward to their release.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Philou said:

Hmmmm ......... I'm not sure where I stand on kit v. RTR 'debate'. As a youngish teenager 55 years ago, I did tackle whitemetal kits, Ks and Wills, that were glued together and still are in one piece, as at the time I had absolutely no skills in simple soldering and the one time I did try, I melted the pieces concerned. My fault as I used the then new Weller 135w instant heat iron (that I still have and works) - but at a young age and no instructions (and no internet) it did rather put me off - and so glue was my first choice.

 

Insofar as painting was concerned, as my locos were all GWR, it was matt black from a rattle can and the green brush painted on. Lining was by 'Pressfix' transfers (where applicable - sometimes were not - I was only following the box photo, honest guv). A coat of matt varnish from a rattle can finished everything off - and I was so pleased with the end results.

 

HOWEVER, where everything came off the rails, so to speak, was the mechanism. Those body kits that sat on a RTR chassis, I had no issue, some I even changed the wheels to Romfords with insulated rims on both sides - and they worked - despite the axle centres being 'nearly but not quite' as per prototype. The problem arose where wheels other than Romfords were used and quartering was the issue, again there being no instructions and as a result three-legged-dog running ensured The other issue was poor meshing of gears despite using 40 and 60:1 ratios. This, I'm afraid, pushed me into the arms of RTR and I have so continued.

 

Would I try a kit loco now at my age? I don't know - at least on this thread I have picked up a tip regarding quartering so that may be less of an issue. Painting? I have an airbrush now, but really need to brush up (see what I did there?) my skills. I do have some very old Airfix kits and some recent Parkside ones, to build and paint - I suppose restart small and work up. But an expensive loco kit - probably not.

 

My two pen'orth worth.

 

Here's my very first whitemetal kit loco - an ex-TVR U1. Everything that was not supposed to be done, was done:

Lining that shouldn't be there, RTR mechanism so the axle spacing is incorrect, mechanism protruding into the cab and brush painted. However, I DID put lamp irons on (though two have gone walk-abouts) and I did have lamps - even all those years ago. Nonetheless, I was chuffed, and the only only one in school that did my own kit locos (takes a bow). (PS - ignore the figure - son-in-law who didn't have a clue decided to 'help' in setting up the mini scene :(.)

 

 

DSCF0038.JPG.406c21ce5f3b574b9953773800c89ac3.JPG

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

 

 

Thanks for showing us this, Philip,

 

I think it's charming. 

 

I no longer own the first metal loco kit I made (nor the first 20 or so!), a BEC J11, sitting on top of a re-wheeled (with Romfords) Tri-ang 'Jinty' chassis. Who has it now, I have no idea, but it was awful - glued together, wrong chimney (GC, but numbered as BR-owned), wrong smokebox door fastening, wrong safety valves and coal rail tender. All I did was use what came in the kit's box, but it was getting on for 50 years ago! 

 

At 45 years old, this is the oldest loco I've built which I still own.......

 

2114136467_A460024andO463701.jpg.dc8cf78f8f45cb3381d11552f4f4570a.jpg

 

A K's ROD, but not K's wheels or motor - oh no, I knew even then not to use such awful stuff. It's got Romford wheels and I've now replaced the original five-pole XO4 clone with a modern motor/gearbox. And, guess what? It's soldered together.

 

I'm afraid (because it doesn't have lamp brackets - the shame!), the lamps are just glued in place.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

Edited by Tony Wright
to clarify a point
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1 hour ago, grahame said:

 

Modeling units is an interesting, colourful, varied and an essential genre for modelling the railways of longer than just the last half a century. It's a shame there isn't more. I guess those 'RTR blokes' (who often complain about prices) are more happy to shell out £120 for a loco than a lot more for a complete unit despite that they get a whole train.

;-)

 

 

 

 

I am planning on a few more DMUs

1 x Swindon 120 - from what,  still to be decided.

1 x MetCam 101 - need to find some cheap Limas to modify.

1 x 103 DMBS - will use old Hornby 110 shells

 

For another idea

1 x GRCW single car (122) from a Lima shell with DC cab fronts and MJI cast domes.

1 x GWR twin car 33 & 38 I think it is, no idea on source yet

1 x 3 car Swindon pre 126s WR version, again no idea but I could see brass being used.

 

Still have a 116, 117, 119 in the shops, the 117 is a revisit as the DMS dismantled itself

 

8 x 3 car DMUs for one layout so far. 6 decided carriage rakes (so far).

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@Tony Wright Thank you for your kind words - it does have a certain charm. Unlike you, I do have ALL my locos and stock right back to the day (and so the family story goes) that I was born and my father rushed out and bought 'my' first train set - in 1950.

 

Here it is with a later addition bought about 6 years later (looks terrible now!). I think it's masquerading as an LNER loco and stock:DSCF0065.JPG.78b9ad7ca1708f90d3259f7b0181b21e.JPG

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

 

 

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3 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Why do folk glue metal loco kits together?

Because back in the 60s and 70s that's what the instructions told you to do.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

Because back in the 60s and 70s that's what the instructions told you to do.

When I bought my first white metal kit, I’d be in about 11 or 12 years old and my parents probably didn’t trust me with a soldering iron. I got it from Beatties and I would imagine they sold araldite etc but not low melt solder and flux. I think I’ve still got it somewhere ................

happy modelling 

regards Robert

Edited by Erichill16
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