Monday 30 November 2020

Westykits cattle wagon kit

 Slightly on the back of the last but one post and because maybe it's time for another build project on here, I had a rummage in the box. What came out (second, first was another Cambrian 16 tonner) was this Westykits LNER cattle wagon purchased a couple of years back off a club stand for £4.80. Cheap, old, different. 

I don't know much about Westykits though this was marketed by, and possibly made by Ian Kirk. The question that I'm asking is, is this the same as the LNER cattle sold by Parkside (now Peco)? I tend to think not, though there are links. This is not the crisp moulding of Parkside. The diagram is dated as 'drawn by PMW 1980' making the kit 40 years old.

First impressions are good: it looks to be all there, in fact more than there as there are six buffer parts. The instructions are of course typed and copied as was the style then, and are backwards for me starting with the bodywork. The stand-out phase is, '...unless you are batch-building go and have a fag or a cuppa to give the plastic a chance to harden.' This is what is surely missing from modern kit instructions, encouragement to develop lung disease.

I could probably build this quite quickly, but I'll slot in in amongst the other bits and run it over a couple of posts... after I've had a fag...


  1. I've heard of Westykits but seen very little in the way of photos. I think the "Westy" was Pete Westwater. Pretty sure you're right and that it isn't the same kit as now sold by Parkside/Peco. I've got a couple of the more recent kits, will take a look when I get home and see what differences there are.
    I really rather like these ranges that were around before the days of the current kit producers...3H, Ian Kirk, Wiskits and others. What they sometimes lack in precision by comparison with more modern kits tends to be counterbalanced by character. Having said that, the likes of Ratio, Cambrian and Parkside/Dundas have been around a heck of a long time and it's interesting to see the gradual progression in those ranges.
    Just don't inhale solvent fumes through a cigarette...I seem to remember advice that the combustion products of some solvents can include phosgene!

  2. I've just had a look in a fairly recent (just prior to Parkside eing sold to Peco) PC50 kit and actually the side and end sprues look pretty much identical except the solebars are now a separate part. The floor moulding now has plank and batten detail on the top side and underframe detail underneath and is on the same sprue as a moulded roof. Buffers (all six!) are the same but the axleguards and brake gear are completely different (clasp).
    Mouldings are pretty good after all this time...

  3. On the subject of old kits, I've got an 0 Gauge CCW Great Western Brake-3rd clerestory corridor, mostly wood with white metal ends, which I can't bring myself to build. Stupid I know, but it seems like sacrilege, as if it should be in a toy museum. Even worse, I was originally considering chopping it up to make a 4 or 6 wheeler. OMG, does this make me a collector?

    1. I don't know how "collectable" the old CCW kits are now, though I do remember seeing them around second hand. I'd be inclined to build it...surely that's what the designer and manufacturer intended?
      I've got a few bits of similar age in 4mm; a pair of Kenline SR wagons and a couple of Rex kits but am looking forward to building them at some point.