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Northern Fine Scale

Manufacturer of precision Gauge  1 outdoor model railway rolling stock



About Northern Fine Scale and Gauge 1


Seven-plank Wagon

Roger Leigh is a live-steam model railway enthusiast with life-long love of railways and model engineering. He is the owner of Sussex Engineering Limited which provides precision machining services, and manufactures miniature die-cast tooling. Northern Fine Scale is a subsidiary of this company. Unable to find suitable rolling stock for his own garden railway, Roger decided to produce a high quality goods wagon kit for the Gauge 1 market. He planned to use plastic injection moulding with high-impact polystyrene to build "British outline" (British railway style) wagons with consistently superior quality, durability, and detail.

The project was the result of many years of discussion with fellow Gauge 1 devotee David Morgan-Kirby. David carried out the research, and is also responsible for the (may we say magnificent) artwork on the "OneBits" transfers we supply.

A list was drawn up of the ideal kit:

  1. Ease of assembly with no special tools or jigs: a kit that could be built on the kitchen table.
  2. Good quality and fine detail.
  3. Use of high impact polystyrene throughout for maximum durability.
  4. No white metal castings: they are too soft, get bent, and come unfastened over time.
  5. No brass etchings: they are too thin and require bending and soldering.
  6. Several patterns of precision wheels and axles, all of correct design. The wheels and hubs to be plastic to provide electrical insulation, the rims and flanges of precision machined steel.
  7. High quality finishing materials: transfers (Decals) with the correct colours, detailing and style of lettering.
  8. A complete kit with no extras to purchase except paint and glue.
  9. A box big enough to hold the finished wagon for easy storage and transportation.
  10. Clear and easy to follow instructions.

In 2002 the first moulds were started for a kit to make a private owner 7-plank (side and end door) wagon of the Charles Roberts design. The finished product, complete with a range of 10 different liveries, was introduced the same year at the annual general meeting of the Gauge 1 Association

Northern Fine Scale has continued to increase its range of products with, in addition to the 7-plank design, kits for 5-plank wagons, vans, and rectangular tar wagons. Other projects in hand include plans for a small range of coaches, and an even greater variety of wagons for the Gauge 1 garden railway.




Interesting Facts & Useless Information:   Private Owner Wagons, coal tar and more!

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