Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ratio's OO/HO Yard Crane

I started work on this kit during the Christmas holidays as a little diversion, and finished it a couple of evenings ago. Well, truth be told, I spray painted the parts sprue with red oxide colour primer in the backyard a few days before Christmas when the temperature was above zero since I can’t spray paint in the basement. It had about a week to dry before I started in on construction.

I saw this crane last summer in a layout article in an issue of Model Rail. I immediately was smitten and found a supplier here in Ontario to order one from. This crane wouldn’t find its way into Canadian railway practice regardless of era, but I liked it, so that was that.

All the plastic parts are contained on a single black sprue, and the kit also includes some thread for the lifting hook and a chain for the driving wheel. The parts are well molded and a pleasure to work with. My only comment is that some holes require a little enlargement for things to fit together without jamming or application of undue force. Overall, I’d rate this as a kit suitable for an intermediate-level model builder: it’s not a ‘shake-the-box’ item suitable for rank beginners, but likewise, it doesn’t require application of advanced methods like being familiar with photo-etch assembly techniques. However, I wouldn’t dissuade a beginner from giving it a try if they had already built a couple of kits; it would make for a good first step-up build.

Once it was assembled I applied some final washes of my favourite rust mix followed later with some washes of PolyScale grimy black to finish things off.

I glued the kit together so that I would have a fairly solid model when finished, but I suspect that a careful modeler could get those gears to mesh and turn properly with a little extra effort so that it could actually be operated – the moldings appear that precise.

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