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Ratio CCW Kings Cross Precision wooden models


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A number of manufacturers produced 00 wooden kits in the 1950s. Among these were Ratio, CCW, and Kings Cross Precision. I presume these were quickly killed off by the advent of plastic kits in the 1960s. Most kits consisted of the basic floor sides, ends and roofs. You had to buy all the other parts separately.

 

From wooden kits I have seen from these manufacturers, Ratio and Kings Cross Precision seemed to produce models of more refinement while CCW models seemed to have wood that was much less cleanly cut with much coarser grain. Early CCW models had a separate lower bodyside, small sections of wood to fit between the windows and a separate strip of wood along the top of the coach above these. Some of these CCW models are quite crude. The sides of Ratio, later CCW, and Kings Cross Precision models consisted of several laminations of ply with into which there was a gap to insert plastic glazing strips. These later CCW kits had metal ends. Ratio kits also usually contained a sheet brass formed metal buffer beam.

 

Ratio and CCW models turn up fairly frequently for sale. King Cross Precision less so. Often models found are unmade or if they have been made, they are often done badly. A very time consuming job to get a good looking model as the profile of the coach side has to be gently sanded to give it the correct appearance if it is not to be completely flat like a Pullman. Even so, there may not be enough material to take off to get an accurate profile. A lot of sanding and filling and many coats of paint are needed to get something reasonable without the grain showing through.

 

 

post-9438-127550276239.jpg

 

A wooden 2 BIL unit. This model has metal ends and so may be CCW. It needs attention to the joins between the cab ends and roof as they need refixing and currently gives a poor appearance. It has been much better prepared and assembled than most wooden models. The motor bogie is a Romford and the other bogies probably Hamblings. The body of the nearer coach needs securing to the chassis properly and is sitting slightly above it.

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Thought these photos of a Kings Cross coach partly built might be of interest

 

post-1131-127555255402_thumb.jpg

 

Its a SR composite coach, the solebars are too coarse so plasticard channel will be used.

 

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Generic instructions

 

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Additional parts I have sourced

May not use the CCW bogies as they have screws in the bogie sides to attach to the central bar, good compensation though. Have a Bachmann set to use

BSL underframe pack, or I have some square brass bar. PC etchings for hinges handles, knobs etc, also have BSL and NoNosense airvents.

All the bits are there but other things have got in the way of the build

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Ratio wooden Bulleid SR Restaurant car. This model was very nicely refurbished for me by a friend from one that had been constructed without any tumblehome. It has been given as much of a curved profile as it is possible to do with thin laminations of ply. The real things and this model have the body sides continuing down over the sole bar giving a very distinctive deep sided appearance. This had to be added as the Ratio model did not make any provision for this. BSL bogies.

 

post-9438-127556828746.jpg

 

 

 

Ratio wooden GWR Siphon G. The roof may be metal and possibly not original. Acro/Nucro/Teanness sprung bogies.

 

post-9438-127556830108.jpg

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Ratio wooden Bulleid SR Restaurant car. This model was very nicely refurbished for me by a friend from one that had been constructed without any tumblehome. It has been given as much of a curved profile as it is possible to do with thin laminations of ply. The real things and this model have the body sides continuing down over the sole bar giving a very distinctive deep sided appearance. This had to be added as the Ratio model did not make any provision for this. BSL bogies.

 

post-9438-127556828746.jpg

 

 

 

Ratio wooden GWR Siphon G. The roof may be metal and possibly not original. Acro/Nucro/Teanness sprung bogies.

 

post-9438-127556830108.jpg

 

Nice restaurant car. I didn't realise that the Ratio wooden range was quite so extensive - other than the GW stuff and the Derby Lightweight railcar I didn't know much about the firm's pre-plastic days.

 

David

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  • 2 months later...

I worked at Kings Cross models in 1968-69 and the shop was still producing wooden bodied coach kits when I left. some were designed and hand built by a chap called Simon Kelly. his products usually carry a cast SMK plate underneath.

 

The sides were stamped out on a fly press in the basement of the shop. the same fly press was used to produce the Kingsway scale track system chairs and fishplates, claimed to be the first scale track system produced. The rail was the forerunner of today's SMP etc bullhead rail.

 

Other full time model makers there were Mike Shepard and a chap named Geoff whose surname I forget, both of whom produced some superb models. mike made the first patters for my GS Models bus range, and went on to work with Sutherland Models.

 

The shop at the time was run by the late A.G.Thomas, of PO Wagon books fame, and formerly of Exeter Models. The shop was founded by Keith Dann who was tragically killed in a road accident near his home at Biggleswade in about 1967.

 

The management of the shop when I was there left a lot to be desired and it was underfunded. It was taken over by Ted Morris of Eames of Reading in about 1971.

