Friday 16 August 2019

Peco bug boxes

The big news for 009-ers in the last week or so is the announcement of two Festiniog items - or groups of items to be more accurate. The second wasn't a surprise to me as I'd caught a glimpse of the CAD in process under the hand of Peco designer David Malton. The above FR bug boxes (although purists will call them  'Birminghams'; bug boxes being a post preservation term) are now at the test print stage and should be out soon.

If that wasn't enough, the announcement last week of  a tie up between Peco and Kato on an England 0-4-0 RTR model to be followed by a Farlie did come as a surprise.
These two announcements show some joined up thinking and mean that it will be possible to build an FR layout straight off the shelf. Whether you think that this is a good thing or not is another question. No prices are available yet, but looking at past practice I think we could assume that the Birminghams will be around £25-30 apiece, the Englands around £150 and the Farlie £200+ so not a cheap game by any means. However that is the way that it is now leaning, and looking at the way the Baldwin has been received and how it has sold, I think they will be exceptionally popular. How many ACTUAL Festiniog layouts will spring from this is another question, as most will run in 'freelance' guises. Interesting times.


  1. Therein lies the rub. A well known prototype like this is immensly popular, but will stick out like a sore thumb on 90% of freelance layouts.

    My excuse is that what I have in mind is a pastiche of a 1960's style rabbit warren layout that would have used the original GEM kits...welll you ahve to ahve some fun.

    1. I think we are entering (or have entered) a phase of RTR 009 buyers not really caring what it is - they will buy it because it looks nice and runs well. The idea that it should fit together visually or historically is neither here nor there.

  2. Life is getting expensive. And the coaches would be so easy to scratch build for next to nothing. Never mind, instant gratification I guess.

  3. Expensive yes, but speaking as one who has tried to scratch build this stuff it's not easy by any means and I doubt that 99% of 009 modellers could do it to this standard. Especially in what equates to 3-4 hours work taken at minimum wage levels. That is probably the pivotal thing here time /money.