I have long had a soft spot for Mike Sharman! He models a period of history where they were still discovering what the train was! They were still trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
For many years he produced kits and accessories for modellers when very little else was available. I had the pleasure of meeting him once. I was building a model of the Liverpool and Manchester Lion and he spent about half an hour talking me through how to quarter outside cranks. I even got him to sign the box for me!
Mike stopped his model making business many years ago but every now and then a kit will come onto the market. After all, the masters still exist!
I heard some rumours on the Broad Gauge Society Yahoo list that someone was selling the Sharman kits for firefly. I eventually found them available on EBay!
This is defiantly a kit for the back burner, but I thought I would write this quick piece to show you what you get for your money and the quality of the castings.
Someone on the Yahoo list described this as a “kit of its time”. I think that’s a very fair description. Some of the things I was very impressed with. It was obviously very well thought out. And I am sure that in the 1970s this was a very fine kit.
But life and times have moved on and the kit is showing its age. The smokebox is a very nice casting. And the tender isn’t bad at all. But the sideframes are defiantly a product of the 1970s!
The chassis was quite sophisticated for its time with Mike Sharman’s flexichas design built in. But in the 21st century, it looks very crude.
I have a full workbench at the moment. But I am looking forward to building this one and adding it to my little collection of broad gauge stock.
If you have anything more than a passing interest in the GWR Broad Gauge, Then I would thoroughly recommend the Broad Gauge Society. They are defiantly a niche organisation! but the sheer wealth of information is outstanding and a few of the members are always willing to help.