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Dear Customer (the letter reads). We are aware then many Falcon Brassworks kits have a reputation for being difficult to build or simply ‘aids to scratchbuilding’…
…If you feel this kit is not what you had expected or you are not confident about completing it please return it to us in its original condition and we will be happy to offer a full refund.

You cant say fairer than that really and given my liking of ballast wagons and the way I get a lot of enjoyment out of making things that are difficult I have been building the Falcon Brassworks Kit for the LMS 25T Ballast hopper or Gannet as they became under BR.

108 of these wagons were built to Diagram 1804 in 1932 by Metropolitan Cammell, and further wagons of the same design (with slight detail differences) were built by BR to lot 1/518 in 1949. Usually branded as Gannet under BR some were also branded Trout and they lasted till at least 1976. Apparently they were unpopular with workers as you basically had to stand next to the falling ballast to operate the handwheels.

Falcon Brassworks LMS 25T ballast hopper

The kit wasn’t too bad, some of the parts were not etched cleanly and there were no tabs to help with assembly but it all went together reasonably well. The W irons were replaced with Bill Bedford sprung ones and other parts such as handwheels, brake hangers and lever guides were replaced with better parts from other suppliers. The Brakes themselves had no detail on at all so these were given a bit of a work over with bits of brass.

Other than that quite an enjoyable little project. I don’t know if id want to do a rake of them and its worth pointing out that the clearances between the hopper doors and the wheels is very very small. Some modification would have to be done for EM and i’m not all that convinced it could actually be built in 00!

RJ Essery’s book on LMS wagons shows one in 1965 with a caption saying that it is in BR Livery. As the image is black and white i am guessing that means black but if anyone knows for sure I would be grateful to hear from you.

For some pictures of BR ones see http://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/brgannet/h58ef291#h15e03d3e

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