Super-detailing tinplate stock

Ian Holloway talks about super-detailing his O-gauge models of yesteryear.

I enjoy operating my model railway using O-gauge tinplate stock. This can be obtained inexpensively, particularly when in ‘used’ condition, and reflects the full-size vehicles on my North Sunderland Railway.

The Hornby items, in particular, are sufficiently rugged to see service outdoors and by choosing carefully it is possible to avoid the most toy-like vehicles, and many Hornby No. 1 and Hornby No. 50 items look realistic when running.

Progress Products’ vehicle-carrying wagon with etched chassis, sliding chocks, British Hornby couplings and fitted ‘cosmetic’ brake levers.

We now have manufacturers such as ACE and Darstaed providing modern versions of ‘vintage’ model railway locomotives and stock at prices, while not insignificant, similar to mint Hornby collectibles and to some current OO items, while the company, Merkur, produces excellent robust continental outline stock.

I enjoy using these new O-gauge items on the well maintained and smooth running three-rail electric club track but I find myself holding my breath as these fine models bounce and sway over the uneven track on my North Sunderland Railway in somewhat prototypical fashion. It is certainly less stressful to run my well-used but robust Hornby items – scratches and all.

Should the opportunity arise to purchase at minimal cost some heavily used Hornby O-gauge items then consider using the shells as a basis for some ‘almost’ scratch building.

Some modellers clean up the shells by removing the remainder of the original tin printing and then use adhesive to mount coloured printed card or paper overlays on to the original surfaces.

For the full article, see this October’s edition of Modelling – available now!

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