01 September 2021
A OO gauge Wickham is a terrific little model - we look at how it can be improved using the new ModelU figure pack, and some simple weathering.
A OO gauge Wickham trolley is tiny. 30mm long and 25mm tall, there's precious little space to fit a set of figures - yet it looks odd trundling along with nobody on board.
Some modellers have looked to the HO scale world for a crew, thinking that 3.5mm:1ft people are slightly smaller, and therefore easier to squeeze into the seats. The problem is, seated model people are normally passengers, and their clothes and poses aren't much like those of a track gang riding to work.
ModelU has looked at this and using 3D scanning and printing technology, produced a set of figures designed to fit into the Wickham with realistic poses, and the correct clothing.
Each set is supplied straight from the printer, complete with all the supports used in the process. The modellers' first job is to gently peel these away to reveal the bodies and tools, they come away with a gentle tug from your fingers or tweezers, then remove any tiny nibs leftover with a sharp knife. To make them easier to handle, we stick them to a piece of wood with a tiny dot of superglue.
Flash colours always seem a sensible starting point for figure painting. There are specific sets available for this, but we are opting for traditional enamel paint. Starting with the Humbrol flesh, this is painted straight onto the figure, no primer is required. Once this has dried for about an hour, the same areas are dry-brushed with Revell's version, a lighter shade, to give some subtle shading to the hands and face.
Due to the poses, these are slightly tricky figures to paint. Getting a small brush in to the middle of each person is fiddly, but with a bit of care, doable. Start with the shirts and clothes on the chest, and work outwards is the best advice to avoid getting paint on areas already coloured.
Leave the paint to dry overnight, then give each figure a wash with Citadel shading ink from Games Workshop. This sits in all the creases, emphasising them. It also covers up minor areas where the brush might have strayed over the edges of the clothes being painted.
Moving back to the trolley, this needs a dry-brush with Track Colour (Humbrol 173) around the underframe to represent muck thrown up onto the vehicle. Then a wash of the shading ink. Pat the roof with a sponge for a realistic mottled-dirt finish.
Finally, a good dusting with weathering powders - mainly Dark Earth and Dark Rust, from the Humbrol range.
All that's left is to fit the figures in their seats with a little PVA glue, and the trolley is ready for the rails.
32-992 Wickam Trolley
11180 - Wickham Trolley Crew Pack
61 - Flesh
173 - Track colour
AV0017 - Dark Earth
AV0019 - Dark Rust
35 - Flesh