These are the latest vehicles for Albion Yard, two kits that have been sitting around for a while. One thing I regularly do is make a short cut to achieve an improved visual appearance, whilst not getting bogged down with too much detail or work. If it can be seen, I’ll try and improve it within reason, these are two such examples.
The first a Chivers Southern ballast wagon, seen above and below is a really nice kit, almost shake the box and it falls together. There are two minor things which I feel let it down, one there is no weight supplied with the kit, which I think would be good if provided for beginners in particular. I get round the weight issue using adhesive car wheel balancing weights. It means you get all your wagons close to a standard weight and the attachment is really easy, peel off the backing and you’re done.
The second item (and it’s not just this kit thats affected), is the very overscale tie bars. For a plastic kit I can see that moulding these will be difficult to get a thin strong bar out of a mould. What I’ve done is simply cut them off and replace them with nickel silver strip, and it makes a real improvement very quickly.
The next vehicle is a Southern Ply sided CCT by Parkside. Its one of their older kits and I must admit I was a bit in two minds to build it or move it on. Well I’m very pleased that I decided to keep it, and invest some time improving it.
One of the challenges of using kits today is making them ‘work’ amongst the better quality ready to run models. This is particularly true of older kits in some of the ranges. The key thing that stood out for me on this van was the chassis looked very bare underneath. When viewing Albion Yard, the viewpoint is almost eyelevel, so missing brake gear does show up, particularly if other vehicles have it. I used Paul Bartletts site (see below) to get an idea of how the brake gear mechanism would appear. I then used scraps of wire and plasticard seen above to make a representation of the equipment. Once painted the basic nature of the detailing disappears, and is less noticeable when the vehicle is on the layout.
So there’s two short cuts for you to give an impression of much finer detail, than there actually is. The van chassis has the greater visual impact and is well worth doing, as it doesn’t look out of place next to current RTR products. If you’re interested in things ‘Southern’, Graham Muspratt’s blog is well worth a look, the link is at the bottom of the page.
RC448 Tunny & RC449 Ling
Paul Bartlett’s Wagon Images