I love a good model shop. One where the levels of old stock have built up a big and rummaging around unearths nuggets of gold.
Hereford Model Centre is just such a shop. Many cabinets contain all sorts of good things. Careful studying of the contents is worth taking time over. Far more worthwhile than visiting the Mappa Mundi down the road which I thought very over rated and not nearly as useful as anything by Ordinance Survey. I'm amazed the 3 Wise Men found the stable is that's what they were using. As it was they probably nipped out to Tesco and got lost...
Anyway, at the back of a cabinet, I spotted a small cardboard box labelled:
Modern Traction Kits
Cravens Motor Parcel Van
No.M55997-9 (Class 129)
Kit No. MUI
And priced at a very reasonable £19.50
Once the cabinet was unlocked, I had a poke in the box and quickly left a happy shopper.
Those who know MTK kits will be wondering if I have gone mad. They have a definite reputation as challenging builds. However, I understand that the trick is to get a first production batch. The owner added models he wanted into the range and the first lot were usually OK. After this he was happy and I'm told quality control could slip.
I had sneakily plugged the ends into the pre-formed aluminium shell and they fitted perfectly. That says first batch to me.
My quick check had also confirmed that all the major bits were in the box and there was even a motor bogie (more on this tomorrow). All for under 20 quid. Bargain!
The plan was to build the model to run on the Ruston Quays shuttle in time for Peterborough. Spoiler - I didn't manage that, but the build is fun anyway.