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Collecting Peco Wonderful Wagons (OO)

3763 Views 26 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  34C
Hello, I'm Rob & I'm new, so go easy....

I've been building a collection of Peco Wonderful Wagons in OO Gauge over the years, I've got at least one example of just about every model ever made (apart from 2 of the approx 96 in the range that I know of).

The thing is, finding information of history of the models is quite a challenge, even Peco seem reluctant to share what they have (if indeed they have much). So I've taken to buying old Peco catalogues off eBay and I've started piecing together the history of the models, release dates and so on.

So what I'm looking to do is acquire any information out there on these little models, so I can build a detailed history. My plan ultimately is to produce a definitive history of the models to share with those who may be interested. Information may be personal knowledge, old catalogues, maybe even the two models I'm missing - I'd be happy to pay a reasonable amount for physical items.

Things I'm not sure about include when the various Series / Mks were released (this seems to roughly align with the decades) and what were the differences, when they went out of production, that sort of thing. Does anyone out there have any information or inkling to help?

There is honestly no information out there for these models - I thought it might be interesting to curate a little corner of modelling history. Anyone else interested?

Thanks in advance,

Rob T.

p.s. the models I am missing are R-62BF BR 3 Plank in Red Oxide (seems like it was only available around 1962 to 1965) and W-03 National Benzole tank wagon (it appears in a catalogue but not on a price list so I'm not sure it was ever released).
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Rob, Welcome to the house of fun.

Here's a suggestion. If you are willing to consider a subscription to Railway Modeller, Peco are bundling full access to the online Railway Modeller, all issues from 1949. On the assumptions that the review pages are included, and that Peco never failed to advertise their own product, that should get you pretty close to the release sequence?

ATB with your project.

Further thought, is anybody keeping a record of the current RTR OO antics? Since my resumption of OO railway modelling, happily brought about by the sudden emergence of RTR to a decent standard in the late 1990s, after which I largely stocked my layout first with Bachmann, then added some Hornby, then added some Heljan products: this mix of three brands persisting up to mid 2018; when the Rapido for NRM Stirling Single arrived.

Since when RTR OO items from Accurascale, Dapol, Hattons, and Oxford Rail have pitched up on my layout, and there's every prospect of a purchase from Sonic, while any of Cavalex, Kernow, KRM, RoS, Revolution and SLW have only to make something fitting my interest to win a purchase. (And while all the above was going on ViTrains and DJM appeared and evaporated too.)
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Have you got the Diana and Charles marriage wagon
Presumably fitted with weak couplings?
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... I wonder what caused the demise of ViTrains UK outline? ...
Short answer would be 'too much established competition'.

ViTrains were never in the UK, they were the supplier to Hobbyco in just the same way that Lima had been supplier to Riko.

The oft told story is that the ex-Lima people that formed ViTrains managed to retain Lima's work on better class 37 and 47 models when Lima went under; and then sought to resume the pattern of trading with a UK customer, which handled the marketing and distribution. The operation was exactly as previously, churn the model in as many livery variations as the customer base would absorb.

I am pretty sure that Hobbyco quite rapidly found there wasn't sufficient demand to deliver the margin they required. The main problem was that unlike the previous Lima/Riko scenario which had no effective competition, Hobbyco faced three established competitors with competent product for the 'cheap and cheerful', 'decent' and 'better' slots, and much greater choice of subjects. As perceived by someone not in the business, Hobbyco ceased ordering and walked away.

To ViTrains credit, even with Hobbyco out of the picture, they have responded to UK end customer requests for spares.
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Somewhere or other I have the bodies of a Tarmac five plank open and three vans, Blue Circle, Carricks and another in brown, liveried for a rope and twine mfr of Musselbrugh. All likely to be stripped of at least wheels, buffers and W irons, recycled onto other models. Anyone interested can have them for postage. The only one still running is an ICI salt wagon, making its way to an ICI Plastics division location on the 'Welwyn shunt'.
... I also have some very old Three Aitch kits to build too...
How I liked these kits when they were introduced, models of essential general merchandise vehicles, and with excellent steel tyred pinpoint wheelsets: dozens of these models on my operation, probably still the largest kit manufacturer wagon group I have. When I got wind of KX models closing up, I pretty much cleared their remaining stock of Three Aitch OO kits and MGW wheelsets, used the last underframe kit a couple of years past, still got a few 10mm dia wheels for an SCV project that has been in the queue since the 1970s. (Slow worker, me.)
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...Don't murder the Peco Wagons, I'll pay a fair price & postage for them...
I must emphasise that they are already 'murdered': wheelsets and buffers long ago removed and repurposed, and I think all the W irons will have gone too, for use elsewhere. (I had intended to use the van bodies as grounded vans, and the 5 plank as a dumped lineside wreck, not yet cleared away by the engineer's department; but between kits and RTR far more suitable bodies for this purpose have now been obtained.)

First I have to find them, as they are in store behind a pile of other 'family stuff' which is supposed to be redistributed to the new owners by New Year, so little chance of getting onto this until January.
That's interesting 34C as I haven't come across much dialogue on these (Three Aitch / 3H) kits in 20 years. Sweeping up all the NOS from the shop must have been very rewarding
The 3H kits really weren't around that long, something of a foretaste of Parkside and the like. Because there still isn't a RTR model, I have been systematically harvesting the LMS design standard general merchandise open in particular, both constructed and unbuilt. Underappreciated so often the price is small too, good value for the wheelsets alone! (Same appreciation for the ABS whitemetal general merchandise wagon kits and the detail parts, but these tend to go for rather more money.)

Naturally very mixed feelings about KX Models closing, at the time I was through KX to go to the London office of my then employer at least one day a week, so it was a regular port of call...
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