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Worsley Works NG

June 2002

West Clare Railcar Body Kit

Worsley Works has recently added to it's range of 'scratch aid' etched brass body kits in 4mm scale with the West Clare Drewry railcars. Two of these small four-wheel vehicles, just 20'6" long on an 8'9" wheelbase, were supplied to the line in October 1927. They had petrol engines of 40/45hp, a three-speed gearbox, and chain drive to each axle, with wheels of 2' diameter; top speed was 40mph. They had controls at either end so did not need to be turned, and were fitted with reversible seats for 30; they could haul a small trailer. Not famed for their reliability, they were used mostly on the Moyasta branch until 1936 and scrapped in 1943.

The kit consists of sides, ends, and floor unit but does not include the glazing or any interior detail, and there are no solid' details as castings. The builder must also supply wire for handrails and door handles, though the fixing holes are present. The roof also has to be provided. The components have been very nicely etched the panelling is well defined and the half-etched areas very even.

The sides and ends are separate, with no form of location, but they can be soldered together accurately if care is taken, standing them on a true flat surface. It is worth reinforcing the corners with a fillet of solder though take care not to impede the fitting of the floor unit.

A standard set of coach kit assembly instructions is included, and some allowances must be made to match these to the parts actually supplied.

The procedure assumes not unreasonably for something that is sold as an aid to scratch building rather than a complete kit - that the builder will be familiar with the techniques required. It also presumes the builder will have access to drawings and photos to complete the detailing as appropriate.

The door window openings are etched with an extra inset frame for the droplight - this is not correct, as all windows were droplights, so all frames should match.

The fret includes five small panels with etched lines that look like treads, which seem to fit notches in the sole-bars under the doors. But in fact ladder-type double steps were fitted, fixed lower on the frame. These may therefore be the louvre vents over the doors.

There are no backings for the handrail recesses, and the handrails across them are etched in place and thus flat - they should be round.

The kit makes no provision for headlights (fifted when new but latterly removed), marker lights, lamp brackets, frames, and the underslung radiators, and the floor is solid - no consideration has been given to how the model might be motorised. However, the frets do provide a good basis for modelling these vehicles.

Worsley Works now has a range of over 50 narrow gauge coach kits in 4mm scale alone, plus other items in 3mm, 5.5mm, and 7mm scales, plus various related accessories. 5Op (in stamps) plus an A5 stamped self-addressed envelope will bring you a copy of the latest list.

For 4mm scale narrow gauge


Allen Doherty
19 Douglas Road,
M28 2SR.