Malcolm Mitchell 44xx kit

For my forthcoming model of Princetown station I need a GWR 44xx Class locomotive as these were practically the only type used on the line.  Unfortunately, since only 11 of the prototype were ever made, model options are limited.  So far as I can discover, no ready to run models have been made but several manufacturers have made kits over the years.  Unfortunately, all of the kits are currently out of production.

The Malcolm Mitchell kit seems to be particularly well regarded, and in his excellent Etched Loco Construction, Iain Rice described it in 1990 as “…the finest etched locomotive kit yet produced.” and “…a suitable kit for the beginner…”.  But, where to get one.  Well, by great good fortune there is one for sale on eBay and no-one seems to be bidding for it.  It has been listed several times with the starting bid dropping from £200 to £150.  It addition to the kit, there is also a set of wheel – which by great good fortune are in my desired EM gauge – and a motor.  With the kit costing £120 when it was in production and the wheels and motor being worth £80 and £20 respectively, it would appear to be a complete bargain so why haven’t I snapped it up for £150?

Well, the kit has been started already and it isn’t clear if it contains all the parts or a full set of instructions.  So, about a week ago I decided to take advantage of my membership of the EM Gauge Society and ask for advice on their forum.  A member replied to say that he built the kit a few years ago, but couldn’t tell from the eBay listing if it was complete as the etches were all stacked up.  He did however offer to send me a copy of the instructions if these were missing.

I contacted the seller to ask if he could spread out the etches and send me a photo.  He has now done so and I have forwarded them to my forum contact.  Hopefully he will give the OK and I can submit a bid.  It will be just me luck if I then get outbid!