One of the things that originally attracted me to OO9 modelling was that I would have to build all the locos and rolling stock as nothing was available ready-to-run. The advantage of this was that everything would match and I wouldn't be trying to paint kits I'd built to the same standard as a factory supplied finish. Since I first started in OO9 though (two years ago now) a lot has changed and now there are a number of ready to run wagons, carriages, and locos available to buy. Until recently none of them had really appealed but I've now bought my very first ready to run OO9 loco......
Yes, I've succumbed and bought a model of Skarloey, Bachmann USA's new addition to their Thomas and Friends range. Technically it's not a child’s toy as the box says 14+ and believe me it isn't going to look like this for very long (in fact it already doesn't but that's for another blog post). As many of you will probably know Skarloey is based on the loco Talyllyn of the Talyllyn Railway built by Fletcher Jennings in 1864. Originally the loco was an 0-4-0ST but was soon altered to give a 0-4-2ST which is how it is today and how it is depicted in the model of Skarloey.
Over the years as well as the addition of an extra set of wheels it's had a number of body work changes and I'm not entirely sure which version I'm going to model, but I'll definitely be replacing the face with a proper smokebox door and the over sized cylinders will be replaced with something a little more prototypical. While I figure out exactly how I'm going to butcher the model for parts here it is running around my test track. Hopefully it will still run this smoothly once I've taken it to pieces and rebuilt and painted it.
If you fancy one of these models yourself they can be a little tricky to get hold of in the UK due to licencing issues. In the UK Hornby hold the exclusive license to 4mm scale Thomas products so Bachmann are not allowed to sell the model here. You can probably buy one direct from the states but you'll have to factor in import tax etc. A number of online stores in the UK are managing to import them and I bought mine from Tootally Thomas which seems to have the best price and excellent customer service. Stock is limited though so you'll need to e-mail them to reserve one from the next batch they can get.