While visiting the Australian Model Railway Association’s Perth Exhibition last year, I came across a HO scale kit of the Victorian Railways’ KMQ wagon. Produced by Tony Crennan of Model Etch, the kit is made of brass and acrylic components and is a dream to construct. The end product is, in my opinion, very satisfying. My kit has been fitted with Steam Era Models' RP25-88 fine scale, 18.2mm broad gauge wheels. Auscision intend to release a ready-to-run version in late 2010. It will be interesting to compare the two. Auscision will have their work cut out for them to surpass the quality of this kit, in my opinion.
According to Mark Bau’s well resourced web site (http://www.victorianrailways.net), "...export rice traffic from Deniliquin and canned fruit traffic from Shepparton increased dramatically in the late 70's and early 80's. The VR found itself seriously short of container wagons – along with the money to finance new ones. The KMQ was an appealing cheap solution as they could be constructed from the remains of scrapped 4 wheel vans. Converted from U, T and KAB wagons, KMQ's were formed by removing the body from the underframe and installing a chequer plate floor with container lugs. At least two KMQ's were stencilled for explosive traffic and KMQ 67 even received a unique red/orange paint scheme for this traffic."
As can be seen, the KMQ model is yet to be painted. It will receive a coat of Steam Era Models’ ‘VR Brown’ with the QB well wagon kit that is also nearing completion. The QB will be a blog for another day...
Growing up in Central Victoria, Australia exposed me to the dying days of the once mighty State Government owned and operated Victorian Railways. Family picnics in the bush beside closed branch lines and stories of my grandfather getting a copy of the The Age newspaper from the morning ‘paper trains’ set my imagination running.
Like many modellers of railways, there is often a forlorn hope of recreating images from childhood. If I’m honest, this too is mine.
I live in Bellingham, USA with my wife and two little girls.