From Irish narrow gauge to Southern coaches. Here are a few of my early efforts. Some of my first successful scratch built models were this SECR ‘Birdcage’ rake. They never got lettered or lined, but weren’t bad at all. Note the open drop-lights in places. I could have done with a bit more detail on the underframes, and some of the beading is a bit rough. Not quite as good as the Farish ‘N’ gauge versions will be, I’m sure, but a whole lot cheaper and a lot of fun to make.
Next a BSL Maunsell brake coach. This was from a BSL kit (later Phoenix), with aluminium sides and cast ends, and a plastic roof. This made up into a very nice model, that I am going to keep. I was very proud (and probably still am) of the window frames in brown, masked on the body and added after the green base was painted on. Not as much lining as the new Dapol version, but, hey, who’s worried, as I did it!
Next to it is an LSWR restaurant care, used on Southampton Boat Trains, I think. Not appropriate for our little branch line, but I fancied building it. It was all put together from Plastikard, and still looks OK, but I think didn’t come out as well as my Birdcages.
And finally two parcels vans. The right hand one comes from the LCDR and is homebuilt from Plastikard. I think I built this as there were not many windows to cut out, and it had a simple arc roof profile. The left hand on is a ‘K’s kit of a GWR 40’ brake, and was one of the first plastic coach kits on the market.
And as a PS, here are some wagons. A ‘Kenline’ printed card kit of an LBSCR van, an early Ratio plastic kit of the characteristic unequal planked Southern Railway van, and an Airfix BR cattle wagon. These early Airfix kits look very good, even by today’s standards.
The second row is four Peco ‘Wonderful Wagons’. Very innovative kits for their time, with a cast body for weight, plastic (nylon) underframes giving very free running, and an embossed cardboard body to stick over the cast on. The end result lacked a little relief on the strapping, but was effective and a good way to add some colourful private owner wagons to your goods train.