Saturday, December 27, 2014

Flying Scotsman in Z

Flying Scotsman

I was tempted to entitle this post "Terrible Train Sets Part 1" but on balance, this seemed very unfair. Maybe Top Gear can get away with reviews that always conclude the opposite way they appear to be heading initially but this is an erudite blog read by well brought up and intelligent people so I'll not bother trying to fool you that way, you're all far too smart to fall for it.

What you see above, is an Atlas Editions 1/220 scale model of Flying Scotsman. The one that is advertised on leaflets that fall out of your favourite model railway periodical and costs (according to the invoice that I am instructed in large letters to keep for my records) a whole £1.99.

I'm not really qualified to provide a full review of this model (if you fancy it, please comment away, I'm very interested and so would other readers be). To me it looks like a steam train. Perhaps the detail isn't very refined but then the loco and tender are 11cm long so it is tiny. A 1970s Hornby model in OO wasn't that much better in places! The Valve gear and cylinders look a bit hopeless but then full Walschaerts in this scale would be a watchmakers job.

The coaches have something very odd going on with the toplights but the main windows are see-trough and glazed. A little black paint might help along with some flush glazing.

All the wheels rotate, including the loco wheels with con rods attached, but the bogies don't swivel so I'm not sure what the point is. Obviously the thing isn't motorised. If it was, for that money they would be selling faster than warmed up cake.

I bought this for two reasons: Cheapness and Curiosity.

The set comes nicely packaged in a card box about the size of a CD and not much thicker. The mock velvet inside gives an air of quality. There's some information, a replica poster and the invoice that must be kept.

This is part of a series. When I rang up to buy, the salesperson tried to persuade me that I wanted an A4 as well for a bargain price of £7.99 the two. I declined. I'm not that curious.

To be fair, other than sending me regular e-mails offering other products from the range. Atlas haven't hassled me at all, just as promised on the paperwork. Presumably this is a loss-leader and they make their money when you start buying the more expensive follow-up items. Maybe I wasn't convinced by this one, but the trams and diecast vehicles look interesting.

Anyway, what to do with this? I have a feeling that there is potential for a rather nice nighttime diorama here. Darkness and nifty modelling would hide the worst bits of the model and the resulting piece would be less than a foot long.

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