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I opened a business account with Kings X circa 1971-2 and found the staff a delight to work with. I'm afraid the old wooden coach kits were regarded as old-hat even then though. I remember reading of Bob Essery using wooden kits to built a 4mm push pull set in the early to mid 1960s. I had a go at one bought from Tyldsley & Holbrook in Manchester but it required an awful lot of filling and paint.

 

Plastikard appeared on the modelling scene in the early 60s, followed by some pressed aluminium shells from I forget who and later on the much more sensible BSL aluminium coach kits. The wooden coach kits are a neat reminder of how difficult it was for scale modellers in the those days, but only the brave would tackle on these days.smile.gif

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I have a GWR 70' composite from King's Cross. Still unfinished though I have painted the sides in 1922 livery. It stalled though missing ends and I've never got round to buying/making new ones. The sheet plasticard I used was a failure. When I find where it's stored I'll post a picture, along with the CCW clerestory I did actually complete.

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... found the staff a delight to work with. ...

As a youthful customer in the sixties and early seventies I had so much help from the staff there. Much missed.

 

Long ago sold on all the coaches built from kit parts bought there. Still have a few of the MGW wheels unused that I bought as a bulk lot as the shop was wound up. How well that purchase has served me over the years.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought these pictures of the CCW Syphon G might be of interest, the sides seem similar to the Ratio one a few replies earlier. The Ratio coaches I have all have wooden roofs though that does not mean they used other types.

 

post-1131-128300904467_thumb.jpg

 

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This is as I brought it off Ebay, one day I may get arround to finishing it off.

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  • 1 month later...

I worked at Kings Cross models in 1968-69 and the shop was still producing wooden bodied coach kits when I left. some were designed and hand built by a chap called Simon Kelly. his products usually carry a cast SMK plate underneath.

 

The sides were stamped out on a fly press in the basement of the shop. the same fly press was used to produce the Kingsway scale track system chairs and fishplates, claimed to be the first scale track system produced. The rail was the forerunner of today's SMP etc bullhead rail.

 

Other full time model makers there were Mike Shepard and a chap named Geoff whose surname I forget, both of whom produced some superb models. mike made the first patters for my GS Models bus range, and went on to work with Sutherland Models.

 

The shop at the time was run by the late A.G.Thomas, of PO Wagon books fame, and formerly of Exeter Models. The shop was founded by Keith Dann who was tragically killed in a road accident near his home at Biggleswade in about 1967.

 

The management of the shop when I was there left a lot to be desired and it was underfunded. It was taken over by Ted Morris of Eames of Reading in about 1971.

Geoff Packham was the other chap who worked there building locos. The directors at the time were AG "Tommy" Thomas, he of private Owner wagon books fame, who used to run a model shop in Exeter and used to regale stories "when I was in Iceland" in WW2 and "you can't get anything out of K's, they're making plastic bingo cards"; Alan Beeston, an accountant, AMS Pickering who used to do the etched nameplates, and Viscount Garnock, then owner of Green Arrow.

 

Loco painting was contracted out to Alan Brackenborough in Gloucestershire.

 

There was never enough money to buy stock or pay the wages when I was there. It was only when EAMES bought the business that things looked up again. Sadly the business closed when Ted Morris died. Tony Dyer of Kemilway worked there with Ted for a while.

 

The only product I have left of theirs is a 6 wheel LNER parcels van which I built using plasticard sides with their roof!

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  • 2 years later...

I remember that a Model Railway Constructor review of a Kings Cross wooden coach kit was less than enthusiastic!

Basically their conclusion was that a total scratch build would be a better proposition.

To give the dear old MRC their due, they published the response from Kings Cross.

The gist of the Kings Cross letter was along the lines 'we would expect a competent modeller not to have a problem building this kit'.

The MRC response to this piece of snotty-ness was 'a competent modeller would not need to waste his time with this kit.'

A reminder of the old take it or leave it attitude that we can all do without.

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As an aside to this, weren't the aluminium extruded coach bodies Westdale?  The late Mike Bradley whose stock still runs on the 'Hungerford' layout was very adept at building these into some excellent models and I'm sure some of them are still in use on Hungerford now.

Edited by 5050
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  • 9 months later...

Just won this coach off Ebay, a friend has told me its a Nelson (4 Cor). Just the one driving coach. No motor bogie or bogie

 

See listing below as I replied rather than edited

 

I may have a couple of centre coaches but I doubt if I will ever find another driving coach. I think it may be a CCW coach as rather than the windows being stamped stamped out it looks to be made from bottom and top mouldings with centre infills.

