Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Skytrex PO wagon

Suncole PO Wagon

My collection of O gauge wagons doesn't include many Private Owner ones. Increasing the fleet can be expensive, those wagon side sized transfers aren't cheap and you still need a vehicle to stick them on. Slaters do a nice set of kits but I've gone ready-to-run this time.

Skytrex produce a range of RTR wagons and some of these emerge from the factory in a less than perfect condition. Those find themselves sold off as seconds for a bargain price, normally £15. At the recent Daventry show, this had dropped to £12.50. I've always wondered what they are like so paid up and brought a new toy home.

Suncole inside

I should start by saying I have no idea how well this model conforms to the RCH rulebook. Others far better versed in the subject can talk about this. To my eye it looks like a wagon but I wonder if it's a bit short. Not enough to worry me, just the proportions look a touch odd. I'm probably wrong about this though.

Anyway, inside you see some economies immediately. Under a rubbery, but quite nice, coal load, the floor and wagon interiors is nicely planked. The sides are missing the metal strapping and at the bottom, incorporate angles to allow them to be screwed to the floor. Boo.

Probably because my wagon is a second, the corners aren't touching each other either. I could take them apart, remove the angles and then glue the bits together but for the moment, it will run loaded and no-one will be any the wiser.

Incidentally, the load hold extension rails in place when the mode is carrying coke (lighter than coal so it can be piled higher whilst no overloading the wagon). Taking this out sees them drop away, and I've managed to lose one of them doing this.

Suncole underside

Underneath there is more economy. The plastic wheels are fitted on metal axles. One set runs free, the other turns but not as well. The wheel profile looks a bit sharper than metal wheels tend toward.

Brake gear is very simplified. The inner and outer V-hangers are a single moulding with no space between the two and this looks clumsy. Solid safety loops that look a lot like those found in OO kits are fitted and the brake shoes are nowhere near the wheel treads.

Presumably so the chassis can be used for several prototypes, there is a rectangular cut-out in the solebar which I suspect locates a shorter brake lever. The chassis is a shiny self-coloured plastic (so is the body but it isn't as shiny) that needs toning down.

On the plus side, buffers are sprung and so is the coupling.

So, there is work to do. Mind you, what does anyone anyone expect when they pay OO wagon money for an O gauge vehicle? Like the eponymous Hachette MK1 coach, this is going to be great raw material for a quick makeover.

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