Thursday, July 13, 2017

Is it a bargain?

OK, so there I was rushing along the platform at Loughborough during the GCR model railway event. There wasn't a lot of time as I needed to have a look at the garden railway exhibits and my train to the main tent would leave in 25 minutes.

This box shouted out to me from among a pile of second-hand stuff. I couldn't resist a quick peek.

Inside there is a Backwoods Miniatures Inspection Car kit, partly built AND the requisite Bachmann Gas Mechanical chassis. The kit is £43 and the chassis, if you can find one, around £70. £113 worth of stuff for £20? Got to be a bargain, hasn't it?

The downside is I didn't have time to inspect the contents properly. The kit is part built, but at a glance, this looks OK. Being metal, I reckon I can take it apart if required. Missing bits might be an issue but the big parts all looked to be present.

That chassis is also an unknown quantity. Will it work?

Buying part built kits isn't something I recommend. You can easily spend more time undoing the previous owner's bodges than you would starting with a new model. Let's face it, there is a reason the kit is up for sale!

But, at £20, how could I resist? 


tony taylor said...

Make your money back when you write the article?

Nick Brad said...

I think if I was looning for a narrow gauge model, I too would have picked it up at that price and I do not have your skills with this kind of thing.

Christopher said...

Sounds (and looks) like a bargain to me -- and you like a challenge... I look forward to seeing the results here in the future!

Phil Parker said...

No article I'm afraid, purely a fun and blog project. No-one wants to read, "First, find a part built second-hand kit.". I've probably got the only one out there!

Keep watching this space for updates. There are already a few.

Anonymous said...

Lucky find on the chassis. A while ago I was looking for one for reasonable money and couldnt find one online.

Huw Griffiths said...

I guess that depends if your BRM occasional series on resurrecting old / damaged models, kits and bargain bin finds also gets the … errm … "Lazarus treatment". (Perhaps not even in BRM - last time I checked, On30 tended to be US or Australian NG - but you get the idea.)

For me, the best bit about projects like this is the chance to show / learn various techniques, using a base model you are not scared of writing off.

I'm sure many of us must have had projects of this nature - perhaps not a small NG railmotor based around a Mack Bulldog - perhaps something completely different, like some HO Lima EMU got as a closeout deal 20 or 30 years back.

Some of us might even have had a go at doing something with them. (No? Perhaps, it might be time to do some modelmaking … yes … right … whatever.)

OK - I guess we're not about to see loads more articles of this nature in BRM - and RMweb probably isn't about to acquire a new section, devoted to "Burke and Hare" projects - but they can be fun (even if I probably ought to think of a slightly more tasteful description for them).

Saying that, I suspect that some traders at model railway shows might be a few steps ahead of me here. When one RTR manufacturer routinely turns up at shows with boxes full of "reject" or "production surplus" carriage bodyshells, I'm sure they are expecting at least some of them to be used for things other than airbrush practice. (In my case, this is more likely to be "cut & shut" test builds or LED carriage lighting experiments - but I'm sure other people must have their own ideas.)

However interesting stuff like this is to some of us - and however much we could learn from it - none of us would accept a "resurrection" model as an "official" magazine project. After all, salvaged models are excellent for illustrating techniques (it doesn't even matter what the models are of) - but "official" projects only really work if the important parts are readily available.