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FIRST LOOK: Modern airbraked Warwell from Oxford Rail

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Fresh in the office this week is a sample of the latest batch of Warwell wagons to emerge from Oxford Rail. Depicting MODA 95530 and treated to an overall coverage of Olive Green with black bogies and highlighted detail accents, the wagon is a fine addition for modellers of the late-1970s to the present era who are seeking wagons for an MOD train.

Introduced in 1942 for the mobilisation of armoured vehicles and equipment during WWII, many of these Warwells of rivetted construction have out-lasted their life expectancy in either civil or military use.

Arriving with Oxford Rail retailers are models of its MOD Warwell depicting the later variant, (0R76WW011) as refurbished during the late-1970s with air brakes and Gloucester bogies. Its previous model incarnations depicted the vehicles in their original, as-built condition, with diamond-framed bogies. The new arrivals make an ideal carrier for a scale Challenger tank, a few Land Rovers or a Bedford truck, all suitably camouflaged, of course!

Detail abounds on the wagon and its sub-£30 price should appeal to modellers looking for a less-expensive alternative to Hatton's Warwell. Detail isn't overly compromised either, with full side rivet and deck detail, an important feature of these veteran vehicles. The sideframes lack the TOPS data panels applied to these vehicles, something that Hatton's version doesn't overlook.

Above the wagon, four chain shackles secured by pics to its deck await fitment of a vehicle of your choice. These wagons carried everything from tanks to APCs, Land Rovers and even military generators! The Gloucester bogies look good, too, with handbrake wheels, spring hangers and springs particularly well-captured.

Though application of transfers is neat and crisp, making them legible, I feel the shade of green chosen is too light. These wagons were painted a dark shade of green when refurbished in the late-1970s, but even with exposure to sunlight, they never quite faded to the extent of the pale olive-green shade applied to the model. If you can live with it, leave it as it is. A repaint is probably excessive, though weathering with dark powders or an airbrush with darker colours should hide the discrepancy. 

For more information on this new variant, visit the website www.oxfordrail.com

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