Relaunch of Browns Models
Browns Models are back, but just in a small way.
Browns Models was one of the pioneers of 1/32 scale Vintage Farm tractor kits. It’s is now 35 years since we took a short break in production, a break that was never intended to last so long. Both founder members of the Northumberland Vintage Tractor Club, we started in 1975, when I bought a mint and boxed Britains Fordson E27N Major from Whitley Bay Model Shop, whilst business partner Eddie Brown, looking for examples of Rural Crafts for Northumberland’s working tractor rally, came across a firm making wargaming models in Rothbury, and the idea was formed. New Hope design provided us with the service of making patterns and finished kits starting with a 1944 Model N Fordson.
Browns Models founder Julian Brown in 1975
Our first Model Stall in 1976
Encouraged by John Moffit and the Tractor Museum at Newton, we were lent an E27N Fordson Major and John Deere B from their reserve collection to model. John Hudson and I produced patterns from these, and an alliance with Brian Parks who had newly started Scaledown models producing the castings. We worked with Brian for some time, sharing patterns and ideas, whilst also selling each other’s products. The Ferguson Brown was the final model to see the light of day, again by John Hudson, this time cast by DJH from Consett, Co Durham. Eddie’s death and my own business commitments meant a halt in proceedings. The quality of the models saw us getting permission and support from Ford, Marshall, Ferguson, David Brown, and John Deere, the last awarding us the privilege of a licence to use their colours and logos.
With the death of Eddie Brown in late 1984 the company stopped trading. The workshop lay essentially untouched for 11 years until a house move in March 1995. Part way through loading the boxes of remaining kit parts, patterns, moulds etc. into the boot of the car, I stopped for a cup of tea. When I got back, the boot contents were gone! What remained was put away in the back of a lockup garage, until early 2012.
I had decided to put together a set of our models for my grandchildren, as many of my display examples had been sold over the years, but there were not enough parts to make complete models. Phoning around friends and contacts from 30 years ago, I spoke to Graham Miller of Royston. It turns out he had bought most of the missing boxes as part of an auction lot. A deal was done, and it took me a year to go through the contents, kit parts, unfinished projects, and reject castings. Encouraged by Val and Roger from Dad’s Tractors, I did a stocktake through the Ferguson Brown parts we now had, and found enough to make up 12 complete models, which sold rapidly.
It was always the plan to restart production. After the false start with Dad’s Tractors in 2013, I made the decision to get together as many of the patterns I could find, and with DJH’s help, we are relaunching the Ferguson Brown and John Deere Model B in 1/32 scale and new to the market a Crossmount Case in OO/HO scale for the Model Railway Enthusiast based on a 1/16 model by Ken Conklin for us.
Cast in the highest quality pewter, each model has been subtly updated with additional parts added to match modern standards and expectations. They are also designed with the super-detailer in mind, so that control rods, plug leads etc. can be added if desired. A sheet of hints over and above the instruction booklet is available. To add to these precision quality pieces, come water-slide transfers that have been specially made for us by Fox Transfers, who are market leaders in quality in the field. As before, tyres have been provided by Scaledown to our specification.
Priced to sell at £70 for either variant of the Ferguson Brown and £85 for the John Deere variants, these provide excellent quality and value for the discerning modeller or collector. There is also a seated driver figure, best suited to the John Deere at £6. The baby Case tractor is to sell at £20.00, and a matching 2 furrow plough will soon be available.
Subject to the commercial success of these models, we have 4 further models in the pipeline.
For anybody who may have one of our original models needing repair, we have a limited number of spare parts available. Should there be sufficient demand, we may commission runs of spares for the Fordsons, in particular, from our in-house facility.
JULIAN BROWN - BROWNS MODELS