Eighties Body Snatcher Throwback

Ok mullet wearers, here’s a poptastic 80’s child for you. It’s an Airfix 14xx body with a Perceverance chassis underneath. Made in the era of Kylie, wads of yuppie cash, XR3i’s and mobile Motorola phones the size of house bricks for the upwardly mobile, it’s one of my early chassis efforts and I’m still pretty pleased with it.

It was my first compensated chassis, in EM gauge and like the Craftsman 02 I’m currently working on, of it’s time. Power is provided by a Portescap motor and gearbox, driving Ultrascale wheels. The build was straightforward and simple, the design giving beam compensation onto the rear axle, pickup collection provided by phosphor bronze wire bearing on the rear of the drivers. It was a valuable learning experience, getting wheels quartered, the horn blocks aligned and working smoothly with the adjustments needed to find the perfect ‘sit’ of the chassis to make optimal use of the compensation.

The body has had quite a makeover, new chimney, dome, smoke box door, backhead, and Autotrailer gear, all from the Riceworks range. Unfortunately with the closure of  Mainly Trains these components may no longer be available. I think London Road models may have some of Rice’s though.

Looking at the model today I can see areas where I could improve my efforts, I’ve got far better at working plastic and metal together, see the Bachmann/Brassmasters Jinty above. The 14xx’s dome and chimney could do with re-seating and the top feed pipes reworked for a start. In the next day or do a Hattons 58xx will arrive, for conversion to a  Forest of Dean 14xx, and it will be intriguing to see how the pair, my 14xx and Hattons model, stand back to back. Hopefully, with initial overviews at Hattons a week or so ago giving me some confidence, my next 14xx will be plug and play with just a number change and minor detail variations to attend to.

So as I wave goodbye to my daughter off to martial arts I wonder where the time has gone! The 14xx is nearly twice her age. I’ve photographed the locomotive, edited the picture, and written, edited and posted this piece from my phone, to her that’s ‘meh’, to us is it ‘meh’ yet, or still something to measure how far we’ve come?

On that note I’ll leave you with thoughts of Kylie, PWL, yuppies, and Guards Red 911’s.


Mostly Kylie though…


This entry was posted in 2017, Airfix, Bachmann, blog, brassmasters, British Rail, DCC, dcc sound, Eastern Region, Eighties, EM, Exhibition, finescale, flying scotsman, Forest of Dean, Great Western, history, HO, hobbies, Hornby, iain rice, iphone, Kalmbach, life, LMS, LNER, magazine, media, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, Modelu, Nevard, OO Gauge, Oxford rail, Rapido Trains, shelfie, skill, skillset, social media, Southern, Southern Electrics, Southern Region, toy fair, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, Ultrascale, wagon, Western Region. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Eighties Body Snatcher Throwback

  1. sed30 says:

    Reblogged this on sed30's Blog.

  2. otcm says:

    I always thought growing up that detailing an Airfix 14XX was a right of passage for every modeller. I had always had the itch to do one for no other reason than having not done one. The loss of Mainly Trains and the dodgy supply of the old Craftsman detailing kits leaves a big hole in what was once the bread and butter of my hobby time. Probably retro now with all the RTR items about. Paul I found this today and thought you’d like it as much as Chris and I did:


    • bawdsey says:

      Ooh that’s a bit special, thanks for the link! I know what you mean about MT and Craftsman, cut my teeth using products from both, but it could leave a door open for someone with the initiative to do detailing etches and components. The opportunities are still there RT doing bits for the DJ j94 for example.

      Loved the travelogue by the way!

  3. geoff52 says:

    Nice work Paul, thanks to Coastline Models, and Shapeways all is not lost for those who want to improve the old Airfix body. https://www.coastlinemodels.co.uk/product/airfixdapolhornby-48xx-58xx-and-14xx-improvement-set/

    • bawdsey says:

      Having got one of his wagon bodies, that’ll be a good start if it’s same quality. I can’t imagine there are many people with a Mainly Trains package awaiting use!

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