By Andrew McMahon

A Wrightscale kit of a Péchot crane, with two Péchot bogies converted to match trucks, in a peacetime role working with the track maintenance team on the CLR.

Close up of Péchot crane
The crane and match trucks assisting with lineside maintenance on the CLR. It is a hot day so not much work is being done.

‘Péchot’ is the name of the French Artillery captain who developed a system of railway vehicles for the French military which were widely used on the battlefields of France during WW1.

This model is a 16mm/ft white metal kit from Wrightscale, which includes a crane and a Péchot bogie onto which the crane is mounted. I purchased extra Péchot bogies and built them as match trucks for use with the crane. It is possible, with extra care, to build the crane in a working condition. I chose to retain enough operability to allow ‘posing’ of the crane, but preferred to secure some of the components to preserve some strength allowing for the rough and tumble of garden railway use.

The match trucks were fitted with ‘wooden’ decks made from scribed Plasticard. Loco sized handrail knobs and brass wire were used to create handrails. A few bits and bobs were also secured to the deck to give them a working look.

Péchot crane and match trucks coupled up and ready to roll.
The crane and match trucks in the goods yard at Crowfoot Station, coupled to a pair of adapted ‘Jim’s Models’ flat wagons that have been fitted with 3 axles.

I also discarded the cast safety chains provided in the kit and replaced them with brass ones from Brandbright. These safety chains have been left much longer than on the prototype, but this does allow me to hook them up and use the set up over reverse curves and small radius point-work.

To justify use of these models on The Crowfoot Light Railway I’ve assumed these vehicles were purchased post conflict and imported into the UK as war surplus.

The Wrightscale website describes the kit and also provides a little bit of the history of the prototype. Note that the Péchot bogies are different from the WD bogies also supplied as kits by Wrightscale.

In conclusion, if you are the type of modeller that likes a kit to fall together then perhaps Wrightscale kits are not for you. If, however, you are willing to give the build the time and effort it deserves then you should be very satisfied with the finished job.

Text and photos by Andrew McMahon