So............What's In The Box ?

or (putting it another way)

What Do I Get For My Money ?



1.  Etched parts in brass or nickel silver.  

Kit reviews in the model railway press often start with words to the effect that 'the etches looked to be very nice'.  All this actually means is that the etcher has does his/her job well.  It gives no indication whatsoever as to whether or not the etched parts will actually fit together satisfactorily when the time comes to assemble the kit. 

The parts in Martin Finney kits have been designed to fit together accurately.  There is therefore no need to file off large amounts of metal to get parts to fit or to fill unsightly gaps with solder.

2.  Top quality lost-wax and white metal castings are 'standard' with Martin Finney kits.

The castings shown below were selected from a kit chosen from stock at random.

The white metal parts 'straight out of the bag'

 ditto - the lost-wax brass parts

They even look superb in close-up !

With very little, if any flash to remove, the castings are often almost good enough to use 'straight from the box'


3.  Instructions and Drawings

All too often kit instructions are unsatisfactory.  They might be poorly written and difficult to understand.  The drawings provided might simply be cobbled together prototype drawings which might be annotated with part numbers etc, but are not really what is required when assembling a kit.

The instructions with a Martin Finney kit can be broken down into four elements:

a.  Written text.  Relevant historical notes together with a step-by-step order of assembly which should be followed 'to the letter'.  

The text is not 'padded out' with a  prototype information which, although possibly of interest, has often been lifted straight from other publications and may largely be irrelevant when it comes to building a kit.


b.  Parts list.


A full numbered listing of etched and cast parts.

c. Etched fret     layouts.


Numbered layouts of the etched sheets which are used together with the written text to locate the various components.

d. Assembly drawings.


The assembly drawings supplied  have been extracted from Martin's own drawings prepared by him as part of the design process.  They therefore faithfully show the individual parts which are clearly numbered.  When used together with the text, assembly becomes a straightforward exercise.  Additional notes provided with the drawings are an additional aid to construction.

The example above was taken from the drawing supplied with the 7mm scale kit for the popular GWR 41/51/61xx  'Large Prairie' tank locomotive.  

Drawings are supplied full size for 7mm scale kits.  Because front, side and plan drawings are provided, simply placing the part on the drawing enables the modeller confirm that the correct item has been selected from the etched fret.  This cannot be achieved by the use of perspective drawings.

It can clearly be seen that when constructing highly detailed kits, the use of annotated prototype drawings is totally unsuitable.  

When Martin Finney looks at a particular prototype as being suitable for a future kit, even at this early stage potential areas of difficulty are identified and several solutions proposed.  

During the design process, various assembly options will have been tried and rejected before the final one has been selected.  

All Martin Finney kits have been test-assembled by Martin himself prior to sale to the model railway fraternity.

The instructions all written by Martin based upon the overall design of the kit and his own experiences gained when building the test example.

For the reasons listed above Martin Finney customers can be therefore be assured that, when purchasing a kit, it will be straightforward to build.  Provided that the step-by-step instructions have been closely followed an accurate, detailed scale model will be the final result.