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thank you, Doug, for putting the issue so clearly into the limelight.

Those comparison pix are ideal.

however, sadly, I feel in some respects, swapping to kadees on such a small vehicle as the open wagon, is much like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire?

Not from an 'operational' point of view, but from one of 'appearance?'

I noted this in my own efforts....kadees look quite inconspicuous on a larger model, yet on such a small vehicle they still stand out.
sadly, with such small prototypes, no matter how appealing, we have a problem in this respect........any coupler which is practical in usage is bound to be conspicuous.

''Alex jackson' or other thin wire couplers, whilst fitting the bill regarding appearance, certainly require high maintenance, and are far from user-friendly in terms of fitment.

3 link couplers are a fiddle...and themselves can be overscale, thus noticeable.

Back in the dark ages, when Triang were head to head with Hornby dublo, I had a small OO layout..or plank, as they are now usefully called...(''shelves'' bring too many DIY nightmare images)....and I used Triang TT couplers quite effectively...but there weren't any sharp curves..even on the pointwork.

Continental couplers in my view look like mousetraps strapped to a British wagon.......

The problem with the trade's hook and bar couplers is, in my eyes, the thickness of the plastic used.

what about wire?

[but then we'd need a buffing strip..or sprung buffers?]

I've offered this one before, but has anyone tried , say, kadee or Microtrains, or whatever, N gauge knuckle couplers?

would these be more suitable for the smaller British wagons?

or is the issue the length of the coupler shank?
 

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the #58 does seem a better bet for smaller 4 wheel wagons, which somehow seem overpowered by all that ironmongery on each end.

Kadee used to suggest miminimumum?weights for vehicles....how heavy do typical 4 wheeler opens need to be?

I wonder...how long it would be before someone replaced the dropper arm....said to replicate air hose/vacuum hose....with teh same shaped solid chain..to replicate the hanging 3 link coupling, on non-fitted stock?
 
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