What’s in the Shops: Simple maintenance cradle

Nigel Burkin tests the Proses 45-90-degree locomotive servicing cradle.

Have you ever tried to balance a locomotive on its roof to clean the wheels or undertake other light maintenance tasks? Yes, well, we have all done it in a hurry and with varying degrees of success, hoping the model does not tip over while trying to undo screws or apply a fibre pencil to the wheels to remove some particularly dirty grubbiness that seems to collect on the treads from time to time.

The task is made considerably easier with a loco cradle, which allows for adjustment to accommodate both steam and diesel locomotives without the risk of damage. A simple but flexible cradle is produced by Proses, the company that made its name with simple ballasting and track-laying tools. Proses now offers a wide variety of useful modelling aids and detailing parts ranging from maintenance cradles including the sophisticated rotating cradle, timber and rod cutters and ballasting tools.

No more awkward holding of diesel locos with their curved roofs. A Bachmann Class 20 is securely supported for wheel cleaning and lubrication of the gear towers of each bogie.

It is quite a range of invaluable tools and accessories, which is distributed in the UK by Bachmann. On a personal note, I am particularly careful with the maintenance of my collection of models, particularly those needed for exhibition use. Having a stable device that sits on the workbench and can hold N gauge and OO gauge models securely for wheel cleaning and other maintenance tasks is very useful. The Proses 45-90-degree locomotive servicing cradle is also great for supporting steam locomotive models for the fitting of accessories often supplied with them. So much better than a balancing act with model, adhesive and hands!


The cradle is composed of a base plate with slots to accept the four cradle assemblies, which consist of cross-pieces and cradle fittings. There are two types of cradle fitting which may be used to make up the cradle assemblies, including the 45-degree cradles that hold the model at a convenient angle and 90-degree cradles that hold the model completely upside down. The cradle assemblies may be positioned anywhere on the base to allow any length of model to be accommodated.

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

For a complete list of stockists and how to get your copy, visit: www.railwaymagazinemodelling.co.uk/distributors