Monday, June 04, 2018


The world of Ready-to-Run models keeps nibbling away at my kit built loco collection.

Hitting the streets recently, according to the advertising arriving in my in-box, is the Hejan class 07. I've seen pre-production models and they really do look nice.

Am I tempted?

Not this time. My collection of 07s is shown above. On the left, a Craftsman etched brass kit powered by a Porterscap motor. This was a replacement for my first serious etched kit version stollen in 1997. The insurance covered the cost of building (sort of) as well as parts so I put the super-expensive motor in it, because I could.

On the right, a Silver Fox resin body on a Bachmann 03 chassis with the bit of the rod connecting to the jackshaft drive removed. A quick and easy built, I did it a few years ago for a bookazine project.

I'd guess that the RTR model has removed the need for either of these - even if you could get hold of the kits. A bit of a shame, but that's progress I suppose. 


Huw Griffiths said...

Has the RTR model actually removed the need for your kitbuilds? Really?

Not so fast!

When you built your existing models, YOU built them - not some robot the other side of the world that turns out "X" thousands of identical sets of mouldings every day - not some operative you've never met (and never will) who clips / bolts said thousands of sets of mouldings into identikit products, before pushing them into boxes and shipping containers.

When you built your models, you also acquired / honed a number of skills - and hopefully also gained some enjoyment or sense of fulfilment in the process. You don't get this by unboxing a commercial product - bought using "plastic" from a pile of identikit plastic commercial products for whatever price some mail order boxshifter expects you to pay.

OK - I guess that some people might perceive one reason why they really NEED the new RTR product - that's right - so they can boast about actually being able to afford "new RTR" prices in yet another *(censored)* YouTube unboxing video.

Strange as this might seem, I still prefer to read accounts - on FreeRails - on Railroad Line - if I am really lucky, possibly even on UK sites like MRF or RMweb - in which people explain how they built their latest model - the problems they encountered (most likely including obtaining the parts they needed) - how they solved these problems. You know - the sort of stuff I search for in magazines - the sort of stuff this engineer craves (and doesn't find nearly often enough).

OK - if I ever get the chance to progress my own kitbash(es) - past the "pile of parts" stage and into something vaguely resembling a prototype - I might like the chance to put together my own "how I built MY model of an obscure prototype" article.

Well, I might. Somehow, though, I suspect this will never happen. After all, nobody else would be likely to be even remotely interested in my efforts. Why should they be, when they've got far more interesting things to look at - like yet another *(censored)* unboxing video?


Anonymous said...

Making locos out of cake now Phil? - Well you do say your first model was stolen!

Huw Griffiths said...

Well, I've been told that RMweb are running a Cakebox Challenge - but I'm not sure that's exactly what they've got in mind ... .