In-Box Review
BR Standard Restaurant 1st Car
British Railway Standard Restaurant 1st Maroon
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Introducing the short-lived, but critically acclaimed, Rosebud Kitmaster, whose kits of predominately British and European prototypes were, and still are, esteemed by countless model railroaders.

British Railway Standard Restaurant 1st Maroon is the subject of this review. Catalogued as Kit 28, it was released in 1961.

Kitmaster released 12 passenger cars, six in OO scale, two in HO, and four in TT.
    Kit, Scale, Subject
    13, OO, BR Standard Corridor Composite
    14, OO, BR Standard Corridor 2nd
    15, OO, BR Standard Corridor Brake 2nd
    17, TT, BR Standard Corridor Brake 2nd
    18 TT BR Standard Corridor Composite
    20 TT BR Standard Corridor 2nd
    21 TT BR Standard Restaurant 1st
    27 HO German DB B4yge Coach
    28 OO BR Standard Restaurant 1st
    29 HO French SNCF Coach
    32 OO Midland Pullman Kitchen
    33 OO Midland Pullman Parlour

Kitmaster was the model railroad line of Rosebud Dolls Ltd, of England’s Nene Plastics. In 1959 they released their first dozen Kitmaster models. All but one was OO scale (1/76), the standard scale in England. All were locomotives, representing nine British types, and one American, Italian, and Swiss engine. These spanned locomotive development from the first 'modern' locomotive, Stephenson's Rocket of 1829, to the modern “Deltic” diesel-electric then under development in England. Nine were steam locos, two were diesels, and an electric Swiss engine.

Kitmaster's box art was quite stunning. Well-rendered subjects caught the eye with colorful dynamic depictions of the trains in action.

Colorful brochures in each box advertised the other models available. Another color pamphlet showed Humbrol railroad paints.

Over the next three years Kitmaster was very busy. Twenty-two kits of locomotives and passenger cars were engineered and issued. Though most were OO scale, the "Royal Scot" series was another departure from continuity, prepared in TT scale. Even this was a double departure from continuity as TT is 1/120 scale (2.5mm/ scale foot) almost everywhere in the world except the UK. There it is actually TT3, or 3mm/scale foot, 1:101 scale!

You can access a more detailed look at Kitmaster via Click here for additional images for this review at the bottom of this review.

Keep in mind that this kit was released in 1961. Despite that, molding is respectable. I did not notice flash but there are some sink marks and ejector circles. Mold parting seam lines on some parts will have to be removed or ignored. The parts are thick, especially the wheels. That aside, the pieces are mostly cleanly and crisply molded. There is not anything I consider to be finely molded scale-wise, but they are not the boulderous chunks found on some contemporary models. However, part of the roof side is marred by an incomplete shot of plastic, making it look dented.

Kitmaster engineered large tabs and slots to set and align parts. These create firm junctions and joints.

This model consists of over 60 parts molded with four colors and clear plastics. Assembly is straight forward: the floor/undercarriage; sides; ends; windows; roof; sub-assembly for bogies; sub-assembly for interior; "fiddly parts." Couplers are provided.

No display roadbed was made.

Le plat principal
Detail is molded on but respectable. It consists of very nicely reproduced truck sideframes. Hand grabs and railings (over-scale) are molded on. Good raised and recessed molding represents access hatches on accessory boxes suspended along the sill of the body. A brake reservoir or other appliance is one of the few separate parts.

The nice part of this restaurant car/diner is the interior. A floor with molded chairs creates the interior along with separately molded tables, and two sinks, and bulkheads. The tables feature plates and bottles/glasses modeled on.

Kitmaster tooled respectable window frame detail on the clear parts.

Again, keep in mind this model is almost 60-years-old. Not bad for the ol' boy!

le menu et la formule
Instructions and decals are good. The instruction sheet is a single paper with sharp printing and good descriptions of parts and their numbers. A brief history is included. Basic painting instructions are provided but you will have to research the colors of British Railways restaurant car decor. A restored car, with interior, can be found at the Bluebell Railway, via Related Link, in the Summary box.

The decals are a generous sheet of numbers and names. There are no lining (stripe) decals. The color looks good. The 1961 state of decal art features thick carrier film and excessive film around the printing. At the time of this writing, two sets of Kitmaster decals have been taped to a south facing window; the yellowing is gone although it took months. The big test will be when they are put in water and removed from the backing.

Le digestif
Concluding this review is the admission that - obviously - I do not speak French and am nothing less than boorish in the lexicon of French cuisine. Regardless, this old British Railway Standard Restaurant 1st is a respectable model. Today there are superior models of the subject so this kit is mainly a collectable and for those who want Kitmaster models. I can attest they build up into good looking models. Despite flaws inherit with the injection-molding process of 1961, cast-on and thick detail, fit has been good on previous Kitmaster models I've assembled. Detail looks acceptable and is big enough to shave off if you want to replace it with separately attached wire grabs and railings, etc.

The instruction sheet is good and the decals were generous.

It took me years to find a decent Kitmaster BR Standard Restaurant 1st and I am happy I acquired it. It will be a good addition to my Kitmaster collection. This model is not up to today's standards but it isn't a hunk of styrene, either. If you find one, buy it and build it. Or just collect it. Mine is destine for assembly but I understand if a modeler just wants to have the kit. Either way, I recommend this model for collectors of Kitmaster models, British prototypes, and old model kits.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Crisply molded parts. Good detail of windows and trucks.
Lows: 60-yr-old molding with sink marks and ejector circles, mold parting seam lines, thick parts.
Verdict: This model can be built into a good looking model and makes a worthy addition to your collection.
  Scale: OO Gauge
  Mfg. ID: 28
  Related Link: Bluebell Railway
  PUBLISHED: Sep 14, 2020
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


How Wonderful to see Kitmaster getting a mention! ! My dad built dozens of Kitmaster kits for his OO railway layout back in the day. I really love the small tube of glue, and the neatly laid out tables for the passengers. Tri-ang topped this with neat little lamps on each table in their Pullman coaches....😊 Many Kitmaster kits are still available from Dapol. Nice review!
SEP 13, 2020 - 10:38 PM

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