A few old kits have been dug out from the attic

I've said before - on numerous occasions on this Blog and in my various kit building books - how much I love the old Airfix wagon kits from the 1960s-70s. I promise not to bore anyone further, although I'm just starting work on a future Model Rail magazine article on just this subject!! Well, it's more about getting the best from these kits that are now in the Dapol range. While searching out my stash of unbuilt kits, I came across these 16ton mineral wagon kits that I assembled nearly 10 years ago. 

They've been modified in a number of ways, especially around the underframes, both being upgraded with different types of vacuum brake gear, making them look at home in an early-1980s setting. Although I can't remember the exact parts used, I seem to think that most of them were left over from Parkside kits, with some bits from Mainly Trains and Dart Castings (buffers) too, along with a few bits of old guitar strings.

Considering that these kits were made before I was born (which is a long time ago!), they look great, with impressive moulded relief. Apart from removing the huge working hinges on the side doors, I haven't modified the bodies much at all.  

Looking underneath: note the different brake arrangement and telltale signs of the use of guitar strings - the cross shaft of the wagon on the right looks distinctly 'ripply'!


  1. They are over 50 years old but still good. The box artwork is lovely

  2. And another thing!! This was state of the art and big technology in its day and some manufacturers could do well to emulate this work. The instructions are sound and CLEAR. Good for you for getting them out and building them.

  3. This post brings back memories for me.......some time in late 1980 or early '81 I had arrived at Eastbourne by train and was greeted by the sight of a class 73 and a string of six or seven vacuum-fitted 16 tonners. I hung about the station for a while watching the loco run round and shunt the wagons into the coal siding, then wandered in to town where the branch of Gamleys toy shop stocked Airfix kits and bought as many as my pocket money would allow. Whether I ever got round to modelling the train I'd seen I can't remember (although I did have a Lima 73) but whatever, all those kits, the loco and of course the coal siding at Eastbourne are long gone, so thanks for the memory!
    Simon H.


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