5522 Models was founded by Alistair Wright in 1984 and the range of kits that he started then has grown significantly since.
Not many designers of etched kits have actually started their careers in a locomotive works designing the real thing. However Alistair did, with the North British Locomotive Company, and it was here that he first cut his teeth with quality draftsmanship. Following on from NBL, a successful career with blue-chip engineering companies such as Rolls Royce and GEC-Marconi followed, but railways have always remained in Alastair’s blood.
Alistair first started designing his own kits when he was unhappy with the quality of a kit that was available on the market at the time. That saw the production of the LMS D2046 Inspection Saloon, and to fill up space on the etch it was rapidly followed by the LMS D1719 First Class Restaurant Car (“RFO”) and the GWR Diagram K22 coach.
The original artwork for the kits was hand-drawn, with patient care, and reflects the perfectionist and thoughtful design that went into them. Use is made of tabs to locate components, and to prevent delicate parts being bent or broken off. The kits are designed to be robust, and the range includes a large number of items that help scratchbuilding or “kit-bashing” modellers to make their own creations.
Eventually the range covered coaches, notably from the LMS and Midland Railway but including other companies, underframe, floor and bogie kits, coach ends and fittings, and a number of other signalling and architectural items. The range of kits for Highland Railway prototypes was sold to a new owner and the range can now be found at www.lochgormkits.co.uk.
At the end of 2012, Alistair finally decided to take a well-earned rest and the range of 5522 Models passed to Paul Willis.