 

I may look out for a motor bogie as these do come up from time to time, but not going to spend silly money on one

Edited by hayfield
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Forgot to edit the previous post when downloading from my phone

 

post-1131-0-61791900-1390053612_thumb.jpg

 

This is one side, nicely built

 

post-1131-0-92504600-1390053627_thumb.jpg

 

The drivers end

 

post-1131-0-44845800-1390053646_thumb.jpg

 

Underneath showing the motor bogie compartment. Was quite a bargain at 99p but postage pushed it up by £3.40. Pity for the seller (good one who I buy from now and again) as the selling fees and packing (new) must have eaten up any profit

Edited by hayfield
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On the subject of CCW kits, I wonder if anyone knows the definitive answer to what the initials CCW stood for.

 

Only a fortnight ago I was reading an article (possibly by C.J. Freezer, certainly someone speaking with authority from personal knowledge) about wooden coach kits in one of the magazines. It discussed the various firms who made these kits in the 1950s and 60s and gave some opinions on the merits of each of the products.
 
One of the pioneers (in this country) was CCW of Watford and the article gave the definitive story of this firm’s origins. Specifically, it stated that CCW was founded by H. G. Cramer, Jack Webster and A. N. Other (whose surname started with a C).
 
Within a short while the partnership was dissolved, Jack Webster setting up the Webster Development Company in Chorleywood (which later became Ratio and made arguably better kits than CCW’s) and the third man disappearing off the scene. Cramer, who also ran a model shop in Watford. could not run the wooden kits operation single-handedly and sold the 7mm side of the business to Commander A. F. Inglefield, who took it down to Chichester.
 
Does this ring a bell with anyone? I cannot lay my hands on the article now but I am sure I didn’t dream the whole episode!
 
So where did the article appear? And who was the mystery man with the initial C?
 
Here’s hoping someone knows...
 
Andy Emmerson.
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I may have said this earlier in the thread but I remember going to CCW, which was in the Bridle Path next to Watford Junction Station. My mum took me and as it was all 7mm then all I could have was the catalogue which I still have. But you mentioning Cramers reminds me when Watford had 2 model shops. One in what is now the Lower High Street and the other (which Lasted longer) which was in Market Street. At the same time there was a shop called Wrens (mini department store) which sold model trains

 

Just looked at the catalogue and it was 1957 I was 4 or 5 at the time

 

Edit looking at the wrong date it was Nov 1965 (no wonder I remember it) so I bought it some time after that. Lt. Comr. A F Inglefield owned the business, according to the preface he took over the business 13 years prior to the catalogue (1952).

Edited by hayfield
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Here's a small selection of adverts from the early 50's when CCW were still involved with both 4mm and 7mm scale kits.  Also some interesting track on offer.

 

post-807-0-11145900-1390162991_thumb.jpg

 

A 'basic' coach kit shown in parts.

 

post-807-0-64296900-1390163045_thumb.jpg

 

Very nice GWR Siphon.

 

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LMS Parcel stock in both 4mm and 7mm.

 

post-807-0-25987500-1390163256_thumb.jpg

 

Track advert 1.

 

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Track advert 2.

 

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Editorial about the track.  Manufactured from milled cork sheet.

 

Also note that the trade name of H G Cramer Productions is used.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Some more CCW and Ratio adverts from the 'wood' era in 1955.

 

post-807-0-47615600-1392297618_thumb.jpg

 

post-807-0-69008100-1392297723.jpg

 

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Good selection of bogies, described as 'equalised' rather than 'sprung'.

 

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post-807-0-36282400-1392297639_thumb.jpg

 

i wonder whose wheels they were?

Edited by 5050
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  • 1 year later...

With reference to one of the owners of CCW, I knew for a long time a Jack Claire who at the time owned it one other person but I don't know if he was an original founder - maybe his father was if not Jack ?  I met Jack in the mid 80's and were good friends until he died about 10 years ago probably in his 80's and maybe 90's by then. I still wrote to his wife Hazel until she stopped about 4 years ago so I presume the worst.  Soon after I met Jack, the business was sold to a school teacher, possibly called Brian ......, and Jack said he was kept on because only he knew how to produce the kits etc I think Jack said he had done the drawings for the 8F etchings which were fairly new at the time.  He did say Brian was very spasmodic at turning up and even more so at doing things but I could not complain about anything as Jack used to sell me everything at a very good discount.  Once Brian sold the business on Jack retired fully and left modelling and at this time it was in the Manchester area and I think he said it was once in the Birmingham area.

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  • 1 year later...

Early Biggs Switchgear stamped aluminium coaches had wooden roofs. They took more preparation for paint than they were worth. Plastic roofs followed (they looked like Triang to me) and finally pressed aluminium. I don't know why wood surfaced after the war as suitable for coach sides, when it patently wasn't. Mills Bros had shown the way pre-war with their bakelite coach bodies. I started building coaches from Slaters Plastikard as soon as it hit our local model shop in the early 1960's. The first 'Methfix' transfers folowed soon after as did Precision Paints railway colours. They all took railway modelling forward by giant strides and they are still very important to the hobby to this day.

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