Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Matchbox shunters

Matchbox Shunters

A little eye-searing colour for a Wednesday morning ! Bet that woke you up...

One of the cleverest conversions I've seen for some time was sat next to us at Warley on the British HO 1:87 scale stand (the stand was full size, it was the models that were 1:87 obviously)

A diescast shunter from Matchbox (MB 24) had been motorised with the guts of an Underground Ernie inspection vehicle. Plastic bufferbeams made this into quite a presentable freelance industrial shunter. A similar modification has been performed on the front model but as this came from a set, it's a plastic rather than die cast metal locomotive . I'm intrigued that Matchbox bothered to produce the model in two materials since this would double the investment in tooling.

Anyway, I had one of these loco as a kid but only the metal one. Had the Steam engine and GWR saddle tank too. Having always wondered if it would be possible to motorise the models and build a little railway, I'm now wondering about a project to make them into something better. Sadly the plastic models are like hens teeth and you can't easily detail the metal ones.

Needless to say, having seen these models, it turns out that conversions of this model are quite popular with the 009 community. Maybe the Handyman Hall railway needs another bit of motive power ?

More information on the Matchbox shunters here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Phil,
I'm gratified that you found my little shunters interesting enough to include in your blog; I remember chatting to you about them at Warley. You must have snuck them off to be photographed while I was looking round the show, but whatever did you use as a background?!
You're right; the plastic version is like hen's teeth to find. I believe it only appeared as an accessory in a playset, before the diecast version was released as a Matchbox model in its own right.
It was easy to slim down the footplate/running boards on the plastic version to make it 'within gauge' for British H0. The unmodified casting is fine for 4mm scale so I spaced the buffers on the diecast version to suit OO.
The plastic version cries out for super-detailing. Although it's freelance, it reminds me a bit of the locos that until quite recently trundled up and down Queenborough Wharf. However, in my experience, getting super-detail to stick to diecast models is akin to nailing jelly to a wall!
All the best,
David, Rochester