Scattergun Scarabs

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by farnetti, 18 December 2017.

  1. farnetti

    farnetti Western Thunderer

    Anyone remember these?

    Certainly built a couple of plastic 4mm models of them in my youth, Airfix? I don't remember see any on layouts.

  2. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I'm not old enough to remember them in the wild. ;)

    The Scarab is one of those wonderfully eccentric British machines, and has a special place in our transport history. Being a bit of a fan, it's always annoying to me if I see one lurking on a country layout. Scarabs and their older siblings, the Mechanical Horse and Karrier Cob, were strictly town dwellers. Country stations had more stable vehicles to do their deliveries, assuming they hadn't removed the horse and cart.
    Jordan likes this.
  3. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Iirc S&D make a whitemetal kit for the earlier “squarish” one in 7mm. An example was parked, part built, on my old Windowledge Railway for a while. It’s now in a box...

    I rather suspect I had several Airfix ones, which could be build with a flatbed trailer, or Watneys’ beer tanks. If they’d given away two wheels, a pair of springs and an axle, the aspiring modeller could have built both trailers, with attendant increase in play value... this simple act of generosity may have caused the whole course of history to have changed... or not, of course :)

    I do recall them in the wild, in Liverpool Lime St, where they tugged box trailers of mail to & from the trains. I’m guessing, but 1963 or 64?


    Thanks to Osgood for correcting me re S&D! Link thingy to the other place where, scrolling down a photo or three, you’ll find my uncompleted model.

    Great Windowledge Railway - Layout topics
    Last edited: 19 December 2017
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  4. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I have a few of the Dapol repops of the old Airfix kit stashed. I did actually build one more years ago than I care to remember.

    The problem I had with the Airfix model was it was designed with "play" value. The coupling worked, but had a major issue in that when coupled the trailer was just too close to the cab. I decided to see if I could improve things.


    Armed with photos, styrene and brass, I made this. The play value is gone, but it makes a much better representation of the standard three-ton Scarab to my mind.

    There was a 7mm scale kit in the Classic Commercials range. We all know where that has ended up.
  5. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Or Corgi have one that’s too small for 0 (and I suspect, too big for S...). Muppets. (Then again, would the extra sales justify the increased costs?)

    I had a Dinky (iirc) Karrie Cob, too, when I was about 6, but I never saw a real one in those days. I recall seeing a photo and saying “oh, that’s what it was!”

    Wikipedia have helpfully provided two birds with one stone, there’s an early Scammell in this picture.

    Karrier - Wikipedia

  6. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

  7. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    This is the Corgi Muppet version which lurks by the goods warehouse on Heyside. I rather like it, but it will get replaced when there's a decent 7mm scale one about.

  8. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Although they didn't produce a Scarab AFAIK Dinky Toys had a stab at a OO range by name "Dublo Dinkys". They didn't last long, and there were not many of them, which probably confirms your comment about sales, Simon. I still have two......

    I was always a bit disappointed that Matchbox Cars were never to a constant scale - remember that ginormous cement mixer and a bus and petrol tanker which very nearly fitted the same footprint? However they had brilliant play value and were real pocket money toys. I still have a (nearly) complete set of those from the original No1 to 72, about half of which are boxed.

    This site is really out to stir up the memories recently!

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  9. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    The only thing wrong with the "muppet" version is it's to the so-called collectors' scale of 1/50th. Otherwise, it's a nice little model.
  10. BrushType4

    BrushType4 Western Thunderer

    These can be picked up from Ebay quite cheaply. I'm hoping @Heather Kay will take up the challenge and make the ones I've collected as good as her example in post #4!

    s-l1600-3.jpg s-l1600-2.jpg
    isambardme and Heather Kay like this.
  11. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    It would appear that a 1/43.5 scale model would (all other things being equal, which they’re probably not) consume approximately 1.5 times the material of a 1/50 scale model. Of course, the design, tooling, logistics etc., would be much of a muchness, but the box would probably have to be bigger.

    How many 7mm modellers didn’t buy one because it was 1/50th? Probably not many, so maybe this “collector’s scale” is justifiable, if frustrating. Iirc, in my yoof, the Dinky & Corgi models were 1/43.5, Matchbox were, as Brian notes, somewhat unpredictable.

  12. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    I saw one on the A12 west of Romford (yes Romford) during the summer, they're actually quite big!

  13. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    Both Nucast and Roxey do 7mm Scarabs and trailers.
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  14. djparkins

    djparkins Western Thunderer

    Fotunately I have five Scarabs in my stash + about thirty other CC kits. I tried to buy the range from the Late Bob Barlow and we had agreed a price for the tooling/patterns/moulds etc. but then I discovered there was almost the same value of stock on top that I did not want, as I intended to re-tool most items. So, it all ended up with Adrian [ABS]. I've approached him recently but he does not want to sell the range at present.

    The Corgi 1:50th job looks pretty small alongside a 7mm railway vehicle and IMHO the Classic Commercials kit was the only decent BR Scarab out there. A lot of modellers will probably not pay the price for decent road vehicle kits though. We produce a Brockhouse Van Trailer conversion for the CC Scarab and I'm amazed that we still sell the odd one - some punters obviously still have the odd unmade kit knocking around!

  15. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    Scammell promotional film here:
  16. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Scarabs came in 3 and 6 ton variants. The difference is visible in the size of the rear wheels. I believe the cab uses the same basic pressings as the contemporary Bedfords, with the famous nose made in the Scammell factory. Later on, the noses were made of fibre glass panels.

    My favourite Scarab variant must be the breakdown trucks made for the Dartford Tunnel. They were heavy duty, proper double wheels at the back, with a towing hitch.
  17. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

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  18. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    Keep trying, David!!! :thumbs:

    To my eyes, 1/50 commercials look all wrong. Some of them are very nice creations, and I have a few which I hope to use by means of judicious use of forced perspective.

    The 4mm folk have a wonderful resource in the form of
    In 7mm there are a few options available, but you can't even get decent truck wheels and tyres :rolleyes:

    I was fortunate to secure 3 x CC AEC 6 wheel tipper kits from Adrian quite a while back in his own re-branded packaging (I think it was Heather's photos of her red 4 wheeler build that grabbed my attention!).

  19. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Don't hold your'e breath :mad: it'll all end up in a skip probably, just p....'s you off when there are loads of buyers out there waiting for 'em.

  20. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    I believe the need to update the allotment shed behind the 3-wheeler's bonnet led to Scammell obtaining the press tools for Bedford's by then obsolete cab - the only alteration being rectangular door bottoms without the wheel arch cutaway. Although somewhere along the way the shape has been tweaked here and there.
    Around the same time truck manufacturers began to source cabs from independent cab builders, hence certain similarities between different companies.
    Scammell certainly made good use of the 3-wheeler cabs - even putting them on their largest vehicles. I'm not sure any Scarab ever received the tropical roof shield though!

    Constructor 6x6 (another project).jpg