Twenty-fifth of Rosebud Kitmaster's releases was their gigantic Beyer-Garratt, engineered to the United Kingdomís standard OO (4 mm, or 1/76) scale. Released in 1961, this model of an Ex-London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) 2-6-0 0-6-2 heavy freight locomotive was their most sought-after model. Short-lived, but critically acclaimed, Rosebud Kitmaster kits of predominately British and European prototypes were, and still are, esteemed by countless model railroaders. The Kitmaster Beyer-Garratt was, in its day, an outstanding model, as were all the Kitmasters.
London Midland & Scottish Railway 2-6-0 0-6-2 Beyer-Garratt
These huge British locomotives were built in two batches in 1927 and 1930 to haul heavy coal trains to London and Birmingham. The unconventional articulated design afforded one locomotive nearly the tractive effort of two regular freight locos, while allowing it to navigate the tight loading gauge if Englandís railroads. A novel feature unique to this particular class was the rotating self trimming coal bunker, itself powered by two steam cylinders. One drawback was that the engines were under the coal and water bunkers, so as the fuel was consumed the weight on the drivers decreased, hence the tractive effort also decreased. Another problem was visibility over the larger tenders. However, Garratts have advantages over conventional articulated locomotive. A Garratt holds the world speed record for an articulated locomotive.
Beyer-Garratts hauled trains all over the world, from England, to Africa, to Asia and in South America. Highly successful, some operated into the 21st Century. Some 250 still exist and about 100 are preserved. One has been returned to operating condition on the Welsh Highland Railway.
Kitmaster engineered the Beyer-Garratt with 124 heavy black plastic parts. The molding is sharp, with no ejection and mold marks visible. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of flash, mostly around the small parts.
The model is designed to roll. The rods and valve gear are partially simplified. Aftermarket motorizing kit were available for this engine.
The cab, boiler and tender railings are molded on. No clear parts are provided for the windows nor the headlamps.
Test fitting promises a tight model.
Three decal options are provided, two for LMS engines, and one for British Railways, who added 40,000 to the LMS engine numbers.
The assembled model is an impressive 13.75 inches long. It makes an awesome static model.
Sadly, this is one of the kits Airfix destroyed. This model would make a great centerpiece in any diorama. You will have to really want one, they are fairly expensive to obtain.
Highs: Unique prototype. Workable driving gear. Three decal options.Lows: Lots of flash, molded on railing detail. Uncommon scale for most railroad modelers outside of England.Verdict: For a model four decades old, this kit holds up well. The hand railings will take a little effort to remove if you choose to. This kit can build into a fascinating model with great display potential.
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...