Saturday, September 27, 2014
Accurail Monon wood side twin hopper
Job done. Result - a nice looking US bogie hopper wagon. It runs well on straight track (no points for testing at the moment) and would fit in with a RTR based consist.
Construction is really simple, certainly a lot easier than most British wagon kits. If I were in a hurry, going from box to built would be around 20 minutes. If you paint the black plastic bits black then add in another 10. For batch building, I'd probably spray the sprues and bogies with an aerosol can and leave them to dry overnight bringing the time per wagon to about 25 minutes.
One possible drawback with the kit is that they all have the same running number, but for $4.00 for half a dozen numbers printed on the body colour, Accurail can supply a decal sheet to fix this. Neat.
In the UK, we'd almost call this a CKD (Completely Knocked Down) kit. There is a little glue work required for the brake gubbins but the bogies screw into place as do the couplings. Detail isn't bad although there is potential for lots of separate parts. The ladders up the side look a bit thin to me and there aren't any handrails.
Could we have this in the UK? Not sure. I'd like to think so but have a feeling that UK modellers are now firmly entrenched in RTR or kitbuilding camps and I'm not sure they could be easily persuaded to jump from one to the other even with an easy to build model. Looking at the number of on-line complaints about the detailing packs supplied with models now, usually along the lines of "I don't know what to do it's too difficult why can't they do it for me" I'm not sure those people would appreciate having to attach their own bogies.
It's also quite an investment to produce a kit like this and UK sales aren't likely to be high enough to justify the investment. US modellers are greater in number and many will happily by a fleet of wagons bringing the unit cost down to the under £10 level this is.
A pity really, as I enjoyed making this kit up.