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Despite not really getting caught up in the rush for the latest thing when it comes to RTR I do find that the new wagon announcements have an effect on what I’m up to. It’s because most of the new stuff actually isn’t. It’s been available before as a kit and if it suits what I’m doing there’s a good chance there’s an example or two in either my unbuilt kit pile or half started in a box somewhere. I’ve had to admit I’ve never really understood the clamour for new stuff we already have especially if the example is something simple like a 4 wheel open wagon. I mean you will see comments on forums that it’s the greatest thing ever, that someone has wanted one of these for years etc etc. I just think they can’t have wanted one that badly or they would have built the kit! Don’t dare suggest it though as such people seem to rejoice in explaining that they are so inept that they can’t stick 2 sides and 2 ends to a floor, or even better puff their chest out with pride when they tell you they have never even tried! And yet after all this time waiting they will absolutely buy 3 dozen of them just on a written specification, yeah right!

Getting back to the point, this time it’s Bachmanns tube wagon which so far does look nice. If starting from scratch I’d probably buy a couple but I’ve had the Parkside kits half done for many years. Having said that I would be surprised if Bachmann manage to match Parkside’s lovely thin sides.

20140613-211414.jpgHere is one of them after changing the w-irons for Bill Bedford ones, adding brakes from MSE and a few bits of wire for linkages and safety loops.

20140613-212312.jpgAbove is a Bachmann VGA also done with Bill Bedford w-irons. The original axle boxes look nothing like those on a VGA so it’s worth changing them for slightly cut down hooded roller bearings, again from MSE. the break gear is from microstrip and wire but you can’t see the wire when the wagon is the right way up. The end steps are from DEMU member Martyn Normanton. I thought they were a bit too long so moved the top fold along by 1mm to reduce the height. Martyn also does steps for BAA and BBAs.

20140613-211425.jpgOne little tool I’ve had for years but never really used is this, which is like a temperature controlled hot glue gun designed for sticking etched details to plastic. It’s kind of like a soldering iron for plastic because if you get it wrong you can over heat the part and the glue breaks down and just rubs off. More faff than using superglue but the joint appears to be stronger.

5 Responses

  1. rob dagg

    I fall into both camps . I built 3 clams from parkside kits but also bought 3 hornby ones.
    I find the idea of building identical rakes tedious and my shortage is of time more than cash, so I thought my time could be spent better to be honest

    13/06/2014 at 9:26 pm

  2. jim s-w

    Hi Rob

    I don’t think there’s a need to build kits just for the sake of it, that harps back to finescale of old where too much emphasis was placed on how things are done not the end result. If people enjoy that sort of stuff that’s fine but a scratchbuilt vehicle that looks like a bad job next to a RTR one is still a bad job.

    The difference is you built the kits, you didn’t just wish list on forums and wait for RTR companies to do it for you. Although Clams are easy to build they are probably the worst case example when it comes to painting them.


    13/06/2014 at 9:43 pm

  3. John Howell

    Followed a link to a picture on the NRM site about something totally different, and then you start exploring. Saw this not long after reading your piece on Tube wagons.


    14/06/2014 at 7:28 pm

  4. Colin Parks

    Hi Jim,

    I like the look of that pipe wagon. Has it got a suspension system?

    I have contemplated building a few of these wagons in P4. The long wheel base seems to demand either sprung or compensated wheels.

    All the best,


    15/06/2014 at 9:47 am

  5. Colin Parks

    Just another comment on kit vs. RTR.

    In the case of open wagons, Parkside kits win hands down for including internal detail which Bachmann wagons simply do not have.

    Having said that, I had a look at a Bachmann COVHOP model yesterday and can’t see that many could build a kit, paint and finish it to that standard.


    15/06/2014 at 9:55 am

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