Saturday, 5 July 2008
Waste Not Want Not
As time goes on new products will always outshine older products. Model railways is one area where this has been very true over the last few years. We have some absolutely superb locomotives coming through, where previously the only way to get a model of such a standard was to build from either a kit or from scratch. Bachmann's standard 2-6-0 4MT which has appeared here previously is an excellent example of this.
Likewise their Ivatt 2-6-0 4MT is equally good and can be transformed into a truly excellent piece if one uses Brassmasters' detailing kit. One only has to see what Chris Pendleton, who is a modeller I greatly admire, did with his Ivatt 4MT in MRJ No. 175. However, my dad and I still have a (nearly) untouched Millholme kit for this type which we bought second hand at an exhibition just before Bachmann announced theirs. For this reason it was left alone sitting on a shelf in a corner of the workshop. So what should we do?
The castings themselves are not bad at all, the rivet detail is pretty good too. There is some flash, but then there is on most whitemetal kits to some extent. The boiler is the only bit which was touched by the loco's previous owner and isn't too bad, though I suspect they gave up as they were struggling with it - it appears they used normal electric solder... Anyway, it looks in good shape. Some of the detail castings are quite impressive too I think - worthy of further thought anyway...
The etchings are reasonable, if a little heavy - this probably reflects their age. The frames are thick and simple (much like me I suppose!) but should provide a sound base for the loco in 00 or EM at least (if I wanted a P4 the Bachmann-Brassmasters route makes much more sense).
So will it get built? Well, that's a good question... Undoubtedly the Bachmann model would provide a way to very quickly provide Eastmoor with an Ivatt 4MT but we don't currently own a Bachmann one, but we do have this one at our disposal. So, yes it will get built, though when is another matter entirely!
We also have a couple of old Nu-Cast B1's too - one is currently dismantled but this one is complete. It is a superb runner and is very smooth even with it's old XO4 motor! It looks like a good representation of a B1 although it does lack finer detail. The plan is to make use of Dave Bradwell's castings nto improve the body with either Comet or Gibson bits and bobs for the chassis - and the result? Well hopefully a decent looking and performing 'layout loco' which is just what Eastmoor needs. Logic may say to replace the chassis with a Comet one, but why? In this case we need a nice running loco and we already have this here. The locos must be at least thirty years old and owe us nothing so why not make use of them?
I think it's a shame we don't make more use of older products which we may have in stock already. It costs us nothing to, at least, try and make use of them. The model railway hobby has, of late, become a rather wasteful pursuit at times as new models come on stream. As modellers surely we should be more resourceful than collectors when it comes to building up a 'fleet'? Sadly consumerism has caught on big style in some quarters and we may be loosing in the long run. Personally I think the world would be a better if we were prepared to make better use of what we already have than always striving to get the 'latest' products...