|HR d.47 OCT with Austin 7 Chummy.|
The Austin 7 Open Tourer was introduced in 1923 and became known as the "Chummy". The white metal kit for the car came from South East Finecast and was the earliest car kit I could find. The spokes of the wheels are etched nickel silver and really set the model off well. The only addition I made to the kit was a gear lever and some blobs of glue for headlights. The car would have been secured on the wagon with wedges under each wheel. In addition there may have been straps or ropes from the side rails too as suggested by the photo on page 79 of "Hunter".
I made a master pattern for the springs and cast a set as I couldn't work with those in the kit; the axleboxes needed only a little modification before the springs sat comfortably on top of them. The retaining cross rails were made from square section metal with reference to fig 35 in "Hunter" as were the little chains that hang from the brake lever guard. Vaccum pipes and Westinghouse pipes are from my own castings. I added a Westinghouse cylinder and a vaccum cylinder with their linkages all of which make for a busy and interesting model.
The inspiration for this model came from the frontispiece to Tatlow's "A History of Highland Locomotives" which shows Inverness Station in the early 1900s. In the centre of the picture is an OCT, probably a d.47, carrying a car of the period which I cannot identify. The rear cross rail of the OCT seems to be tight against the rear tyres of the car and there may be additional restraint in place though I can't make out any detail of straps or other retaining devices, nor for that matter can I see any wedges, though I'm sure there's one on the deck of the OCT in "Hunter". I suspect more could be learned if the original photo could be studied rather than a scanned reproduction in a book. Perhaps Peter Tatlow's eagerly awaited and soon to be published "Highland Railway Wagons and Carriages" will add to our knowledge of these fascinating wagons.