Steve Johnson    Modelmaker



Back to BR Locomotives

GWR Railcars

ACV Railcars

Derby Lightweight

Metro-Cammell Lightweight

Swindon Intercity

Class 100 Gloucester RCW

Class 101 Metro-Cammell

Class 102 Metro-Cammell

Class 103 Park Royal

Class 104 Birmingham RCW

Class 105 Cravens

Class 106 Cravens

Class 107 Derby Heavyweight

Class 108 Derby Lightweight

Class 109 Wickham

Class 110 Birmingham RCW

Class 111 Metro-Cammell

Class 112 Cravens Mechanical

Class 113 Cravens Hydraulic

Class 114 Derby Heavyweight

Class 115 Derby Suburban

Class 116 Derby Suburban

Class 117 Pressed Steel

Class 118 Birmingham RCW

Class 119 Gloucester RCW

Class 120 Swindon

Class 121 Pressed Steel

Class 122 Gloucester RCW

Class 123 Swindon Intercity

Class 124 Trans-Pennine

Class 125 Derby

Class 126 Swindon Intercity

Class 127 Derby

Class 128 Gloucester DMLV

Class 129 Cravens DMLV

Class 130 DPU (Ex-116)

Class 131 DPU (Ex-122)

WM Railbus

Wickham Railbus

Park Royal Railbus

AC Cars Railbus

Bristol Railbus

Class 109 Wickham

D. Wickham & Co. received and order for five two car units. Built to a lightweight design, the unit featured integral construction. The units entered service on the Eastern Region in 1957 and had two Leyland 150hp engines driving the through the standard transmission. Two units were sold back to Wickham's in 1960 for export to Trinidad & Tobago. The remainder just made it into the rail blue era before being withdrawn. However, one unit was retained as the Eastern Region General Managers Train and has since been preserved at Llangollen.


I have always been very keen to have a model of these unique DMU's, but with the lack of any available kit, what could I do? Fortunately, Worsley Works produced a 4mm etch of the bodysides and ends. These are 'scratch aid' parts and a lot of other parts and work is needed. I felt that in order to capture the 'face' of the unit convincingly, I needed something other than the supplied etch. So, I got in touch with a CAD designer to produce a suitable CAD file for 3D Printing. Whilst researching the cab profiles, we discovered that the Wickham roof profile is slightly different to other first generation DMU's and a generic roof wasn't going to fit or look right. As such, a roof was drawn up as well including the ribs and the unique ventilators.

I am currently waiting for the CAD files to be finalized and printed out.

Hopefully I will be able to make these cab ends and roofs available to any modeller wishing to have a go at this unit. Please contact me for details.

Finally the parts have arrived and I will begin a first assembly. The photographs below show the various main parts.

The Worsley Works Etches

3D Printed Rooves

3D Printed Cab Ends

For the short frame chassis I am inclined to use Replica Railways excellent RTR die-cast chassis unit. A Replica Railways short frame suburban chassis can be used for the trailer car. Under floor equipment and interiors will probably be the DC Kits produced items.

A bit more work on the Wickham saw the main body components glued together. It all seemed to fit together well, with minor fettling required. Door handles, grab handles, handrails and door hinges were applied next. I usually use the MJT etched components (BR door handles part 2930). However, this is were the first problem occurred! The etched holes on the bodysides for the grab handles were further apart than the etched ones. So, I couldn't use these without making more holes and filling the old ones, so I fabricated new handles out of some brass wire and soldered these in place. Door handles and hinges were okay, but I noticed something odd about the handrails, particularly on the Guards compartment on the MBS, the holes were in completely the wrong place, on the non-windowed door. I consulted Cheona Publications DMU book by Brian Golding to see where the drawing put them. They put them to the right of the windowed door, so I checked what every modeller should do, photographs of the real thing. Sure enough, the holes were etched in the wrong place. So, I drilled some new holes and fixed the handrails there.

I also drilled out the bottom front lights, as they will be fitted with 2mm tower LED's. Unfortunately, the left hand light surround shattered. Thinking I must have been ham fisted, I drilled out the one on the other cab very carefully, only to find the same thing happening! The only conclusion I can come to is that there must be a problem with the printing in this area. The cure was to remove the surround and drill out the lamp to accept some Evergreen 3.2mm plastic tube. The internal diameter can be carefully reamed out using a taper broach to 2mm for the LED. The tubes were cut to length, reamed out and glued in position. This all worked fine and I think you wouldn't notice if it wasn't pointed out. There's always a way around something.

Next was a spray of Halfords Grey Primer to see what the bodies looked like and reveal what needed filling or filling.

The Wickham in Primer

Not looking too bad I thought, just a few minor bits to sort out. I'll tackle that next whilst waiting for the chassis to arrive for trial fitting.


No RTR models of these units have been produced although MTK did a kit version. Anbrico produced a handbuilt version of this class some years ago.