50p on the Nottingham second hand stall. Bought out of curiosity, this American loco is to be powered by a AAA battery fitted in a box on the top. The box is missing its lid but I didn't care. I wanted to know what was inside.
The wheels are horrible. Traction tyres and flanges to cut pizza. Overall standards that make 1960's Triang look MRJ-worthy. Presumably the model came in a box with plastic track and a few wagons. Actually, I know that last bit is true as I couldn't resit buying one (there was only one) from the same stand for the same money. Heaven knows what I can do with it but that doesn't matter. It was cheap and bright orange so worth every penny.
Inside the beast is a very interesting mechanism. The double reduction drive (yes, double reduction, like posh loco kits have) powers a shaft that goes through the bogie pivot. This then drives the wheels. Both axles. Hidden behind a very Triang like set of sideframes.
This might be cheap and tacky but the engineering is pretty nifty. I'm surprised that the real RTR makers haven't looked at a similar thing. In fact I'm amazed they didn't try it long ago in preference to pancake motors. This thing is built down to a price yet it's got all this clever stuff going on and "proper" locos had much more horrible drive systems.
What I think, is that the wheels could be replaced with something decent and maybe the motor swapped for something capable of surviving 12v, and then this could be the basis for a decent model. For the minute I'll screw it all back together and put it in the maturing drawer. But ideas will form in the back of my mind.