Reaching 4mm scale in my "Wagon kit in every scale" series posed an interesting problem. We've built loads of OO wagons in print before, how to make this latest one a bit different?
Worse, the 3mm scale model was a pretty conventional Parkside Dundas kit, albeit in an unusual scale. That ruled them out as a supplier this time.Bashing some ideas around the table, the consensus was that a Lowmac would be interesting. The obvious candidate would be a Dapol, ex-Airfix, kit but maybe there were others out there.
There aren't. Cambrian make a Loriat but I built one of those for Hornby mag year ago. Pocket Money kits used to produce an etched brass version but the 4mm scale range has long since been discontinued.
So, Dapol it was. All I needed was a load. Finding prototype pictures of loaded Lowmacs proved even harder than finding a kit. None of my books, nor the photo library I normally use could help. Fortunately, Tatlow's LNER book had a picture of a damaged wagon hitching a ride on a lowmac predecessor so that's what I went for.
We did end up with some Parkside, the LNER 5-plank with damage came from my kit cupboard. It's been fairly well modified though.
Featuring in the magazine and on the DVD is the tramway layout "Grime Street". If anyone feels inspired to add some tram action to their own model, I've motorised a diecast tramcar.
The work isn't particularly difficult and die-cast trams are available second hand for very little money. The worst part of the job is re-assembling the metal bits as they don't go together as perfectly as you might like when poking a camera at them when every joint will show up.
On the DVD, I'm looking at the airbrush kit we are offering as a bargain deal. With a small airbrush, compressor, spray cleanup jar and masking tape for under £85, it's a pretty good offer. I've been using the airbrush for real work and it works very nicely. Certainly worth considering if you fancy having a go at spraying.
Finally, you get to see Howard and I at the London Toy Fair. As a trade-only event, it's the best way of having a look around and catching a bit of the atmosphere as well as listening to some of the personalities involved with the manufacturer of models.