Thursday, September 05, 2019

Return of the prodigal wagon

Wooden wagon

Here's a handy hint. If you want to make sure you don't lose rolling stock, paint your name on the side. 

I'm kidding, but in this case, it worked. The wagon shown is a 7mm scale wood and etched brass kit I built as a review many years ago for MORILL. 

As I recall, I like it but felt than instead of providing a great slab of plain brass, perhaps some internal strapping might have been more useful. I think the manufacturer wasn't impressed by this, but the editor of the magazine was less worried as he agreed with me. 

Anyway, the wagon didn't come with transfers and my funds didn't run to buying a set, so I decided to have a go at hand-painting the sides. I think this might have made it into the article too. 

The result wasn't brilliant, but it's a far harder job than you might thing. Signwriters have to spend a long time perfecting their skills. One day I'd love to go on a course to learn how to do the job properly, but that will have to wait for both time and money to become available. 

Anyway, coal wagons get dirty and I heavily weathered this one to hide my artwork. Which is why no-one spotted that it hadn't gone back into my stock box when our O gauge club members borrowed it a few weeks ago. No problem, I've now reclaimed the model and it's back in the box. 

I'm a bit sentimental about this model. It was one of the first review items that came my way. In an era when something free was really exciting and not just a cause to look at the looming deadline and feel the pressure to do the new item justice. (OK, it's still exciting, but I really care that anyone sending me a model gets the maximum coverage, they deserve nothing less.)


Chris Ford said...

Does this mean that Clayhanger is rising again?

Paul B. said...

MORILL - a magazine to be read and not just flipped through like the majority of today's offerings. Probably why it folded...

Phil Parker said...

Chris - I've no idea where Clayhanger is now, I sold it years ago. The idea of building a replacement, well if time and space allowed, I'd be very keen!

Phil Parker said...

Paul - MORILL folded because it was sold to someone dodgy. Had it stayed with Irwell, I think it would have gone on a lot longer. Jim Wood, the last editor, was well and truly shafted. He then went on to have an idea for an online publication with downloadable articles that is still about 5 years ahead of its time.

Mind you, if it did still exist, the mag would look very different today. Advances in photography and reproduction would enable us to put in more build photos and fewer words. We'd also cover different subjects - there's no point in building a big loco kit when Bachby will sell you the same thing in amazing detail for half the price. Likewise, converting road vehicles isn't nearly as important now there is the Oxford range waiting.

Paul B. said...

I did wonder why MORILL went under, a shame as it sat between the MRJ and the rest with some very good practical articles, the series on soldering is probably the best guide to the subject that I've seen in print, and the ones covering using plasticard were equally good. It did lose something when Rice left though. I understand your point about photography and reproduction, but sometimes I want a magazine that I can sit down and read, not just look at the captioned photographs. And Rice did find contributors that could write just as well as they could build.

Phil Parker said...

Nowadays, people don't even want to sit and look at pictures - preferring to sit slack-jawed in front of the video screen. Of course, the argument is "It's the best way to learn" but you can still buy recipe books full of words and pictures, because they are easy to follow when you are actually doing things.