Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

Bits box

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This month’s Model Rail magazine came with a free bits box. I didn’t buy it for that but it was free so I might as well use it. 

It made sense to use it for my stash of Sprat and Winkle couplings which are going to be my standard. I recently bought a pack of the new ready-made versions. These work out at £1.20 per coupling. 

To give you an idea of how that compares to others, a “standard” (i.e. not NEM pocket) Hornby coupling can cost as much £1.50 each. And which looks better? Well the picture says it all really when you realise that only the hook arm and wire loop are visible on a finished vehicle compared with all that hideous plastic on the Hornby version.  

I intend to only fit one end of each piece of rolling stock with a coupling with just a wire loop at the other. I’ll then fit brake vans, brake coaches, and various specific wagons with a coupling at each end to couple to the locos which will only have the loops. Apart from anything else, it’ll bring added shunting interest ensuring there is a wagon with coupling available for the loco to take the train out. 


Author: Chris H

Having now officially reached middle age, I am a rolling stock engineer and have worked in many different locations including a 7 year spell in Sydney, Australia, where I arrived with a suitcase and left with a wife and a son. I am now based back in my home county of Yorkshire where I juggle full time work, being a Dad to two rascally mini-mes, and trying to fit in railway modelling, assisting the GWR 1014 County of Glamorgan project, and visits to the top left hand corner of Wales. In addition to my heavily railway themed life, I am interested in rugby, cricket, reading crime novels, falconry, and medieval re-enactments.

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