REVIEWS: Another livery is now available on the 4mm scale air-braked open wagon in the form of EWS corporate colours.
NEWLY released is a further much-requested livery on the ‘OO’ gauge SPA open wagon, this being EWS maroon and gold. As per last year’s Civil Engineers’ grey/yellow versions, this new batch of models will only be available from Kernow Model Rail Centre, the retailer having purchased the tooling outright from FTG Models last autumn, although the actual manufacture is still in the hands of DJ Models.
Four differently-numbered EWS wagons are available, these displaying variations in the positioning of lettering and overhead electrification warnings. Pictured here is No. 460023 (SB005E) with Nos. 460050, 460242 and 460880 (SB005F-H) also now available. This particular quartet are all finished in the ‘full’ EWS livery with company lettering, gold band around the top of the wagon and gold number panels. As was often the case with EWS repaints undertaken by staff at a local level, it was not uncommon to find branding variations, such as the number rendered in white on a black background.
Although now much reduced in numbers, it is still possible to find SPA wagons in use with DB, these invariably being in battered condition and sporting a variety of faded liveries, including Railfreight red, the aforementioned Civil Engineers’ colours and other less common schemes like Loadhaul or Satlink. Commodities carried have varied over recent years, such as sleepers of different types, but the transportation of rod coil has remained a particular use; a traffic which the SPAs have been associated with since construction back in 1979-81.
For those looking for the easiest route to a SPA in 4mm, the ready-to-run model is the obvious solution. However, its underframe remains a disappointment both in terms of finesse and accuracy. Still, the EWS livery is crisply applied with the gold elements coping well over the top of the maroon, while the representation of the timber baulk framing for carrying rod coil is again included. Given the longevity of the livery, it is good to see the EWS scheme finally produced and it will surely prove popular.
Review by Simon Bendall
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