I've finally had time to wield the soldering iron and put together the A1 Models O9 loco body kit that I was handed at the 7mm NGA AGM in Burton. I've also started to create a scratch-built chassis frame for it to ride on a Bandai 4w chassis as I've no spare Kato ones at the moment.
Before building the cab I had some reservations about it's height, however as the photo above shows, for an industrial loco representing a 18" gauge prototype (or even as a small 2ft loco built on a 'Spud') the height of the cab isn't really a problem. Alongside a Black Dog Mining open wagon and it looks in proportion. However, for use as a 15" gauge loco running with passenger stock such as the Avalon Line bogie coaches it is a little bit tall at 54mm (a scale 7'6" ish). Feedback has been offered to the manufacturer on this point.
My scractchbuilt chassis frame is very much in the vein of Black Dog Mining products - in fact the axleboxes and springs are from that source. I'll add some more details to the chassis frame and in the cab before finishing it off as an industrial loco for that non-miniature railway project I keep promising myself to start!
Overall the etches were very easy to put together and didn't really take that long at all. I've had to add my own roof as this set of pre-production etches didn't include one. Hopefully A1 Models will be encouraged to produce some further O9 models as these products are always very adaptable and customisable.