Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Cooper Craft Cattle Wagon kit

GWR W5 cattle van
I'm at the foot of a brace of three cattle wagons, the first being the Cooper Craft Dia W1/5 MEX B example. These are a bit thin on the ground now as the range has all but disappeared along with the Slaters wagons that it absorbed. This is a shame as it covered a base layer of early 20th century designs at a low price. The Ratio offerings in 4mm and the Parkside kits in 7mm are generally post 30s examples.  The cattle wagon jumped out as it was the only one on the quite useful 11' chassis and the one using a standard solebar/floor assembly.

The instructions tell you that bits will break  - how honest, and how true. I had one top rail broken already and the bar will snap as soon as look at it. The secondary problem is that there is a tiny bit of flash on this so any waggling against a file finishes the job. It took me about 5 seconds to decide to replace them. The easiest option was to use 0.5mm micro rod; purely as I had some about 3' away from my hand. A small hole was drilled in each upright about halfway through, just enough to locate, and a length welded in with solvent and trimmed when set.

1 comment:

  1. I remember first reading about Cooper Craft kits in one of Chris Ellis's magazines where he opined that they compared well with Grandt Line...I'd agree with him on that score.
    They still crop up, but mostly on second hand stands at shows etc...I bought my W5 kit at the RVR shop for about a fiver although a loco coal wagon cost me a mere 50p at the Longfield show.
    As you say, the absence of the CC and Slaters ranges does leave quite a gap; fortunately I've managed to squirrel several kits away, but that won't stop me trying to find more!
    Cambrian do quite a range of earlier stuff; there are a number of designs that date from around the grouping, some of which carried on being built by the big four companies for a while until they got their own "standard" designs worked out...usefully a lot of these lasted until the late '50s/early '60s so have a very wide timespan.
    Mind you, I like Three Aitch kits and have a couple of them to build...